22 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Visited 22 March till 1 April 2012 ~ The hotel was clean, fresh and well maintained. The food was lovely and there was something for everyone. We had the pleasure of booking a safari with Ruchi Tours to the national park, amamzing!!!! He and his team were very helpfull and helped us plan our overnight safari so we could get the most out of our holiday, this included a trip to the Sri Lanka Cricked ground, Turtel santctuary, pole fishing (Robson Green style) and the Tea plantations.
Tip ~ Relax enjoy and soak up the wonderful Sri lanka hospitality.
P.s the chipmunks around the hotel grounds are very friendly.
We would'nt book with Thomas Cook signature again. No sight of rep at any time.
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of May 2012
LOVED THE LOCATION
"Spent 10 days at the bluewater hotel and loved every minute. The location is fabulous and every room has a sea view.It is very relaxing and the hotel staff are very attentive.The food was excellent and plenty of choice.I highly recommend the health spa to have a full body massage as it is very cheap and they have highly qualified staff.I recommend you go all inclusive if you like a alcholic drinks.We met a local boy called 'jani' and he has a friend called susi and they took us on a two day trip to Kandy and the elephant orphanage and lots of other places.He made the trip tailored to our needs. He is a very trusting ,honest and reliable person and will not take any money from you until you have been on the trip.He organised a 50th birthday party for my partner which was fantastic and only a quarter of the price than in UK.He provided a live band who played reggae music and so much more. I could not have thanked him enough as he made our holiday a very memorable one.He is always on the beach during the day and he usually has a camp fire burning of an evening so do take your time to find him as he will make sure you have a fabulous holiday, everyone knows 'Jani'just ask the locals on the beach. The trips he organises are so much cheaper than the hotel or the rep. I will definetly be going back to see him and also stay at the bluewater hotel very soon."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of December 2008
We chose this location and hotel to hold...
"We chose this location and hotel to hold our wedding and i must say it was truly magical. We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived as was our wedding party. We stayed at this hotel for two weeks on an all inclusive basis and i can not fault it in any way. We are looking forward to going back for one of our wedding anniversaries. I, along with all my wedding party would highly recommend this hotel. Absolutely stunning views and amazing food, pool, rooms, staff, spa, beach and anything else that was there. I loved it and it made our wedding even more special."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of June 2008
Hotel in a wonderful location right on a...
"Hotel in a wonderful location right on a sandy beach
The hotel has a luxiourious feel to it, however the service and the staff did
not live up to my expectations
Unfortunatly I felt ripped off constantly by the hotel and this has left a
bad taste in my mouth
The pools where stunning, and the food was average
The best point about Sri lanka is its beautiful scenery and wonderful sightseeing trips
I would definatly return and although I wouldnt rule staying at this hotel again
I would not make it a priority to return
It did not have the WOW factor
Go to Sri Lanka its fasanating and extra ordinary "
- Travel date: Sat 17th of May 2008
My wife stayed here in 2006 and insiste...
"My wife stayed here in 2006 and insisted that I came to this hotel with her. I have to say that the hotel was first class. The staff were superb, they like to speak , even to say hello , followed by a smile. Yes, some visitors were miserable but a small effort by anyone was always returned. I had, years ago, sponsored a girl in Sri Lanka and having found her one of the Managers did a food shop for me to take to her family home without me asking!
The hotel food was excellent, plenty to choose from. As a person who enjoys his vegetables there was a selection available most days.
My advice would be to book all inclusive unless you do not eat lunch time.
Needless to say a return in January to see my new sponsorship near Panadura will mean another stay at the Blue Water."
- Travel date: Fri 28th of March 2008
We stayed here for 2 days' R&R between c...
"We stayed here for 2 days' R&R between cricket tours. When our tour party arrived, we were greeted with glasses of freshly squeezed juice and a cool face cloth to freshen up. The hotel grounds were stunning with a water theme - waterfalls, pools, and stepping stones - throughout. Our room was tastefully furnished with the most fantastic bathroom I have ever seen - black marble, chrome, and azure blue tiles. We had everything we wanted, including a balcony overlooking the sea. The health spa is housed in what looks like a bunker but the treatment (I had a massage and reflexology) was very professional and, compared with UK prices, an absolute bargain. There is a library on the top floor so you can drop off any holiday reading you've finished with, or you can pick up a replacement (no charge). The drinks are expensive by Sri Lankan standards but this is a 5 star hotel and, at the end of the day, drinks are still far cheaper than in a similar graded hotel in Europe. If you order a bottle of wine but don't manage to finish it, the staff keep the remainder for you for the following evening - a nice touch, I think. The only negative point is the food. The selection from the buffet was not extensive and the food was lukewarm, at best."
- Travel date: Sat 19th of January 2008
We booked our one week holiday as a last...
"We booked our one week holiday as a last minute deal on the internet. Having never been to this part of the world before we didn't know what to expect. The transfer from the airport, even though it is only 20 miles, took around two and a half hours because of the unusual numbers of tuk tuks and cows on the roads!
The travel is worth it though, as soon as you reach the Blue water you feel immediately relaxed. All the staff are very friendly and willing to do anything for you. The pool is great and very large and all the hotel is very elegant. The restaurant food was very good and there was always a great variety. Other reviews have said that there is nothing in the surrounding area to do and that the sea is always too rough. However we found this didn't matter, the pool is large enough that you don't need to go into the sea to swim but the beach is very nice to walk along and paddle in. There are many taxis and Tuk-Tuks which are very cheap to use to go to the local villages and markets and are well worth a visit but trips out to the rest of the Island are a must, especially the Elephant orphanage, Kandy, Sigiriya and Nuwara Eliya."
- Travel date: Sat 8th of September 2007
A peaceful place
"We have just returned from a 2 week stay at the Blue Water. We booked through First Choice and had a fantastic holiday.
We flew Star Class Premiere and it was worth every penny... priority boarding and baggage, champagne & fruit on boarding and wonderful service all the way, with plenty of free drinks, both alcoholic & non alcoholic.
It was a 2 1/2 hour transfer, but our rep Ananda ( or Andy as he allowed us to call him) gave us a wealth of information. He was great during all of our stay.
On arrival at the hotel we were greeted with cooling drinks and towels and frangipani garlands.
The hotel is great and all staff helpful & friendly. At the reps meeting Andy advised us on how & what to tip the hotel staff. Give the pool boy a tip on your first day and he will reserve your sunbeds for your whole stay, ( not that there is a shortage of sunbeds), we liked to sit under the mango trees between the beach and the pool bar as my husband was in constant shade & I just moved my sunbed & followed the sun.
Food is good with all tastes catered for and if there is nothing you liked , then they will cook you something.
We booked a 3 day tour of Sri Lanka through Andy and had a great time, if you book trips with Andy, then ask for C J to be your guide. C J is a wealth of information and will teach you so much. We asked for him for a 2nd trip & this made his day as it shows that he is a good guide.
We also went on a trip with the ' beach boys'. Contrary to what you are told, they do belong to a tour company 'Ben Tours/ Marley Tours'. They DO have a/c vehicles and insurance. They are just trying to make a decent living for themselves.Ask for La La and tell him 'Pauls Mum 'recomended him. Our son is travelling around the world & we arranged to meet at the Blue Water for a week. When he left the hotel, he had arranged to go on a 5 day rip around the island with La La. On our last night, Paul phoned us from La La's mobile to wish us a safe trip back.
Sri Lankan drivers are a rule to themselves !!!! plenty of horn blowing and nadness driving, but great fun. Take a ride in a Tuk Tuk from the hotel, & if you want any tailoring done, then ask the driver to take you to Michael, his business has been badly hit due to the lack of toyurists since the Tsunami.
we went to the turtle hatcheries and the elephant orphanage, als down to galle & the stilt fisherman. If you are going to do the elephant orphanage & Kandy, then don't do it in one day, it is too far. We did the trip over 3 days/2 nights and stayed in lovely hotels, it is a great way to see Sri Lanka.
In a nutshell, hotel clean & tidy, pool huge (with beach towels) staff pleasant & helpful, locals great, on the down side our last 3 days were affected by heavy storms & overcast. this is now the monsoon season, but it was unusual for it too start so soon. some spectacular thunderstorms tho.
WOULD WE GO BACK ? A VERY DEFINITE YES with First Choice & to the Blue Water.
And hopefully for our wedding anniversary next year.
We had originally been booked into the Kani Lanka, but this closed a few weeks before we left the Uk. so we were moved to Blue Water. After going to see the Kani Lanka which has since re-opened, all we can see is we got a much better spacious hotelI"
- Travel date: Sun 15th of April 2007
Our stay at the 'bluewater'
"The airport is north of Columbo and one has to travel through the city centre to get to the hotel. The journey although longish (approx 2 hrs) is interesting and you get to see Columbo city as well as the suburbs, tsunami damaged water fronts, local towns and villages.
The hotel is situated near a local railway line but this is in no way an issue, in fact another point of interest. Cows are grazing along the line and people crossing through the day.
The hotel is situated on the sea front and the Bawa celebrated architecture spacious, geometric and well appointed. The rooms are large with good balconies and all have sea views, there are only 100 rooms a lovely size hotel, extremely spacious.
Most days there was a lovely seabreeze so although the temperatures were around 30degrees it was very comfortable..lots of shade from palm trees.
We visited the Turtle Hatchery, a must see, very interesting and informative guide. The local towns were also of interest and the odd Buddhist temple. We took a tuk tuk back to Columbo and enjoyed a day sight seeing. Jenai the local tuk tuk driver who can be organised through the hotel (ask at the front entrance for Jenai, he is known by the hotel staff) spoke reasonable english and was a cheap alternative to the Tour Operator(2000RPs for the day). We were discouraged by the tour Operator to use the local transport etc but encouraged by other tourists to use it, as a safe much cheaper alternative, which also supported the local community. The locals also gave a bespoke service so you could spend as much time where You wanted not where the guide wanted. The men on the beach also were a good source of guide and transport.
The hotel is part of the Community and we saw local weddings and conferences during our stay, all very interesting.
The hotel food was very good we were on a premiere all Inclusive package and enjoyed food and drink all day long! the down side to this was that they wanted you to wear a wrist band to denote this which we were not happy about and attached the bands to the key fob in the end.
A safe alternative to hotel food is the Hungry Bunny a short tuk tuk ride away(200RPs) sponsored by a UK charity, very good local and international food...english speaking..great value. Dont expect a restaurant more a big open fronted hut, but a great opportunity to experience local life and community.
The Spa complex is an amazing building which I used extensively! Great value treatments approx Â£20 each, dont expect too much of a soft sell, before and after care being a bit lapse but the actual treatments were very good.
All in all we had a very relaxing time and would definitly return to this beautiful country. The hotel was authentic Sri Lankan and therefore not of internaional 5 star status in fixture and fitiings, service, cuisine but taking everything into account we would return and plan to next year."
- Travel date: Thu 5th of April 2007
Beautiful Hotel, Perfect R&R Location...
"I have recently come back from a 10 night stay at the Blue Water Hotel, Sri Lanka. I went here with my boyfriend and we had a fantastic time!
Only downside is the journey from airport especially after a very tiring 11hr flight, its hot and bumpy but you do get a good insight to Sri Lanka and the locals.
First impressions of the hotel were great, we were greeted in reception with chilled fresh juice (which was definitely appreciated) and flower chains, we were made to feel very special. When we got to our room, which we were shown personally by a member of staff we asked if we could move because we didn't want to overlook the pool, this wasn't a problem and was changed instantly.
The rooms are spacious, modern with a sofa seating area to watch tv and all have balconies which over look the pool/sea or sea. Room service is a bit slack but they do clean well and make up your beds daily.
The food is lovely and lots to choose from so you'll never go hungry altho we didn't think there was much choice of local cuisine. They catered for the unadventurous with pasta and European dishes with only a small selection of Sri Lankan dishes which we did tell the chefs about because they are all very friendly and we got to know quite a lot of them. Breakfast is delicious! And the pool food is yummy too. Try out the milkshakes!
The pool is huge and clean, never over busy apart from weekends when the locals stay but it gives the hotel a bit of a buzz.
The beach is clean but the sea was too rough when we went to go in it, watch out for the little crabs running around.
There is nothing to do in the evenings, there is little entertainment, the odd band which aren't that great and the club which opens only on a Sat night which we didn't get to go to.
The sauna/steam room at the Spa is very romantic, you can hire it for an hour, its open air, private and you have the whole place to yourself! Truly beautiful! I wouldn't recommend the manicures/pedicures tho, they don't seem to know how to do them.
Would recommend to see the elephants but bear in mind its a very long day out, and the driving is very bumpy and lots of traffic everywhere you turn. And if you go to the Temple of Tooth make sure you cover up legs and arms and prepare to walk bare foot.
Also make sure you have smaller notes for tipping, everyone there likes a tip, its how they make most of their money.
Think I have covered everything from our stay, all will say is the Blue Water is the prefect relaxing break, if you want to chill out and do nothing this is the perfect place for you!"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of November 2006
My husband and I were desperate for a br...
"My husband and I were desperate for a break after a long summer working all hours. With only 2 weeks to go I booked our 8 night break to Sri Lanka and the Blue Water hotel. With only 2 days to go I stumbled across this website and the last review from Ms Dobson. Dreams of a relaxing holiday shattered!
Well, I am pleased to say our experience was nothing like the one Ms Dobson experienced.
Visiting a third world country is always going to be an experience - the greatest one is dramatic contrasts that exist in lifestyle. Architecture (aside from the historical and cultural sites) is either modern glass showrooms or 'shanty' style low buildings housing families that start their days very early (schools start at 0730), who work hard to earn a living in conditions that the first world would not tolerate. Main roads are crowded with buses, cars, tuk tuks, motorbikes and pushbikes - and cows! All you need to drive in Sri Lanka our driver said was a brake and a horn - the most important - a horn. No wonder then that it can take a little while to reach any destination.
Our trip to the Elephant Orphanage took 3 hours - we left the hotel at 0530 to miss some of that school traffic, with our breakfast packs and bottles of water we were happy to experience the early morning activities of the locals. We booked our trip with our local agent - we were not taken anywhere we did not want to go - in fact our guide was most careful in advising us to watch for the 'touts'. We saw and experienced things we would not have expected to have seen - riding bareback on an Elephant seemingly double my height; capturing on film the baby elephants at the orphanage; families washing under a stand pipe or from a water butt; smartly dressed, in white, school children appearing from their shed like homes; children laughing and playing, still full of innocence, waving enthusiastically as we walked past - Sri Lanka a country of vast contrasts.
As for the Blue Water hotel we experienced a friendly and professional team of staff, the food was excellent, and we are somewhat fussy on quality and service in restaurants, the wine selection was good and whilst the prices are not those of the French hypermarkets, we found them to be comparable with the UK high street and our local restaurants.
The Indian Ocean on the south west coast is known to be rough at certain times of year, it will never be the crystal clear waters of the Maldives. The hotel however gets its name from the blue water of the expansive swimming pool, surrounded by palm trees creating a natural canopy from the sun. The calming effects of the water pools and fountains around the hotel added to the relaxing ambience of the hotel already evident and inherent in its architecture and interior design.
Before I finish - the spa needs a mention. Beautifully designed with friendly and competent staff, a spa that certainly qualifies to be amongst the top ranking in Asia.
My husband and I had a relaxing time - exactly what we wanted from the holiday. There is far more of Sri Lanka to be seen which can really only be accomplished by a tour completing that with a stay at a beach side hotel such as the Blue Water. We would certainly recommend it - but I would also recommend that any 'holiday maker' do some research before deciding to take a break in a third world country and therefore be prepared for the possible downsides. We all have different opinions and experiences - this is mine."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of October 2006
Good, bad and the ugly
"The Good. The hotel itself is exceptional. Designed with a sharp eye for symmetry it has a cultured openness that leaves you feeling very tranquil. The pool and surrounding grounds reflect equally the effort that's gone into the structure and it delivers to full effect. It really is the most divine hotel I have stayed in throughout my extensive travels. In addition the food was exactly what you'd expect and the service was equally satisfying.
The Bad. The hotel's isolation will leave you fidgeting poolside. The reason the hotel is on such large grounds is due to it being set in amongst relative squalor. I can only assume the mass of land was fairly affordable. Aside from jumping in a taxi and defying death on the roads (don't get me wrong i loved the thrill of the taxi journeys) to go somewhere of interest, you are confined to the hotel pool or the beach. We did wander out of the hotel gates but a short walk in the area had us scurry back as roaming cows and stagnant ditches was the sum total.
The Ugly. The almost perfectness (is that a word?) of our stay was marred by an ignorant error and poor effort in rectifying their mistake. We were there for 5 days, booked for us by friends as part of an extended trip. Upon check in, we were informed that our booking did not include food. We even had him re-confirm this. Imagine then to our surprise 50+ meals later (breakfast, lunch dinner over 5 days x 4 of us) on the day we check out that our friend who booked for us informs us it was for full board!! Peaceful karma shattered by arguments over the issue and after much haggling we got 20% off. Whoop-de-doo. Can't say as I was too enamoured by the place after that.
All done and said, I'd not go back for the very memory has left me with a prickliness about the place I'd find hard to displace, but for one and all travelling there, make sure they get it right for you."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of April 2006