Reviews of Hotels and Guest houses

09 Apr 2016

After spending a week travelling around Sri Lanka we were fortunate enough to be able to stay at Shalini Villa for 10 nights. And they were the most fantastic 10 nights!

We felt like royalty in tropical surroundings, the villa is stunning and the staff are absolutely brilliant. Kamindika made sure we had everything we needed, (including a regular supply of beer for the boys) kept the place spotless and even arranged currency exchange and tuktuks for us every time we went out anywhere. Tilak cooked us the most amazing food, some of the best we've ever had, and he even taught us how to make some of the dishes. Every morning he would ask what we would like to have for lunch and dinner and then go off into the village to buy all of the local fresh ingredients.

The garden and pool are superb, we spent the majority of our time in and around the garden watching all the amazing wildlife popping by for a visit. For any ornithologists, the bird life is fantastic, we were able to sit on the verandah watching flycatchers, kingfishers, woodpeckers, bulbuls and all sorts of other birds dropping by for a dip in the pool. Not to mention the monkeys, mongoose and monitor lizard that all pop in throughout the day. 5pm was our favourite time, this was when the garden really came to life so no matter what we were doing we always made sure we were back in time to see the spectacle!

If I were to sum it up in just one word - magical. Don't hesitate to book this place, but please leave a space in the diary so we can go back!

Thank you to Alison for letting us stay, and for making the booking process so easy and answering all of our questions so promptly. We can't wait to return.

10 Apr 2016

My fiancee and I stayed at Thaproban Beach House for 4 nights in March 2016. It is a lovely hotel - really welcoming and helpful staff, our sea view room was lovely, and the food in the restaurant was absolutely great - would definitely recommend staying here and order the typical 'rice and curry' dish on the menu - you won't be disappointed.

Room Tip: sea view room - great view
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10 Apr 2016

We stayed here for 5 nights in March and thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Flower Garden. The rooms were cleaned thoroughly every day and the staff were very friendly and attentive nothing was to much trouble, thank you to Sassie for arranging our transport and being patient with our booking confusion. Would definitely recommend if staying in Unawatuna.

10 Apr 2016

This was the best place on our 2 week tour of Sri Lanka. Excellent food, wonderful staff, brilliant location, peaceful, quiet - heaven on earth. Right on the beach, rooms were fabulous. Can't wait to come back again.

10 Apr 2016

As long as you're not going into this expecting "western" style levels of luxury, you will not be disappointed.

You will, however, be entranced from the first moment you glimpse the island from the road. It's an amazing experience to walk through the door marked "Taprobane Island (Private)" and get used to the fact that you are currently (temporarily) in possession of your very own private island.

The staff were fantastic and went out of their way to make our experience magical, and the food was consistently spectacular (go for the Sri Lankan options - if you order western style food in Sri Lanka and find it disappointing, that's your own fault).

There is no air conditioning, but it wouldn't work anyway, as the buildings are all quite open to the sea breezes. The sound of the waves crashing against the rocks is soothing (and to be expected - you're on a small island after all).

The beach is fine to swim in if you want to be gawked at by locals, but why would you want to when you have your own infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean?

You will get wet walking to and from the island through the surf. If you don't want to brave it the local fisherman will ferry you back and forth for a fairly extortionate fee, but it's just kind of all part of the fun.

Great open communal areas to play cards with the family, plenty of island to explore - still regretting we didn't quite get around to playing hide & seek.

10 Apr 2016

Tucked away within the busy city of Colombo this little boutique hotel was great as a taster of Sri Lankan life, cuisine and friendliness. The rooms were large although one had a bad odour which I suspect was plumbing issues. The breakfast was a treat of unusual fruits, eggs and fresh yogurt.
They had a small pool which was fine for the kids. Overall a decent little place for one or nights.

11 Apr 2016

Big, clean room with air condition and big nice and fully equipped bathroom. Bads to high. Unfortunatelly, it is noisy from the morning till the late night from reception, restaurant or street (ear plugs do not helped). Unquestionsable adventage is the air condition and location in the middle of the bay on the beautiful, sundy beach. At night it there are lights from beach restaurant and torps. You may stay in decks till midnight atching the stars. Good one night. Recommend to walk on city and jungle beach and another behind. Poor breakfast.

Room Tip: take one with seaview
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11 Apr 2016

very nice room for a family. we had two bungalows, that was two big rooms with good beds and nice bathroom (Jacuzzi).
AC wasn't working as it should be, and no wifi in the bungalows.
but a lot of trees and flowers. it was quiet, as i said.

Room Tip: bungalows are quiet
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11 Apr 2016

This is ideal if you want to do nothing but learning to surf, the beach break is ideal for beginners and right in front of the hotel, your view though is a huge Marriott hotel flat under construction next doors. On the grounds of the hotel it all looks nice and the managers are kind people service minded. However overall unfortunately below our expectations. The room we got was without AC which is unbearable at night since there's no airflow whatsoever, only option is to upgrade for extra money to room with AC. Mattress was easily to say horribly thin and bed made cracking noise at each tiny movement one makes. The food was fine but I've had way better in most simple Sri Lankan places, with some simple points of attention they could improve it substantially. Location is nothing special at all, trapped between the main road and the beach on a very small peace of land, for some chilling at the beach and enjoying your surroundings I'd recommend going somewhere else.

11 Apr 2016

Tranquil, peaceful, serene, atmospheric - this is one of the most wonderful places we have ever stayed. It is the ideal place to unwind, surrounded by vibrant wildlife and jungle greenery. There's a constant hum of monkeys, frogs, exotic birds and squirrels, as well as the monitor lizards!

This is a place to read, relax, swim, chat, play cards, stroll along country lanes, eat good food and get away from it all.

The staff are all lovely - nothing is too much trouble.

Apa Villa has been renovated over more than 20 years as a labour of love, and the outcome is a renovated period property with incredible beauty and creative attention to detail. The whole experience was out of this world - we loved every minute and will definitely be back!

11 Apr 2016

The room Cleaners left our balcony door wide open and by the time we got back the room was full of bugs. Food options were limited, very expensive and just not great. Out of the 6 hotels we stayed in in Sri Lanka this was by far the weakest.

11 Apr 2016

The hotel is located just on the ocean-front with a gorgeous little coral reef beach situated just behind the hotel (the undercurrent is crazy, be warned!)
Amenities are barely on par with the pricing, but i guess that is quite normal in SriLanka with beach-front hotels, not like that is a valid excuse.
Management are firm enforcers of a shrug-all-problems-away mentality and the room and bathroom cleanliness was sub-par...
It is unusual for the hotel to not employ a lifeguard when they have all-but privatised a coral beach with a very strong undercurrent.
The restaurant attached to the hotel has great views of the Indian ocean (even though it is right next to the busy Galle-road). The menu is overpriced and portions can be funny to say the least, for example:
A cup of coffee is LKR 80
a Pot (3 cups) of coffee is LKR 250

I will refrain from mentioning some of the seafood prices.
My fondest memory of my stay at this establishment was the beachdog that lived on premises that some of the staff have taken upon themselves to feed. It was the only act of compassion or sign of sympathy i have come across during my visit, to be brutally honest i would not recommend staying at this establishment unless it was to avoid death.

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