Kani Lanka Resort & Spa

St. Sebastian's Road, Katukurunda, Kalutara, Sri Lanka

More about Kani Lanka Resort & Spa

Kani Lanka lovely hotel

by TripAdvisor Member YorkshireEmma

I have just read last bad review. We visited this hotel 24th to 28th April and would like to say what a lovely place it is. The surroundings were so peaceful ,views brilliant,staff very friendly and attentive,food great and good old Mark the beach boy. We booked a days outing with him down the coast to Galle. He took us to see lots of interesting places,turtle hatchery,river safari,buddist temple,tsunami devastation and much more,well worth the money. I would not hesitate to return to this hotel.

Beautiful Sri Lanaka “ Kani Lanka

by TripAdvisor Member NewcastlePaul


Sri Lanaka “ Kani Lanka “

Just arrived home after staying in the Kani Lanka Beach resort, went with a group of close friends, and Girlfriend. We all had an amazing experience in many different ways. Some of the group were happy to sit at the pool side , supping bottle after bottle of three coins larger, and soaking up the sun with an occasional trip to the Spa “ 1st class “. Whilst the others were off sailing, canoeing, surfing, and even venturing to the gym.. We all spent 2 full days away from the resort witch really made the holiday. We went with the Local beach Man “ MARK “. After having experiences from previous holidays to Gambia and being ripped off we were all dubious about using the local guides. However we were proven wrong this ,Gentleman took us to see turtles, boat trips , Glass bottom boats , Buddhist Temples , Kandi Elephant sanctuary, you name it we went and loved it. The Venga Bus he uses is fully insured, air con, reclining seats. Food drink included at half the price and you’re giving to the local economy, I now class this man as a friend and will be recommending him to friends and family.

As for the resort, the transfer from plane to hotel is poor, mental drivers everywhere. Were greeted by traditional dancers. The resort is beautiful, the rooms are big , very clean , room men are ace. Air con, fan’s television and DVD player. . The pool is big , along with kids pool however never seen one child. The beach is about 10 foot from the room and is amazing. Beautiful. Fully inclusive is slightly confusing, the food is good to average, curry for breakfast or a fry up? Got to try it once. All in all not Bad.
Everyone who goes should venture out past the doors, the people aren’t bad , they haven’t got a lot and £1 goes far. Eating out is a pleasure, several meals were had all amazing , King size prawns , more like lobsters , steak costing little more than £5 a head with starter and drinks included.

To summarize if I went to places more than once would I go back, YES!!! Every time Please go and have the same tranquil , beautiful , exciting experience we had . Remember “ MARK” the beach boy is the man to go with. !!!!!
Have Fun ….

lotus eating

by TripAdvisor Member EnglandRose

returned last week from two weeks at kani lanka. Had no idea of potential problems, as First Choice market this hotel as one of the best. Big kerfuffle while we were there re: possible closure of hotel and job losses, but all came to nothing. Kani Lanka not closing but have realised they have to up their game. Biggest problem ( as percieved by management ) is all inclusive customers. Kani lanka was always intended to be a high class spa resort, but managers from on high insisted that all inclusive must be an option. However, staff have found ( in their opinion ) that a/i guests just are`nt financally worth it. Also, there has been a problem with people drinking all day long and not behaving well. I never saw any evidence of this. On the subject of smelly drains, Sometimes the stink from the plughole and shower were putrid. Quite obviously sewage, never got any satisfactory answers on that one !

Food nothing special, biggest problem was that it was all buffet. Al a carte really should have been available. Also, touts are a huge problem in my view, as you can`t stoll along the beach without being pestered. Right, that`s it, moaning over. The Kani Lanka is situated between beach and river, both views quite beatiful. The pool is good, the staff polite and friendly and please try the Long Island Tea cocktail at lunch, possibly sundown to. Please, please don`t moan about tipping the poolboy or anyone else. 500 Rupees is around £2.50. Why do the British in particular think it so smart to knock someone down a hundred rupees ? We were told, " the tuk tuk driver will ask for 600 Rupees, don`t give it to him, Offer 500 " So you play out this farce, and you have saved 50p. Jolly good. We saw two weddings and they were great, with Monica, the famous elephant in attendance. The staff really cared about the couple and took great care to make thier day perfect. Please give the Kani Lanka a try, the staff know things have to improve and they are trying. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, just keep an open mind and you can have the trip of a lifetime.

Definately not a first class resort.....

by TripAdvisor Member KThompsett

I stayed at the Kani Lanka for two weeks in February after finding a great deal with Kuoni to this 'first class resort'. I had already read a few negative reviews but also read many great ones so wasn’t unduly worried. It turns out that I should have been.

The rooms can smell musty at times and the bathrooms definitely suffer as a result of no air ventilation. Drainage must be a problem at peak times as the smell coming from the bathroom was often unbearable.

Food was hit and miss. A lot of curry dishes and many international dishes are often served up cold. Waiter service is adequate providing you want to drink coke. Diet coke means at least a 20 minute wait while the waiter disappears to another part of the hotel in search of a can. I found it quite disgusting that the tablemats are never changed, merely turned over and reused.

The beach boys can be a problem. I was already aware of this so chose not to speak to them but they are persistent and do hang around ALL DAY.

The pool boys are great providing you slip them the occasional rupee.

Apparently this hotel is closing at the end of March but I am unsure if this is for a refurbishment or not. The staff had been informed that they would need to reapply for their jobs and a result, service has dropped to an almost non existent level.

Most of the people staying at Kani Lanka during our visit were unhappy in one way or another and many requested a move to another hotel, often at their own expense. By the end of our stay there were 21 guests remaining.

Overall this is not a hotel we will be visiting again and most definitely not a first class resort. At best it is a low 3 star.

great location

by TripAdvisor Member undercoverelephant

Kani Lanka is a horrible drive from the airport. (3hrs on bumpy roads with poverty everywhere)The hotel is sandwiched on a point between the river and the sea. The setting is amazing

The rooms are not large, but they are pleasant and the aircon works well. The pool and the gym and tennis courts are ok
.You will probably spend more time by the pool than the beach due to the touts. Just tell them you are leaving tomorrow that usually works. Although it may be a bit more expensive use the hotel tours as they have insurance and they will not try and rip you off.

The food is buffet style, with a range of choices to please most people. I was surprised that buffet food could be that good.

real life exists a short walk from the hotel, just near the local rail station, there is a catholic school. The children are very polite. They will come and talk to you as will the teachers. There is also a local shop which is worth a visit

The red lobster restaurant just near the entrance of the hotel has good seafood, just smell it before eating it.

The staff are very friendly and helpful and very good at their jobs. There have been a few comments on the damp smell in the rooms, yes there is, but if you use the air con when you are out and keep the doors open when you are in the smell soon goes.

This hotel is more of a package hotel resort than anything else, and whilst it has location and good food, it is more of a great three star hotel than a four star.

A wonderful holiday

by TripAdvisor Member fibuchanan

Well I can honestly recommend this hotel and I would also go back. I am sure, like flights, the pricing will be different depending where you book, but that aside it was a very good holiday.
The hotel is a clean, friendly hotel. The rooms are well kept and while it doesn't have the luxury of the Ritz, it is more than adequate for a family holiday.
Contrary to other opinions, I thought the food was excellent. There was always a great choice available, salads, curry anytime, and a variety of western dishes such as pasta, spicy chicken etc. I took my 76 year old mother and 2 teenage children and they all enjoyed it which is quite remarkable!
The views were spectacular and I never tired of watching the sun going down, (extremely quickly!)
My daughter decided to try windsurfing and they couldn't have been friendlier. She loved it and went for an hour every day. The lagoon was perfct for it.
I went to the spa a few times. If anything, it is the pricing of the spa which is out of context with Sri Lanka. It is about the same price there for a massage as it is back here which doesn't fit with the rest of the pricing but it was very good. I tried a lot of their treatments and felt wonderful! I would recommend it although it is expensive.
We went up to Kandy for a couple of days with a local man called Daniel. We did things and saw things I know we wouldn't have seen with the travel company guide such as tea plantations, spice gardens, botanical gardens, pineapple farm, Kandy dancing and Sigiria, and it cost us half the price.
It is annoying that the locals will come up and pester you and want to take you on a trip. You do feel slightly threatened, but they are all just trying to make an honest living. A lot of them lost everything in the Tsunami and with the Tamil Tigers putting the tourists off it is a tough time for them. All I can say is persevere with them. If you meet Daniel, I can't recommend him highly enough. He took us to Kandy for 2 days and down to Galle etc. My daughter was working there on her gap year and he was very patient as he ferried us around to see her friends etc. (One of her favourite places was Unawatuna beach. It is beautiful and lovely to be able to swim in the sea safely.) I happened to mention to Daniel that she wanted a sri lankan cricket shirt for her birthday and he found one for me at local prices.
Don't be put off. It is a wonderful island with very friendly people, and it will be a humbling experience and make you realise how lucky we all are.

Picturesque resort but remote

by TripAdvisor Member BabyElvis

Hotel lovely, staff excellent and very friendly. Room adequate but not overly plush. Views fantastic and facilities as per the brochure. Only word of advice would be to beware of the beach boys. Having looked on here before coming I was fully expecting a nice bunch of people who would give us some good advice on where to visit, it turned out that having been polite to them in the first instance they didn't leave you alone. We decided not to go with them for our 2 day tour but still we were constantly pestered by a beach boy for the whole 2 weeks. Not only to try to go on a tour with him to Galle but also to give him money or clothing which we didn't need any longer. Our advice is to just say "I've been before and have done the tours". Be polite but firm. Having said that people who we spoke to who had been on tours with the beach boys had fantastic service and a good day. Its just the constant hassle and asking for money wears you down.

In terms of tipping, we were told that only to tip the pool boys and your room attendant 500 rupees a week and not every time. There is no need to tip the waiters, purely because they change frequently.

Enjoy your stay.

Kani Wedding

by TripAdvisor Member Mrs_D01

After booking a the Kani for our wedding in Jan some of the reveiws did make me wonder.?! I can however say the week we were there was fantastic. Although getting there was very long when we arrived the hotel was wonderfully lit and the restaurant had stayed open late to feed us all. This I have to say was the start of a week of wonderful food, but more about that later!

The hotel is ideally situated and has nice views. The room was lovely (we booked a superior) bathroom clean (great shower) & no issues with ants that you get in other hotels. Our room boy Elvis was always happy to help but unlike other reviewers room boys he wasn't intrusive. The pool area is very clean & as the sea is slighty rough, the pool boy was quite happy to come in the sea with you to make sure your ok, but he kept his ditstance and i think it was a great excuse for him to cool off !

Now the wedding, Wathsala the co-ordinator was superb & organised everything smoothly. From the photos, where to stand, flowers, video and of course Monika the elephant i couldn't have wished for a better day. On the morning before my friend & myself visited the spa while the boys lazed around. I was totally relaxed by the time the wedding started, it was great. Tip for ladies & especially brides, have a manicure, the setting is lovely and you are treated with care.

On the evening of the wedding we had a 7 course meal. This was amazing. It was served by the pool and the waiters were attentive. Over all the food was great. We were only there for 1 week before moving on so i can't say whether it was repetitive each week. The Food & Beverage manager was keen to find ways to improve & when we mentioned Trip Advisor he smiled so we know he reads the reviews. The Head Chef is relatively new and has been there about 6 months. Reading older reviews they are truly making a huge effort to improve.

We didn't do any trips but with the wedding it was nice to relax. The beach boys are keen to promote themselves but as previously pointed out they are trying to make a living. Suny (Sunimal) was helpful & friendly. I don't think we could have stayed 2 weeks & not done any trips as locally there isn't much else.

We did visit the Red Lobster & the prawns were great. One word of caution, I attract mossies & i did get bitten a few times. They do have mossie coils but this was an after thought. Ask when you turn up. On the hotel questionnaire I did suggest that some mossie coils/incense could be put around the hotel (well the bar!) to ward of the little critters.

You will have a fantastic time & if you think something could be improved suggest it. They really do want to make your stay a great one.

Have a great holiday!

Carry On Up The Karni Lanka

by TripAdvisor Member nellb

This review is to replace a previous review I asked Trip Advisor to remove. I asked for it ot be removed as I feel the people I named in that review had been named and shamed for long enough. What I wrote I 100% believe to be true. In this review I will not name names!

Ok where to start? The drive from the airport is hair raising - once I realised it was just how it is there I quite enjoyed the madness of it all and looked out the window with interest. I wish I had a picture of the first ox I saw walking in the middle of the road. The cars drive overtaking undertaking bibbing all the time to let others know they are there. There doesnt seem to be any rues - but there are! We had a taxi tranfser from the airport which I would say is well worth the extra money as the ride on the bus we heard from the others was a mare.

My first impresions of the hotel were good - the walk way to reception is great it really looks like you have arrived at a fab hotel, after the mad drive the hotel enterance really puts your mind at rest.

We had to wait a while for our key but where soon in our room. Which did smell and was damp and we did have to wait for a week to get mooved to another worse damp smelly wet room and then we moved to yet another room which was no better. It is a real shame as this hotel could be so much better! The location is second to none it really is the only hotel on the thin slip of land between the river mouth and the sea.

The noisy big town on the other side of the river makes one side of the hotel noisy - they have three different religions there all worshipping from the real early hours of the morning then the train comes then the traffic on the mad road starts - I really had trouble sleeping the first week when we were in our fisrt room on that side of the hotel. The rooms on the sea side seem fresher and brighter but the ones we had on that side were damp and did stink.

The waiters are mostly a happy bunch even after the hotel closure was anounced they soon got happy again when they found out they would be ok with payouts. The only thing they never did well at all was serve! I am not being mean but they were all rubbish at their jobs we never got a complete order and waited many times far too long. They forgot all of it or some of it every time and the bill bit was always a joke!

The food got worse and worse and was excused by the sale. The food can be good we ate some good food but that just showed me they can do it if they want to. We where on half board and other than the red lobster in the lane there wasnt anywhere else to go near by.

I went to the spa had a great body scrub - they didnt have any electric due to the closure? Another let down!
We had a few great days away from the hotel we went to some truly amazing places and that will stay with me forever and ever. We had a great time with the people we met around the pool. We booked our trip to see the sites with the rep who then books with the local tourist co. We also used the beach boys to take us up and down to Bentota, we ate in the Aida a few times and brought gems from the shop there - I really do think its worht a visit to eat or to buy gems or both. The food is great and if you are staying at the Kani Lnaka you will need a change...........
Even if you only go out of the hotel once (the drive is a bit mad) you should go as you will see things you never see at home! We saw a lorry load of elephants - well three in a truck on our way to Galle.

We did use the beach boys at first, we found them helpfull they brought me coconuts for my upset belly and aloe for my sun burn (which came out of nowhere so be carefull) They never really got over the fact we took our main trips with the rep but I used to live abroad so know only too well the dangers of being far away with out being fully insured but we did use them to go up and down to Aida as we figured that with them or the tuk tuks it was the best of two evils! On oneof our days out we saw a tuk tuk tip over as he pulled out in front of a car - nasty and on our first trtip out we saw an even nastier bus crash so you have to be as carefull as you can. We did in the end have a problem with the beach boys which was a shame but to me it shows them for what they are really.

We had a great trip which we booked with our rep so passed our drivers phone numbero on to another couple who booked a trip with him. The beach boys found out and didnt like it so ambushed him on his way to the hotel. The couple didnt end up going on any trips.It was a bit like gangland war fare really. Thats when I started to feel unsafe really unsafe. The location lost its charm and I felf vulnerable. I saw the beach boys in a different light. After the ambush we didnt go near then which ment we didnt go in the sea or on the beach - they pestered us to talk to them and even asked other guests to fetch us for them. It is hard to avoid them as they stand on the hotel wall and all in front on the beach looking in at you.

This hotel has many problems lots of people made complaints and moved to different hotels. I wish this hotel would be taken over and really made into what it can be.

You do get fed up with tipping and even tho it is only pennies to us its the fact that you have to tip to get service - it gets on your nerves in the end - they even tell you when you havnt given then enough. Alot of what they tell you is not true. They do take advantage of tourists but they do every where, here its just alot worse.

I would go to Sri Lanka again to see the places of interest but would not stay on the coast again I would go on.

It was not a good hotel to stay at at all. The star rate is well out. I do hope they fix it up!


by TripAdvisor Member Laura_Bedforshire

Brilliant hotel, fantastic staff. Its a must...

Prior to leaving we had read the reviews on this website and had some reservations. We stayed over the Easter holidays for 10 nights after a five day tour. After a very long drive we arrived, perhaps expecting the worst! which couldn't be further from what we found.

The Hotel its self is very peaceful, modern and clean. Set in beautiful surroundings. One side is the beach and the other the mouth of a river. The staff couldn't be more helpful if they tried and the food was excellent quality, not always to the English man's taste. But we have to remember we were in Sri Lanka and curry is the National dish so expect curry and all the trimings for breakfast or you can go for the bacon and egg option!! theres plenty of choice at all times of the day.

We had read reviews that lead us to believe the rooms were still suffering with damp from the Tsunami. Which couldn't be further from the truth. The rooms were of a really high standard, all the mod cons. Yes there is a slight funky smell at some points of the day but if you open the window or put the air con on it soon went. Remember the hotel is surrounded by water and its very humid and we stayed at the beginning of the monsoon season (and it rains a lot at night..) so everything is damp. But not in a bad way. In fact its great for for your skin!! :)

We played sports, games with the hotel staff and also went of a boat trip. There are a couple of beach boys that will invite you to look at there photo's and the trips they offer. But if you dont want to get involved DONT. They wont hassle you. They actually seemed to be alright and very easy going.

The only thing i will mention or perhaps recommend. Is not to swim in the sea. Its got a very strong under current and my brother was stung/bitten whilst swimming. Anyway to cut a long story short the hotel manager rushed him to hospital and he recieved fantastic treatment. The hotel staff couldn't of done more for him the hosptial was very clean and efficient. You wouldn't get service anywhere near as good on the NHS.. Anyway just be careful in the sea.

It was a brillant holiday, please dont take any notice of some of the other post on this site. As the hotel is truly a brilliant place and i haven't even mentioned the spa...

I hope you enjoy your holiday as much as my family did.

Forum Posts

Kani Lanka

by PCrack

Travelling to the Kani Lanka Resort and Spa next Wednesday (7th). Just wondering what the weather was like at present and any current info on the resort would be great.

RE: Kani Lanka

by 12345667

Dear Sir,
Now starting the south/western monsoon and every day it is raining 2 to3 hours next week would be more
Nande-Sri Lanka

RE: Kani Lanka

by 12345667

Dear Sir,
Now starting the south/western monsoon and every day it is raining 2 to3 hours next week would be more
Nande-Sri Lanka

RE: Kani Lanka

by Treshi


The monsoon has started and it rains pretty heavily here in Colombo and even in the coastal areas. But we do get a bit of sun shine during the day and that does justice to the rain in the evenings. The rain is quite tough here at the moment but i m sure the hotel will have indoor entertainment to keep the guests occupied.

Hope this helps.


Treshi, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

RE: RE: Kani Lanka

by Maxus

I have had the same reports about rain just now but please dont let this worry you too much. It is always changeable so the sun usually manages to break though during the day (you need not go home looking pale) and it’s a tropical, its not like rain in Blackpool. Pack stuff for rain (maybe an umbrella) just in case and have a fab time. I have been in July and there has been plenty of sunshine, let us know how you get on.

RE: RE: Kani Lanka

by Treshi

Hi Again,

The last two days here in Colombo has been pretty sunny and hot and it was like a bonus for the rain that took over couple of days back..the sun is very hot mind you and this explains the weather situation here in Sri Lanka. Nothing much to worry and the weather is quite unpredictable...but in any kind of weather, i m sure you will have something to do in my country.


Treshi, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

RE: Kani Lanka


Like previous post replies, the monsoon has already arrived, and i can say that it was a little earlier than expexted this year, it certainly did disturb my after lunch nap by the pool one Tuesday afternoon, how rood!!.
Anyway, as Treshi correctly said, Thursday, and Friday of last week were lovely hot and sunny days, so really anthing could, and can happen right now.
Oh, i am back in UK now, and yes i did steal some Sri Lankan sunshine to bring back here, that it because we need it right now after such a poor start to our summer!!.

first trip to sri lanka

by sophiag

hi going to kani lanka in march.can you please help,have been told that we can only take in 5000 currency in with us and have just read that you cannot take cigarettes in.would be most grateful for replies ta

Re: first trip to sri lanka

by leics


lists what you can and cannot take into Sri Lanka.

Here's the Sri Lankan customs site as well:


Re: first trip to sri lanka

by erikdr

Yes, and some background:

It's a LOT better not to buy SL rupees abroad but simply take sterling or dollar or euro or whatever you use at home and convert in Lanka. At the airport there are 6+ bank desks, all open 24h, offering quick exchange.

Cigs indeed not allowed except an open packet for own use. Can buy most brands locally, though.


& [Sandya]

Re: first trip to sri lanka

by HansDK

Cigarettes are easily available in Sri Lanka (John Players Gold Leaf, Dunhill (filter, lights, ultra lights), Pall Mall (filter, lights, menthol), Benson & Hedges). A 20 pack costs LKR 360-380.

Don't buy from beach boys - usually very bad quality (fakes) and not much saved.

Re: first trip to sri lanka

by sophiag

thank you all so much for your info most helpful will check out website.will let you all know of my holiday
thanks sophia

Where to start?

by stevojohnsy

Hi Erik, We are staying in Kalutara in early August as Ive mentioned in a previous post, and i was wondering if you could answer a few questions we have?! As the traffic by all accounts is horrendous, we figured that to do all the 'Terry Tourist' must sees - ie; Kandy, Pollanuruwa, Sigirya and Dambulla it probably makes sense to spend a night in Kandy? That way we can see the Perehera festival at night and travel around by day. So... How would you suggest we best go about doing it all in terms of where to start first and what could feasibly be done in a day, and how long might it take us to get to Kandy from Kalutara? Also, is it correct that the festival starts on the 31st of July, or on the 7th of August as another tourism board suggests?! And one last question - Im aware that at this time of the year the sea is none too friendly, but do you have any ideas on relatively sheltered beaches, or are there any in and around Kalutara? Thanks so much, look forward to hearing from you or anyone else that may be able to help! Cheers, Steve...

RE: Where to start?

by erikdr

Hi Steve,

Probably others can complement as well...

* Kandy-Kalutara is around 5-6 hours by car
* Sigiriya MUST be climbed early or late in the day, and is 3 hours from Kandy

So this leads to a 2-night (3 day) trip, with one night Kandy and one near Sigiriya.

Festival is from 31-Jul to 10-Aug, but the biggest processions start towards the end. Also the ones with the most expensive tickets and biggest crowds...

Kani Lanka in Kalutara has a beach on the sea and a smaller one in the lagoon; lagoon is safe to swim year-round. But maybe also from other hotels you can reach that part of town, or the Kalu Ganga (the wide river) that is also safe to swim.


& [Sandya]

RE: RE: Where to start?

by stevojohnsy

Thanks so much for your help Erik. Much appreciated, Steve...


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