10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
perfect holiday couple must read this
"the hotel was beutifull most perfect hotel right on the beach could not be more help full
ie i had the hotel staff running round for me to organise a special meal under the stars and under the palm trees so i could propose to my girlfriend down on one knee etc awww
and my girlfriend had no idea all day till that night special flowers wine candels it was perfect ask nicely and the staff were perfect lov to go back thanks serendib"
- Travel date: Thu 6th of July 2006
Beautiful Bawa ... bad buffets
"This 1970's hotel designed by the famous Sri Lankan architect George Bawa is quite an architectural pearl. It is beautifully situated on a narrow piece of land between the railway and the amazing Bentonta beach and enjoys many beautiful details and colonial references (read more about the hotel and the architect on archnet.org). All rooms have sea views, verandas or balconies, and the pool and garden area is really quite nice. The hotel was recently refurbished (post tsunami) and they now have a nice spa too.
Unfortunately, the hotel is already looking somewhat rundown. The clientele is mostly older Europeans on package-tours (with orange all-inclusive bracelets etc.) and service is really not too good (had to call 4 times to get toilet paper). The buffets are quite terrible and the cleaning is not good at all. It is a real shame as this place could be fantastic with a more funky crowd and better food and service."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of March 2006
Execelent Hotel - 4 Star Hotel /5 star staff
"This hotel is one of the greatest Iâve ever being in my life. The Staff including the management is so great that you find it really a home away from home.
They will not hesitate a bit to work that extra mile to get the service done and to help you.
The food served is good and me being a vegetarian I find more and enough things to satisfy my taste buds in everyday buffets.
The garden in front of your room is magical and you will loose all your stress by just lying in this garden using wooden sun beds
All in all this hotel can be ranked more than itâs star category â A four star hotel for me"
- Travel date: Thu 28th of July 2005
Hotel Serendib: Good hotel for a few days in the sun.
"We stayed at the Hotel Serendib last year. We found the staff very friendly and helpful. We booked via the internet and were personally met by the manager on arrival. The accommodation was relatively cheap and we stayed on a bed and breakfast basis, however, I think most people in the hotel had booked as part of a package holiday and were either half or full board. The breakfast was a buffet each morning with a wide selection of food; omlettes, selection of breads, cold meats, fruit, cooked breakfast and even curry! The food was ok for breakfast, however, the lunch and dinner buffet style meals did not look very appetising and if we did eat at the hotel we chose to eat at the a la carte restaurant at the other end of the complex. Often we were the only ones in this restaurant. It offered a good prawn sri lankan curry, toasted sandwiches and cheap beer. However, we ended up eating a lot at the Bentota Beach Hotel next door where the food was absolutely delicious! It was slightly more expensive than other areas in Sri Lanka, however, the quality of food was excellent and compared to UK prices was good value for money - try the steak - it is to die for!
The Hotel Serendib could be described as fairly basic but clean. The room boys do a good job but this is a no frills hotel room - no tv, hairdryer, fridge and very basic air conditioning. We also had a problem with mosquitos as the bedroom windows did not close properly and the window in the bathroom had slatts which were permanently open which allowed mosquitos easy access to the room. The room boys did their best to spray the room each night but we were both quite badly bitten. The room did have a nice balcony with a good view of the Ocean.
The facilities at the hotel were ok - there was a pool and plenty of sunbeds, a pool bar, pool table, tv lounge area, and gift shop, however, the main attraction has to be the beach - just be aware that the touts are a constant nuisance.
We stayed at the hotel at the end of a packed holiday touring around the rest of the island, and was really a relaxing end to a busy holiday. This would not be a good place to stay for a full 2 weeks for a beach holiday because there would not be enough facilities to keep people occupied (especially children), however, in my opinion it would be a sin to come to Sri Lanka purely for a beach holiday and miss out on the wonderful sights on the rest of the island.
The hotel is very basic, but exceptionally friendly and the place really grows on you. However, if you have a bit more money to splash out or want a little bit more luxury or facilities then I would suggest you stay at the Bentota Hotel next door - either that or stay at the Hotel Serendib but pop across occasionally to the Bentota Hotel for some food and drink!"
- Travel date: Tue 26th of July 2005
"W have stayed at this hotel twice, but never again!Meals were of a poor standard, second time even worse, we checked out after three days. Rooms very basic but this is lower 3 star hotel, no way would it be more. Staff were very good and always happy to help the older staff bully the younger staff for tips, if you did not give tips you did not a good service. the room boys were happy and cheerful and did the best they could! The hotel seems to be having lot trouble with it own staff, which seems to effect the staff. Never ever again, go to the other hotels along the beach."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of January 2005
"we stayed at the serendib in may 2002, for our honeymoon. we were treated like royalty, the food was great, the staff fantastic. the holiday was everything & more than we imagined. we'll definitely be returning for our 5th anniversary."
- Travel date: Sat 8th of January 2005
"We have stayed at the Serendib many times and it has always been our favourite along this BEAUTIFUL beach. However the hotel has new management and it has in our opinion lost its charm. The staff however remain fantastic and the food is always excellent. The choices along this bit of the beach include the Bentota Beach, a John Keell hotel, which is fine if you like big hotels and watching endless weddings or the Taj Exotica which is more expensive but worth every penny and very cheap when you get there."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of January 2005
A great time had by all
"We stayed at the Serendib hotel Bentota in December 2004 and we have stayed in many hotels around the world
Yes their is no tv, or much evening entertainment, However this places you in a position to have to socialise with others and re establish the great art of communication, we stayed here 7 nights prior to touring and were due to return had the tsunami not hit
The people here are excellent, friendly and would do anything for you, We took our two children aged 3 and 5 and there was no "kids club" although they did experiment for childrens entertainment whilst we where there, so this may be something of the future.
So not tv and no entertainment my children learnt to play and interact with others of all ages and nationalities and what a great time they had...
For older children and adults they had volley ball and pool areobics most days?
The rooms are basic but clean, so five star it is not.
The food, we had more choice and the food was better than the 5 star accomodation we stayed at inland whilst touring?
The hotel is on the beach and it was clean and easy reach of the hotel.
Bentota town is tired but this adds to the appeal not yet commercialised .. the local people are happy to help you see the places of interest, we placed baby turtles back in the sea my children loved it?
The local people in town or on the beach are extremely friendly, in a genuine, want to meet you manner, how refreshing?
we would return especially at Christmas time as the gala night was spectacualr especially as the Sri Lankan people are Buddist and do not celebrate christmas?
Once this hotel is on it's feet again we highly recommend a visit we will definalty return. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone at this hotel and resort."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of January 2005
"my wife and I have stayed at the serendib many times in our veiw, having stayed in many hotels around the world this hotel is the only one we long to go back to.l"
- Travel date: Wed 24th of November 2004
You don't want to be stuck here for an extended stay
"The Serendib is okay as a base for travelling around Sri Lanka, but don't expect to find accommodation, food or entertainment that are good enough for a whole holiday.
Clean, but basic. Beds are comfortable with crisp white sheets. Air con works adequately, but you can't select the temperature, only on or off. Nice balcony with table and two chairs. No TV and no fridge. Bathrooms have shower but no bath. The railway line right behind the hotel has trains throughout the night, which invariably beep their horns as they pass - be prepared to get woken up several times a night if you're a light sleeper.
We thought we had a good deal for half-board, but the food is very disappointing. All meals are buffet. Breakfast is acceptable with fruit, cereals and english breakfast options. Lunch and dinner offer salad bar, western dishes and a 'curry corner' of Sri Lankan food. Meat is of low quality and food is bland. We went next door to eat at the Bentota Beach, which is incomparably better in terms of quality. 'A la carte' restuarant by the pool is very poor and shabby. Golden Grill, which is nearby outside the hotel is worth a visit.
Non-existent most of the time. 'Highlights' were a bingo night and a Bee Gees concert on a big screen. Most nights there is nothing and when there is it's all over by 11pm. We were glad we weren't all inclusive with drinks provided as there wasn't any opportunity to stay up late and be sociable. Small bar was generally deserted due to aggressive air con and lack of music and atmosphere. In comparison, Bentota Beach next door offers live bands and a lively bar until the early hours.
There is no squash court, despite several websites saying there is. Pool is a decent size, but a boring rectangle shape. Beach is very close, but beware of the touts that constantly hang around, which make it impossible to leave valuables on the beach while you swim and risky to walk at night.
As elsewhere in Sri Lanka, very friendly, especially the room boys
Attractive lobby area with water feature, small shops with decent souvenirs competitively priced. Internet terminal is slow and very over-priced. Go out of the hotel and across the railway line for a reasonably-priced internet cafe.
Doesn't compare favourably with other towns in Sri Lanka. It's quite run down and full of touts drawn there by the presence of westerners with money. It's got a Food City supermarket for stocking up on cheap water and alcohol, but not too much else of note. Save your cash until you get to Kandy.
Be warned, we went at the end of September and the weather was terrible with heavy rain and thick cloud for 90% of the time. It doesn't get reliably good until November/December when the monsoon has ended.
Despite the presence of half-board and all-inclusive options, don't be fooled - this is not a resort hotel, where you will want to stay for more than a couple of days. It's okay if you want to spend a couple of days on the beach before moving on, or if you want to leave your stuff somewhere while touring the island with a back-pack. If you're looking for somewhere in Bentota with good food, decent entertainment and good quality accommodation, pay the extra for the Bentota Beach (which we visited) or Taj Exotica. Or, if you're feeling extravagent, stay at Samman Villas, which are apparently amazing."
- Travel date: Mon 4th of October 2004