The Blue Water
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Travel Blogs from Wadduwa
We're in Sri Lanka! Mr Chinnadurai, a friend of Jo's family, invited us to stay and since we were in the area it seemed a great opportunity to see the country. My first impressions of Colombo airport were that it was much smarter than Trivandrum airport. In fact, as we took our taxi through the city it was apparent that the whole of Sri Lanka was …
We're now in Sri Lanka and staying with family friend Chinn. It is so lovely to be in a house again and Chinn, his 3 year old son Ravi and housekeeper Tawabech have made us so welcome!The house is extremely comfortable and is set in grounds that back onto the river. There are beautiful palm trees that sway in the breeze and lots of tropical plants …
Tea factory, Rafting. Beach
We started the morning by breathing in some fresh hill air - Nuwara Eliya is 6500 ft above sea level so whilst it wasn't cold it was definately more chilly than we had been used to. The view from our hotel window was over the tea plantations and surrounding hills and was quite beautiful. Our hotel was a …
It has been 4 days of lazing by the pool since arriving from Nuwara Eliya. Although the 5 days touring round were exhausting we saw lots of fascinating sights and got to see a few different parts of Sri Lanka.
This hotel well deserves its 5 star rating. The room is large, cool (rather than icy as it was until we worked out the aircon) and …
... the railroad tracks, so that's an added fun factor I guess.
Now here comes my take on this place. Very homey, pretty secluded giving you a feel of exclusivity, casual (the type where you'd want to drink beer with friends under the stars laughing and listening to the waves) and again, humble ambiance, this place has been a raved-about restaurant by word of mouth among foreigners and locals alike. Then again, my experience ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews The Blue Water Wadduwa
We stayed here in July/August 2003. We had booked a multicentre holiday with Emerates Airlines to stay in Dubai, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. I was really looking forward to Dubai and my girlfriend was really looking forward to the Maldives so we were both taken by surprise by the wonderful time we had at the Blue Water!
When you arrive outside the hotel, your heart sinks at the sight of it but as soon as you get to reception, you realise how beautiful it is! The welcome was fantastic with cold flannels and cocktails. The room was really nice with great views from the balcony over the Indian Ocean. Service in the bar and restaurant was exceptional, as was the food but the service around the pool was a bit hit and miss (guess that's true of most resorts). The food in the restaurant was themed most nights and was exceptional - this was nice because we were staying all inclusive and were concerned when we booked that we'd be bored of the food after the first couple of night but this definitely wasn't the case!
The blurb about the hotel is that it has the biggest (by volume) swimming pool in Sri Lanka and I can definitely believe it (it's actually two linked pools and the water enters the pools via small ponds (for want of a better word) in the bar/reception area.
The hotel is situated miles from any attractions but it's worth getting up early to go visiting (we went to the elephant orphanage, tea plantations and the temples in Kandy, which involved staying overnight in a five star hotel - not a patch on the Blue Water!).
I would DEFINITELY recommend this hotel to anyone as a quiet get-away but don't go expecting to be able to walk from tourist attraction to tourist attraction!
Lovely: but not for single travellers
I stayed at the Blue water hotel whilst working in Sri Lanka. This was my first trip without my partner or kids. After the long drive down from Sigeria I was shattered and the welcome to the Blue Water is lovley. Garlands of flowers cool towels and a lovely drink was very welcoming. From the outside it looks like a prison, no signs just a long concrete wall and enormous gates not very welcoming esp as it is surrounded by poverty, however the inside is paradise.
The rooms are perfect as is the view, amazing sunsets over the pool and the sea. The pools are wonderful and everything is immaculate. The dining room is lovely although I did not think much of the food. You can eat in or out and the setting is so romanitc..
This gets me to my point I was there on my own... I was so lonely...
In 1 week only a couple of the waiting staff spoke to me. It is not a socialising hotel, if you are on your honeymoon and only have eyes for each other it is perfect. Being on my own does not bother me, usually I find someone to talk to or somewhere to go, but not here. You dont just hang in the bar and bump into someone, everything is table service. Guests did not seem to mix or chat to each other. Not many kids there eigher.
There is little in the surrounding area so I was in bed by 8 everynight. Watching telly !!! I took day trips to Columbo and Galle , but there is nothing in the evening. Dining alone was awful and they had a table for 1 set up for me each evening.. I was mortified. God I sound like some sad whinging woman. Staying in this hotel is stunning but it is hard if you are alone, esp if you are not used to it.
It really is a honeymoon hotel. Perfect if you jsut want to lose your self in your loved one...
If you want a very quiet romantic setting by the sea, this is the hotel for you.
Tranquil and serene
We had a family holiday at the Blue Water Hotel for 11 days over Easter 2005.
It is a beautiful hotel....all the rooms have lovely sea views and the pool is superb. The rooms were spotless and the food was excellent. Couldn't fault it. It has a very peaceful ambience.
We went to Kalutara a couple of times via tuk tuk from outside the hotel and took the train to Columbo for the day (from Kalutara).
We found Marley Tours much cheaper than the travel agencies in the hotel. You can book with them in a little shop outside the hotel over the railway line next to the Seafood Restaurant. It is possible to set your own itinerary if you choose and negotiate a price. They also tout for business on the beach...ask for Richie.
The sea was always quite choppy but very warm and great fun.....our teenage sons enjoyed body boarding! The beach was practically deserted.
We all had an amazing holiday and would return tomorrow!
Superb for a bit of R&R
We spent ten nights at the Blue Water and came away totally relaxed because we did not feel like we had to do anything. So many times you go on holiday and you feel that you should go to the local museum, or the local market or the local relic. The Blue Water is totally for doing nothing.
The staff were friendly, sometimes overly so but we did feel them on the whole to be very genuine. I was expecting a repeat of a holiday to Bali but I was very pleasantly surprised. We manage to take walks down the beach without being harrassed by hawkers, in fact the most we got was a shy wave from one child.
The hotel was very comfortable, although after ten days we had run out of things to order for room service. We found the view from our room to be so nice that we preferred to have our meals there on our balcony.
On the whole I would definitely recommned the Blue Water, and if you travel with Jetwing and go on a day trip ask for Dilan - he was a mine of information and very funny as well.
Nice hotel, but tries too hard....
We stayed here for two nights at the end of a quite hectic and exhausting tour of the island itself, ready to do nothing but relax.
The hotel is very nice and airy with a wonderful outlook on to the ocean with the pool and fountains and swaying palmtrees framing your view. The beach itself is nice but not spectacular.
Our room was quite lovely, with a fantastic patio facing the ocean (in fact I think all the rooms are identical in this aspect), a wonderful bed (the softest sheets I experienced during my week in Sr Lanka!) and a lovely bathroom.
The restaurant is okay, but def. tries too hard. It had "themed" nights every night, with Mexican food one night and Mongolian BBQ the next, which I found slightly tacky in its concept. During the Mexican night, I opted to instead choose something from the a la carte menu, and went for a simple dish of Spagetti Carbonara. The pasta came to me with a thick layer of melted, crusty cheese on top and some of the saltiest pieces of ham I have ever encountered..... Disgusting, I believe was the word I used at the time...
The staff at the hotel was pleasant and greeted you everywhere with the Singalese word for "Welcome!". When we checked in we received flower garlands made from the beautifuly and very fragrant Frangipani flower, which I thought was a lovely touch. I wore it to dinner later that night. instead of jewelllery... But at the same time, I have never had my door knocked on so many times by hotel staff during one day, as I had at Blue Water. Instead of performing all housekeeping in one go, such as cleaning, changing towels, etc, they come in intervals during the day, which can get somewhat annoying when you are trying to get some rest...
I also have to agree with the comments made about the lack of activities at the hotel. It is VERY quiet and if I had been here for a full week, I probably would have gone stir crazy... Walkers Tours have a desk at the hotel, which is great, but please be aware that you are a fair distance away from all of the interesting things to see further inland, which will mean very early morning starts or an overnight stay away.
Fantastic Hotel & Service
We stayed at this hotel for 7 nights before moving on to the Maldives. I cannot fault the Blue Water Hotel at all the staff were very friendly & helpful, the rooms were simple clean and spacious with a nice size balcony and wooden patio furniture. The food was amazing all Buffett style but something to suit everyone. We got married here and had a fabulous time. Would definitely go back again.
The swimming pool is huge and runs through the hotel with ponds and waterfalls the attention to detail is amazing the hotel was designed by a top architect as well. The grounds are well kept and very clean. Please visit you will have a great time.
We stayed in the Blue Water in August 2004. It was an amazing two weeks. The hotel is beautiful, the pool fantastic and the staff very friendly and helpful.
I agreed with the previous review that the hotel is in the middle of "nowhere". There is nothing to do or see. There is not entertainment in the hotel neither, so the evening are quite quiet. We got used to after a few nights. The further we used to walk was to the Post office in the way to Kalutara (about 15 mins walk from the hotel). You can use the internet at the Post office. It is very cheap (a third to what the hotel charges).
If you are planning any trips around Sri Lanka I would advise to book directly with any local travel agencies in Colombo rather than the major travel agencies that you will find in the hotel. We used Quickshaws in Colombo for all our trips. Excellent service at very reasonable price. We went to Galle and to see one of the turtle nursery one day. We also travel for 4 days doing the usually tour - Anuradhapura, Siriguiya and Kandy.
Enjoyable stay but a few tips/ advice for this hotel
We stayed at the Blue Water at the end of March 2005. The hotel is beautiful: immaculate, with a fantastic pool, and located right on an almost (except for the odd beach haggler who were only really there in the mornings) deserted stretch of beach. The food is mainly buffet style and the quality was excellent. The staff were very friendly and helpful - but I have qualified this comment a little later on. The hotel had been hit by the tsunami, but it was only cosmetic. You would not know it had happened to look at the place.
Things we liked about the hotel:
- well appointed rooms - Grohe fittings in the bathrooms. All the rooms have a sea view, and it's literally only 25yds away. The bed linen was changed every day and was clean - although it was old and somewhat stained.
- fantastic pool and lots of shady places to sunbathe. You don't need to take beach towels with you.
- good food and reasonably priced. We went B&B and actually saved quite a lot of money - the evening buffet was 1,000 rupees each (about £5). Compare this to the brochure price of on average £12 per person per night for half board and you will soon see that pay-as-you-go is the best way.
Things the brochure should tell you but doesn't:
- Wadduwa (where the hotel is) is only about 30km from Colombo, but because the airport is north of Colombo and the hotel is south, it can take up to two hours to transfer. It doesn't sound like a lot, but the hour and a half difference means that you're effectively excluded from visiting a lot of places on a day trip (Dambulla, Nuwara Eliya etc) because they just take too long to get to, whereas if you went to a hotel in Negombo you'd be able to get up to Sigirya and Dambulla in a day. We went to Kandy for the day (elephant orphanage, Temple of the Tooth) and it was a 5.30am start! You may find that you need to book an overnight trip to get to most places.
- The hotel itself is actually in the middle of nowhere. There is one seafood restaurant opposite (don't know what it's like) and a small shop. That's more or less it, unless you want to get a tuk tuk to Kalutara, about 15 minutes away. Come here if you want a hotel-based 'get away from it all' kind of holiday but not if you want nightlife or shopping.
Things we didn't like: (mainly to do with money)
- When we went out of the hotel, we soon realised that the hotel rips you off big style on drinks. Although we're only talking 50p here and there, it's the principle. You are only given two small bottles of water free a day; any more (and you will need more, it's that hot) you have to pay for. Try the shop over the road for bottled water.
- The staff were very friendly...but you're left wondering if it's only because they want a tip. On our last day, the waiters (some of whom had never served us) were round us like flies on...well you know where I'm coming from! I found this a little upsetting to think they were only being nice because they wanted money. Our room boy, for instance, refused to leave the room until we'd tipped him. My best advice would be, to tip early (to make sure you get good service) and then ease off towards the end of the holiday, and be firm! The average wage is something like £25 a month, so tip appropriately - giving them 1,000 rupees a day (only a fiver to us, but an entire week's wages to them) then leads them to expect more from other tourists and encourages them to be pushy about tips.
- The hotel changes the prices of the buffet some nights without any warning or prior notice. We got stung one night when they put the price up 50% without advertising the fact anywhere. I complained and they refunded the extra - but they did not put up any signs the next night or ask the waiters to tell people in advance, as I had asked them to. I can only assume from this that the hotel is trying to pull a fast one as they had no intention of making the pricing more obvious. So just be warned and make sure you check before you sit down to eat.
- When we came to pay the bill at the end of our holiday, there was an overseas phone call on there. I queried this because I knew we hadn't made any and they produced the receipt which had our room number and my husband's signature on it - except *he* had never signed it!!!! When I showed this to them they very quickly took the receipt back off me and destroyed it - so I lost my evidence, but I feel sure that a member of staff had fraudulently forged my husband's signature because it certainly wasn't him. Of course I can't prove anything or make a complaint without the evidence. Please please check your bill with a fine toothcomb, and if you see anything dodgy don't give them the receipt back until you've checked it out!
Have a good trip!
One of the best hotels
We visited this hotel in early 2004. What a fantastic experience! The hotel is very well designed and the rooms are A1. Service is exceptional and the food is fantastic.
The hotel is just off the beach which stretches off into the distance in both directions.
If you want to visit Sri Lanka then please consider this superb hotel
This hotel is beautiful! Spacious rooms with an interesting layout, large, clean bathroom and wonderful sea views. The pools are glorious and the service is immaculate. The only issue I had was the 2 or 3 cockroaches that would find themselves in your room after you turned the lights on but those things get everywhere. Food was great, we were all inclusive and the buffets each night had a wonderful selection of international and local food.
Very relaxing holiday.