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Reviewed 23 May 2016

My wife and I spent 9 nights at the Dolphin. The hotel is about to undergo some expansion with another 50 rooms being added at the quiet pool end (may not be so quiet shortly). I think this end of the resort will be closed as the bar/restaurant building will be replaced with a two storey building going up. There is a lot of space in, and around the large pool though.
We had a garden view villa which we found comfortable and in close proximity to the buffet dining and main bar. the complex is clearly a few years old, but what it lacks in 'freshness' was more than made up for in the staffs attentiveness and friendly nature. We had a small problem with the smoke alarm not working. We reported it on the evening of our first day and upon returning from the pool the following day we found it had been replaced. It was around a 30-40 minute transfer (time of day, traffic dependent) from Colombo. Food in the buffet was quite varied, tasty and always well laid out. As we stayed over 7 nights, a complimentary meal in Waves restaurant was provided and was very well cooked and presented. Our villa always had clean towels and the room boys (Gibson was our regular chap) always made some sort of display on the bed with fresh towels. I considered this to be a budget vacation but found the whole experience very favourable, without hesitation, giving Club Hotel Dolphin a hearty recommendation. A team of workers are constantly tending the grounds and the whole resort was always clean and free from fallen vegetation. We are so pleased with the whole of our first trip to Sri Lanka experience. Ayubowan.

Date of stay: May 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank LondonDebandDave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel L, General Manager at Club Hotel Dolphin, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2016

Dear LondonDebandDave,

Thank you for your positive comments. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us!

Best regards,

Daniel Ludwig, FIH
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2016

Just got back after a stay at this hotel with my family. We had three rooms for our group. At the check-in, the staff were very rude and did not even offer us a welcome drink, to which we were looking forward to after a long drive. Usually, it is customary for other Sri Lankan hotels of this nature to offer a welcome drink and a warm/cold towel, which were not offered to us. The hotel itself was nice and the rooms were adequate. However, we were really disappointed about the service and the level of hygiene in this hotel. The Air conditioning in my brother's room did not work, and the maintenance staff was unable to rectify the issue. He had to move to another room the next day, after not being able to sleep well the previous night due to high humidity. We had pool towels in the room, which we took to the swimming pool. However, after getting out from the pool, we found that one of the towels had holes in it, as if it had been torn by a mouse (see attached picture). Since we were scared, we requested the pool attendant for another towel. To our surprise he asked us to go back to the room and call room service, and did not offer us a towel! The list goes on. There were stray dogs on property and crows flying around the restaurant. Overall, this was a stay for us to forget.

Date of stay: May 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank nishank_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel L, General Manager at Club Hotel Dolphin, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2016

Dear Nishan K,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review about your recent stay at Club Hotel Dolphin. I apologize for this bad experience.  All your comments are essential in educating our staff about good and bad service, we will ensure that your feedback will be given to all concern.

You are correct that it is a norm to offer a welcome drink and a cold towel to every arriving guest to the hotel. We indeed served your entire family with the welcome drink and the cold towel upon arrival at our Aqua Bar and Lounge. At this particular time, you where parking your vehicle and unfortunate you come directly to the reception and not to the lounge area to enjoy it.

As soon as your brother has informed us that the air condition temperature is not as per his required cooling level, our engineering associates tried their best to rectify the matter but when it came to a point where they couldn’t fix it, we offered him a room change which was the best solution we could have offered at an instance like this.

We do hope you give us another chance as we will definitely improve our services.

We look forward to welcoming you back then.

Best regards,

Daniel Ludwig, FIH
General Manager

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Reviewed 22 May 2016

Stayed for 10 days at this hotel.

Very peaceful hotel, great staff, great room with a great view.

I must say though that we wanted a child friendly hotel, we was told this would be the case, but was disappointed to find that there wasn't much for children to do, there was a kids club, but we didn't know if the staff had been checked out etc.

The hotel is starting to turn very German, with a new German hotel manager in place now, and with very poor night time entertainment, we didn't have anything really to do at night to be honest as the hotel is very remote.

I would probably stay somewhere else next time if travelling with children to be fair, but if not, i would definitely stay again.

if you go on a Thomson booked trip to the elephants or the turtles, definitely ask for Shi Han to guide you there. He is brilliant!!

They cater for people with allergies.

Date of stay: May 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank zaradan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel L, General Manager at Club Hotel Dolphin, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2016

Dear Zaradan,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us. We are pleased to read that you were impressed with your stay.

We at Club Hotel Dolphin always work hard to maintain the best quality of service and food. We are very happy to know that you had a wonderful time here at our hotel.

Our hotel indeed is child friendly and we offer for children between the age of 04 to 10 years our kids club facility which is manned by a kids club animator who is well trained in her field, particularly in terms of health and safety for children.

Thank you also for pointing out that our evening entertainment needs to be improved – we will definitely take this comment on board.

I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back again in the future.

Warm regards,

Daniel Ludwig, FIH
General Manager

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Reviewed 22 May 2016

After a tour of Sri Lanka, we have spent the last 5 days of our trip at this fantastic resort. It is a beautiful resort with a huge pool, nice clean rooms and friendly staff that is very helpful. The food is very comprehensive and good quality with a special refrigerated room full of desserts. For us this was definitely the nicest hotel we have stayed. Outside the hotel there is not much to do so it is lying at the pool or book a tour. Although I can definitely recommend this hotel to anyone. We loved it

Date of stay: April 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank RichardM4713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel L, General Manager at Club Hotel Dolphin, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2016

Dear Richard M,

Thank you for your lovely comments. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us! I hope your next stay is just around the corner and please feel free to call us if there is anything we can help you with.

Best regards,

Daniel Ludwig, FIH
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2016

My husband & I were on our second trip to Sri Lanka & we had a wonderful time. The hotel was everything was everything we could wish for and more besides.

Initially we were disappointed that our room was not available until 2:00pm on our arrival day. We arrived after a night flight and just wanted a shower and some sleep. This was eventually brought forward to late morning but still not great. That said, we had a lovely room, very big bed, very clean and with a wonderful view.

The staff are what makes this hotel so special. They are all so friendly, polite, always smiling and cannot do enough for you. Whatever we asked of them was done to the best of their ability. They are all so very good but we would like to say special thanks to: Dilu, Guest Relations Manager. Her ready smile & personality shone through every day. Fernando, our waiter in Sands. Such a lovely gentleman who always seemed to be aware of when my husband wanted another beer! Yamuna, pool attendant. Always ready to chat and spend some time with us. Gayden , Head Chef. Went out of his way to cook us a special lunch on our last day and bring it to us. Such a lovely thought. These members of staff epitomised what this hotel is all about.

Another reviewer said they were disappointed with the variety of vegetarian dishes in the restaurant. I really can't see why this was. There were always many vegetarian options at every meal along with numerous salad options. You really couldn't go wrong.

Trips - We totally agree with a previous reviewer about 'Blackie' He is very charming when you first meet him but once he has you 'in his pocket' he changes. Without going into too much detail, I would recommend that he be avoided!
For all trips, you cannot go wrong with the lovely Nipon and his Dad from See Lanka Tours. They are situated just to the right of the hotel & can arrange any trip you like. Nipon can often be found on the beach in the mornings or afternoons. He's very reasonably priced, very friendly & certainly knows his island! We went on the boat trip with them one afternoon & it was just lovely to see all the birds and wildlife that exist just around the hotel area.

Another tip: if you are looking for new glasses, visit Lucky Opticals in Nagumbo. Take your prescription & you can get glasses for a fraction of the price you can in the UK. My husband had a pair of reactalights with a very difficult prescription made here. The service is friendly, quick and the end product excellent.

Date of stay: April 2016
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Trishr868
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daniel L, General Manager at Club Hotel Dolphin, responded to this reviewResponded 31 May 2016

Dear Trish r,

Thank you for choosing Club Hotel Dolphin and for sharing your experiences with us. We are happy to hear that you have had a wonderful time with us.

A hotel can only be as good as its team. Therefore, your encouraging compliments are certainly appreciated and will be passed on to Dilu, Fernando, Yamuna, Gayan to let them know that their efforts do not go unnoticed by our guests. I’m sure they will be over the moon after reading your comments.

Thank you once again for allowing us to be part of your family vacation and we hope to welcome you soon again in the near future. It would definitely be a pleasure for us!

Warm regards,

Daniel Ludwig, FIH
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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