Club Palm Bay Hotel

3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 Stars

Thoduwawa, Marawila, Sri Lanka
Club Palm Bay Hotel
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More about Club Palm Bay Hotel

club palm bay hotel

by TripAdvisor Member benNorthWest_england

club palm bay hotel marawila. sri lanka. fabulous.
tour operator mercury direct.travelled 1st june for two weeks.
we chose this hotel because its only 1 hour from the airport
and although its a little dated, the friendly staff, cleanliness,location and food more than made up for its one or two shortcomings.the pool was magnificent and we spent endless days of pure relaxation on very comfy loungers with a complete attendant and waiter service. the people here really do care about the serive they give and are so genuinely open and friendly. we did the usual trip thing with a local guy named fernando of susila tours. much cheaper than the reps trips and a personal service second to none. he gave us two days of fun,culture and excitement we will never forget, whatsmore we felt comfortable and safe at all times his driver shari was simplybrilliant. he's outside the hotel gate daily and i'm sure anything you wanted to do or arrange he would be happy to sort for you. another good point before I finish, quatar airways were great one of the best flights we have had, easily competing with emirates who we had last year.
mr.&mrs.m.james.north west england.

Club Palm Bay Hotel

by TripAdvisor Member Hatterman

Returned from this Hotel last Sunday.
We had no complaints regards the Hotel. All the staff are extremely helpful and the food was superb.It is set some way from any civilisation, so the only thing we missed was being able to walk round a town after meals.
The hotel itself is more appropriate for age ranges 40- 75 as there are no activities for younger people, having said that the swimming pool is massive and while we were there the maximum number of people using it at one time was 6.
There is a Billiard table and a gym if you are so inclined.
The Hotel has been open 10 years and some parts of it are in need of re-furbishment (nothing to spoil your enjoyment of the place), but because of the lack of tourists they don't have the money to spend on it. All the rooms are air-conditioned with anti mosquito plugs supplied and changed daily.
The plugs are all UK type , so no need for adaptors.
We went on a two day trip which covered the Elephant Orphanage, Spice Gardens, Kandy (Tooth Temple and Botanical Gardens), Dambulla, and Sigiriya (well worth the climb to the top).We stayed overnight in a Hotel in Kandy which was included in the total price (Bed and Breakfast). The trip was £70 each. Be prepared for feeling knackered because a lot is covered in the two days and travelling time is very long due to road and traffic conditions.
Everybody is so friendly and all greet you with a hello or good morning/afternoon when you meet them.
I would certainly recommend this hotel even if it is a bit out of the way, you can easily hire a Tuk-Tuk from just outside the hotel if you want to travel into Marawilla, which is about 1 and a half miles down the road, but there isn't a lot to see there.
If anybody has any questions I will happily answer them.

relax at palm bay

by TripAdvisor Member brindus

club palm bay may 26th -june 9th
start off on a positive, hotel very clean, rooms cleaned daily to a high standard. fresh linen and towels every day. pool is very large and warm (great). staff are absolutely fantastic and nothing is too much trouble. waiter service whilst you laze by the pool, excellent.
bit of a gripe now. Rooms do not have WOW factor as we have come to expect. Food is not brilliant and does become repetitive. not a lot of storage space in your room.
general. Wehad a lovely time very relaxing. Met some lovely people which makes a great difference to your holiday.
Trips. You must do the trips around sri lanka. Its a beautiful country and it would be a shame if you did not see it. If you want to go on any trips go and see Sumudu who waits outside the main entrance. He is a great guy, very honest and he is with you the whole trip. Take his advice on itinery too he knows what he's talking about. If you see him tell him the jolly fat man says hello and how's the chicken.
All in all we had a GOOD holiday. Club palm bay has a way of relaxing you. Thats why so many people go back. Would we go back? No but we never go any where twice it's a big world.

A Complete rest

by TripAdvisor Member kingsnorton

Have just returned from Club Palm Bay - Our first visit to Sri Lanka but certainly not our last! After a shakey start with flight timings changed the day prior to our holiday, and delayed flight, we arrived in the middle of a quite spectacular thunderstorm.
Having read all the previous reviews that mention the hotels need of refurbishment I was pleasantly surprised- yes ok it might not stand close inspection, bur hey your on holiday!! All areas of the hotel are immaculately clean, the rooms large and comfortable, ours overlooked the lagoon and the ocean, and had tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge which was great.
The pool is fantastic, huge and warm and when we went was empty most of the time - tourism in Sri Lanka is really suffering at the moment, but if like we did, you go undeterred you are in for a treat. Service is excellent and a lot of the hotels are half empty, which some people might not like, but it was a real bonus for us.
The hotel is a little remote- so if you want a lively holiday this is not for you. The Tuk Tuk drivers outside the main gate will take you further afield and its great fun (the driving sometimes has you closing your eyes though!)The food in the buffet restaurant is varied, not all curry and the a la carte Cutty Sark restaurant worth a visit.
We also visited Kandy overnight, the elephant orphanage and Colombo- there is plenty to see in Sri Lanka if you want more than a Beach stay. If you want to swim in the sea now is not a good time to visit as the currents are dangerous, apparently the sea is calm later in the year.
Overall this would rank as one of our best holidays ever, we loved the people, everyone we met had a smile, the food, the sightseeing, even the weather was great.

Easter / New Year in Sri Lanka

by TripAdvisor Member NorthYorkshireAnnie

We arrived on Good Friday - in the rain - and everyone told us the monsoon had arrived early and that it would rain everyday. However, after about four days with rain at some point, including some spectacular thunderstorms, the weather settled and the rest of our fortnight was hot dry and sunny.
After 10 years Club Palm Bay is now in need of a little refurbishment but in the meantime everything is kept spotlessly clean and the gardens are beautifully maintained. All the staff from the maintenence men to the restaurant staff are courteous, friendly and helpful. It's like living in a small village - everyone greets you as they walk past!
Try the Ayervurdic Spa for a wonderful massage - the prices are so reasonable, as they are at the beauty salon, for a pedicure, manicure or whatever. Despite it being the Easter holidays, the hotel was not full, apart from the second weekend which coincided with the Bhuddist/Hindu New Year so lots of Sri Lankan families came for a short stay, adding to the colour and people-watching opportunities!
We took a couple of trips with Susila Fernando who, like the others, operates froma spot just outside the gates. He spoke good English, was helpful, informative and accommodating. We'd reccommend him. He also arranged for us to take a boat trip on the lagoon one morning with Ruanta, a young fisherman, who was pleased to supplement his meagre income, and is trying to improve his English so he can do more work with tourists.
We took a tuk-tuk ride into Marawila with Shumi. He offered to drive us a scenic route back which took us through the paddy fields and onto an amazing 'ferry' - in reality, some planks spread over four canoes with a rope to haul on to move the raft from bank to bank. Terrific!
If you do the one-day trip to Kandy and find yourselves short of time ( the traffic is terrible) drop the trip to the spice garden. While the short tour is quite interesting, the hard sell at the end isn't, and products are expensive despite the amazing claims that are made for them! We found the tea factory visit interesting, and there's a welcome cup of tea at the end of it! The tooth temple is fascinating. Remember you will have to take your shoes off before entering, and we were told the stone can be uncomfortable when hot. We didn't have that problem as the heavens opened as we arrived - we paddled round in an inch of (warm) water! Be aware security will not allow umbrellas to be taken inside. The elephant orphanage is wonderful and well worth a visit. Despite notices asking you not to tip the attendants they will offer to take your photograph and then ask for a tip.
We also took a trip into Negombo. Not a great deal to see there - the harbour is picturesque with its many varied fishing boats but the fish market is smelly (even though it was not operating the day we were there!) However, we were taken to the Hotel Ranewela where we had a boat trip on the Dutch Canal with a very knowledgeable guide who made sure we saw a great variety of bird and wild life.
We're not particulary active holiday makers so found the Club Palm Bay was just right for us - secluded and off the beaten track. The pool is super, there are tennis courts and pitch-and-put course, plus a small gym, squash court, pool table etc. There was some form of entertainment each evening - cultural event twice a week with dancers, drummers and fire eaters; a magician; and on the other nights a live band. We were also able to watch progress in the Cricket World Cup on a large screen! We met lots of nice people - other holiday makers - and were even invited by the management to a cocktail party in the first week, and a special dinner in the second week with a table spread under the stars and a delicious menu! However if you prefer to be busy there are lots of trips you can make, but be aware they will involve a lot of driving - not always the most relaxing way to spend your day!
The Sri Lankan people are charming and once they've met you will make a point of speaking whenever they see you. We were not hassled to buy in the shops, unlike in some other holiday areas. However, beware the porters at the airport - ours demanded £5 for pushing the trolley a mere 30 yards. We didn't have that problem anywhere else.
If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka, I'm sure you will enjoy it!

Samantha Tours - the best shout out to Sam, Fernando & Anthony

by TripAdvisor Member reenap

This was our first visit to Sri Lanka, and it’s a beautiful country minus the long haul flight which was 11 hours and delays with Air Sri Lanka we thought Sri Lanka was an amazing country with plenty of culture to see.

We got a great deal with Mercury tours and stayed at Club Palm Bay in Marawila. My first impressions of this resort where good, however this hotel definitely needs a re vamp. The hotel itself is very tired looking it’s stared at 4* buts it’s definitely not of this rate more like a 3*. The surrounding gardens are beautiful and well looked after. The resort has lots of birds and chipmunks, as well as creepy crawlies such as Lizards and croak roaches which I was not all to keen on. The rooms where good, with plenty of space and the hotel provided you with a welcome fruit basket and 2 bottles of water every day as well as tea and coffee making facilities, shampoo and conditioners where also provided as well as fresh clean towels every day and your bed was decorated with different flower arrangments every day on the first day we had "WELCOME" and on out last night we have "GOODBUY" which we thought was very nice.

The hotel swimming pool is magnificent; I have never come across such a clean and well maintained swimming pool, it’s so warm and caters for everyone from small children to those that like to swim in the deep end.

The evening entertainment is varied and good. The staff are excellent and always happy to help your every need. On a whole this resort was good but definitely not a 4 star hotel. It was also a shame that we could not make use of the beach which was situated just out outside the resort, this was a let down especially as Mercury Tours highlight and indicated that the beach was part of resort, this was clearly not the case. You where able to use the beach if you wanted but there was no services available from the hotel staff to accommodate you for drinks etc.

The food at the hotel was good, not a great deal of choice if you are a vegetarian like me. There is a lot of curry and if like me you like the good old Chicken Tikka Masala I would suggest that you eat this before you go because you won’t get this. The curries are also extremely HOTT they can easily blow your mouth off. I would have preferred a variety of food from Pasta, pizza, chips, Chinese however this was not the case, but never the less, there was plenty of choice and the restaurant staff are willing to make special dishes at your request for no charge which was handy for me. I though most of the food as great, just would have preferred a variety of western food. The desserts are the best I have ever seen, always a great choice from fresh fruit to cakes and ice cream (which you have to ask for as its not displayed for the reason that it would mealy immediately). The lunches where also good and you can never be hungry at this resort as food, drinks and snacks are available through out the day. Its definitely worth going all inclusive when on holiday.

I have stayed at other resorts where hotels, provide services on the beach so this was a clear let down for us.

As for Excursions we traveled around Sri Lanka which was an amazing experience; if you decide to travel anywhere I would definitely look up “SAM” - SAMANTHA TOURS which is situated just outside the hotel on your right hand side 50 yards up the road. You can not miss his shop its sign posted. They organize your tours to your needs which are great; we had a private 7 seater Car for the 2 of us which was great with AC. And it was almost half the price compared to traveling with your tour operators who not only cram in a load of people up to 20 in a coach but also charge extremely high prices and you have to leave as early as 5.30am in the morning. When your traveling in a group it get difficult because different people want to do different things. In my opinion I would rather give my cash to help the local people of Sri lanka then to provide to an over priced tour operator, our money goes far not only to help the families but also to build a future for people who are so helpful & friendly. Definitely take my advise and look up SAMANTHA Tours, he is the best, it’s a family business of 3 brothers and they are amazing, we traveled with Fernando and Anthony, to Colombo where they took us to all the shops, Kandy – Elephant Orphanage & Spice garden, The Tea plantation, Temple of Tooth and Botanical gardens as well as Sigiriya Rocks & Damulla.

You will go in a new and comfortable air-conditioned mini van and he will be your personal guide for the day which is great, waiting for you to jump back into the car. He will take you to see the most amazing native things, and you will stop in the best places around for meals and drinks. We had a thing for Pizza Hut, and they took us there twice which was great because we where very fussy eater. We always had the best guides at places like the Sigiriya rock and the Tooth Temple.

When traveling with SAMANTHA TOURS, there is no time limit, he is booked for you for the whole day, and they are so great, you can spend as mush time as you want at each place you visit. Whereas with the Tour companies you are restricted as to how long you can spend at each place. Fernando and Anthony where the best people we traveled with, we where lucky enough to travel with them and we would like to thank you all for making our trip so worth while and an amazing experience. We loved the King coconut drinks you bought us on the side of the road. Thanks you very very much.

We also took a TUK TUK ride the day before we left with our friend FERNANDO, into Marawila, which was amazing and at a very reasonable price, I would definitely do this as the local shops have a lot to offer and its amazing traveling in a TUK TUK, take my word its fully air conditioned.

Now for “Stitch the Tailor” he is based Next to SAMANTHA TOURS and he is truly an amazing guy, we had 11 items made from him at a reasonable price of £72. I got some Indian suits made and he did a great job, I would suggest you take designs that you like and show him and also material, he does have material in his shop however if you want something fancy like I did then its worth taking the material from London. We also got some dress tops made and shirts which where done so well. There are 2 tailors but Stitch is definitely worth looking up as he is the best tailor I have ever come across and he is so helpful. We loved all the stuff you made for us, Thank you very much.

Love Ren & Nik

Sumudu's trips

by TripAdvisor Member mongolianratbag

Reviewers Trevor and Reenie Holditch
Pool magnificent, never in all our years of traveling have we seen one as big. The gardens are beautiful with trees and flowers in abundance. The lagoon which surrounds the resort has plenty of fish, albeit small ones so bring your rod! The whole resort teems with birds and wildlife including lots of adorable chipmunks which love to be fed by hand (this is against rules but who cares). The evening entertainment is varied and good. Best of all are the staff, restaurant waiters, room boys, gardeners, barmen and pool attendants who are always happy and smiling and willing to supply your every need. There is one wasted asset though, the pitch and putt course which is sadly neglected. In the two weeks we were there, we never saw anyone on it. Just a bit of effort would bring it up to scratch and it would then be an enjoyable pastime for the residents. A very enjoyable holiday which we can fully recommend.

Now if you are talking trips, Sumudu is your man. He is just outside of the gate most days but if not you can contact him on 777 514294. He can do you a day trip or an extended tour including hotel stays at a not too expensive price. His trips are flexible and he will tailor the trips to your personal needs. Unlike other trip operators he will stop anywhere you like on the route to look at porcupines, a tile factory, rubber plantation etc or for just a cup of coffee. He has an air conditioned new mini bus and he and his driver are really nice people. Don’t let the regular tour operators put you off by saying that the small guys are not insured because Slim Line Tours are fully registered. Go with them, you won’t be sorry, we certainly weren’t.

simple but beautiful

by TripAdvisor Member coastalbabe

We have just returned from a 10 day from this very friendly hotel. although it is advertised as 4* it is by no means this standard. The hotel is very basic but the rooms are very clean and the huge swimming pool is well maintained.

The entertainment is non existent and you need to take a hair dryer with you.
The food is buffet but there is a good variety each day and they love to add chilli to everything even the omlettes!

I had a eye infection where the hotel arranged for a dr to come to the hotel within 2 hours and was given a prescription to where the whole cost was 1500 ruppees, around £7.
Sri lanka is a beautiful country and we went on a 2 day tour with mercury direct to see all the attractions in kandy. This cost £75 per person which included a stay at another hotel. well worth the money or alternatively people used slimline tours or samanthas tours. these can be located outside the hotel gates where you can also hire a tuc tuc. everything is ridiculously cheap . i would reccommend staying at this simple but moderate hotel as a holiday is what you make of it and not always the hotel.
we went for a last minute deal for our 5 year wedding anniversary. the average age of the guests in this hotel is 45. not for lively young couples or families but a breath taking country and thoroughly enjoyed our experience.

absolutely fabulous

by TripAdvisor Member CaroleN

Having never been on a long haul flight before this was all going to be a new experience for me and what an experience!
It was a nerve wracking start with the flight changes and i was warned that my first impressions may not be good as i have never ventured this far a field before.
I can honestly say i loved it, the main road had small shops selling things we would have sent to the tip. It also had an excellent array of fresh fruit & vegetables, apparently red bananas have the same effect as viagra at half the cost!
The hotel is excellent. I was amazed at how big the rooms are.I had a fridgeand complimentary water left every day, and tea and coffee making was great, although hard pushed to use due to the excellent facilities. These being Cooked english breakfast(inc curry if you are inclined) Mid morning tea & Coffe and snacks, large buffet lunch, afternoon tea and more snacks and large buffet evening meal and if you are still in the bar around 11.30pm ( can recommend cocktail called golden girl) more snacks!!!
The room service was great and each night a different array of flowers on your bed.
The pool was superb and very large, sunloungers were very comfortable and towels provided, even had a boy with a catapault to frighten the birds away.
We also had a massage wich cost 5 pounds, what value.
The trips were very enlightening temples,tea plantation all gave a very good insight into the countrys culture. We also went to Erics Batiks and saw how they dyed all the fabrics, bought some lovely items all very cheap and no hard sell.The exception to this was the spice garden, I would give this a miss. It was conducted by a man offering cures for everything from Haemorroids to Haemorraghic disease and extortionately expensive, hair removing cream that granted did work but was 50 pounds a tub!
The people were very friendly and welcoming everywhere we went and you are not pestered by beggers.
Apart from soldiers around key points there was no evidence of any trouble throughout our stay and i felt very safe, street crime here is almost non existent, a lesson we could perhaps learn from.
If you are thinking of going i absolutely recommend this country and hotel.


by TripAdvisor Member sotongirl

hi all you cant go wrong with this hotel.we went with mercury flew with qatar airways very good flight best legroom we have had ,about 80 films to choose from and games to play so the time passed very quick. were met at airport by rep and took straigt to hotel no hanging about.the hotel is looking a bit tired but the staff more than made up for it couldnt do enough for you.the food is good but very spicey ,but you can allways find something to eat .we ate by the pool a couple off times just book at breakfast ,ttree course meal with jumbo prawns came to £12for two.we tipped at end of holiday but some tipped as they went you get the the same service what ever you do .we took our trips with sumudu ,find him at front gate he is very good and safe.we had some clothes made at local tailors turn right at gate ,we used both on lefthand side and they were very linen trousres £8,cotton blouses £7 ,linen skirts £7 ,if you got something you like they copy it thats what we did and they are ready next day. we used mozzie spray with deet had one bite all holiday.

Forum Posts

Looking for Hotel: Club Palm Bay Marawila details

by Pimm


Can someone send me address/email/phone/fax details, from the Hotel Club Palm Bay - Marawila

Best regards,


by 1yorkie

hi there,
can any one help. we are going to stay at the hotel club dolphin in waikkal on the 20june. we need to know if this is a good hotel and a good time to go. also what trips out we could do and costs.. will just be the two of us... NO KIDS...
one more question.
any good restaurants for me to take my wife on our anniversary near by.. your help would be great.....richard


by Treshi

Hello Richard,

Good choice of a hotel in Waikkal which is my personal favourites and yes June is an ok month to go and I m sure you will enjoy everything about the hotel. You can do to the elephant orphanage and Kandy which will be day trips from Waikkal but not quite sure of the costs as it may vary depending on the mode of transport. Check with your hotel about the cost and they will help you. Better you hire a car with a driver as this will make life so much easy for you. You can also take a trip to colombo as its good for shopping and its night life. But try not to spend more time in Colombo due to security reasons and avoid large gatherings anywhere in the country.

Regarding a restaurent, you can take her to the Club Palm Bay Hotel if you wish as it has a wonderful restaurent there.

Hope this helps.


Treshi, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Marawila.........Things to do

by peter.g

We are going to stay in Marawila from Feb 3rd for 2 weeks (Club Palm Bay Hotel),and am asking for any advice on what day trips to go on, as recommended by VT Sri Lankan experts.

Many thanks in anticipation


RE: Marawila.........Things to do

by Oscar_Nonis

Hi Peter

Actually Club Plam Bay is located by sea and lagoon in Thoduwawa and its bit closer to Marawila

Its really fishing area and lots of Batik factories also located. You can visit some coconut fibre factories and decicated coconut factories too.

Can have Boat ride and some other water sports activities too.

I think you are not going to stay in hotel area all the time and you can travel around the country as you want while visiting must see places

Please tell me about your general interests and I can give some good tips for you

Please visit my pages and get an idea about places to visit



RE: Marawila.........Things to do

by CathL

One of the things I enjoyed mostin Sri Lanka was the visit to the Elephant orphange. It is a wonderful experience being able to get so close to the elephants.

RE: Marawila.........Things to do

by erikdr

Actually the Cultural Triangle is within not too far reach from Marawila, and Elephant Orphanage is a bit further but probably still feasible. Better exclude Pollonaruwa because it is JUST a bit too far for a daytrip, but that still leaves open two possible nice trips:
* Anuradhapura and Mihintale, and Aukana if time left
* Sigiriya Rock (plan to leave early because of heat!) and Dambulla Rock temple.

Also in between Puttalam and A'pura there is a smaller rock fortress, kind of modeled like Sigiriya. Less well-known but according to some friends (and Lonely Planet) also very beautiful, we plan to visit that one next year.

One last, quite different, option is Wilpattu Nature Reserve. Great for Jeep safaris and well within reach for a day trip; check carefully the optimal safari times, probably they are around dawn and dusk so would be an early rise or late return (just like Sigiriya...).

At your service,

& [Sandya]

RE: RE: Marawila.........Things to do

by peter.g

Thank you for your Answers.Oscar, We both are interested in Flora and Fauna, we know there is a bird sanctuary close by, and we are also interested in the historical side of Sri Lanka as well.
We would also like to visit the millennium sanctuary as well, if this is at all feasible from where we are staying


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 Club Palm Bay Hotel

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Hotel Palm Bay
Resort All Inclusive Palm Bay

Address: Thoduwawa, Marawila, Sri Lanka