In January 2019 Catherine Hingston and family went on a Travelbay Private Tailor Made Tour to Sri Lanka. On her return she wrote a detailed review of her time there that gives a great insight into various parts of Sri Lanka.
"We have returned to real life after our wonderful holiday in Sri Lanka. I don’t think the trip could have gone any better, I was very pleased with all aspects of the tour.
Our driver, Tiron Manoj, was friendly and helpful, we could not have asked for a nicer driver. His English was adequate and he tried to make our trip as memorable as possible.
We loved seeing the elephants come down to the river to be watered at Pinnawala, we arrived just in time to experience their arrival and we had been taken to a cafe/ vantage point from which we could observe all the goings on.
Hotel Heritance Kandalama set the bar high for other hotels that were to follow, but all were of the same high standard that we easily got used to!
Sigiriya was a great experience, 3 of us made it to the top (hooray!) and our driver accompanied us all the way.
The rock temple, spice garden and gem shop were all interesting, the latter showing a very interesting video about the mining of sapphires, etc, still a difficult, laborious task today. The temple of the tooth was interesting but too crowded because our driver, trying to give us the most authentic experience, took us at the most crowded time, if we had realised about the crowd we would have gone at another time.
We enjoyed the Botanical Gardens, we toured the gardens in an electric buggy which helped make the experience just right for our whole group. The cultural show in the evening was good.
We enjoyed our train ride to Nuwara Eliya, our driver helping us onto the train and meeting us at the other end, no problem. First class was the right experience for us.
We enjoyed our visit to the tea factory. We had a chance to walk to the shops/ markets from our accommodation at Grand Hotel , this was really the only occasion for us to do some shopping and with 3 “girls” in the group we would have liked to have some more opportunities for shopping.
Our tour included all our breakfasts and dinners. These were all buffet style and the buffets were very comprehensive, we were able to choose from Sri Lankan dishes, Western dishes and more, plus too many delicious desserts!! This choice catered for all tastes within our group and enabled us to sample lots of different food.
We loved Cinnamon Wild, its lagoon attracts many water/ wading birds and some of us happily spent nearly all our free time just observing the bird life, and the resident crocodiles 🙂. We made full use of the swimming pools at each hotel, those pools were a highlight of the trip, just what we needed by the afternoon.
The safaris at Yala were another highlight of our trip, great experience in the Jeep and our driver was very good at spotting and pointing out animals and birds to us. We were lucky enough to see a leopard at fairly close quarters (and another one that was pretty difficult to distinguish some distance away camouflaged in a tree).
All in all, a totally excellent holiday, it had just the right balance of activity and relaxing by the pool to keep all members of our group happy.
Travelbay, you were always so helpful and accommodating of our requests and always responded quickly and positively to our queries.
Really appreciated the fact that our airport transfers were available even though we had days before and after our tour began.
Thank you for your help, we look forward to dealing with you again in the future."
Thank you Catherine for so generously sharing your holiday with us all and yes, we would love to travel with you again ❤️