Reviews of Hotels and Guest houses

20 Apr 2010

What can I say apart from AMAZING! The Flower Garden truly is that retreat that everyone hunts for to escape the madness of everyday life!

Surrounded by stunning tropical plants and flowers, each cabin is privately set back of the cobbled path with their own quaint balcony's where you can enjoy a refreshing drink from the mini bar in your room (non-alcoholic) with a mosquito repellant burner smoking away.

The room was always clean, the towels were changed daily and all the furniture was sufficient. A/C worked to perfection and it was always nice coming in after a hot day and being blasted by cold air.

The swimming pool is hard to walk away from. Surrounded by ponds with tadpoles growing and flowering lily pads, it is a perfect spot to sit back, relax and enjoy the weather with a good book. There is a pool menu with good snack foods and drinks at reasonable cost. Pool and beach towels are all provided by the hotel and there are lots of shady spots to escape the mid-day sun.

The beach, which hosts some great little restaurants and shady spots to sunbath in, is only a 5 - 8 minutes walk away. You can take in the local shops, homes and restaurants on the way. There is little hassle on the beaches - just some ladies walking up and down selling sarong's. But, unlike other countries, no means no in Sri Lanka so there is little hassle. The waves were great but just be careful as there is a bit of a shelf on Unawatuna Beach.

Food wise, there was some great finds. You must try One Love - on the way to Kingfisher restaurant which is in most books. An array on local Sri Lankan curries this was excellent value for what you got. A must try - pineapple curry!

Flower Garden had a great chef, Sassi, who is also the best hotel owner I have come across. The food was always great and good value for a hotel - not much difference to the other restaurants around Unawatuna.

Sassi and all his staff really made our holiday. They make everyone feel special and always have a smile on their faces.

The full body massages were also great and for a fraction of the cost you are expected to pay in the UK.

I wish I was there right now and very jealous of anyone who reads this who is about to go to the Flower Garden. You will NOT be disappointed!

Thanks Sassi for making our holiday so great!

29 Apr 2010

A good sized guest house with pool, 2 minutes walk from the beach at Unawatuna with simple rooms which were clean and tidy. Breakfast was simple, fruit, toast and eggs with juice and coffee and plentiful.

Make sure you book a room with air con, particularly if travelling anytime near the monsoon. We tried without and had a horrendous night.

We can't fault Britta and her staff for helping to make the start of our holiday a smooth experience, nothing was too much trouble for them and we left with some regret after enjoying our 3 nights there. Well recommended.

06 May 2010

This hotel has a fantastic pool and gardens - the best in the area. A good location as a short interesting walk to the beach - and what a lovely beach. The food was very limited, a set menu each day but many dishes not available. Even though half board after two nights we ate out as were getting pretty fed up with butter fish.
Having read all the reviews we were looking forward to a warm welcome and great food from Sasi, unfortunately the great man was only glimpsed very briefly one morning as he arrived and then left again in his car. So five days with no experience of his so-called renowned cooking. His staff tried their best and were very polite but didn't have the key to the stockroom to provide the most basic things - fanta, tonic and a well cooked variable menu. The rooms were okay but the appliances needed fixing - TV and hairdryer - and pretty decrepit air conditioning. And don't bother using the "Internet Cafe" as no internet and the printer wasn't working. Having stayed in five hotels while on a tour of a Sri Lanka we felt the Flower Garden was the most disappointing as it was the one we were looking forward to most.

31 May 2010

Within half a day the calm of Ambalama and its attentative staff had slowed me down so I could enjoy all that it had to offer....comfortable rooms, gorgeous vistas, great spaces to read and breakfast by the pool and dinner on the lawn by the sea. The food was sensational and oh so heathy.......I look forward to a return visit later in the year. Mr Tai - Majordomo/Manager of Ambalama combines great knowledge not only of Galle but all of Sri Lanka with charm and a willingness to provide you with the perfect stay.

31 May 2010

I have just spent a weekend with friends at Ambalama Villa but feel as relaxed as if I had been away for a month. The villa has a beautiful, spacious, light modern design, with an elegantly but simply furnished living area facing straight onto the ocean across a large, stone-lined pool. The pool looks straight across lawns and beds of white lilies to the palm-fringed beach. All the living spaces are light and airy: the high-ceilinged bedrooms have large convenient bathrooms attached (at least one with an open-air shower) and comfortable four-poster beds, stacked with pillows and soft cotton sheets: I slept very well to the sound of nothing but the ocean waves. The service is understated but excellent: the chef used to work at one of the Aman resorts and makes sophisticated but delicious meals from local ingredients, while the house-boys appear from nowhere to anticipate your requests for refreshing drinks. The whole villa is efficiently and charmingly managed by Tai, who seems to know everyone and where to source anything one might need for a getaway in paradise...

01 Jun 2010

I was lucky enough to enjoy a weekend on Taprobane Island with some close friends.

Taprobane is a beautiful island not far from the beach in Weligama Bay, overlooking the brightly painted fishing boats and tropical landscape of the coastline.

When you book the island you get the entire island and villa all to yourselves! I had admired this spot for years dreaming of one day getting the chance to treat my friends to a weekend of luxury. We were not disappointed!! What I liked most about the island was that the entire place feels relaxed and comfortable. It is not like many of the stark and sterile pricey villas. Instead we felt at home and had no qualms about walking through the rooms with sandy feet or chilling out with our feet up on (one of the many) day beds.

The excitement started with our group wading across to the island in waist high water (they can arrange a boat if needed but this all added to the excitement). The Island's house has 5 large bedrooms all with their own massive bathrooms. Each room has a unique design with its own outlook and private outdoor sitting areas. The gardens are thick and jungle like but still well maintained with beautiful tropical flowers. It was tough to leave the infinity pool overlooking the sea.

Each day the staff moved our dining table to a different spot and the food was devine. We could order what we felt like and they would pop across to weligama town to buy the fresh ingredients. We especially enjoyed the rice and curries and the seafood. The staff were friendly and willing to help any way they could without hanging around making us feel uncomfortable or spied on.

I celebrated a birthday on the island and the staff decorated the dining area beautifully and arranged a cake with candles for our desert. A birthday no one will ever forget!

We did not want to leave and I still dream of returning to this day. I highly recommend Taprobane Island to anyone wanting to treat themselves to some laid back luxury.

16 Jun 2010

Ich besuche Sri Lanka seid Kindheit,bzw.seid genau 34 Jahren.

Vor 10 Jahren sind wir zum Hotel Flower Garden in Unawatuna gestossen.

Ich muss wirklich sagen,kein 5 oder 6 Stern-Hotel ,kann da mithalten!!

Das Hotel ist eingebettet in einem traumhaft,schönen,gepflegten Garten mit einem tollen Pool einem wunderschönen offemen Restaurant und einer tollen Baar!
Nach dem Strandbesuch,den ich übrigens auch einen von den schönsten in Sri Lanka halte,bekommt man die Ruhe,die man braucht.

Die Bungalows oder die Zimmer sind top sauber!!!!!!Mit super Betten und fantastischen Badezimmer!!Täglich wird tip top gegutzt!

Das Essen ist super fein!!Der Inhaber Sassi ,sowie natürlich die anderen Köche,sind begnadetet Köche!!!

Die Angestellten sind so was von liebenswürdig,hilfsbereit und loyal!!!

Die Besitzerfamilie SASSI u.seine Frau Madushani machen alles,dass ihre Gäste sich wohl und zufrieden fühlen!
Man kommt jedes mal nach Hause und nicht in die Ferien!

Wenn man dort ist,darf man seine hart verdienten Ferien,wirklich geniessen!!!

Ich schwöre auf dieses Hotel!!!!!!

Mein Mann der übrigens auch Sri Lanker ist,ist absolut glücklich im Hotel Flower Garden!

Ich empfehle jedem,wirklich jedem ,geht dort hin und überzeugt euch selber!!!

Mit herzlichen Grüssen

Sonja und Ranjith

23 Jun 2010

A friend booked this gorgeous villa for a couple of nights - well what a way to start my visit to Sri Lanka!
The staff were incredible - from the initial welcome to their consistent, impeccable service. The food was a delight - we were consulted about the menu and amazing meals were whipped up with fresh local produce. Better than a restaurant!
The location on the beach coupled with the pool, internet and books meant that you really never need to leave. But the staff were happy to recommend ideas for travel near and far.

Thank you and apologies for late review!

07 Jul 2010

We Stayed at the Flower Garden from 12.06.10 until 28.06.10 in standard cabana with A/C, king size bed under mosquito netting, fridge full of refreshing drinks, TV with DVD player, large bathroom with shower and warm water. Every morning we were waking up by singing birds, jumping monkeys and squirrel. The hotel was suronded by exotic trees and plants that gave us feeling of being in the middle of a jungle. The big advantage of the place is a good size swimming pool and its clean water. For breakfast, we had a choice of Srilankan or Western food, freshly squzed juice, a plate of fruit and unlimited tea. Owner Sassi arranges trips to different worth to see places, such as "Yala National Park" (safari) and "Tea Plantation and Factory". In addition to eating we would recomment to eat at the hotel, the prices may look higher than anywhere else, however the price includes starter, main course and dessert, whereas other places don't. Overall staff at the hotel was very friendly and would do anything to your request. (even rotti or hoppers). We would highly reccomend this hotel for people who want to enjoy a peacefull and quiet holiday.

16 Aug 2010

Vorweg: Das Essen und das Personal ist absolut Spitze. Man hat gemerkt, dass der Hotelchef 15 Jahre in der Schweiz zur Ausbildung war und absoluten europäischen Standard hat. Die Zimmer waren auch ok, wenn es einem nicht stört, dass in der Nacht die Affen und die Leguane über das Dach laufen und somit zeitweise ziemlichen Wirbel veranstalten. Das Bett war gemauert, hätte 4 Personen Platz geboten und war ebenso Spitze.
Was mir persönlich leider nicht gefallen hat und womit ich auch nicht gerechnet habe:
Diese absolut tiefste Armut der Menschen und dieser Dreck in den Strassen. Ich muß das leider anbringen, da es eben Tatsache ist, und für mich in den 2 Wochen Urlaub, der im ganzen ja nicht unbedingt billig war, nicht tragbar ist. So leid mir diese Menschen auch tun, aber in meinem Uraub brauche ich sowas nicht. Mit diesem Kulturschock muß man erst mal klarkommen.
Weiters gibt es keine Möglichkeit am Abend spazieren zu gehen, das es weder Kaufhäuser, Cafes oder sonstiges gibt.
Ebenfalls gestört hat mich der lange Weg vom Hotel zum Strand, ca 20-25 Minuten, der dann auch ziemlich schmutzig war, so wie das Wasser. Wenn es einem nicht stört, dass durch die vielen freilaufenden Hunde, die am Strand ihr "Geschäft" verrichten, und dieser Dreck dann mit der nächsten Welle ins Meer gespült wird, ist dort vermutlich richtig.
Da ich Fahrlehrer von Beruf bin, muss man mit dem Fahrstil der Einheimischen erst einmal klarkommen. Mit einem Tuck-Tuck zu fahren ist absolut grausam und gemeingefährlich.
Der Ausflug zum YALE-Nationalpark war echt ein Hammer, solange einem nicht die Kontrollen der bewaffneten Soldaten auf den Weg zum Nationalpark stören.
Für mich jedenfalls kein Land, in dem ich unbedingt einen zweiten Urlaub verbringen möchte.
Kurz: Hotel Spitze, der Rest leider nicht

23 Aug 2010

Lets start with the management/staff of Flower Garden, Sassi and his staff provided me and my family with the best service we have ever encountered their care to detail and personal touch made our stay very enjoyable. A special thanks to Premit who took care of my late night drinks and never stopped running.

The accommodation was excellent the Cabana's had everything we could wish for and more. Cleaning everyday and a great bathroom, wish I had one like it in my own home. The TV and DVD plpayer came in handy when it clouded over.

The pool was brilliant my children they spent hours catching the small fish in surrounding ponds (sorry Sassi) It will be even better when the pool bar opens (next month)

The food was the best that we ate whilst in Unawatuna, the curries are to die for and the availability of a good fillet steak made Flower Garden our main eating establishment. Dontbe fooled by cheaper places all of the meals include starter and sweet.

I would recommend Flower Garden to friends and family as been one of the best places to chill and relax. We will return in the future, book early as more people are finding out about this little gem of a place.

Thanks again Sassi and his team

Dave/Phit/Siri and Jake

06 Sep 2010

This gorgeous place is just 300yds off the beach at the quieter east end of Unawatuna. It has a lovely rooftop restaurant and a pretty pool, very clean but still with rustic charm. Staff are available but not intrusive and the lovely German owner Britta, along with her Sri Lankan husband Sana have got it about right. We felt well looked after (Britta even made us a surprise cake for my sons birthday!) This guesthouse was easily the nicest place for the price out of six places we stayed in Sri Lanka and staff were kind and helpful. The wildlife seen from the guesthouse was incredible, with monkeys nesting in the trees merely yards away, snakes (non poisonous) mating, a resident iguana, mongooses, fire flies, etc. My children loved it too. Very small toddlers may have problems with the top floor restaurant but apart from that I would have no hesitation in recommending it to families

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