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Royal Palms Beach Hotel

3 of 3 hotels in Kalutara

3 out of 5 from 2 reviews
Abrew DriveKalutara, Kalutara, Sri Lanka

2 Reviews

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Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
Sue Wilson
Familiarity breeds contempt, greed and shoddiness and poor leadership
8 years 6 months ago
As we have visited the Royal Palm on many trips, eleven in all and booked a further three times for this year one a month’s trip next Christmas (now all cancelled) so I think we can speak with some authority on this hotel.

The greeting is always warm and friendly, this has never altered and as we have said before having been many times before it’s like meeting your own family and that’s where it ends. Now reverting to September, my wife went on her own, stopped a fortnight, bed and breakfast, in a normal but refurbished room, plug sockets didn’t work; lights kept going on and off shower leaked badly, there was still grouting on the walls not cleaned off, the sockets never repaired but it was a break so she made do, but the cracks were starting to show.
At breakfast time there was hardly any staff on, where there used to be 32 waiters now there are 12 and not fully trained, tables not cleared away, bombarded by crows, take it or leave it attitude, not really 4 star treatment as some people think its 5* it is only 4*and now going down to 3* and it’s the government not holiday companies that give them the stars, but the crows always left a tip, either on the backs of seats tables or floor.

Now back to the December’s trip, where I start, a comedy of errors or just one deceitful nightmare from beginning to end.
The room, we save up to book this room as it is our bit of luxury, it’s the royal suit, or as its now known termite towers. We arrived on the 19th of December, as said before all very friendly, the second family back together, on the 20th we noticed what looked like sand on the floor, it had been there on our last trip but thought we had brought sand up so didn’t give it much thought, next day the same but no getting steadily worse, that night the rain came down heavily we were out and not aware what we was going to find, a waterfall this was coming in the dressing room area ,it soaked our clothes, we rang down to reception to ask for buckets and ten minutes later we received a hand towel, but by this time we had moved our soaked clothes, made a bucket out of the pedal bin, and emptied it twice before housekeeping came with “the towel” (did laugh about it later on).

Next morning, in all fairness they came, fixed the roof, and took all the wet clothes to their laundry which was duly returned the next day, to which they informed us there would be no charge, WOW!! Then they sent us canapés to sweeten us up , everything was hung on rails covered in plastic bags, so that night we returned to a dry room but this sand on the floor was getting continually worse, it was now by the side of the bed and just to add to matters we had a fresh two leaks in the roof, on the top balcony we noticed the wooden balustrade was getting eaten, on inspection they had eaten nearly all the way through the top handrail it was that lose my husband nearly went over, now this is getting ridiculous.
We went round the suite and identified 25, yes 25 faults, which we duly put on email, from mouldy curtains to faulty lights to now the termites eating their way through just about everything. Yes it’s now time to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough, call for the manager he didn’t come (surprise surprise) but sent is number two, (more about him later) he went through the room rang down to us and in his words the room is absolutely disgusting, promptly went on to tell us the wiring in the hotel, and in his words crap and when we left the room it would be closed down and renovated, (hopefully to a better standard than the other rooms we saw as cheapness is the order of the day) so now we are living out of picnic baskets for our clothes and a luggage trolley rail to hang clothes on as are termites are now eating the wardrobes, bedside tables and the balcony. Our dresses are now covered in termite dust, some ruined, as we normally leave 2 suitcase of clothes at the hotel because we return so often, they said they would wash them before our return as this is now not going to happen I am in the process of suing the hotel for all clothing ruined.
The hotel even left us our own broom to sweep up so we would not have to take the termite dust into the bed and not have to walk through it every morning before the cleaners come.

If you want i.e.: sugar ,tissues etc. replenished leave the empty containers on the floor for them to fall over and they will get done otherwise no, but it’s our Christmas holiday let’s not get to belligerent, they are sorting it so let’s carry on.

We was informed that the rate for the room would be re-assessed, great we thought, but that was told to us by an outside rep,(we only booked the car through him) he knew all about our problems, he knew what they were going to offer before we did so when challenged about this the answer was no we haven’t decided yet, so I made the move of offering $180 a night,(instead of $550) and a good report for their director, everything was fine.
Wrong, on checking out they wanted $250 for the bed and breakfast plus the $180 supplement so in all we were only saving $120 per night what we offered for the room was $180 total and we have this on email and when the manager came to see us he said we agree to the $180 no supplement was mentioned, when we came to pay the bill it was now different to the agreed we explained what our offer was to the cashier but they would not accept it and was now totally different and we had to pay $430 per night, when he was shown the email with our offer on it he said the hotel manager said that his hands were tied that he couldn’t agree to that price and promptly went and locked himself in the office till we had gone!
When you read the comments book in the Royal Suite people have been upgraded to that room free of charge so he could have done something, we even said we will pay $250 per night and no supplement which they could have done.

We explained that we wouldn’t come back that we would inform tour companies about this, our daughter works for Virgin Holidays so now she is on the case as she is quite high up in Virgin, we normally travel with these but this time we made the mistake of booking direct with the hotel, when we got back the manager virtually smirked and said do what you have too, so we are, I have gone through all receipts over the last three years from the parties we have had there to the people we sent there and the total is just short of £100k that’s the thanks you get, well there loss Mermaids gain.

Now food, if you like canteen food you will be ok at the buffet as that is what you now getting (standards have dropped that bad) 20 minute’s queuing for fried eggs then waiting for bacon not really a good start to the day. When we suggested menu meals which would save them money and give clients a better service we were told they won’t do that as the Russians like bulk so it proved they now cater for them and not the Europeans, the last week we were there we were the only English.

One couple told us that in room 301 they had flying ants and water coming through light socket, they were given a can of ant spray and a fly swat, they loved the island the people but said they wouldn’t be coming back to the palms ever.

We have found they are spending money on building penthouse suites and another restaurant The Cabana (not included in all inclusive nor is the Japanese but the food is marvellous in both) and not looking after what they have, The Cabana, when we used it was as a lot of things there not fully finished and when you wanted the toilet you had to use the pool toilet some 300 yard round trip, great if it not raining if it is you cannot enter the restaurant without getting wet (another well thought out project) but to all the staff in there thanks we had some great meals as we did in the Japanese.

Now as I said earlier the under manager, first off I admit I didn’t care for him but as are stay progressed he never stopped running around, one morning frying eggs, as usual there was a massive queue of guest wanting eggs and omelettes, he appreciates nothing is ever finished the quality of workmanship is absolutely below standard, that roofs, guttering are hanging off or even worse missing, there no disabled rooms at this hotel and wheel chair access is at a minimum, he is everywhere but at least he’s there when you want him.

This is a beautiful hotel with a main core of really good staff, but unfortunately run by idiots.
Goodbye Royal Palms thanks for the good times and some good friends we made and the memories.

15 years ago
Very nice hotel, good for quite relaxing holiday. the food is good but is catered towards european taste but there is lots of variety. Rooms are clean and spacious and the pool is big and clean. The staff are extremely kind and helpful. only negative point is the beach boys who like to talk but are still very friendly and safe.

Travel operator: mercury direct


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