Sykes family

England, August 2016

Yes, it was our first visit to Sri Lanka. We went as it was a new destination, which I had always had in the back of my mind to visit, and when Chloë chose to spend 8 weeks teaching there, it was an easy decision.

I found Tikalanka through the Responsible Travel website. There is so much of the world that I have yet to see that I would be surprised if I went back in the next 10 years. I have already recommended Sri Lanka to a number of people, and will happily point them to Tikalanka if they chose to go.

We liked the variety of activity available, the lovely people, and the consistently high quality of hotels.

We disliked nothing really. Just checked with the kids and they said having to come home!!

Fort Bazaar [Galle] - very nice hotel, one of the best breakfasts ever, let down by absence of pool and not being licensed (which we did not know but being in Galle was not a big issue).

Kulu Safaris [Yala]  - perfect for what it was, eating outside was delightful, although the bbq was nothing special. We had to move rooms which was a nuisance. The guides were excellent.

Ella [98 Acres Resort] - rooms were huge and views great. Reception (and especially machine generated paper towels) was average. Felt more like a transit hotel than anything else. Pool suffered from high chemical content.

The Kandy House [Kandy] will get 5 stars on Tripadvisor! Complimentary afternoon tea as it was the [Kandy Esala] Perahera, and they cooked us food at 1am when we got back. Food was excellent and hotel lovely. Even the discovery of a cockroach in our room did not reduce the stars.

Norwood Bungalow [Ceylon Tea Trails, Adam's Peak] was also very good. The staff were excellent and the food options very helpful. We really enjoyed the tea factory visit. If I could pick fault, it would be that the pool did not look inviting, and the pool table was tatty and did not have a full set of balls.

[Jetwing] Vil Uyana [Sigiriya] was very enjoyable. We had 3 chalets together, used the lovely pool regularly and enjoyed the food.

Maalu Maalu [Resort & Spa, Passekudah] will probably only get 3 stars on TA. Firstly, they had a group staying for our first two days. These were not unpleasant but dominated the pool for a long period one afternoon. We had an issue with a piece of jewellery which was eventually found brushed into a corner under the sink in the bathroom. The food was very good with lots of choice. We were a little disappointed that there were no local restaurants to visit outside of the hotel, but that is not due to the hotel.

Horathapola Estate [Airport] was lovely. The bull cart ride around the site was good fun. The staff were very friendly and the food great.

Oscar our driver guide was a lovely man. He was extremely obliging and managed us very well. He had a huge amount of information but struggled to get it across - in one to ones, with concentration, you could work out what he was saying, but he could not project his voice to a group. And one specific point is that he struggled to find Chloë's house on our first day. Ordinarily, this probably. Would not have been a problem, but after our overnight flight, it was somewhat frustrating! Again, being picky, the van that we travelled in was fine but could have been better. The inclusion of a cool box would have been useful for the hotter and longer days.

The Perahera was amazing. Oscar got us to our seats early and the wait was over 4 hours before the procession got to us. On arrival, we were shown to seats that were not in a great spot, up against a wall meaning that we would not have seen the procession coming. I kicked up a fuss and they moved us to brilliant seats, so despite the long wait, it was worth getting there early. I would recommend that you advise future visitors that they can influence their seat location or ensure that the guide does this for them.

All in all it was an excellent holiday and the main reason for sending this is to thank you for your help in preparation and the fact that everything worked so well.

« All feedback