Reviews of Hotels and Guest houses

26 Apr 2011

I stayed a week during the Galle literature festival in january 2011 in Tisara Villas with my new husband. we didn't know what to expect as we were going there due to freind recommendations. But what a lovely surprise it was! From the time we walked through the gates and over a pond full of lotus and a wooden bridge it was like entering a different world!!!

The villas are absolutely beautiful and large. The bedrooms had poster beds and the bathrooms open to the sky were amazing. We could sit in our little private garden or lie by the huge pool and relax and the place was full of birds and there were some monkeys on the trees which made us feel like we were living in a tropical paradise... Which is exactly what it was!!!

What was special about the place was that it is so quiet and we were left to do our own thing without anybody bothering us and we felt we were the only people in the place even though it was full. The staff were highly trained and were always there whenever we wanted something. It seemed they knew exactly when to come by with a complimentary coconut or a fruit juice when we were lying by the pool!!!

The food was superb! My husband doesn't usually like fish but here he was always ordering fish as it was so fresh. The local rice and the currys were excellent and the cooks would make whatever you wanted to eat. Most days we ate in the tables next to the pool. At nights they would light lamps and we could sit near the pool which was wildly romantic!!!

They have bicycles and we rode around the lake and went to the lovely beach in koggalla which is only next to the town. Very clean beach and no people which was nice. And the villas also has a massage place where we ordered a massage which was very good.

And I am now happy to say that I am pregnant! We conceived during our holiday at Tisara villas and I can't imagine a more perfect place to make a baby!!! I am even thinking of calling our baby Tisara!!! I don't know if my motherinlaw will like this name :). I hope to come and stay another two weeks this summer before I am too pregnant to travel. Thanks Tisara villas for a very special holiday that we will remember forever!

27 Apr 2011

I had such an amazing time at Tisara Villas. Not only were the facilities amazing but also the service. With each villa having their own private butler we were taken care of 24/7. Furthermore, what I loved was that for each day we were asked what we would like to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner giving us complete control of the food. Speaking of food it was just phenomenal especially the typical Sri Lankan rice and curry, we could not get enough of it. The pool was always well maintained and when enjoying the morning sun we truly felt relaxed as there was not a single city noise around us, just the sound of nature. Also, we were close enough to have a driver take us to the beach if we wanted to enjoy the beauty of Sri Lankas beaches. To top if all off a massage therapist would come daily to the Villas and provide you with a relaxing ayurveda massage. We could not have asked for anything more than our vacation at Tisara, we will most definitely go back next year.

28 Apr 2011

My friends and I had an amazing vacation at the Tropical Beach House in Hikkaduwa! We rented both the house and the cabana and it was an extremely comfortable stay for us all. Having the Tropical Beach House as our base made our holiday so much more enjoyable then staying in a hotel or resort. We were greeted at the house by Mahinda, a kind man who cares for the property, he showed us around gave us great advice and asked us how often we wanted to property cleaned. He and his wife were very polite and friendly and always made sure we had everything we needed. We also inquired into having a bbq, the next day he and his wife organized the whole thing - what a feast it was! The fish and prawns were honestly the best I’ve ever had! We highly recommend having a bbq! The nice thing about the beach house was that we felt very safe, security came like clockwork every night to check on the place. The Tropical Beach House is a very short tuk tuk ride away from restaurants and shops and we really enjoyed that short distance as it made it quiet and peaceful. The air-conditioned rooms made it a comfortable stay and the showers were great! My friends and I had a holiday we’ll never forget and it had a lot to do with having such a comfortable space to call our own for the week. If you are coming to Hikkaduwa for a beachy, relaxing, comfortable and fun holiday you MUST stay here! Have a Lion (or two) for me!

14 May 2011

We arrived at the lower garden after several days touring the country. We had our three teenage daughters with us and we all had an extremely relaxing and enjoyable five days. The manager and his staff were all very helpful. The food, both in terms of quality and price, were outstanding. In fact, we ate there every evening, despite the fact there were many places to eat within walking distance. We spent some time by the pool but mostly spent our days relaxing on the beach, which is a short walk away. If you want somewhere to relax and chill out, the Flower Garden is the place.

17 May 2011

Right on the beach ( with access through the garden) and a large pool with a very child friendly shallow end made this the villa of choice for any family with small children. Staff were so helpful, nothing being too much trouble. Individualized menus for the baby and adults meant everyone happy. The rooms are kept immaculate by the staff and there is always someone on hand to help.
The only minor negative is that the three villas are very close to one another and are open plan so if you were here with two groups you didnt know you might feel slightly overlooked. On the other hand really great for bigger family/friend groups to hire the whole complex.

19 May 2011

This is the first time I have been moved to write a review on Trip Advisor which definitely says something!. I have lived in Sri Lanka for a number of years and had a group of family and friends coming out to visit them so naturally wanted to showcase the best of Sri Lanka. Ambalama is it! We stayed for 6 nights and had the whole villa and it was faultless. The villa and rooms are beautiful, the food was sublime, the location fantastic. The staff were really helpful and friendly and the chef cooked fantastic western and local dishes to order each day. One night they even cooked up a fantastic fish bbq.

The area where the villa is located is great as you are in easy reach of Unawatuna and Galle Town, plus a 3-min walk away from nice bathing and a great restaurant (Wijaya Beach). There are a number of villas along this stretch of beach and it is a really lovely area to stay.

Ambalama really made our holiday and everyone said it was the best part. Some of the guests said it was the best holiday they had been on.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone travelling in a group in Sri Lanka. I have visited a few villas and I still think this is by far the best. Villa holidays are a great option as you definitely get 5* service and facilities but without the price tag, plus you have the place completely to yourselves.

20 May 2011

This accommodation consists of just 4 rooms set on Unawatuna beach. The complex includes the best restaurant in the area with its deck set right over the water. There is a lounge area and rustic styled, chilled out bar. Local fishermen deliver their fresh catch daily and it is cooked beautifully. The rooms look brand new and are modern in design with very spacious bathrooms. The balconies look out over the Indian ocean. Great space for couples.

15 Jun 2011

We had a total of 13 in our group for the weekend and we held the retreat in Tisara Villas, Habaraduwa, Nr Galle, which was the ideal venue. We stayed in 3 wonderfully spacious houses which accommodated 4 people in each house. Tisara has the most beautiful gardens, designed by Yvette Spowers, which were so peaceful and tranquil, the perfect place to practice our pranayam (breathing), yoga and meditation. We started early in the morning with Sadhana in the teachers villa. Looking out into the private garden. Jo led our first session with the simple “Spinal flex Series”, we had 6 complete beginners to Kundalini Yoga, so we started off gently and taught all the basics. Fiona followed after a fruit breakfast and tea with a wonderful pranayam class, in which she took us walking meditatively round the garden, and finished off with a laughing kriya. We had a lovely 3 to 4 hour break after our brunch. We ate simple healthy vegetarian Sri Lankan food and the cooks and the staff were very helpful and accommodating and the food was delicious (thank you Anura to all your staff). Later in the day we got in the van to go to Skye House to complete our day with a class on the beach. I taught the “Green Energy Set” which was wonderfully energising and heart opening. The venue again was just fabulous, we did the yoga on the veranda which is on two wide steps, to the sound of the sea roaring with the back drop of the beautiful house, with plenty of shade and cool sea breezes.

On Sunday we were awake early again at 4.30am and we drove towards Galle to the Peace Pagoda to practice our morning sadhana. This Buddhist Peace Pagoda is perched up on a cliff and overlooks Galle harbour and Bay, again another stunning location. Mercedes taught her first class to us (Ten Bodies Kriya) and did a wonderful job. We were then back to Tisara for more yoga with Jo leading us through a wonderful pranayam, which had a very powerful effect on us all! After another delicious brunch, we either slept, went on a bike ride, went for a sea swim. Our final class was by the sea again, we were reminded of the importance of alignment and finished off with a powerful Prosperity chanting Meditation right on the beach, wonderful. This is an ideal venue for a yoga retreat as it is very quiet and the energy is amazing, the staff organised the food and accomodation brillantly and we even had an inhouse masseur and reiki healer.

01 Jul 2011

Kingfisher Hotel is just so stunningly gorgeous situated directly on the sand. The 4 balcony rooms in this new boutique resort are spacious, clean & cool with stunning views that even my photos are of travel magazine quality. Enjoyed watching locals & tourists surf the break while at Kingfisher's beachfront bar with tasty local brew Lion - it was always beer o'clock. Keen friendly young staff throughout and a tempting & delicious menu. There is a baja rank area 100m away to whisk you off to historic Galle Fort and the beautifully restored National Maritime Museum and Galle Fort Hotel for its delights. But at Kingfisher Hotel, nothing surpasses the evening swish of gentle waves on your doorstep. We have visited them all, but no other Asian country has given such a warm welcome and the urgent planning of a return holiday as has Sri Lanka - a beautiful country with charming people with heart and soul.

05 Jul 2011

I stayed at the hotel for two days. We had a room that just been remodel and we can still smell the fresh paint. I would say the hotel is more like 80% vacant while we were there in June(not to the hotel fault - it was the low season). The staff wer very friendly. The hotel has a great garden and a lovely pool. Most of the small hotels by the beach are pretty noisy at night because of the restaurant/bar that open late into the night. If you want a hotel that right on the beach, this one is not for you. If quiet, clean, friendly staff, pool, beautiful garden, great in house restaurant with reasonable price and free interent -this hotel is a great choice.

06 Jul 2011

I stayed at the hotel with a group of friends and it was eerie and weird throughout. Although it looks nice and inviting there was something that we all felt very odd.
There was a lady at the reception dressed in black who said she doesn’t stay overnight as she don’t trust the others and kept on speaking of deaths in the hotel! The owner had died sometime ago at the hotel and was not discovered for 2 days. There had been 2 mysterious deaths of staff and apparently noises were heard at night. All that had stopped after some religious activities as per the lady named Florence.
We lost our cake of soap in the first night and had no idea how that happened to date! There were no entry/exit points for any kind of animal visible to us! Hotel staff were not helpful when we reported this.
There are doors from the rooms opening to a corridor towards the hotel to which guests are not given any keys, and there are absolutely no latches for us to lock the doors from inside other than hoping for the best. I think staffs are occupying the other side of the corridor which is very unacceptable

12 Jul 2011

We booked three nights here after seeing the reviews on TA, and weren't disappointed. We stayed in a Deluxe Cabana - which was clean and furnished to a Western standard (especially the bathroom). The bed was great and the cabana was spacious enough for us to spread our kit out. The small balcony at the front of the cabana was the ideal place for an aperitif before heading off for dinner.
We had one meal here which was fine - however the restaurant lacked the atmosphere of the beachside restaurants in the village with their sea views.
The location is only five minutes from the beach - close enough that it is not an issue but far enough away from everyone to get a peaceful nights sleep.

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