These full and frank independent travellers reviews are from who have booked directly through Senses Holidays. These Family reviews are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.
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My daughter and I travelled to Sri Lanka in December this year and had the most fantastic holiday. The variety of sights and experiences on an island smaller than Ireland was incredible. The people wonderful and the places we visited felt safe and welcoming.
Sarah from Senses holidays helped me to plan our trip so I ended up with some parts organised by Senses and some that I organised independently. This was a real benefit as there was no pressure at all from Sarah and the team they just helped to put together the parts I appreciated some help on.
The driver they organised was waiting for us at the airport with orchid garlands! He drove us to the first hotel in Negombo , the Jetwing Lagoon. What a start to our holiday. This hotel could not be faulted in any way. After a long journey to relax and swim and then go for dinner was wonderful. The meal and the service were the tops.
The following morning our driver was waiting and off we went to Habarana, calling at the Pinnawela elephant orphanage en route. This was really worth the trip (and having the driver with us meant he knew the times to arrive to see the elephants go to the river etc). The scenery on the drive was just amazing, we were able to stop at any point.
We then proceeded onto Sigiriya rock fortress , climbing that to the top is a must, a hot and sticky walk but the views at the top are fantastic.
Then onto our second hotel the Chaaya village, a lovely hotel (not the treat of the first but it was friendly and served great cocktails!)
The next morning, again our driver was waiting for us with a clean and sparkling car. It was really interesting chatting with him as we drove around, finding out more about the Country. We drove to Kandy saw the temple of the tooth and the botanical garden. It is interesting that the Sri Lankan people enthuse about kandy and our driver would come here with his family on holiday, however the majority of Westerners we met (us included) thought it interesting but it wouldn’t be the top of our places to visit when you have such an amazing island to explore.
Our hotel that evening was the Jetwing St Andrews in Nuwareliya. The tea plantations are really interesting. The hotel was an interesting and rather surreal experience. Sherry by the fire, flower petals and hot water bottles in bed!
One of the highlights of our trip was then to drive to Yala to the Cinamon Wild hotel. The hotel is just fantastic. To sit by the pool with a cocktail whilst watching pelicans and water buffalo in the lagoon, then to be visited by wild boar was amazing. We went for a walk around the lagoon (during light hours) and watched crocodiles lazing on rocks and kingfishers darting around. Our room was in a jungle delux ‘hut’ monkeys leapt from the tress onto the roof and the fireflies put on an amazing display. The bar at the hotel was so attractive and people happily chatted about what they had discovered. The food again was faultless. The next day we were up before dawn to go on a jeep safari—saw lots of animals including leopards!
Our driver then drove us to the hotel that I had organised at Tangalle, the Turtle Bay (stunning place on a deserted beach) and we said our farewells.
We travelled on around Sri Lanka independently after that, but even at that stage I emailed Sarah for some help and advice and she emailed back within minutes.
Before the trip and even during I had contacted Sarah and the team to ask and check on all sorts of things and they always responded straight away with just the information needed. They also managed to secure some really good rates for us. I would not hesitate to recommend them to family and friends and would definitely use this company again, so thank you again for helping making this such a special trip.
Re: Sri Lanka Holiday Review
Review Received - 03/01/2014
Senses were very helpful in our holiday planning, making suggestions on places to stay and things to do, and accommodating our thoughts seamlessly. Follow-up was excellent too - we felt we were always in their minds!
Re: Your Holiday with Senses Holidays
Review Received - 18/11/2013
This holiday was completely different from anything we have done before seeing all the sites and going on tour was new to us -however our driver was very informative and made sure we enjoyed the whole trip.
I would particularly recommend the Ellerton Boutique Hotel near Kandy and The Heritance Kandalama Hotel, both were very relaxing and made us feel very welcomed. Swimming in an infinity pool in the warm rain with those views was new to us and is a great holiday memory.
The people were friendly, the politics were interesting and the country was gorgeous. The view from the top of Sigiriya was defiantly worth the effort! The driver took very good care of us and made us feel secure and safe, and kept us informed he added colour to our holiday!
Thank you and we would recommend you to all our friends.
The clients went to Sri Lanka in November 2013
Review Received - 18/11/2013
Thanks to everyone at Senses Holidays for helping us organise our dream wedding in Sri Lanka. We had an idea to get married somewhere on the beach on the west coast and the staff at Senses gave us lots of options and information on various venues so we could help make up our mind. We eventually choose the Heritance Ahungalla, about 45 minutes north of Galle, and the staff worked hard to act as a liaison between us and the hotel and answer our questions about the ceremony and other details. They even secured an excellent discounted rate for us and our guests to stay at the hotel.
The wedding itself was like a dream and we could not recommend Heritance Ahungalla highly enough. Senses even arranged for a local representative to be present to check that everything went to plan on the wedding day. The hotel is absolutely stunning and the staff couldn't be more helpful and accommodating. It was a ceremony of colour, vibrancy and an elephant - everyone who attended agreed it was the most memorable wedding they had been to. The food was amazing and we were treated to a private buffet, complete with ice sculpture, in our own private section of the grounds and it was followed by a cultural show and fireworks. It is a day that we shall cherish for the rest of our lives.
Thanks again to Senses for making everything so easy for our special day.
Review Received - 01/10/2013
Thanks once again for arranging our holiday, we are more than happy for you to use the following on your website or promotional material.
Senses holidays created our perfect itinerary to see the 'real' Sri Lanka. Our trip combined culture, scenery, nature together with relaxation at a beach resort to ensure that a family with teenage children (boys) were always kept busy. A knowledgable driver also provided commentary and history throughout the trip. Highlights included the people ( always friendly and welcoming), Yala National park, the food and Sagariya. We did have some early starts but this gave us the opportunity to see as much of the island as possible without feeling too rushed. Finally a two day stopover in Dubai allowed us to appreciate the cultural differences between the two destinations.
Review Received - 21/08/2013
I have just realised that I didn't reply to your last email. Thank you very much for your kind words, and my wife was overwhelmed by the holiday.
I want to thank you for providing us with a dream holiday, as does my wife. It was absolutely wonderful! The place and people were genuinely kind and caring, and the nature was just perfect. The island is a very intimate, relaxing place and we seemed to have the beach to ourselves for most of the time. The food was absolutely fantastic, so we did put on some weight, but the snorkelling helped keep it to a minimum.
I know that we will never be able to have another holiday as perfect as that one, and it is because of all of your work on our behalf, that this was possible.
Thank you so, so much!
Review Received - 20/08/2013
I'm sorry that is a late reply, things have been a bit hectic!
The holiday was absolutely fantastic, thank you so much! Sri Lanka was a an adventure, the variety of activities that you arranged was perfect and the guide, Bandara, was superb. He was very knowledgeable and very professional. The maldives was perfect. Thank you so much for your work behind the scenes in rectifying our hotel situation. You were right, the island was indeed very special, we had a fabulous 3 days there, we were very sad to leave.
All in all it was a great honeymoon and very well organised. Thank you for keeping it a secret from Erika as well! She was very surprised and happy. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend use 'sensesholidays' again in the future or recommend you guys to my friends.
Thank you so much for all of your help Nikk,
Review Received - 11/08/2013
The holiday was fabulous, thank you.
Our guide in Sri Lanka, Prasanna, was lovely. He became like an honourary member of our family. Anything extra we asked him, he would try his best to accommodate us. I gave him my guidebook at the end, and he was so pleased he asked us to all write in it, so that he would remember us. I can thoroughly recommend his service, (always with a smile!).
The hotels in Sri Lanka were wonderful, especially the Amara Hills in Kandy, and Green Paradise in Dambulla. The food was great overall, but the buffet at the Amara Hills deserves a special mention. Everything in Sri Lanka went without a hitch. It is a lovely country and the people are especially warm and friendly.
The Maldives were everything I expected, very beautiful, and very relaxing. The snorkelling was the best I’ve ever done, (and we’ve been to the Great Barrier Reef.) The variety of fish was simply stunning, and I even swam with reef sharks and rays, and all this only yards from the beach! The restaurant food was excellent, and the staff were very friendly. In conclusion, a wonderful, unforgettable holiday, for an excellent price. So, thank you, to yourself and all your colleagues that put this wonderful experience together.
Review Received - 11/05/2013
I just wanted to say a big thank you for organising our recent holiday to Sri Lanka and the Maldives. It was an absolutely fantastic experience and we were really pleased with all the arrangements you had made along with Golden Isle. All the hotels we stayed in were great. Jetwing Lagoon was stylish and had a huge room, the Green Paradise had such lovely staff and it was great we were on a dinner rate too, the best hotel and food we had was at the Cinnamon Citadel, and the views were stunning at Melheim. The Citrus Hikkaduwa was nice. I think there was a bit of confusion over the deluxe room there so we were put in a standard room for the first night and moved into a much better (and quieter) room the next morning. All the staff at each hotel were very nice.
And as for the Maldives upgrade. What a treat! We thought Fun Island would have been equally enjoyable but we had such a great time on Sun Island with snorkelling on the house reef and cycling around the island.
Our driver Sam was knowledgable and friendly and it was good to have a guide around some of the historic sights. Also great that all the entrance fees were already paid for that was a real help wiith our budget.
We felt like it was taking a bit of a chance booking with a small company but we're really pleased we did as all the arrangements were tailor made for us and your customer care has been fantastic. We would certainly look to you for future holidays and recommend Senses to friends for Sri Lanka holidays.
Review Received - 06/05/2013
My apologies for taking so long to feed back to you how happy we were with our holiday to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
We had a wonderful time and the hotels and food were excellent throughout. Our itinerary in Sri Lanka was hectic but excellent given that we had so few days available to cover such a large number of important sites. We really felt we had a good flavour of what Sri Lanka has to offer, for such a short stay. We all left wanting to come back and see more in future.
Our all in one driver, tour-guide and problem solver was brilliant and made our trip even more enjoyable. He was fantastic and incredibly hard working, despite the distances to travel and the heavy traffic encountered he got us to every site on time and with good humour. Our week in the Maldives was the perfect relaxation after the culture and excitement of Sri Lanka.
A wonderful holiday
Review Received - 14/11/2012
All of us here would like to thank you for organising such a brilliant trip for us in South Africa & Mauritius.
We are all having so much fun! The hotels you have booked for us is fantastic!
Once again thank you so much for our trip & will see you on our return.
Viju, Jyotsnaben and all.
Just to say a big thank you for the most amazing holiday ever.
I just cannot put it in words the experience we had - Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and the people are just amazing.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organising our holiday. Both families had a great time: we loved Sri Lanka, found the country beautiful and fascinating, the people charming and the hotels absolutely amazing.
Many thanks - I know our party caused a lot of hassle with changes etc and it was much appreciated.
Just back from our trip to Sri Lanka and I can't thank you enough for such excellent service and support. As you know we were five single girls looking for some time out and what we got was one of the best holidays any of us have been on, not easy for somewhere to impress us regular travellers!
Our guide Niro was fantastic his local knowledge, his English and his personality was so suited to ours we had such fun. He even inspired us to write a song about him which he loved. Sri Lanka is an amazing place my friends keep asking me for my 'highlight' and I say it was watching the elephants bath in the river… no it was the Tooth Temple in Kandy… no it was the jeep safari but in truth there was no one highlight but lots so many amazing experiences and the people were so friendly and we were treated like royalty in the Hotels. My favourite place to stay was the Chaaya Village in Habarana though the Milhiem in Nuwara Eliya was also beautiful.
I have already passed on your details to friends looking to go and have said they need to ask if they too can have Niro or 'super Niro' as he is know to us.
Again thank you, thank you we are hoping to return in 2013 so we can do the Kandy festival, Yala and oh so much still to see and do!!
Head of Fundraising - Surrey