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AI or HB suggestions for Sri Lanka?


Oct 17th, 2012, 03:07 AM
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AI or HB suggestions for Sri Lanka?

May I prevail on the collective wisdom of this forum for advice on our holiday to Sri Lanka? We're thinking of going around 27 April to 11 May. I understand this is a good time to go.

My friend requires an all-inclusive arrangement (or at least half board) at a classy 4 or 5 star resort. The really tough part is that it also has to be very affordable. (I know, it's a contradiction. But that's just what I'm working with.)

I only require proximity to a nice clean beach and great snorkelling (so calm water).

Using this resort as our base, we'd like to do day trips to see as much of Sri Lanka as we can. The resort should be within striking distance of things worth seeing.

However, we are not backpacker types and not particularly good at travelling independently in third world countries, especially if the traffic is bad. Self driving and bus trips are out of the question. Perhaps train trips?

At home, it's just cold and rain, and rush, rush, rush. The only time I can kickstart my fitness routine is on a holiday in a warm country. Preferably the resort would have, or be close to, a good gym with free weights. A 50 meter pool, if possible, would be a huge bonus.

Clearly we have become too picky in our travelling needs, but if anyone can help us identify the right resort it would be appreciated.
zoober is offline  
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Oct 17th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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There are plenty of lovely 5 star all-inclusive properties in Sri Lanka. Whether you think it is affordable depends on your budget. Getting around Sri Lanka you will want to hire a car and driver... don't even think about self-driving.

If I understand your request, you want an all-inclusive beach resort within day trip distance of "things worth seeing" which I assume means cultural sites and national parks. That's the part of your request that is most unrealistic. Getting from one place to another in Sri Lanka takes time. There are no beaches within day trip distance of the cultural triangle.

Read some of the many excellent trip reports here. Go to the drop-down menu at the top of the page and choose Sri Lanka. This will give you all the recent posts on Sri Lanka. Trip reports are marked with a book symbol.

I have an older report on Sri Lanka, but the info on cultural sites is still relevant, and we stayed at lovely 5 star and boutique properties.

You need to get a guide book before you try to start planning. The Lonely Planet for Sri Lanka is very good.
Kathie is online now  
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Oct 17th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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Thanks Kathie. Sounds like we should break it down into two trips, a week on the coast (where?) and a week in the cultural region (Kandy?). Maybe a day or two in Colombo.

I'll do the research you suggest. As you've surmised, I haven't researched this properly yet. Sri Lanka is off my radar. I'm still hoping for easy answers.

The usual package tour companies are offering two weeks at second-rate beach resorts or whirlwind tours (at some very dodgy hotels) for somewhere around 1300 to 1500 euros per person, including flights from Europe.

We can fly there for 750 euros on Emirates, so if I want to beat the package tour prices I'd have to find a quality AI or HB hotel for EUR 100 per room per night or less.
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Oct 17th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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It will be hard to find the kind of lodging you are looking for at that price. Take a look at the Boutique Sri Lanka website, as it has info on many wonderful properties. It will give you an idea of prices. We booked our trip through them - hotels, car and driver.

For a cultural area, I'd recommend the cultural triangle rather than Kandy. Frankly, there isn't that much to do/see in Kandy. The place I'd recommend is the Kandalama which is near Dambulla. We had half board there, and would recommend that.

I'd skip Colombo. But I think you need to do more moving around. You will likely want some time in tea country as well. Do take a look at my trip report and photos of that trip at www.marlandc.com/SriLanka/index.htm
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Oct 17th, 2012, 10:58 AM
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Hi Zoober, I just booked my accommodations with Boutique Sri Lanka for next March. 4-5 star properties, as well as some of the sought-after boutique options, are running approximately US$150-200 per room per night.
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