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Reviews summary

4
Good
1379 reviews
Brilliant
650
Good
470
Average
149
Poor
67
Awful
43
  • 4 room
  • 4.5 pool
  • 3 beach
  • 4.5 service
  • 5 dining
  • 3 amenities
  • 4 value
  • 4.5 food
  • 3 cleanliness
  • 4 location

36 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

An OK place with plenty going on

4
Good
by
Reviewed 20th August 2013

" Sri Lanka (post war) Having toured Sri Lanka many times over the past two decades, I thought that to return now that the war between the government forces and the 'Tamil Tigers' had ended, would be a good idea. Choosing three distinct regions to visit would give me the best overall impression of the present situation (tourist wise) and how they and the local population viewed it. Every ethnic (non-Tamil) Sri Lankan I spoke with, held strong beliefs that their government had acted correctly and that the charges of genocide cited by the UN and other World bodies, were wrong. They became quite incensed when the subject of the Channel Four documentary film was mentioned, protesting to 'yours truly' that it was all faked by the British cameramen, sound recordists and journalists. Many opposite views were expressed by tourists of certain nationalities, opining that the film must have some merit but the war was over and would be best forgotten. Immediately following the end of that conflict (and when Tourist numbers dropped sharply) the Sri Lankan authorities, together with a number of 'developers', made high value assets available for the acquisition of land vacated by the indigenous Tamil population. Hotels and amenities have sprung up and a concerted effort is being made to encourage tourists to return. The official number of tourists into Sri Lanka during 2012 showed a marked increase over the previous two years. However, those numbers need to be scrutinized carefully as the same figure quoted for 'Tourists' is identical to the total number of passengers arriving at Colombo airport, irrespective of nationality or purpose...quite a weird comparison? On then to the subject of the regions and the hotels within them at which I'd elected to stay. First, I based myself north of Negombo at the north western coastal area of Marawila and made various excursions from that village. To sample what the growing number of All Inclusive Hotels had to offer and measure the standards, I'd chosen Club Palm Bay as probably being typical. This is a large, sprawling resort covering many acres and is set in a landscape dotted with lagoons. All accommodation is single story bungalows. Being fully air-conditioned, spacious and boasting excellent bathroom and bedroom storage facilities, no fault could be found as to their suitability. Meals, as expected, were all 'buffet style' and taken in the hotel's only restaurant – a large, open sided building overlooking the swimming pool. With so many nationalities of guests, the food on offer was varied to suit and was plentiful. The quality also lived up to expectations. Waiters and overseers performed their tasks with slick professionalism, ensuring tables were quickly prepared and drink orders were produced with a minimum of waiting. The only 'grumbles' I overheard and witnessed, were from guests being 'ousted' from their place in the buffet queue by those who'd gained the title of 'Sri Lanka's Cyrillic Invaders'. It was indeed unpleasant to observe such bad manners but on speaking with 'The Management' I learned that the hotel and many like it, were increasingly reliant upon bookings from that part of the world, as the traditional and oft-returning guests from the UK and Europe had taken their custom elsewhere. As for actual statistical factual ratios, I have no knowledge. There was no doubting that the center of attraction was the large swimming pool and its very pleasant garden surroundings. Every sun-bed was occupied by early morning (at least by books, towels, newspapers or some article of clothing). However, not the usual Germanic suspects this time...I'll let you guess which nationality had superseded them. Overlooking that specific, the pool was great and squeaky clean. Evening entertainment varied from traditional Sri Lankan dance shows to fire eaters. All were enthusiastically received and applauded. Other facilities offered by the hotel were tennis, mini-golf, an Ayurvedic centre, snooker and other indoor games. Although being sited on the beach, most hotel guests shied away from it. I wasn't surprised, as the sand is streaked with 'black whatever' littered with rubbish and not in the least inviting. The steepness of the shoreline would make the average bather, very wary of stepping in the breakers. There were some incidents within the hotel and its gardens during the hours of darkness due no doubt to the consumption of copious amounts of free alcohol (mostly Vodka). The security personnel were certainly stretched on occasions. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 17th August 2013
  • 3 Location
  • 2 Beach
  • 4 Room
  • 4 Pool
  • 4 Service
  • 3 Value
  • 4 Food
  • 1 Cleanliness

Club Palm Bay Sri Lanka

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 18th June 2013

"Oh, what a wonderful place. We have been many times and love everything about it. The only drawback are the russians and their behaviour. Some of them are very pleasant but the majority are not. The hotel is in a beauitiful position right on the beach. The staff are extraordinary, nothing is too much trouble and they are very kind too.The food is very good but the hotel do a returners dinner for the people who return by the pool side and it is fabulous. The pool is absolutely enormous and the water like bath water, though not heated. There are the most beautiful things to see and you will get your own driver who will do what you want him to do. The country is very beautiful and the people are renowned in the whole of the far east as being lovely. We will be back. Can't wait."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 18th June 2013
  • 5 Location
  • 5 Beach
  • 5 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Value
  • 4 Food
  • 5 Cleanliness

Thank you Mercury Direct

4
Good
by
Reviewed 6th June 2011

" we have had a wonderful holiday at the Club Palm bay. most helful rep. we had been given a room with a bath that was in poor condition more water came out over the floor then went in but as soon as we reported it, we were given another room .. the people and the staff are wonderful. take the three day trip for £299 you will have your own car and driver and see how the people really live. Im so pleased that I went and you will be to. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 5th June 2011
  • 2 Beach
  • 4 Room
  • 5 Pool
  • 5 Service
  • 5 Dining
  • 3 Amenities
  • 5 Food

Holiday feedback

4
Good
by
Reviewed 30th November 2010

"We have arrived back from club palm bay booking a holiday for 10 nights. Pleasent holiday with great facilities. The food was excellent and not disapointed with each meal. Staff are very attentive to guests staying at the hotel. The time of year we went was quiet. Not a lot to do at night. Entertainment could be improved on. The rain got us down as we had a long trudge from our room to dining room. No complaints really and we would book to go back."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 29th November 2010
  • 2 Beach
  • 3 Room
  • 4 Pool
  • 4 Service
  • 5 Dining
  • 3 Amenities
  • 5 Food

excellent

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 23rd June 2009

"this hotel was excellent and the staff made you feel special they were very polite and friendly the food was also excellent with plenty of choice.we used anthony the tuk tuk man & fernando for all our trips we found them very honest & helpful. we want to go back a.s.a.p we are in our fiftys & we felt very safe. everyone is so friendley & so happy. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 22nd June 2009

Excellent Resort

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 17th February 2009

"This was our first visit to Sri Lanka and must say we thoroughly enjoyed our experience and will certainly be returning in the not too distant future. The Club Palm Bay Resort is surrounded by a large lagoon, which attracted all different kinds of birds and other kinds of wild life including water “Monitor Lizards”. All of the staff are extremely friendly, polite and very attentive at the resort. Nothing is too much trouble for them and although fully professional they have a brilliant sense of humour and loved to play small practical jokes on guests once they got to know them. The cleanliness throughout the hotel and the large airy bedrooms is of a very high standard as well as the well kept gardens. Bed linen is changed daily and towels would be changed when you left them on the bathroom floor (daily if required). All rooms have extremely good air-conditioning, fan, multi-channel TV, fridge, safe, hair dryer along with tea and coffee making facilities. The large L shaped swimming pool is cleaned daily by the pool staff who will also provide you with mattresses and towels for the sun lounger’s. The food at the resort is of very good quality and plentiful, with all tastes catered for. Breakfast: These are superb with a choice of porridge, cornflakes, fruit, fruit juice and eggs in whatever way you want them cooked (omelettes of all descriptions cooked to order in front of you). Also delicious bacon, baked beans and grilled tomatoes each morning. As the hotel also caters for local guests (especially at weekends), there is also usually a selection of local curry dishes available at breakfast. Lunch and Dinner: The soups are really delicious with a selection of bread and a large choice of salads. An assortment of fish, beef, pork and chicken dishes along with a Pasta, featured as main course along with numerous curry and rice dishes to choose from each day, something to satisfy all tastes. There was also a large range of sweets to choose from, which I should add, were to die for. All-inclusive guests are also entitled to morning coffee and cakes along with afternoon tea consisting of sandwiches and cakes, which are served daily in the main bar area. Some form of entertainment is provided most evenings in either the bar or restaurant area. Main Bar: Open from 10:00am until 12:00pm daily and serves a selection of soft drinks (including water) and local alcoholic drinks, with the exception of the monthly Poya Days (full moon) when alcoholic drinks are not served until after 6:00pm The beach is just across the road from the hotel entrance, with hotel staff on hand to provide sun beds and beach towels. Swimming in the sea is not really recommended due to the strong undercurrents, but excellent for sunbathing. Although we undertook quite a number of tours around the island, I would definitely recommend a trip to the Elephant orphanage. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 16th February 2009

Beautiful hotel, pity about such poor se...

3
Average
by
Reviewed 14th August 2008

"Beautiful hotel, pity about such poor service. I stayed at the Club Palm Bay for two weeks in June, left with mixed feelings but overall it was an enjoyable holiday. The hotel's gardens are beautiful and the pool is fantastic. My room was a nice surprise - single travellers usually end up in a smaller room, but I had a large double with loads of cupboard space. The room was kept very clean but every day I had to ring to ask for towels (which were, like the decor, overdue for a replacement). The food was plentiful, although a bit repetitive, and there was always a selection of wonderful fresh fruit. What let the place down was the abysmal service. Typical example was when my room phone rang at 6am with a wakeup call I hadn't booked. When I said I hadn't asked for a call the reply was "Why Not?" (still trying to work that one out). Staff were always angling for tips, especially the pool boys, and I felt that single travellers didn't get looked after as well as couples and groups (not such high tippers, perhaps?) I did try booking an excursion from the agent in the village, who was highly recommended by others on this website, but he isn't too interested in single travellers, and his prices were higher than Mercury; he only offers reduced prices for a full mini-bus. The hotel is quite isolated and the beach, as reported elsewhere, isn't nice and you can't swim from it. I did take a two-day inland trip and had a fantastic time with a great guide. Would I go back? For such a cheap holiday it would be easy to overlook the pitfalls and just chill out in those lovely gardens, so I might be back again."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 14th August 2008

we found the hotel to be excellent in ev...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 16th July 2008

"we found the hotel to be excellent in every way from the tiny details such as the new loo rolls being folded to the wonderful flower arrangement on our clean bed linen every day. The staff are really friendly and helpful in every way. The food was varried and very good, all in all the best holiday ever. We went on a few tours with Fernando who was excellent, very helpful and friendly and I strongly recomend him, he can be found outside the hotel gates and is much cheaper to use. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 16th July 2008

Being a couple in our early 20's, althou...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 23rd June 2008

"Being a couple in our early 20's, although this hotel was quiet (to what we were usually used to!) we had a fabulous time and met some lovely people!! Our rooms were cleaned once/twice a day, the food was constantly of a high standard. The service was brilliant and everyone always had a smile on their face! The sea was too rough to swim in but we enjoyed the big pool at the hotel. We did an excursion with Fernando (the beach boy- outside the hotel) He was fantastic and took us to see all the places we wanted to go. We went on an elephant ride, visitied an elephant orphanage, spice garden, tea plantation, tea factory, dambulla caves, temple of tooth, sigyiri rock.. and all for £80ish each (including overnight accomidation and food). He also took us to a batic shop and paid for our dinner at a local cafe (which was an experience!). The following week Fernando invited us around to his house where we met his beautiful family, his wife even cooked us a lovely meal (king prawns and rice!). Fernando is a very trustworthy and genuine man and I would recommend him to anyone who wanted to go on any trips outside the hotel. We also caught a tuk-tuk into Chilaw market and another day at Negambo market throughout the holiday. I loved Chilaw market because not many tourists go there and everyone was soo friendly and warm. They loved having their pictures taken so I could play them back to them. Id definately go back to Sri Lanka and to this hotel. I wanted to say hi and thank-you to all the friends we made on our holiday (u know who you are!) We had a fantastic time and don't worry, your still invited to the (future) engagment party!! "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 23rd June 2008

Being a couple in our early 20's, althou...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 23rd June 2008

"Being a couple in our early 20's, although this hotel was quiet (to what we were usually used to!) we had a fabulous time and met some lovely people!! Our rooms were cleaned once/twice a day, the food was constantly of a high standard. The service was brilliant and everyone always had a smile on their face! The sea was too rough to swim in but we enjoyed the big pool at the hotel. We did an excursion with Fernando (the beach boy- outside the hotel) He was fantastic and took us to see all the places we wanted to go. We went on an elephant ride, visitied an elephant orphanage, spice garden, tea plantation, tea factory, dambulla caves, temple of tooth, sigyiri rock.. and all for £80ish each (including overnight accomidation and food). He also took us to a batic shop and paid for our dinner at a local cafe (which was an experience!). The following week Fernando invited us around to his house where we met his beautiful family, his wife even cooked us a lovely meal (king prawns and rice!). Fernando is a very trustworthy and genuine man and I would recommend him to anyone who wanted to go on any trips outside the hotel. We also caught a tuk-tuk into Chilaw market and another day at Negambo market throughout the holiday. I loved Chilaw market because not many tourists go there and everyone was soo friendly and warm. They loved having their pictures taken so I could play them back to them. Id definately go back to Sri Lanka and to this hotel. I wanted to say hi and thank-you to all the friends we made on our holiday (u know who you are!) We had a fantastic time and don't worry, your still invited to the (future) engagment party!! "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 23rd June 2008

We live are a Scottish couple working in...

1
Awful
by
Reviewed 3rd June 2008

"We live are a Scottish couple working in Sri Lanka for the past 3 years. Have been to many hotels throughout the country and believe us when we say it was the worst service we have ever had! On arrival there was no one to greet us at the door or take our luggage. Long walk along corridor to a vast but bare reception hall. Staff at reception did not know we were coming, did not know booking procedures. Eventually got taken to our room which was a pleasant surprise...nice, clean, comfortable and a lovely view of the lagoon only feet away from our private terrace. The room was lacking in mini bar/coffee & tea facilities and safe deposit box which considering it was quite isolated from these facilities it should have been there. We settled down at the pool and at lunch time decided to order a snack but realized we hadn't seen anyone serving on the poolside. Eventually had to ask and were told snack menu finishes as 12noon!! Only the buffet was available! After asking a few different people and being told the same story we went to reception...they didn't know either and had to phone a few numbers before finally telling us to go to the main bar. There we found a very small but adequate snack menu!!! We ordered 2 snacks and after waiting 1 hr we finally received but 1 snack, 1 drink and 2 glasses. The drink bottle still had the top on, waiter had no opener so after waiting an age my husband opened it on the wall spilling 1/2 of it in the process. After another 1/2 hr the other snack came but chips were cold so had to be sent back.....another wait!! Later on we dared to order another drink and a coffee, they could bring the drink but the coffee I had to get myself!!! That was on our first day of 3!! Buffet dinner and breakfast the next day were very good! At breakfast though a child of about 3 yrs old was left unattended in the pool while their parents ate breakfast as is quite common in Sri Lanka. The child lost his footing and fortunately lots saw it and he was saved!!! Asked about playing golf, their reaction..."you want to play?"..."now?"!! Eventually found man to open up and give us the equipment. He showed us the tees but realised 1/2 way that he told us to start at the last tee!! On our last day there our room was not cleaned at all and discovered later that they had us leaving that day even though we booked 3 nights and it wasn't until we returned to our room at 4pm that we discovered our room not cleaned....when did they think we were going to leave? We went during their Vesak Poya festival which is a very important one for the country and not a sign anywhere about it...and when they brought their home made lanterns which were very impressive as they usually are out for display still there was no sign at all for the tourists to know what it was all about. The different sections of the hotel made their own as is the custom and have a competition. In our view the kitchen staff's lantern was tops. All in all the hotel is lovely, the situation is nice but very isolated so unless you go on a tour there is nothing for it but to stay in the hotel. The beach is not nice, not clean and the sea dangerous to swim in. The snack food was lovely when we did eventually get it and the buffet dinners and breakfasts were good too. Sorry about the staff though, they are untrained, not happy, not helpful and totally unconcerned about their customers needs. "

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 3rd June 2008

We went to this hotel for honeymoon and ...

5
Brilliant
by
Reviewed 9th May 2008

"We went to this hotel for honeymoon and everything was perfect, and poeple so nice. Great room with nice view to the lagoon and the swimming-pool is simply the best I ever have seen. The only negative point : air-conditionning was rather loud and didn't cool enough when weather turned hot. Nevertheless doesn't matter, we will try to return soon. To recommand to everyone but not children because there is few distraction for them."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: 9th May 2008
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Hotels near Club Palm Bay Hotel

Top traveller tips for Club Palm Bay Hotel

  • by Cumbrian25

    "For excursions...walk south along the beach road to compare what's on offer vis a vis the hotel's agents"

  • by Anka D

    "relax and see as much of the area and country as you can"

  • by A

    "the three day trip arranged by Mercury Direct "

  • by d.felton

    "Would recommend Club Palm Bay to anyone"

Club Palm Bay Hotel is also called

  • hotel palm bay
  • resort all inclusive palm bay

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