Chaaya Village, Habarana

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Chaaya Village, Habarana

Village - 130, Glennie Street, Habarana, Sri Lanka - 3 Stars

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Review of "Chaaya Village, Habarana"

published 23/10/2010 | daylehall
Member since : 02/07/2004
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Excellent
Pro Great location, stunning grounds, nice rooms
Cons None
exceptional
Value for Money
Quality of Rooms
Standard of Service
Quality of Food & Drink
Cleanliness

"Charming Chaaya Village"

The hotel grounds

The hotel grounds

I visited Sri Lanka in September 2009 as part of the Elephant and Spices Tour which we booked with The Travel Collection. This tour entailed visiting all the main attractions that the beautiful country of Sri Lanka has to offer. We travelled round all the major towns in Sri Lanka and stayed at various hotels throughout our stay. My personal favourite was the Chaaya Village hotel in Habarana.

Location
Chaaya Village hotel is located centrally within Habarana and is surrounded by World Heritage Sites such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya which makes it the perfect hotel to stay at to visit these attractions.

The Hotel
The hotel is located next to Lake Habarana and is surrounded by 12 acres of land and many people travel here for bird watching which can be done within the hotel grounds.

Chaaya Village is classed as a four star hotel and offers 94 Superior rooms, 12 Deluxe rooms and 2 suites.

There is an open air restaurant and a beautiful tiered infinity swimming pools both surrounded by stunning gardens.

The rooms at the hotel are designed to look like the traditional thatched huts which can be seen all over Sri Lanka. The roofs are thatched and the outside of each cottage has been painted brown / yellow to make the rooms look more native.

Arrival And Check In
We arrived in a large group of 27 and were expected by the hotel as they already had welcome drinks ready for us upon our arrival. We were seated in the restaurant and given our welcome drinks. We were then asked to complete a registration form and hand it in at reception. Around five minutes later, a member of staff came up to us and told us our room was ready and he would escort us over to it. He also informed us that our bags would be bought to our room shortly. Overall I thought that check in was friendly and efficient and it left me with a very positive first impression of the hotel.

The Staff
All the staff at the hotel exceeded our expectations. They were extremely helpful and very well mannered. They looked very smart in their various uniforms but I couldn’t help thinking that they must get awfully hot in them. They all speak a high level of English so there is no language barrier which we found useful when trying to find out local information.

The Room
When we arrived at our room, the first thing we noticed was how clean and spacious it looked. As I had gone with my friend we were given a double room with two single beds although the beds were still on the large side. The beds were next to each other with a fair size gap between them and were covered in nice crisp white sheets which smelt lovely. Both the beds had two pillows each and more were available from the wardrobe.

In the room there was a fridge, a dressing table, a large wardrobe with a free safe inside (which we thought was a nice touch as normally you have to pay extra for a safe) and finally there is a bedside table beside each bed, with a small bedside lamp on each one.

The bathroom was spacious and consisted of a large walk in shower with a lovely power shower inside. There was also a sink and mirror area which was large and had plenty of room to store all our toiletries. There was a hairdryer attached to the wall in the bathroom so I wouldn’t worry about taking your own if you are staying here.
The hotel provided us with fresh, clean towels every day and these were left on the towel rail in the bathroom.

Our room had a great little air conditioning unit which came in handy! I was pleased to see that the air conditioning unit was fairly quiet when switched on as in some other hotels; the air con can be quite noisy. We found the air con was very useful during early evening when we came in from the pool and needed to cool down.

Outside the front of each room was a small terrace-like area where there were a couple of chairs and a table and on a couple of occasions we sat out here and listened to the wildlife as dusk set in.

The rooms are furnished and decorated to a very high standard and I felt that they had a really ‘native’ touch to them with traditional paintings and wall hangings dotted around the room.

The rooms were cleaned to a very high standard and towels and bed sheets replaced every day. One thing we I thought was a very nice touch was that the cleaners make pretty designs from the clean towels, for example, on the day we arrived we had welcome written in flower petals on our beds.

Restaurant
The main restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner is called El Hena and is located at the back of the hotel, over-looking the swimming pool. Inside the restaurant you can see the chefs at work in the kitchen which was interesting.

Breakfast is served between 7am and 10am and is served in a buffet style. Breakfast was one of my favourite meals here, purely because there was so much choice - cereals, large selection of fresh breads, cakes, croissants, fruit and yogurt.
There is also a counter where there are chefs behind coking various items fresh. These items included fried eggs and omelettes with various fillings such as cheese, onion, tomato and bacon. There was a selection of fresh juices which you could help yourself to. As well as all that, there was also a hot selection in the breakfast area which consisted of items such as scrambled egg, toast, sausages, beans, tomatoes and fried potatoes. At the far end of the buffet were traditional foods which I assume is what the local Sri Lankan’s would eat for breakfast. I did try a couple of the items which included a rice dish served inside a vine leaf which was very tasty indeed.

Lunch is served between 12 noon and 2.30pm. It varied everyday but did tend to have a theme such as fish one day, BBQ’s items the next. As we were very busy doing excursions for most of our stay in Habarana, we actually only ate lunch at the hotel on two occasions but still thoroughly enjoyed it. Every lunchtime, they also served traditional items such as curry and rice dishes which again were very tasty and full of flavour.

Dinner is served between 7pm and 10.30pm and again, this is served in a buffet style. Dinner item varied from day to day and included items such as soup (flavour changed every day), a variety of fresh breads, pasta dishes, fresh fish, various meats, and many salad items. We stayed at this hotel for 4 nights and I am pleased to report that we never once got bored with the variety of food on offer here. I find that sometimes buffets can become a bit ‘samey’ but they mixed up the food that was served which meant we were able to try something new every day. I also liked the fact that traditional food was on offer allowing us to try to local food is we wished to do so.

As we travelled as part of a massive tour group, we were all seated together at dinner which was a lovely gesture and allowed us to all talk and reminisce about the day’s activities. The staff in the restaurant were very well organised and always had our table laid out ready for us when we arrived for dinner. The waiters were always very friendly and helpful and helped to make our dining experience a very pleasant one.

Bars
There is a small bar located inside the restaurant where you can get alcoholic and soft drinks. Local spirits are included free on the all inclusive system but any international alcohol is charged as extra. You are also allowed cocktails which are made from local spirits which I thought was a nice touch and it was good fun watching the bar staff make the cocktails. Although the bar itself is small, you are also allowed to take your drinks around the lobby of the hotel and sit in the comfortable chairs to enjoy your drinks.

Swimming Pool
There is a stunning tiered infinity swimming pool at Chaaya Hotel. It is surrounded by luscious lawns and the local monkey’s come and play with the water in the pool and climb all over the trees. They are very amusing to watch and were a highlight of the day.
The swimming pool is tiered and the first few tiers have sun loungers in them so you can sunbathe within the pool which I thought was a lovely touch. You can access the pool this way or you can chose to use the metal steps at either end of the pool.
Aside from the loungers that are in the pool, there are also plenty of sun beds dotted around the outside of the pool and all around the lawns so there is plenty of room for all the guests to have a place by the pool.
I have travelled to many hotels and I thought that this swimming pool was one of the nicest, purely because it looked so beautiful and had the most stunning surroundings.

Extra Info
As I mentioned earlier, the hotel is surrounded by 12 acres of land and guests can explore this massive area of lush vegetation by following the quaint footpath that winds its way all around the grounds. As you walk around the grounds you will come across many different types of animals such as butterflies, birds, monitor lizards, squirrels and monkeys.
There are excursions you can take part in where you can take an elephant ride around the outside of Lake Habarana and actually travel through the Lake itself too. This excursions leaves from the other side of the Lake but you can walk here from the hotel and this is a trip I would highly recommend. It cost us £20 and the trip lasted for two hours and included travelling through the water which was an amazing experience.

In Conclusion
I would certainly recommend this hotel to anyone wishing to visit Habarana in Sri Lanka. It is in a great location for visiting three of the National Heritage Sites meaning you are able to visit each attraction (one by one) on just a day trip which cuts out a lot of the travelling.
The food was varied and always hot and fresh which meant we all enjoyed our dinner every evening and didn’t get bored with the selection and to top it off, you get to enjoy your food in the stunning open air restaurant.
The hotel is absolutely stunning; the hotel itself, the rooms, the grounds – just everything put together made the stay here an extremely pleasant experience.


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Comments on this review

  • Essexgirl2006 published 06/01/2011
    Very detailed - lots of personal experience too.
  • Autarkis published 02/11/2010
    Excellent review.
  • kineticspade published 29/10/2010
    Great review x
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Product Information : Chaaya Village, Habarana

Manufacturer's product description

Village - 130, Glennie Street, Habarana, Sri Lanka - 3 Stars

Product Details

Long Name: Chaaya Village

Type: Village

Rating: 3 Stars

Address: 130, Glennie Street, Habarana, Sri Lanka

City: Habarana

Country: Sri Lanka

Continent: Asia

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Listed on Ciao since: 18/03/2010