The cost of our holiday to Sri Lanka


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The cost of accommodation in Sri Lanka

Cost is one of the major factors in our decision to not use a tour company for the whole period we are in Sri Lanka. One company's prices for a driver plus accommodation for the three weeks we will be there worked out to be $3900 USD (or $5400 AUD) which is way too expensive for us. Admittedly the accommodation selected would be very nice in a fancy hotel but that is not our scene. We prefer to stay at guest houses.

Because Ian loves trains so much we want to do a few trains rides at the start and end of our holiday so we are going to be quite independent for those days. However we want to visit the more central, historic/cultural parts of Sri Lanka and also the high country further south from there. We felt we could waste a lot of valuable time getting from place to place in the central areas trying to book taxis or independent drivers to cart us around all the various important places.

This is where Ample Tours come into the situation. They are willing to provide a driver who will "chauffeur" us around for several days in the middle part of our holiday. We will stay at our guest houses which we have already booked and the driver will sort out his own accommodation for each night. Some of the bigger hotels provide driver accommodation (for free maybe?) but the small guest houses are not able to do so. We will pay Ample Tours $10 USD per night which will pay for the driver's accommodation wherever he stays.

The drivers are very knowledgeable and speak English well so we will learn so much more than if we tried to do this part of the holiday independently.


ea country in central Sri LankaTea country in the central area of the island



So, what will we be paying for our accommodation in guest houses?

Apart from the Colombo accommodation, the average we will pay per night for our accommodation is $51 USD and that includes breakfast for two of us as well.

The accommodation in Colombo is dearer than the rest because it is more of a hotel set-up. It is a very central place which is what we need when we arrive into the country at midnight. Other folk who have stayed there say it is well worth it because of its location so hopefully we can see a lot of central Colombo on foot rather than having to get a tuk tuk driver or a taxi into town from an outlying guest house each day.


The places where we will stay in Sri Lanka

This is our accommodation starting from day one. I've put the Trip Advisor star rating alongside each place.

Colombo: Moss Colombo Hotel 4.5* for 4 nights. On the first night we won't arrive until the early hours of the morning.
Jaffna: Allen's Guest House 5* for 3 nights.
Anuradhapura: Sacred City Tourist Resort 4.5* for 1 night. I don't think this place is the resort that most of us would think of though.
Dambulla: Golden Rainbow Guest House 4.5* for 3 nights.
Kandy: Sweet Lanka Kandy 5* for 2 nights.
Nuwara Eliya: Heidi's Home 4.5* for 1 night.
Ella: Marvellous Inn 5* for 2 nights.
Galle: Lakmalee Home Stay 4.5* for 3 nights.
Colombo: Moss Colombo Hotel 4.5* for 2 night. The second night we will be staying at Moss until about 8 p.m. when we will head out to the airport. We are paying for the room but purely so we can have a rest in the afternoon and a shower before we head to the airport.

All of these places have fabulous reviews on Trip Advisor. The guest house owners are all highly recommended for their helpfulness and kindness apart from anything else.


We pay Ample Tours

Ample Tours emailed us our invoice. The total we owe them is $788 USD. This comprises the cost of the driver plus his accommodation cost each night ($667 USD) and the cost of our four train rides ($121 USD). Apparently there are problems in paying Ample Tours securely on their website at the moment so they have suggested other methods of payment.

We went to the bank on Monday and our payment to Ample Tours has now been sent by Telegraphic Transfer. It cost us $12 AUD to send the money which we felt wasn't too bad.

The very next day Ample Tours emailed me to say the full amount has not been received by them. They are $40 USD short. I'm now waiting for our bank to get back to me to explain the shortfall. No doubt some intermediary bank has taken out some charges for themselves but this really should have been explained to us in advance by our bank clerk. Ample Tours have kindly said not to worry about telegraphing the missing payment now. We can pay it to them upon arrival.

.... added later turns out it was not our bank that had taken the $40 USD but either Volksvagen Bank (an American bank is used here because we had to pay in USD) or Sampath Bank where the money was received in Sri Lanka. We are not very impressed.


Next page: ........ not yet written because it hasn't yet happened.