We were ‘first timers’ both with Riviera and to Sri Lanka and I am delighted to say that both far exceeded our expectations. With 34 in a touring party it is no mean feat to keep everything running smoothly but our tour manager Frances and local guide Tikka managed to do so with great humour and skill in making it all so relaxed and enjoyable displaying great knowledge and experience.
The country itself is fabulous with huge contrasts and the tour was very well designed to ensure that we saw the extremes whilst at the same time being able to enjoy the experience. Hotels were also superb and well chosen with food choices to suit all tastes.
We will definitely use Riviera again and would be only too pleased to have Frances as our tour manager - a real credit to the organisation.
Review by: Douglas Young on 11/03/2019
Had a wonderful time in Sri Lanka, exceeded our expectations. Also enjoyed a river trip organised by the hotel in Kandy and a beach walk organised by the hotel in Galle.
Cannot praise Judy, our Tour Manager, highly enough. She was incredibly efficient, friendly and great fun. Bernard, the local guide, our driver and his assistant were also wonderful. Jaya, the driver's assistant will remain in our memories for a long time with his beautiful smile and infectious laugh. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and the Sri Lankans are lovely people.
Review by: Fran and Neil Redman on 27/02/2019
This was a fantastic holiday, and far exceeded our expectations. Judy our Tour Manager was exceptional, incredibly efficient and organised and great fun. We were also really lucky with our local guide, Bernard, and our driver and assistant. All of them were so happy and welcoming. Sri Lanka is the most beautiful place and the Sri Lankans are amazing. One of the best holidays we have been on, tons to do and see and so much to learn. Can also recommend some of the small trips available from the hotels during free time. We had a lovely hour on the river spotting wildlife in Kandy and a great beach walk in Galle looking at the amazing variety of life there. I would really recommend this trip, it is amazing
Review by: Frances and Neil Redman on 27/02/2019
I have just returned from a 12 day holiday to Sri Lanka with Riviera (first time to Sri Lanka and first time with Riviera) I would like to say what a fantastic time I had, there were 36 in our group and we all got on so well that we are all in contact after the holiday. The tour rep Sylvia was so lovely, helpful, friendly and fun. The holiday was amazing, every day was different, exciting and so interesting. Would certainly recommend Riviera (and Sylvia) ❤
Review by: Paula Hardisty on 25/01/2019
What a wonderful country Sri Lanka is. Having just returned we were overwhelmed by the welcome of the people and warm smiles wherever we went. The trip was enhanced by the Tour manager Frances who was everything a tour manger should be. She was informative, welcoming, funny and a delight to be on holiday with. Due to her work in the background everything ran like clockwork and the itinerary was ideal. Yes, there were early starts but to get to key sites before the crowds and the heat of the day it was well worth it. The local guide "Mr Tika" was brilliant and along with Frances there were regular outburst of hilarity on the bus. His knowledge is amazing and enhanced everything we did.
The hotels are all of a high standard and welcome you as if you are a regular visitor. Highlights are many, but the climb up Lion Rock, the elephant orphanage and the simplicity of the turtle hatchery are memorable. We were very very lucky to see a tusker elephant near the orphanage only to be topped by a close encounter with a leopard and the marvellous sight of a family of elephants having afternoon tea in Yala National Park.
It was a wonderful trip in a wonderful country.
Review by: David and Sue Bundy on 16/01/2019
We have just returned from an amazing holiday in Sri Lanka this is the first time we have travelled with Riviera and will certainly travel again.
Our guide Frances ensured the trip went smoothly and entertained us with her stories.
We can not praise our local guide Lathif enough his knowledge and passion for his country was outstanding.
We could not pick out our favorite part as each and every day was an fabulous adventure.
Review by: Robert and Caroline Nice on 04/06/2018
This was our first trip to a Far Eastern destination and we couldn't have chosen a better place to start. The exotic sights, sounds and perfumes of this beautiful, fascinating and surprising island overwhelmed us, and several weeks after returning home, are still with us.
March 26th to April 6th was a perfect time to travel, sunny and very warm, but humid, every day, and thundery rain only during a couple of nights.
The hotels were excellent, some in gorgeous locations - all rooms and beds very comfortable. The food was delicious, colourful and varied, the people absolutely charming and friendly.
Adrian our Riviera tour manager and guide Lathif from Walkers Tours were a great team, well-organised and informative, with many interesting and amusing stories to tell about Sri Lanka and its culture which greatly enhanced our experience.
The only slight disappointment was not being able to swim in the sea from the hotel beaches due to strong currents, but it was a simple matter to hire a tuk-tuk to a safe beach.
I feel we had a good overview of the country and its people and culture, and have pinpointed places we would like to return to one day.
Thank you to all.
Review by: Marianne Wilson on 26/03/2018
This is our seventh Riviera tour,and we loved it!.Lathif and Adrian were our guides and are two of the best we have had with Riviera.The Jetwing hotels chosen were magnificent,and the food is some of the best we have had on a holiday.The Sri Lankan people are the friendliest we have ever met,and the hotel staff cannot do enough for you.The excursions were a delight,and we know we will return to Sri Lanka,and go on some of the more exotic Riviera tours,as this is the farthest east we have been so far.Cannot recommend this tour highly enough,all our party of thirty -seven loved it.
Review by: Wendy and Andy Cheek on 26/03/2018
Having toured with Riviera on two previous occasions, the tour had a lot to live up to. It did not disappoint. The choice of hotels was first class although, with such an action-packed 11 days or so, it was difficult not to find oneself living out of the suitcase. Our local guide, Lathif, was excellent and the tour manager, Francesca, kept us in order without at any time being over-bearing. Our time in Sri Lanka will live long in the memory - wonderful weather, lovely people and beautiful island. We may well seek some more in the future!
Review by: Christopher and Judith Scotcher on 29/01/2018
As a regular Riviera traveller, I just want to say that the Sri Lanka tour ranks among the very best we have been on.
The composition of the tour was very well balanced, with a large variety of sights and experiences designed to break the coach journeys into manageable periods. The optional excursions were delightful in providing additional insight into the local culture, and I would thoroughly recommend them.
The tour manager, Sheila, was highly professional, well organised and very attentive to her clients needs, as well as being great fun!
Our local guide, Lathif, was brilliant too. A great double act!
Combine all this with a beautiful country, lovely hotels and food presented to a very high standard and it is a formula that is hard to beat.
Review by: Barbara Hiscutt on 14/02/2018
We returned from our trip to Sri Lanka on Monday. This was our second Rivera tour (previously Vietnam and Cambodia) and
I just want to say how much we enjoyed the tour. Sri Lanka is a beautiful interesting island and the tour included the high spots
and used lovely hotels, The UK tour guide, Shelia was excellent and kept us safe and ensured everything ran like clockwork.
Also the local guide, Latefi was the best guide we have ever had. He worked tirelessly to keep us informed about the tour and
Review by: David Shoult on 14/02/2018
Just to give you some feedback from our recent holiday. You used the company Walkers
tours and they had a local guide called Lathif who was absolutely brilliant and so full of
knowledge. He could answer any question about the places we visited as well as many
other questions that our group asked from culture to religion.
Well we have to say how fantastic the holiday was with everything precisely as it was
described, the hotels were all great, as was the food which I was a bit worried about
as don't like things too spicy but I could always find something I could eat.
The tour manager you used was Sheila. We have been on many many tours over
the past 25 years and have never had someone so professional and really good at her job.
Everything ran smoothly and the attention to detail was brilliant. She went the extra mile
and she was a very good representative on behalf of your company. A company is only
as good as its staff and you certainly had no worries there!! Because of this we
will definately be using Riviera travel again as it shows that you choose good reps to work
Review by: Alison and Dave James on 14/02/2018
This is a note of thanks and appreciation of our tour manager Francesca, guide Latif, driver Chamith and helper Danusk on our Sri Lanka holiday. I travelled with a friend, Lesley, and we were, as always, so impressed by the friendly, ever-helpful,informative, amusing and entertaining guides and helpers. The beautiful country speaks for itself with its wealth of ancient, religious and natural treasures, and the Riviera personnel are the icing on the cake.
Review by: Elisabeth Lonsdale on 29/01/2018
Our Sri Lankan holiday was a great experience and we can only speak highly of our tour manager, Adrian. We had complete confidence in him. He knew his subject well and we really appreciated his wonderful sense of humour Our local guide, Mr Tikka was excellent and very knowledgable We always enjoy our Riviera holidays
Review by: Mrs Pauline Goudie on 13/11/2017
We recently returned from Sri Lanka, and would like to say that the tour far exceeded our expectations.
Not only wonderful scenery, lovely people, excellent hotels and your tour guide Caroline, together with the local guide Ravi, went out of their way to make everything special.
Caroline also arranged to forward on a special birthday bottle of perfume which was left behind at one hotel.
A real treat, highly recommended, and will certainly use Riviera again.
Review by: Geoff & Sandy Sharp on 17/04/2017
We have just returned from our wonderful trip to Sri Lanka and once again Riviera have delivered a great experience. Caroline our tour manager and Ravi the local guide were excellent great balance of professionalism and friendliness at all times. All the hotels were fabulous, there is a delicious mixture of local and western foods on the buffet. Sri Lanka is a beautiful lush country, the people are friendly and welcoming, well worth a visit, especially if you want a more relaxing pace, compared to other riviera trips.
Review by: Tracy Bonavia on 17/04/2017
Hi, I have already left reviews on your Facebook page but wanted to contact you direct to say what a fantastic time myself and my friend, Miss T Cooper, had on your Sri Lanka tour in March. It was our first real tour and we weren't sure what to expect. We were the youngest in the group but the fitness level of everyone was very good. The excursions were very suitable and an option was given if it was too challenging. The thought, planning and organisation that has gone into the tour was evident. The tours were varied, relaxed and we also had enough free time. Adrian was second to none and his tips and advice were invaluable. One thing that we might have considered was the option at the end for a few days exploring the North of the island. But as I say, I am converted to guided tours now and hopefully we will be looking at your 2018 tours.
Thank you again and well done Riviera.
Review by: Denise Gill on 07/03/2017
Just back from the best holiday ever.
Caroline was a wonderful tour organiser. Calm, friendly and superbly organised. Nothing was a trouble and any tiny difficulties where resolved with good humour and expediency.
Sri Lanka was a magical place with a huge variety of interest from temples, to playing elephants, a rock climb, general culture, and beaches, not to mention glorious scenery and much needed monsoon rain.
The company was excellent, and we were a very happy group, enjoying everyone's company from start to finish.
Food and accommodation were just right for each location, and many of us enjoyed a variety of Ayurvedic spa treatments.
The Sri Lankans are beautiful people, and we were unfailingly treated with great warmth and kindness.
I shall be recommending this trip to all my friends.
Very many thanks, and I look forward to the next trips with Riviera travel.
Review by: Joan Sinanan on 16/01/2017
A brilliant tour that we would definitely recommend if anyone is looking for a holiday with a good itinerary followed by a beach stay at the end.
All hotels were of high standard and the food was excellant and a wide variety of choice.
Our superb tour guide Janet organised us throughout with great humour and has the ability to remain calm and professional at all times whilst taking care of everyone.
Kamal was our Sri Lankan tour guide and very knowledgable and always happy to help with information.
We had an excellent bus driver throughout with our lovely young helper who always had a smile for us .
Wonderful way to experience Sri Lanka with a Safari ( option of 2nd safari ) , historical places , tea picking , visits to traditional Sri Lanka houses by Ox & Cart & wooden catamaran , which was great fun and learnt how Sri Lankan's re- use every part of a coconut & how to make cinnamon sticks .
The monitor lizards just wander everywhere, elephants in their natural habitat, lots of bats, monkeys to greet you in the morning, & a surreal moment at the hotel in Yala whilst swimming in the pool, a family of wild boar were wandering around !! Lastly a wonderful moment at Yala National Park of a Sloth Bear taking a morning stroll (very rare to see these bears) totally oblivious to all the jeeps lined up & cameras going off!! If anyone is considering booking this, you will not be disappointed and the relaxing days by the beach is a nice way to finish the tour.
Review by: Robert & Tracey on 24/10/2016
We have just returned from your excellent Sri Lanka holiday. We were impressed by the warmth of the welcome wherever we went, the variety of the locations we were shown and the expertise of both the tour manager and the local guide. In fact the local guide gave us information over and above expectations and is an absolute gem. We now know what seems like everything about Bhuddism, history, geography, the people, the wildlife, cookery, cricket and much more. We now look forward to choosing our next Riviera holiday.
Travelled on 08/03/2011
Review by: Alan & Caroline Quirk on 24/03/2011
Recently returned from the tour of Sri Lanka, having had an absolutely wonderful time, with a group of people all very similar in age and outlook; an efficient, professional and friendly tour manager who dealt with all the little, but important aspects, so that we could get on and enjoy ourselves; a knowledgable, expert and happy tour guide who added lots of personal experience to his brief, and for whom nothing was too much trouble; and an itinerary that was both comprehensive, interesting and variable. This was our first tour of this nature (we have always “done our own thing” in the past), but it won’t be the last. The “Riviera” experience is just second to none. Bring on the next one.
Travelled on 30/01/2012
Review by: Mr & Mrs Drake, Camberley on 21/02/2016
Our Sri Lanka holiday was even more than we had hoped, from the start of the holiday, just fantastic. Hotels, amazing scenery, lovely people. Our brilliant tour manager Anne and Kamal our Sri Lankan guide, not to mention our brilliant coach driver and bus boy. A holiday to remember.
Review by: Bronwen and John Verrico on 22/02/2016
Writing this testimony whilst relaxing by the pool at the Jetwing Lighthouse hotel in Galle. What a great end to a fantastic tour of Sri Lanka. All hotels are very good in their own way, but to finish with three days of relaxation in Galle is excellent. The tour combines a variety of what Sri Lanka has to offer; culture, wildlife and religion. The tour manager, Franca supported by local guides Rohan and Roy ensure the holiday is smooth- early (minor) issues were resolved to the credit of Riviera. The weather has been excellent and the food varied enough for all tastes. As with previous trips with Riviera, our fellow travellers were like minded folk with an appetite for travel which Riviera satisfy with safety and comfort. Would recommend The Sri Lankan tour.
Review by: Alan and Marion Holbrook on 18/03/2016
My sister and I have just returned from above. It was excellent in every way.
Jan, the tour manager was helpful friendly and professional.
On the return journey home we saved our final goodbyes and thank you till Luggage collection as, on previous tours, we’ve found that we when you’ve said our farewells on arriving at the departure airport we keep bumping into said person again.
However, on this occasion we misjudged. We saw Jan on the other side of luggage carousel and went over only to find we had just missed her. We dashed through after her but no sign.
We were really disappointed and upset that we hadn’t shown our appreciation to her. It certainly taught us a lesson that our ” goodbyes and thank you” should be done earlier.
Please would you be so kind to forward these comments to her. We don’t have her email address.
Thank you very much
Review by: Jean Raza on 31/03/2016
We have just returned from our first tour with Riviera Travel and have had a fantastic holiday.
Caroline, our Tour Manager, was excellent, nothing was too much trouble for her, all done in a very caring way, she really wanted us all to enjoy our holiday.
Ravi, our Guide, was also excellent, there was nothing he didn’t seem to know, there seemed to be no limit to his knowledge. Caroline and Ravi were a great team.
Everyone on the tour was very friendly which really made our holiday so much more enjoyable.
Sri-Lanka is a beautiful country and the tour has been put together to include their culture, beautiful scenery and just enough down time to relax.
We will certainly be travelling with Riviera Travel again.
Many thanks again to Caroline and Ravi
Review by: Sarah & Richard Heward on 05/04/2016
Wholeheartedly recommend this tour – it was interesting, informative, relaxing, enjoyable, “an eye opener”, wonderful hotels and great value for the money. Particular thanks to Caroline our Tour Leader and Ravi our Sri Lankan guide – they were professional, very hard working, approachable, charming and tolerant! Our driver and helper were very good. I expected a poor country with lots of deprivation, poor roads and dodgy hotels. We actually saw a beautiful country, with perfectly permissible roads, top quality hotels and people that were always charming, smiling and willing to go the extra mile. The whole trip was a highlight – every day there was something good to see and there was a very good mix of time on the bus, time at the sites and time for ourselves. I came back with a lovely tan! All the hotels were excellent – the one at Yala was superb and I could have stayed there for a fortnight. Lion Rock was well worth a visit – it is not scary – ignore Trip Advisor reviews on it! The caves, the tea plantations, the safari, the temples were all great places to visit. Another bonus for us was that our fellow “tourists” (36) were lovely people – interesting and very friendly. We even met a lovely couple who live just yards away from my birthplace – well someone has to live in Tamworth! It was a great tour and we are already getting organised to use Riviera to visit Japan in 2017.
Review by: Barry Wardle on 15/04/2016
We have travelled with Riviera many times, and this tour was wonderful. It again proves that Riviera offer exceptional value and an excellent itinerary. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country and we saw so much, from the cultural sites, to the tea plantations, the wildlife, and the Indian Ocean. Our tour manager Adrian ensured that everything ran smoothly and our local guide Tikka was a mine of information on the places we visited and the flora and fauna of the country. We look forward to planning our next trip with Riviera!
Review by: Alison and John Pope on 03/05/2016
Remarkable wildlife & birds at Yala
Incredible sunsets at Galle
Leopards x 3
Amazing people & culture
No issues with food or hotels
Knowledgeable guides Adrian & Tikka
Add this to your list you won’t be disappointed
Review by: Robbie & Audrey Leask on 07/05/2016
Just a quick note to leave positive feedback for our recent tour of Sri Lanka. Firstly our tour manager Adrian was excellent and made our holiday highly enjoyable. He is a consummate professional and a credit to your company. Tikka our guide was also exceptional and highly knowledgable.
The places we visited were out of this world and the accommodation first class.
Thank you Riviera for a wonderful holiday.
Review by: Andy and Sandra Briggs on 03/06/2016