Thank you for organising another memorable holiday. All went like clockwork. No complaints at all. The driver, Prashanta had good knowledge of Sri Lankan wildlife. We spotted around 100 bird species without really trying too hard + 20 mammals. He drove safely throughout, spoke good English, and was amiable & helpful. He was particularly helpful with suggesting & implementing changes to the itinerary. This enabled us to do more of what we wanted to do, which really made a difference to the holiday.
As a general comment, the estimated journey times between venues were under-estimates, at least at the time of day that the journey occurred. You can add at least an hour to most of them. The distances are not great, but the ever present tuctucs, bikes, cows etc make the travel slow. In my opinion, doing a full circuit of the island in two weeks would be arduous. It might be better to work up tour programmes based on just North or just South Sri Lanka or Highland Sri Lanka.
Excellent colonial hotel, good food, wonderful beds, exceptional staff. No complaints. Ideal for a 1 or 2 day stay.
Something of a marmite place. My son said it was his favourite hotel on the island because it was relaxed & laid back. Personally I felt the staff were laid-back to the point of indifference. If you want to do kite-surfing it is a fantastic place. If you don’t then there is a swimming pool & not much else. We enjoyed attempting to kite surf, but the recommended course is three day minimum….so it is a lot harder than wind-surfing or other water-sports.
Only just opened, with a touch of the building-site about it, this is a very small hotel – only four rooms, and I think it will be some time before they can build more. I had the impression that they didn’t see Europeans very often, and were a bit unsure what to do with us! Curry for breakfast was a new experience for me, which is why we travel. There were troupes of langur & macaque monkeys frequently in the hotel that added to it’s interest & the adjoining farm had elephant watches out. Wilpattu reserve is not far away from here, and I think the hotel will make a brilliant base for exploring Wilpattu, especially if they finish the planned lake / pond near the restaurant.
Loved it. Changed agenda to spend longer here. Leopard, elephant, three deer & sloth bear sighted. Not as quiet as I expected – approx. 20 jeeps chasing one leopard at one point.
Trincomalee Cinnamon Blu
Big international hotel, everything you’d expect with fantastic pool, excellent buffet.
Loved it. My son saw his first shark.
Not possible. Whales had moved 40 miles off shore a week or two earlier. This was a disappointment, but they a free creatures & not obliged to fit our agenda. Did dolphin watching instead & saw dozens of spinner dolphins.
Habarana Cinnamon Village
My wife’s favourite hotel due to the lovely wooded grounds & rich birdlife. Paradise flycatcher outside bedroom, giant golden squirrels at breakfast, grey langurs on the roof etc. We thought the staff here were especially good & seemed very comfortable with tourists. Excellent international buffet again.
This was fun, but could be shortened from 3 hours to two hours. Found star tortoises.
Minneriya National Park
Loved it. Saw over 100 elephants
Kaudulla National Park
Another additional tour suggested by our driver. Lovely quiet park, only saw a handful of other jeeps. Nice for bird watching & loads of elephants.
International hotel in Colombo. Very elegant restaurant on top. We didn’t think a lot of Colombo old town, building work everywhere, hot & dusty. Our white (red) faces were something of a magnet for the local touts. I wouldn’t stay in town centre again, it’s not worth fighting through the traffic for.
With all extras, the full two week holiday for four persons came to £13,000. I think this is good value for money for the richness of the experience that we had & distances involved. A “private driver / guide” for two weeks is particularly impressive. If I’m honest, I was a little disappointed with the islands natural beauty. 90% of what we drove through was subsistence farmland, which reminded me somewhat of Barbados, where there are too many people in one finite island. Possibly I might get a different impression if I headed into the highlands. I may also have been spoilt by my trip to Costa Rica with you last year which was such a wonderful country for natural beauty.
In conclusion, we had a wonderful fascinating family holiday through MotMot, and we thank you for your efforts in organising this.
Roland Huggett – July 2017