Reviews of Mervyn Perera, Driver and Guide in Sri Lanka

As you may have seen, we worked with Mervyn in Sri Lanka and became friends. Since that time, this website has helped his business and sometimes grateful customers of his send us reviews of his services.

Note: Although we worked with Mervyn in 2006, he is still working as a guide and driver as of 2013 and has recently expanded his services.

Mervyn can be reached by email: pereramervyn2005@yahoo.com

The reviews are below:

Trip to Sri Lanka - Rik en Sabine Cornelissen-Brouns, Belgium - summer of 2013

With this mail we want to inform you that we are very grateful to Mr. Mervyn Perera to adjust and organize our travelling scheme to the right proportions and for his proposals for the most beautiful hotels. So we came to the perfect balance between culture, nature, luxury/relaxation, excitement and experiences during our journey.

Also our special thanks to our driver Neill, who was a real compagnon and guide to explore the natural and cultural beauty and taste of Sri Lanka.

If we ever are able to come back, we hope to appeal to the services of Mervyn an Neill again and we will definitely recommend them to all candidate travelers to Sri Lanka.

Trip to Sri Lanka - Sue from Australia - fall of 2013

Firstly I will say that your organisation could not be faulted. Our holiday ran smoothly with no problems.

On the visit I learnt so much about your country and will consider another trip in the future as obviously we did not visit all the main places and there are places I would like to revisit with more time. I have been talking with at least 60 people so far saying both how good your organisation was and how enjoyable and enlightening was our trip in an effort to inspire others to visit Sri Lanka.

I will admit to having some doubts before I left on two issues and both were completely put to rest within the first hour of being in Sri Lanka.

I wondered about the standard of the accommodation given that we had chosen the lower level of hotels - but they were more than adequate - and better in many respects than the accommodation I normally pick.

The other concern was with having a driver that we had not had recommended to us from the start. But Salinda was an excellent representative of your company and Sri Lanka. His level of English and his world experience, meant that we were able to have good answers to any questions we raised. He was careful and considerate and I would recommend him to any person, who needed a driver and knowledgeable guide. He could not have taken greater care with our safety and enjoyment of the holiday.

Sampath was also a competent driver who took efforts to ensure that we enjoyed our holiday. He was very patient when we changed our mind and did not show the least bit of frustration with us. His politeness and good humour were excellent. He was an excellent driver.

Both men were ready at the time they said - we were never kept waiting.

I realise that we should have tried to do less or had more time for the trip.

I also wish we had been able to try more Sri Lankan food but when we had booked for dinner at each hotel I did not understand how limited the chances would be to try Sri Lankan food. That could be pointed out to people and maybe clients could be offered an option, where possible, for them to eat locally. I realise that brings more of a risk with health issues.

But be assure I will continue to encourage friends to visit Sri Lanka and also to use your services.

Regards, Sue

Trip to Sri Lanka - The Neyts family, Leuven, Belgium

We enjoyed very much our vacation in Sri Lanka that was perfectly organized by Mervyn Perera. The planning of our vacation together with Mervyn went very smoothly. To any of the many questions that we had, we received very rapidly feedback, often within hours (even on New Yearsday). Mervyn and driver Alex picked us up at Colombo airport. We then enjoyed a few hours of sleep and some pleasant time at the pool and beach in a very comfortable hotel in Negombo. The two week tour in Sri Lanka was truly amazing. A country with so many interesting aspects. The selection of hotels was price-quality wise excellent. Our driver Alex was a super-friendly and cheerful person with a very good knowledge of the different aspects of his country (cultural, nature, food, history, politics etc…). Here and there we wanted/had to make small changes to our plans, Alex was always very flexible. Most of all, he is a very safe driver, which is really important in the hectic traffic of Sri Lanka. Mervyn is apparently now working with 7 drivers, others informed us that also other the other drivers drive very safely. The Toyota-van was spacious, comfortable and clean (small minor point, no seatbelts for the passangers in our van). We can very much recommend a vacation/trip in Sri Lanka organized by Mervyn Perera.

Trip to Sri Lanka 17/05/2012 – 01/06/2012 Organised by Mervyn Perera in cooperation with Karin Österreich, sent August 3, 2012

Even though our flight was delayed we arrived save in Colombo, Sri Lanka where our guide Whimal was waiting for us. After loading the car with our stuff we began our trip to Kandy where we would stay the first nights. It took only a short period of time to get to know each other and feel that Whimal would become more than just our guide and more of a friend. With his experience and knowledge we had the possibility to get a deeper understanding of the country, the people and experienced things we would not have seen without him.

Before the trip Karin had a look on the different things we wanted to check out and with this information we contacted Mervyn Perera who organised Whimal with car (big enough to transport our boardbag), the different hotels and places to stay with breakfast and dinner, the best route and helped us with tips concerning our tour program. We only can say thumbs up for this marvellous organisation. All hotels were chosen well and different. And old English Mansion in Kandy with exceptional dinner, located a little bit of the track of Kandy´s main road and therefore quite. Close the Adam´s Peak a place with the charme of a climbing hostel perfectly suited if you want to climb the mountain.

Next stop Nuwara Eliya in a big, well equipped hotel with an open fire place in the room who provided us with a lunch box. Ella, which was our next stop over, had a hotel on the mountain with an amazing view from the room owned terrace. Close to Yale National park was the last hotel which provided a lot of rooms but was also quite and is equipped with Internet, AC and a good kitchen. Most of the time we were the only guests which made the stays very comfortable. The food was good everywhere, sometimes curry, sometimes more western style (chicken) with the possibility to pick. All staff was very nice and obliging. You really feel welcome. Whimal did choose good and cheap restaurants on the road and helped us with everything else; from changing money to picking the best fruit on the market. Also his driving was safe and we had the feeling of being in good hands.

All in all we can highly recommend choosing Mervin Perera with his knowledge and experience of choosing the right driver, hotels and tour program for you!

Yvonne M, sent July 22, 2012

We are an Austrian couple and were planning to go to Sri Lanka for our holidays. We found the details from Mr. Mervyn Perera from this page and contact him by mail as we needed a good, knowledgeable driver for our tour.

He was replying very fast to our mail and offered us a tour including all our wishes. He was very flexible and helpful in the planning period of our trip and gave us many good ideas how to do the tour in best way to see all the things we wanted to visit. He replied all our questions fast and friendly. So we booked 7 days round trip with Mervyn.

He picked us from Airport on time and we had a great time with him as he was our driver for the tour. He organised our tour perfect and found the best places to visit and stay for us. His perfect knowledge about the culture, nature and history of his country gave us a wonderful help to understand the things we see right.

His driving is perfect in the crazy Sri Lankan traffic and we were feeling 100% safe with him any time. Also he accepts all our wishes when we were changing our ideas about the things we like to do during the day.

Many thanks to Mervyn for the wonderful holidays!

We highly recommend a holiday to Sri Lanka with Mervyns best service.

Nitin P. sent June 6th 25th, 2012

We (my wife, son & I) visited Sri Lanka for 11 days recently. Our complete itinerary, car with a driver / guide & guest houses were organized by Mervyn Perera & his company. The program was well planned & efficiently executed. Our driver Sampath was knowledgeable, friendly & spoke good English.

We had a wonderful time. The country is very beautiful & people are friendly. Our driver Sampath has now become a friend. I have no hesitation in recommending Mervyn’s company to any family / travellers who are planning to visit Sri Lanka. All the best Mervyn!

Kind regards, Nitin

Katrina L. sent April 25th, 2012

I took a trip with Mervyn´s tours on 2nd April for 10 days. I had a wonderful time with Indike, one of Mervyn´s drivers who was kind, humble and hospitable and went to all ends of organising a fantastic tour with the help of Mervyn´s suggestions. I did mention to him that I was not the tourist and wanted to be treated like a local. That´s exactly what happened after day 3, when he got to know me and understood what I liked doing on a trip, which is not following all the white vans and cars full of tourists and going to places where they are just after your money so instead we went a little off road and discovered the local life, the fruits of Sri Lanka, the wonderful people (who are not after your money but are kind and hospitable and want to show you their country in the best light) and the plantations banana and pineapples and natural habitants with animals like elephants, beautiful birds and buffalos on the side of the road. The traffic in Sri Lanka is something else, tuk tuk, buses who are crazy and want to take over every car, forgetting the livelihood of the people on the bus but altogether had a great time, thanks Mervyn...

I recommend the knowledge and most of the time flexibility that Mervyn can offer and recommend his driver Indike in particular.

Danuta and Malgorzata, Krakow, Poland, sent February 12, 2012

We have just returned from 17-day trip around Sri Lanka, which Mervyn organised for us.

It was fantastic! Mervyn's excellent driver, Kapilar, could cover most difficult roads caring always about our safety and comfort. Together we did over 2000 km. In spite of the fact that we were "budget" travellers, the accommodation proposed by Mervyn was really great (2-3 star hotels and guest houses): clean, safe, comfortable and beautifully located.

I found Mervyn's address on a blog and wrote to him. His offer of organising our trip was much better and really cheaper than other local agencies in Sri Lanka. Of course I did not know if I was making a good choice, but I trusted him. And it was the best decision I made when planning our trip.

Mervyn is honest, modest and fully professional tour operator. He has very professional staff and never breaking cars !!! We sincerely recommend him to all travellers coming to Sri Lanka,

Danuta and Malgorzata, Krakow, Poland dglondys@yahoo.com

Sabine Fiala, Austria, sent October 10, 2011

I had a tour in Sri Lanka with my parents in September 2011. I did contact Mervyn for my tour request and he replied me very fast. At the begin my plan was to take the driver and car. Just I checked the hotel prices from Mervyn. I understood his prices are very reasonable. So I took complete service from him – transport and accommodation. He was waiting us in Sri Lanka Airport when our arrival. He was driving to us the complete 14 day of our tour. We had a flexible program with him and some points we had to change of our program because of my parents are old. Mervyn was accepting all our wishes, he never says “No” for anything. The hotels were very good than I thought that he arranged for us. All the hotels were very good with friendly staff and delicious foods. We heard some of guests talking during the dinner about their tour and about their drivers. We heard some are talking unhappy about their drivers. One couple from next door to our room and was talking with me about their driver that they found in internet for very cheap price. But they told me that was really unlucky, that driver has limits for everything than they paid. Then I told about our driver Mervyn and his price and how good is his service. Then they understood that was not the correct idea to choose such cheap price driver. Mervyn`s price is very reasonable, and his service is excellent and really more than valid to his price. He was caring about us very well. Also he has a very good knowledge about the history, nature, political and social situation in his country, it is unbelievable and very helpful for us. There was no question that he can’t reply. We didn’t have any difficulties during these 2 weeks. We really had an enjoyable tour with Mervyn. I highly recommend Mervyn as an excellent driver in Sri Lanka. His mail address is: pereramervyn2005@yahoo.com

Review below is from from Anne De Hauwere-Gets & Alain Goossens, Belgium

When we planned our trip to Sri lanka a few months ago, we saw your comments on internet about your driver Mr. Mervyn Pereira. These comments sound very good to us, so we decided to contact him and very soon we got a reply and we were so lucky that he was free on the dates we went to Sri Lanka. We stayed with Mervyn from July 31 till August 7, 2009.

We had a marvellous time, thanks to Mervyn. He brought us VERY SAFELY to all the high lights (the ancient cities, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Sigiryia etc etc) of this beautiful island. We have seen hundreds of elephants, met very nice Sri Lankan people and last but not least, Mervyn is a MAGICIAN !!! He could manage to get 2 of the best located seats to watch the Perahera in Kandy!!!!

Thank you Mervyn from the bottom of our heart! We plan to go back to Sri Lanka in 2011 or 2012 to visit the North & Eastern part of Sri Lanka, and no doubt we only want to do it with Mervyn. He is a gentle & nice human being, quiet and cool and always in a good mood and always ready to help and inform. We wish him all the best and hope he can visit us in Belgium.

If more information needed,do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards

The review below is from Walt and Mickey:

We must thank the American couple who posted Mervyn's information on the blog. We contacted Mervyn prior to our trip to Sri Lanka, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions. He was very professional, reliable, knowledgeable, and most of all extremely honest.

Both my husband and I have traveled over 40 countries, and we are always cautious about local tourism taking advantage of foreigners. We were hence still a little skeptical at the beginning, but everything Mervyn did just proved he is really honest and he was truly trying to help us and accommodate our interests in every way possible. When it comes to interactions with drivers and tour guides, we always ask a lot of questions about history, society, culture, politics, etc. Mervyn was very knowledgeable and pleasant to talk to. Fun, friendly, but not overly chatty.

We drove around several hours every day with him, and he was very pleasant company. We would recommend Mervyn for all the above reasons, and also because he is very serious about his job. He tries to improve his service by learning our experiences with each hotel, spa, sightseeing spots, etc. We didn't have enough time to see the Culture Triangle this time; however, when we go back, we would definitely book Mervyn again.

The review below is from Paul Jones

I am writing to express my thanks and gratitude for the excellent service I received by Mervyn Perera and his colleague Veejay.

When I planned my trip to Sri Lanka I found lots of information about the island from books and the internet. Whilst online I found contact details for Mervyn and sent an e-mail asking about the service he provided. I asked him to put together an itinerary of suitable sights and places to visit on the island and gave him the dates of when I would be visiting. Within a day he had respeonded to my e-mail with a full itinerary, a cost breakdown and gave me the option of staying in hotels or guest houses. I was really impressed with what I was offered and decided to book my Sri Lankan experience via e-mail. Between August 2009 and November 2009 I had several questions than I needed answering about my trip and Mervyn was only to happy to respond to all my e-mails. The service was truly superb.

On arrival in Sri Lanka I was rather concerned about what to expect. I was travelling alone and I only knew of Mervyn from the internet and by e-mail. Mervyn and Veejay was awaiting my arrival holding a name card at Colombo airport and I found them without any issues. We went straight to the car and they drove me to an airport hotel. At the hotel they paid for a drink for me and we sat down to chat about what we had planned and Mervyn wanted to make sure that I was happy with everything. He made it very clear that my itinerary could be changed at any time during my stay on the island. After this quick stop the adventure began.

My thanks also go to my driver Veejay, not only was he great with customer care and service his company was so nice to be in. Veejay advised me on places to visit and places to avoid. He gave me tips on what I should be paying for things and told me when I was being ripped off. During the week he treated me to local fruit from stalls along the way. Honest and very reliable Veejay was available throughout my week as and when I needed him to drive.

My accommodation was excellent throughout. I was booked on a half board basis and the food was divine at each and every stop... better than most places I have eaten at!

Half way through the tour I decided I wanted to spend the night in a different town and changed my itinerary slightly, and true to his work it was done without a problem.

At the end of the week Mervyn met me at the airport and again took me to the same hotel for a drink. We sat down, chatted about the tour and he wanted to make sure that everything went okay for me, he even asked if there was something he could do that would have made it better! I couldn't find fault with anything!

I can honestly say that the service provided was 5 star plus! I would recommend Mervyn and Veejay to anyone and can honestly say that whoever uses the service they will be impressed and come away from Sri Lanka feeling that they have seen the best bits of a beautiful island.

The review below is from Jane and Bill Stymest

When planning our trip to Sri Lanka in November 2011, I came across your website and noted the name and e-mail of Mervyn Perera. We were looking for a driver and it was good to find one so well recommended. The recommendations were well justified. I began e-mailing Mervyn in November for our forthcoming trip in February 2012 hoping we could book him for our driver. Unfortunately, at that time, he had another tour booked but said he could place us with a very reliable driver, Alex. We agreed and various e-mails went back and forth with regard to ideas for the tour, suggested stopover times, anticipated temperatures in the hill country etc. Mervyn always came straight back with helpful suggestions and he played an integral part in helping us plan our holiday.

We arrived in Sri Lanka and stayed the first night in Negombo and how delighted we were when Mervyn arrived to pick us up. Apparently, he had been able to reschedule tours and was able to fit us in for our seven days aqfter all. We had independently booked hotels in Sigyria and Ella but had asked Mervyn to recommend a hotel in Kandy as well as our final destination on the South Coast. Retrospectively, I wished I had asked him to book all the hotels as his choices were definitely better (and cheaper) than the two we booked. During our e-mail exchange I had asked him whether he would recommend Unawatuna or Tangalle for our "rest up" by the sea and I am so delighted we took his advice. He informed us that Unawatuna had many tourists but could book us into a cabana on a quiet beach in Tangalle. It was a beautiful beach. We could walk out of our cabana, onto the beach and then walk 20 minutes in either direction along the beach without meeting another tourist. We could also wake up in the morning and wander down to the beach to watch local fishermen hauling in their catch from the shore, or small groups of children walking to school, using the beach as a shortcut.

On arrival at Tangalle, we had originally planned to say goodby to Mervyn but a final discussion where I was seeking his advice about journey time between Tangalle and our last two night stopover in Bentotal, made us realise we had made a rather silly mistake on journey expectation time between Bentota and the airport. Mervyn told us we would, in fact, have to leave our hotel around 4.30 a.m. and anticipate a 4-5 hour drive to the airport, allowing extra time to travel through Colombo during rush hour. It seemed hardly worthwhile stopping over at Bentota for two nights. As a solution, Mervyn suggested we could stay another night at Tangalle (which really appealed) and he would drive back down for us in five days time (a 7-8 hour drive for him) arriving the night before we left and we could then use the following day to tour the coast road, stopping off at Galle and any other place of interest on route. He would then book a hotel for us in Negombo and return the next morning to take us to the airport at 7.30 a.m. This seemed much more sensible and would also save us some money as independent taxis would have been more than the rate Mervyn offered.

As a person, Mervyn is quiet, very courteous, extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. As a driver, he is outstanding. In a country, where the majority of drivers (especially of local buses and three wheelers) have a death wish, I never felt unsafe with him and I don't think my right foot pressed an imaginary brake pedal once during the many, many miles we travelled with him. At various tourist sites, he had his own favourite guides and would phone ahead so they would be waiting for us. They cost very little and their knowledge and English was excellent. We climbed Sigiyria rock following heavy rain and the steps were like a waterfall. Our young guide insisted on carrying my backpack all the way and looked out for my safety.

So.......... if there are people out there looking for a driver, my husband and I can thoroughly recommend Mervyn and are happy for my e-mail to be passed on if others want more information.

Kind Regards,
Jane and Bill Stymest

The review below is from Phil Brennan, who has worked with Mervyn multiple times:

I am a developer in Ireland and I have several projects that are ongoing in Sri Lanka. Since the tsunami of 2004, I have visited Sri Lanka on six occasions. Central to my work is the need to have a guide and driver on the ground in Sri Lanka that will bring me to the seven orphanages that I have helped to construct over the past six years.

I do not visit Sri Lanka without having Mervyn Perera as my guide and driver. The most important attribute that I admire and rely on in Mervyn is his honesty. I trust him 100% and rely on his judgement when it comes to accomodation, exchanging currency and providing me with a Sri Lankan sim when it comes to my mobile phone. I have found in the past that it is difficult to find people that you can trust and rely on. Mervyn is conscientious, hard working, reliable and genuine to the core. He is also very easy to get on with and invaluable when it comes to translating. He fulfills so many different roles and I have yet to bring out someone from Ireland who has not been deeply impressed with Mervyn. I consider Mervyn to be more than just a guide and a driver. He is a man of principle and values.

I wish Mervyn all the success that I'm sure he'll have and know that I will avail of his services every time I visit Sri Lanka.

Yours Sincerely,

Phil Brennan

You can see a photos of Mervyn here. He can be reached at: pereramervyn2005@yahoo.com.