A wonderfully comfortable hotel

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Accommodation

Location

Date of travel

January, 2022

Product name

Trinco Blu by Cinnamon

Product country

Sri Lanka

Product city

Trincomalee

Travelled with

Couple

Reasons for trip

Culture/Sightseeing

When we last visited Sri Lanka in 2007, the civil war was raging, and the north east corner of the country was off limits to tourists. So on revisiting in 2022, we included the port city of Trincomalee on our itinerary, hoping for some beach time during the middle of our month-long tour. We chose to stay at Trinco Blu, part of the chain, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts.

It wasn’t the best of arrivals, as after the provision of cold flannels and welcome drink, we were left for an inordinately long time in reception. However, on being shown to our room, 318, things looked up.

We’d splurged on the best of the three types of room, a beach chalet, although it was two story. As we were on the ground floor, our patio doors opened up onto a private terrace right on the beach. We were spoilt for choice with white wooden chairs, a large fixed double day bed with comfortable cushion and loungers which we could move in and out of the sun as necessary. An outside tap ensured that we didn’t bring too much sand into the room.

The colour theme, as indicated by the hotel name, was blue and white. The spacious room had a comfortable double bed, with a striking triangular shaped mosaic in blue, white and silver above, English sockets by the bedside for phones and great reading lights. There were two really comfortable arm chairs for reading or watching TV, and the room was just really well equipped with two stands for suitcases, a long shelf and rattan chair, an empty fridge, easy to use safe at a good height and ironing board. There were also tea and coffee making facilities and two small bottles of complimentary water provided daily. A large bowl of fruit kept us going over our five nights. We asked if the life jackets in our wardrobe were for hotel-arranged boat excursions and were told it was in the case of a tsunami (we wished we hadn’t asked).

The bathroom was spacious, with a lovely large walk-in shower with good pressure and plenty of hot water, basin and space for toiletries. There was also a decent hairdryer and mirror combination. The freebie toiletries, and other signs all were quirkily named. For example, soap was ‘refreshingly clean’, shampoo ‘head candy’ whilst the do not disturb/clean my room sign said, ‘hush please’ or ‘it’s a mess in here’.

The Olympic size pool was fabulous and never busy and there was a small, square kiddies pool. As well as loungers around the pool, they were also scattered on the grass area between the pool and beach.

The laundry service was good value at 175 Rupees or 60p, for a beautifully clean and folder shirt, but there was also a rail on the balcony, which was helpful for drying hand washing and swimsuits.

The seating area of the restaurant was open sided, but with netting all the way around it to keep out birds and the stray dogs that roam the hotel and beach. Both breakfast and dinner were buffet style, with the food being displayed in an enclosed area, which due to Covid, had separate entrances and exits. Masks and plastic gloves for handling the utensils were required, which gave new meaning to the term ‘dressing for dinner’.

Dinner 7.30pm to 10pm also had two live cooking stations: one with pasta and another with Sri Lankan food which I loved. The selection was extensive and during our stay, we tried lots of international and local dishes. ‘Jug water’ was provided ad lib, and the reasonably priced wine was well husbanded by staff.

Breakfast (7am to 10pm) had a similarly extensive selection of everything you could want. Once again, my favourite was the Sri Lankan home cooking station where two middle aged ladies rustled up hoppers, dosas and introduced me to lots of other street food items and some fiercely hot sambals and chutneys. Coffee and tea were brought to the table, and by the end of our stay, we’d managed to get green tea in a large pot, strained with lime wedges.

The tide never went in or out far and we were able to walk extensively, in both directions.

Turning left, took us up to a small inlet with lots of fishing boats, and as we continued around the inlet we were approached by a man telling us about the trips he could offer. However, this was the only part of the beach where we met hawkers. If we turned right, there was a much longer walk and the beach bars and cafes, that had existed pre covid were no longer there or open. The same situation existed with the few outlets at the hotel’s main entrance, and as we were a captive audience, we were pleased with our half board package.

For me, what made this hotel very special, was the fishermen on the beach. After a boat had taken out a huge net, around 20 fishermen in two lines, many yards apart on the beach, hauled it in. Their rhythm and strength was incredible as they worked in complete unison as they pulled the rope attached to a cord around their waist. As they inched backwards and reached the edge of the sand, they unhooked themselves and went to the front. The fish was then sorted by type and size, put in wicker baskets, washed in the sea and then taken away. We chatted to a local who had come to buy fish and remarking on his large full plastic bag, he told us he was using it as bait to catch larger fish like barracuda. At first, this occurrence happened a couple of times a day, and then
as we saw that their catches dwindled, it became less frequent.

This was not a fancy or glitzy hotel, but we loved it especially as it was very quiet.

Helen Jackson

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