Michael & Jenifer

England, January/February 2019

What did you like most about Sri Lanka?

History/culture, national parks, the people

What did you like least about Sri Lanka?

Large tour groups taking over the dining room at Deer Park Hotel (we learnt from Dutch travellers there not to be there at ‘opening time’!)

Potential crowds for some wildlife - but we always left extra early and so missed them at Yala, though some chaos at Horton Plains and Mirissa. Maybe a good idea to put more realistic leaving time in your itineraries in future - or at least an explanation of why it’s so important to leave so early in the morning? [We generally suggest timings in the itinerary that reflect the  recommended time of arrival at the location. Unfortunately, during the peak season, some locations can be overly busy at opening times. At Mirissa, the Sri Lankan authorities decided to introduce an ‘on the spot’ tax without advising anyone in advance - hence the unexpected chaos!]

What is your opinion of your accommodation in Sri Lanka?

Very good – especially the smaller places:  Gal Oya Lodge [Gal Oya], Taru Villas [Yodakandiya] near Yala (exceptional, both the property and staff), Oatlands [by Jetwing, Nuwara Eliya], [The] River House [Balapitiya] – and helpful staff at their sister beach property where we went for a swim and lunch one day.

Slightly disappointed in The Fort Printers, Galle – rather impersonal (because busy) and would have preferred room in old part. Galle Fort [Hotel] might have been better, but probably fully booked I guess!

What is your opinion of your chauffeur guide in Sri Lanka?

Fantastic – could not have been better. Kapila was a calm, safe driver and an excellent bird spotter. We really enjoyed his company and had lots of interesting conversations. Always tactful and not pushing to talk all the time.

What is your opinion of your flights to and from Sri Lanka?

OK. [SriLankan Airlines - Economy Class]

Any other comments?

Your organization was excellent, but we would have preferred a small printed booklet with the itinerary etc. rather than everything online unless we requested otherwise. [Generally, we issue all documentation by email to avoid unnecessary use of paper. However, we are always more than happy to send printed documents to our customers, on request.]

We had a couple of long car journeys and wished afterwards we had added a couple of extra nights – one at Colombo, one after our Horton Plains walk. But the slightly rushed itinerary in places was at our request, not yours! I just mention it in case you wanted to advise other clients more strongly!

Horton Plains walk – well worth doing, but both the Rough Guide and you made it sound easier than it was. Kapila had described it as including ‘scrambles’, and while these were not major, they were a bit challenging for me as I have arthritic knees and don’t normally do ‘scrambles’ any more. But with my sticks and a hand from Kapila and Michael when necessary, I did it and am really glad I did!  Again, I’m just mentioning it in case it’s useful for future clients. We (because of  my slow pace!) took about 4 1/2 hours rather than 3… For very active, especially younger travellers, 3 hours would have been completely realistic.

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