13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Best Beach Hotel in Sri Lanka
"We came here for 9 nights. Arrived Friday and departure was after Sunday buffet. In arrival they offered welcome drink & Cold Towel. It was very freshness. The service was excellent and given room is Luxury. Daily cleaning the rooms twice. The Food was amazing and enjoyed the 2 pools. Beach was awesome. All staffs are smiling and asked how was our stay. They are trying to do something to give a memorable experience to us. Specially thanks to Ranisha, Thushara, Praveen, etc... We definitely come back again and recommend to our friends also. "
- Travel date: 14th January 2016
Isolated, expensive, poor service, boring
"We originally booked for a week but checked out early as we were bored to death and tired of harassment from all angles. Getting on the beach meant dealing with unrelenting harassment squads. Same goes for out the front of the hotel. A significant number of the staff were only interested in getting tips/money by any means. We would have preferred they focused on ensuring drinks were cold and food hot but that was not on their agenda. The hotel itself is enormous and whilst visually beautiful it lacked any kind of ambience, atmosphere or real theme. When the hotel started to feel like a semi-luxurious prison we knew it was time to escape. I would not recommend staying here more than one night but since it is a long trip from anywhere else it would need to make sense for your overall tour. We travelled to other parts of Sri Lanka and there are way more interesting places to see that are more beautiful, less expensive and where the people do not view you as a walking wallet. "
- Travel date: 27th August 2011
Most fantastic holiday
"My husband, daughter (6) and I have just returned from a 14 night stay in the Heritance Ahungalla. This was our first visit to Sri Lanka and we can not wait to go back! What a wonderful country. The hotel was set in beautiful surroundings, so peaceful and sits on a gorgeous part of the coast. On arrival we just knew we would be able to relax there. Staff employed in the hotel are a credit to it. They were very professional and always eager to help and to make sure we were enjoying our stay. A number of them were very kind to our daughter and helped make her holiday extremely enjoyable - especially the restaurant staff. We took the "full board plus" option and have to say the food was outstanding - even plenty of choice for our 6 year old daughter. Each night the food was very different - Sri Lankan, Oriental, Western, Barbeque etc with chefs cooking some items freshly in the restaurant, to order (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner). There is also a fine dining restaurant that was highly recommended by other guests (extra charge) but because we were enjoying the inclusive food so much, never felt the need to try the fine dining. The rooms were kept clean to a very high standard. The beds were extremely comfortable and there were shutters on the window to completely black out any early morning light. We initially had a problem because there was no third bed for our daughter - but when we mentioned it, it was sorted within minutes and reception staff went out of their way to make sure we were happy. Bottles of water were left in the room every day and toweling robes were provided. Other previous comments mention being pestered for tips but when you realise how these people are living and how little they have, giving a 100rs (50p) tip for drinks/meal/cleaning room etc is a small price to pay for the gratitude you receive when you do it. The staff go out of their way to do what they can for you. As for the people on the beach - please take previous comments with a pinch of salt. Yes, there are people on the beach and you should be prepared for this, but these are local people who have just as much right to be there as any tourist. All they are doing is trying to earn a living in an environment where employment is extremely hard to come by and many are still suffering the long term effects of the tsumani. We did two, two day tours from the Hotel - one with Kuoni and one with a couple of guys from the beach (Chali & Upul). The Kuoni tour (to Kandy & Elephant Orphanage) was expensive and very much aimed at getting you into places associated with Kuoni where the guide would get his commission on your purchases - even to extent of ushering you away from places you wanted to visit. To be fair, the guide had a very extensive and interesting knowledge of the country. The tour with Chali & Upul from the beach (to Galle and Yala National park & safari) was arranged by them at very short notice, used the same type of vehicle as the Kuoni tour, the driver was great and we were able to visit little tiny villages, go off the beaten track, stop at deserted beaches, markets, fish sellers, cashew sellers etc. They organised the hotel, the safari, and always made sure our daughter was safe. A number of other families in the hotel had also used these guys for day trips out and about. By the end of our holiday we had got to know them so well, we visited one of their houses and also spent our last evening sitting on the beach with them, and we exchanged gifts before going home (the ladies on the beach were very grateful for left over shampoo etc). The hotel is fairly isolated but there is no problem with getting a tuk tuk to Hikkaduwa, Bentota, Turtle Hatcheries, Ayurveda Massage or the fantastic river safari which is very close by (don't miss it!!) - again, the guys on the beach were very reliable for organising all of these. The only criticism of the hotel would be the lack of inventive entertainment. The entertainment was very low key - which in itself isn't too much of a problem, but it was fairly repetitive. Additionally, there was no childrens entertainment at all, either during the day or at night - although this did not stop our daughter from having fun. Overall, we had a fantastic holiday and would not hesitate to return to either Sri Lanka or the Heritance Ahungalla."
- Travel date: 20th April 2007
"My family stayed here for 5 nights in April 2007, and found the whole experience to be excellent. The staff are helpful, the pools beautiful and clean, the rooms large and stylish and the food excellent and varied. Would reccomend this hotel to anyone wishing to relax in style after travelling around SL."
- Travel date: 14th April 2007
"My husband and I recently stayed at this hotel, and we had a great time! The service was excellent... the staff is very friendly and courteous. The rooms were very clean and the design and decor of the rooms were very modern with hints of Sri Lankan culture. The food was so great! We got the all-exclusive deal (not inclding alcohol) and it was great that we got to taste a lot of different types of food at the buffets for every meal. There was so much variety of foods that I couldnt even decde what to eat most of the time! Overall, this has climbed to to the top of the list of my favorite hotels for me and I would go back to Heritace Ahungalla on my next visit to Sri lanka. If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful vacation this is the place for you!"
- Travel date: 14th April 2007
Beautiful beach, if you can get on it!
"We stayed here for 2 weeks at the end of March and first week of April. Mostly, I would agree the previous writer's review. If you wish to really see Sri Lanka then I would suggest that you stay here at the end of your holiday as it is quite far south and means that travel to places such as Kandy are extremely long and tiresome and the driving is something else to be seen, I would describe it as a 'white knuckle ride'!. The hotel is well designed but I would struggle to place it in the 4-5* bracket (try out hotels in Malaysia and you will really see the difference). There is a so called shop in the hotel which really does not sell any essentials such as shampoo so make sure you take your own hair products. Also, we bought factor 40 sun tan cream which did not work and we were severely burned (another couple had the same experience) so again, make sure you take your own sun tan creams and after sun with you. Regarding the beach terrorists, they do hassle you. We were followed for an hour on the beach by 5 of them who just would not give up, no matter how politely you said you weren't interested. They called and shouted to you if you were sunbathing near the beach and the only thing to do was to completely ignore them. One day we went outside the hotel to go the the pharmacy to buy some after sun lotion (due to the rubbish cream the shop had sold) and found exactly the same hassle, we lasted about 20 minutes before going back to the hotel. Our room smelled damp when we initially entered and the air con never seemed cool, the staff knocked on the door daily, sometimes 4-5 times to check the room was ok. However, I think this had more to do with wanting a tip. One time they completely ignored the 'do not disturb sign' and still persisted. The restaurant did offer a very good selection (buffet style) and quality of food, the only thing that let it down was the length of time it took you to get a drink when requested, especially as the ratio of staff to customers was overwhelming at times. If you don't like being hassled then maybe this isn't the place for you. In terms of the staff, all were very friendly and polite apart from one or two who seemed to have tipping on their agenda as a priority more than genuine customer service. All in all, a good quality hotel but if they really wish to put themselves in the 4-5* bracket, they are missing a lot of extras which you would normally expect."
- Travel date: 13th April 2007
Fantastic base for our holiday in Sri Lanka
"Hi, It's a bit late, but we stayed at the Heritance in mid-Feb as part of a Sri Lanka/Maldives vacation. We booked 8 nights at the Heritance (we actually spent 1 of these nights at the Citadel in Kandy as part of an optional tour - which was very nice too). Arrival & check-in:- After a long drive down from Colombo it was nice to arrive at such a fantastic lobby area, which an amazing view across the infinity pool to the ocean. Check-in process was slick and professional, with welcome drinks and cool/refreshing towels etc. Room:- We had a superior suite and were very happy with the decor, space, quality of the beds and the bathroom, with open window from beach, deep bath, and enclosed soaker shower area. There was a welcome basket and also snacks provided. Every day they provided 2 bottles of mineral water and there was a nice turn-down service. Facilities:- The hotel also had a modern air-conditioned gym area with cold towels, cold water, and almost un-used, modern equipment. There were 2 pools (1 was right outside our block and the other nearer the reception). There was also badminton and tennis - although I didn't use these. There were a couple of bars and a "nightclub" (late bar with music and small dance-floor area), and of these there was a criminally under-publicised happy hour (2-4-1) which we missed out on for the first couple of night until someone brought it to our attention. Such was the level of service, you could actually order your first drink just before happy hour finished, then go to dinner, and collect the free drink afterwards, or you could just take it to dinner (i.e. no silly rules were applied). Food:- We were half board, and the main restaurant was well equipped, with a diverse mix of meals, that did not get repetitive over the 8 days. You could choose to pay for an a la carte restaurant and fine dining, but there did not seem huge take-up for this. In addition, the staff were extremely attentive, and very chatty/friendly. They did a couple of special nights whilst we were there â some were a little extra if you wanted to do them (e.g. Valentines, and private beach dining), and some were free (for example, a night on the beach on the weekend and a special a la carte evening in the restaurant on a different day) Beach and vicinity:- Wonderful long beach, very clean and picturesque. There are a lot of beach boys and girls selling their wares and their trips, which can be annoying if you just want a little dip in the ocean, but once you get to know them they remember you and your hassled a lot less. There is not really much in walking distance of the hotel in all honesty, but you are not really that far away from Kosgoda turtle hatcheries, and itâs easy to go further south along the coastal road to Hikkaduwa and Galle â which make for quite a nice trip to do in a day. Downsides??:- Due to poor levels of tourism, there are quite a few good offers available, and the hotel themselves had some local special deals on the weekends. The problem with this is that you end up feeling lousy when you know what youâve paid versus some of the late deals. I would recommend really shopping around, as it really would be a fantastic bargain at some of the prices people managed to get. Itâs quite quiet, and dare I say lacks a bit of atmosphere. At the start I really enjoyed the almost private exclusivity of the service and relaxing ambience, but I must admit to yearning for something a bit livelier at least 1 or 2 of the days during the stay. More guests would solve this, plus maybe a better publicised happy hour and some varied entertainment. All in all a great stay â one of the best beach locations, nicely designed hotel, with great staff and good standard of foodâ¦it just needs more business to make it a bit livelier, but I think Sri Lanka is still affected across the island in this way."
- Travel date: 10th April 2007
Heritance Ahungalla - Lovely Hotel
"I stayed at the Heritance Ahungalla for a 2 week holiday with my Mum in March. We were originally booked to go to the Ramada (Golden Sun) at Kalutara but asked to change by our holiday company Mercury Direct as they had overbooked this hotel. Looking at this website and after a few enquiries we were very pleased to change to the Heritance Ahungalla and looking forward to the trip. Firstly I feel I need to mention that I have never experienced roads or driving quite in the way we did on the journey from the airport to our hotels. Iâve been to quite a few countries where the driving is appalling and the roads are pretty basic but in Sri Lanka the driving is something else! Think it is fair to say that if you get in the slightest bit travel sick on journeys, definitely take your remedies here! After a long journey from the airport it was a delight to see the beautiful entrance to our hotel with an open plan lobby and the view of the pool. Just like the pictures weâd seen. Hotel Overall the hotel is beautifully decorated and nicely spaced out with 2 beautiful pools. There are a few bars and places to eat including a fine dining restaurant. Most meals are in the main restaurant and served buffet style, unless there is a shortage of guests, which we found and then they put on a set menu.(not so great unfortunately) There is an excellent gym that seems to have a lot of new equipment hardly used and a handy library if you read all the books youâve brought with you and need some more. There appears to be plenty of security around, especially in the beach area. Unfortunately they are unable to stop the beach sellers from staring and shouting at you at every opportunity. Sometimes this was a bit intimidating and you felt like you had to ârun the gauntletâ if you want to dip your toes in the ocean. They were very persistent despite all our polite no thankyouâs and at times I felt my patience was tried! Room We were extremely pleased with our very spacious room. Beds were reasonably comfortable with massive pillows. Nice balcony area to sit and watch the sunset. Think the air con could do with being set a little cooler in the rooms but overall we were pleased with our room (probably one of the best weâve stayed in on our travels). There seemed no end of staff to make sure we were satisfied with our room and happy with the cleaning and we were asked nearly every day if we were happy with our room. There is plenty of tea and coffee making facilities in the room as well as a good size safe to store your valuables. The bathroom was lovely too with a divine shower that was like standing under a waterfall. Bathrobes and slippers provided too! Restaurant We were fortunate to be all inclusive as our booking with the other hotel had to be honoured. There were a few restrictions as to where and when we could eat and drink but it wasnât unreasonable. The Coffee Shop was good for food but extremely slow for service. We had to go there at least half an hour before we were due to get hungry so that we werenât starving when the food arrived. When the main restaurant serves buffet, it was fantastic. There is an excellent choice for every taste and I highly recommend the desserts. Due to the lack of guests in the hotel, (37% occupancy) on quite a few occasions they had to resort to a set menu at lunch times and a few times in the evening. Although I completely understood the reasoning for it not being cost effective I felt it was too restrictive and didnât really allow for people with plainer tastes. At lunch times the set menu could have had salads as a choice rather than two hot courses. Service From the moment we arrived the service was excellent but we did seem to notice this tapered off in the second week for some unknown reason. Drinks werenât served as promptly and on quite a few occasions we had to ask if there was a problem. In fact our lunch on the last day was such a disaster we had to complain about the service. There was no excuse for it as, as Iâve said there were hardly any guests, and in fact more staff than guests in the restaurant just standing around. The management swiftly resolved the issue when we complained and we were impressed by the improved service during our last evening meal. There was another issue that we, along with some other guests staying at the hotel encountered with a member of staff in the restaurant. I wouldnât normally mention something like this in a review but I felt fellow travellers should be warned. When we arrived we were told about the damage to the hotel from the tsunami (if youâve read previous reviews youâll see that it was quite badly affected) and the hotel staff seemed quite proud that no members of staff or their relatives were lost. A particular waiter in the restaurant approached myself and my mum during dinner and proceeded to tell us that he had lost his wife in the tsunami and he had 2 sons to provide for. We of course expressed our sadness to him. A couple of days later he approached my mum and other guests while they were sunbathing on the beach, stating that a couple of diners had left the restaurant without paying and he was expected to foot the 3000 rupee bill. He also stated his son needed shoes that were 2000 rupees. Alarm bells rang and as a result of this, some of the guests approached the Food and Bar Manager, who confirmed both âstoriesâ were in fact untrue. The waiter and his wife were separated, and at no time did any diners leave without paying. He stated the member of staff would be severely reprimanded. This as you can imagine, left a bit of a nasty tinge to an otherwise lovely stay and I hope that no one in the future will be taken in by his stories especially as it takes advantage of such a horrific event that we witnessed from afar. To balance out the bad I would like to give a special mention to the lovely girls in the restaurant and âJâ the food and bar manager as well as the bar staff by the main pool, they provided excellent service and made us feel very welcome. The area surrounding the hotel is pretty quiet and quite isolated and near to the end of the holiday I felt a bit stir crazy. There isnât anywhere to really walk to and I feel that the hotel could do with a little arcade of shops other than the gem shop that it has. I guess if you truly want to get away from it all and do nothing but lie in the sun and go on the occasional trip it is ideal. We went on a few trips around the middle of the holiday. Good to give yourself sometime to recover from the travelling especially if you go on a trip to Kandy with the driving being horrendous. (But thatâs another story) There is a variety of wildlife around the hotel (including fanta-loving chipmunks) and if you are lucky you may get to see the troop of monkeys that come to visit the front of the hotel on a regular basis. Above all a lovely holiday and a very nice hotel although some improvements could be made to make it truly a 5 star plus hotel."
- Travel date: 7th April 2007
The Heritance Hotel, Formerly the Triton
"We stayed here 4 nights in February 2007 after a private tour of Sri Lankaâs cultural sites and it was lovely to just relax at a beautiful location. A wonderful hotel, lovely rooms, delicious gourmet food, especially the lobster and prawns and the attentiveness and service from the staff was truly outstanding. Sadly the planned âSix Sensesâ spa has been put on hold due to concerns with lack of visitors with the reason troubles in Sri Lanka however the hotel seemed very receptive to my feedback that they need to make massage and treatments available outside overlooking the beach with the waves lapping in the background â that would be pure bliss! We definitely hope to return to this hotel and met others who were on their ninth repeat stay because they loved it so much. R&J aged 49 and 50"
- Travel date: 8th March 2007
Wonderful, gorgeous hotel
"We recently stayed at the Heritance and I can say that it was an absolute delight. From the moment you arrive it takes your breath away -- the drive up to the front of the hotel brings you to the view through the lobby, out over the pool and to the see beyond. The hotel's refurbishment has been sumptuous -- beautiful furniture, stylish decor and very well appointed rooms. The food was excellent. Every day we'd see the restaurant manager who would talk to us by the pool and tell us what the specials were going to be that evening, and on the one occasion we went to the fine dining restaurant we had the most exquisite food. We were brought two extra complimentary courses and had wonderfully attentive service (although I have to say that a very minor downside here was that I don't think the staff realised that the CD they had put on was a Christmas CD, which wasn't too appropriate in late January, but never mind...) It was rather heartbreaking that there were so few tourists around in such a beautiful hotel."
- Travel date: 20th February 2007
Absolutely stunning hotel
"We honeymooned here for six nights in January 2007. The hotel has been totally redecorated since the tsunami and is absolutely gorgeous. From the moment we came up the driveway to see the open-plan lobby and the stunning infinity pool reaching all the way to the sea, we knew we were on to something good. Our room (two hundred and something - not sure if it was a superior) â fairly large with lovely decor, great bed, beautiful walk-in shower, dressing gowns/slippers, plentiful 'accessories'. Kept spotless. All we could have wanted, really. Hotel - just so beautiful - airy, spacious, lovely water features, two beautiful pools, great beach. Unbelievably relaxing. Restaurants - great and fairly inexpensive food â we ate soooo well. The fine dining room was really very special. One night they had a buffet with a choice of 70-odd courses â incredible! There are also many 'special event' set meals â eg seafood, local fish etc set meals. Lovely afternoon tea. Fantastic service, particularly from Laki â well done he! Staff - faultless really, attentive, sweet and helpful. Area - very quiet indeed with no centre (unlike eg Bentota). Didn't bother us at all as the hotel was so divine and we'd already done a lot of sightseeing and travelling before we arrived. We visited the lovely little turtle sanctuary up the road though - don't miss it, the owner has had to start again since the tsunami. Sadly, the hotel was almost empty despite it being high season. They really want visitors â do not worry about tsunami or the civil war as there really is nothing to worry about â just please, please go and stay there and enjoy everything the country has to offer. It is really, really beautiful. We had an unforgettable time and we'd go back in a flash."
- Travel date: 14th February 2007
A triumphant rebirth
"I stayed here for 1 day in early August. I had previously visited 3 years before that and been impressed. Now, following its post tsunami refurb it is even better. Apparently the refurb was done by a pupil of the original architect, the late Geoffery Bawa, and it is true to his tasteful modernism. The decor is largely monochrome, though the main bar is stunningly mirrored. The rooms are superb. The food wasnt quite as good as I remembered, but there was a superb seafood barbecue at Sunday lunch. Apparently prices have gone up (I was treated by a relative), but it truly is a superb hotel. Well done Aitken Spence Hotels!"
- Travel date: 27th August 2006
Top traveller tips for Heritance Ahungalla
"Best Place for Couples and Honeymooners. The area is very calm and quite. "
"Make it a small piece of a larger tour"
Heritance Ahungalla is also called
- Triton Hotel
- Heritance Ahungalle Resort
- ahungalla heritance hotel