The trip to Sri Lanka was successful and we feel we received satisfactory value for our time and costs. Not impressed by the travel company however. Seems most of the itinerary was farmed out to another more local travel agency with somewhat loose or poor communication between the travel company and the local tour company. Some parts of the itinerary we received contained cut-and-paste text that was seasonally incorrect. Fortunately our guide adjusted our itinerary on the fly and some potential disappointments were avoided. But overall we enjoyed our trip a great deal and were happy with our guides, most of the hotel arrangements, and what we saw and did. However, compared to a Zicasso-curated agency that prepared a trip a year or so back to southern Africa, this agency only gets a passing grade. We felt our travel agency's effort was minimal and spotty even though it all turned out fine in the end.
Our main interest was nature (e.g. safari-type visits to National Parks) and some cultural and R&R activity. These were all enjoyable once the trip was adjusted. We enjoyed the cultural/archaeological vists to Sigiriya-area and the accomodations, and the visit to Yala and staying at Chena Huts was magnificient (except for all the other jeeps in Yala). We also enjoyed the visit to Kandy.
The two beach hotels we stayed at were both underwhelming. One would want to ensure that the actual room was well located. In Bentota, for example, our hotel while nice, put us in a room with a view of the swimming pool toilets and heavy foot traffic two feet from our balcony railing (at the same level), with constant fan ventilation from the adjacent kitchens making conversation and relaxation on the balcony difficult. Fortunately we were able to avoid our own balcony and just find other locations at the hotel to relax. The hotel said they were sold out and could not move us to any other decent room.
Also, initially we had a guide and driver but the first day after the first night, the guide took over as driver saying the driver was ill. A week or so later, the driver returned and the guide left. However the driver, a very nice guy, was very inexperienced. He got lost a few times and I had to navigate with my smartphone for him.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENTS:
I want to follow up on the review you posted on Zicasso.
I am glad you did enjoy your trip even though there were some glitches. It is important to me that my clients have the best possible trip. I take all comments very seriously.
I do work with a company in Sri Lanka. I am not sure what happened with the itinerary but am glad the driver straightened it out. I am very involved in the planning of trips and take this work very seriously.
All the hotels on the tour were boutique hotels except at the beach. Unfortunately at the time of booking all the beach boutique hotels were booked. We gave you the best available hotel at the time. I am sorry the room was not in the best location and the hotel was unable to move you to a different room. Perhaps if you had called the contact number you had, the room may have been able to be changed,
I do apologize for the inconvenience with the driver taking you to the airport at the end of your trip. He took a new shorter route and was unfamiliar with this route and had to ask for some help to get you to the airport. It would have been better if he had taken the road he had known.
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