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Magical Sri Lanka the Mermaid
& Chala
Alena Parkánová
The mermaid is set in beautiful surroundings with stunning views it's clean, tidy & above all the staff are among the most friendly, helpful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting! (And I've travelled quite a bit in my life!) the staff would every morning greet you with a smile & a warm handshake & were always more than happy to help you with any queries you may have about getting around the local area & were always happy to answer any questions you may have! On our first day we were fortunate enough to bump in to Chala & Siri (beach boys) on the beach at the front of our hotel! We actually went down to the beach with the intention of meeting another beach boy (Suresh) as his name had been mentioned a number of times on this site, but we were instantly captured by this young man Chala's charming yet somewhat nervous demeanour so we opted to give this young man Chala & his cousin Siri a chance to sell us a few trips around their Beautiful country, I can honestly say that was amongst one of the best decisions I've ever made! Chala & Siri are two of the nicest most humble people I've ever met, not only did they give us amazing trips to Kandy (Buddhist temple) & the elephant orphanage & white-water rafting & a trip out to a beautiful nearby waterfall but more importantly they gave us friendship & a real personal insight into real Sri Lankan life & culture something not one single guide book in the world can truly offer! We feel in Chala & Siri we have made friends for life! Their zest for life always laughing making jokes & being positive in very tough circumstances i.e a first hand account of the devastation of the boxing day tsunami, has inspired us & given a new outlook on life which was a revelation. These young men rely on our recommendations to survive & provide simple everyday things for their families. We can wholeheartedly vouch for these people I promise, if you give Chala & Siri a chance they will NOT disappoint, laughter & a real insight into Sri Lankan life awaits I also failed to mention between them they have over 30 years experience they can also provide your airport transfer, drop them an email. & they will be more than happy to help! We are already planning our return & we never go to the same place twice as there's so much of the world to see but Sri Lanka & it's people are a somewhat surprising exception to the rule.
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I have no hesitation in recommending the Mermaid Hotel it was spotlessly clean and the waiter`s and waitress are brilliant can`t do enough for you. On our arrival 9.30 pm.there was a tall glass of orange juice that went down very well. This was our first time to Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan people are great, always got a smile for you. There is so much to see here, We went on a few trips, child orphanage, elephant orphanage, elephant ridding, Tooth temple in Kandy stayed over night in Kandy in a fantastic high standard hotel, Tea plantation, mountains, white water rafting, whale watching seen 15 whales, Trip on the river seen water monitor, baby crocodile. sea eagle, other birds, mangroves etc, all organised by the beach boy who`s name is CHALA he is a very nice and polite guy he is not pushy and has a very good knowledge of Sri Lanka he will look after you and take care of you this is a guy who you can trust he made our holiday complete and unforgettable, a big thank you to CHALA.
March, 2013
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