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All reviews giritale tank sri lanka swimming pool hotel is located comfortable stay lovely hotel excellent view buffet dinner room was clean and comfortable one night stay two nights wild elephants a la carte short stay national park rice lake
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Reviewed 11 September 2012

My husband and I had stayed here 3 years ago and enjoyed the view from the balcony so much we returned with a few friends for 1 night after visiting the Silver Temple and heading for Polonnaruwa the next day. We were upgraded to a "fridge" room upstairs near the pool area. The room was a bit dated but clean and wonderful views of the lake, where we could see over 50 elephants at the far side in the late afternoon. 4 of us had the Ayurveda spa treatment and gave it a 10/10. A head massage, body massage and steam bath was carried out very professionally took approx 1 half hours; cost R4000, the best we had in Sri Lanka and left us ready for drinks & dinner. The verandah bar staff did not seem to understand our wine order so we eventually ordered other drinks enjoying the ambiance of the evening and some impromptu live music. The dinner menu was mainly buffet style, although I ordered a la carte; unfortunately 6 of the 7 of us thought the food was poor/terrible, tasteless and the service almost non existent. Don't order wine unless you want to see a comedy of errors!

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade, and one overlooking the lake
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank foxylady154
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2012

The rooms are worn down (especially the bathrooms) and offer only basic comfort. The very same goes for the pool and dining room, which has a very impersonal feel even though the staff was kind enough to place a flag of our country on our table. The food was not very great, but at least there was ample choice. Be prepared to be woken up early in the morning by very loud ... staff ? I don't know who exactly, but they were very loud, very early in the morning.

Now where to begin on the rest of my story. When we came back mid afternoon from an excursion, there was a wedding going on in the hotel, as you will experience plenty of times when staying in Sri Lanka. The men at these weddings tend to get drunk out of their skulls and starting bugging us while we were trying to have a sandwhich on the balcony. We finished our sandwhich and wanted to get some rest, away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding. Unfortunately the music started back up again and with the speakers right next to our window, there was no way to take a nap. When I inquired the manager about the music, he said it would last to 4 PM at the latest, which it did. So, unable to take a nap, we went to the pool. We tucked ourselves away in a corner, thinking to minimally interfere with the wedding guests and vice versa. Even though my girlfriend was wearing a dress over her bikini and placed my t-shirt over her chest, we were not able to shake of some 10 - 15 guys rudely staring at us (her) from the balcony. This started to agitate me and when 1 wedding guest decided to take a picture with his mobile phone I snapped and started yelling at them. I found it very unrespectful to handle us in such a way while we show the utmost respect for them and their culture (eg. taking off our shoes to walk on scorching hot floors). It was only when I snapped that the hotel staff decided to have the wedding guests stay at the party and not roam around wherever they like in the hotel. The wedding was running to its end and the drunken guests left us alone after 3 of them came to apologize.

The manager offered us a bottle of wine for our discomfort and even though it was terrible, we appreciated the gesture. He should have intervened earlier though.

Wound up about the entire debacle, I told my girlfriend I would pay for an Ayurvedic treatment in the "spa" of the hotel. We had already taken a look and my girlfriend initially didn't want to go there because it was quite ... authentic. Low ceilings, scruffy looking massage beds and basically quite uninviting. The old man managing the spa had already dropped his price to half of what he asked before (now 2500 rupees per person). I had a feeling that this ... authentic spa could just be a gem in the rough. Which it turned out to be. The people working there hardly speak english but give a great massage. Beware of the steam coffin thingie, it gets REALLY hot. In total, we got:

- head massage with oils
- steam coffin with herbal steam
- massage
- herbal sauna
- some herbal drink which went down better than I had expected

The massage was quite extensive and the entire thing lasted for a good hour and a half.

We finished the evening with a drink on the balcony, with a stunning view. If not for the bad experience, this would have just been a very basic hotel with a great view, not very recommended anyway. With the bad experience, I would recommend you to stay away.

Room Tip: take a room in the far end of the hotel so to be least disturbed by staff, passers-by, ... or don't take a room at all and go to a better hotel
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank bertvanrossen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2012

Visiting friends in Sri Lanka, we spent the weekend at Giritale. The hotel is getting a little bit tired but that was made up by the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. Our rooms were clean and comfortable. Our friend had arranged a special meal (chilli crabs) and cake to be delivered at the table on my birthday, so it was a day to remember. We had the all in package, breakfasts were good with the Sri Lankan food as well as European. Same in the evening but personally I would stick with the local fare. All in all a very enjoyable weekend. Sadly because of the drought there was very little water in the lake. Price was very reasonable too.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank yunderup1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2012

The bathrooms are terrible. The service is medium. Problem is that the breakfast is only from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. which is tooooo early for people not traveling in groups. You can´t sleep well because starting from 6 a.m. trucks, workers, and people checking in-and-out make tooo much noise. The view is very nice from the terrace. The pool is very low quality and i would not recommend to swim. The rooms are pretty good though. We also ordered a ( double whiskey ) which was promised to be a 4 CL ( Centiliter ) glass of whiskey. What we got was a rude 1 CL. We complained but we had to pay the price of a double one. No one really cared. I recommend to choose another hotel. Also the WI-FI is NOT FREE ! You have to pay which is not okay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank joe123544
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

Giritale Hotel was good value for the money, the views were stunning, staff friendly. Rooms were immaculate but in need of a remodel-- dark and dated inside. The pool is in a lovely spot overlooking the valley but was very old with cracked and scummy tiles. Since we had two preschoolers with our group, it was great for a few reasons-- room for them to run around (some nice green spaces) and lots of Sri Lankan guests with large families so we weren't too worried about the kids making noise as we would have been otherwise.

Food was fine, but we only paid for breakfast in advance so by the third day we were ready to try a new spot for dinner. As we got in the car, one of the hotel staff had the nerve to harass our driver about going somewhere else for dinner! That really put a damper on an otherwise pleasant stay at a mid-range hotel with amazing views.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank kristin a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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