Comments about Lakeview Villa

Spectacular house, views and food! Perfect.
payne450 [TA], , Stafford, United Kingdom

Arriving by seaplane on Koggala lake, we were greeted by the driver arranged by Lakeview and were at the villa within 10 minutes. We were met by Ken and shown around the fabulous property. Before leaving the UK we were contacted by Ken to arrange our first night's meal. Sonali cooked an unbelievable Sri Lankan meal and further meals were just as amazing. Much to our surprise our 7 year old ate every meal with gusto. Whilst not a fussy eater, he would not eat rice prior to our trip but from the first meal he devoured each meal cooked by Sonali -including rice! The staff at the villa were outstanding and we believe it is the quality and attention of the staff which makes Lakeview villa such as special destination.
We are a family of four, with 7 and 11 year olds, and prior to booking we discussed the possibility of moving beds so that our children could share a twin room next to the main bedroom. Ken said this was no problem and the rooms were set up as promised for our arrival. Whilst the villa's floor plan is perfect for multiple couples or extended families travelling together, two of the rooms are accessed from the exterior so may not be suitable for smaller children to use alone.
As mentioned previously, the food was amazing -I cook from scratch regularly and have high standards but I have never eaten such outstanding food on holiday.
Given the remote location of the villa it was very helpful to have Lasantha, Sonali's husband, available to take us out in their car to visit Galle and MIrissa. These trips were very reasonably priced and offered far more comfort and safety than the local tuk-tuks. TukTuks were fine for the shorter trip to the beach and were arranged by Sonali giving us reassurance.
Mosquitoes were prevented by nets over all beds, aswell as coils and plug-ins. Pool was great and jus as good as the photos suggest. Gardens well maintained by Raja. Air-conditioned Cinema room a welcome retreat at times with a good selection of movies and decent equipment.
During the times that staff were around the house we enjoyed their company and felt most at ease, chatting at length with Sonali about food and Sri Lankan culture. They were attentive when around but gave us space and privacy at other times. We truly felt that we were staying with friends and were very sad to leave them at the end of our stay. Sonali's previous experience as a nanny clearly shows as she was fantastic with our children.
If you are looking for a non-touristy true Sri Lankan experience and are keen to learn more about their culture and cooking tips then this villa is the one for you.

Perfect home and holiday!
Stacy S [TA], ,

Dear Ken and Leslie, we can't thank you enough for all of your help as our group of 5 adults and 4 young children planned our holiday at your home. You were always so quick to respond and thorough in answering any questions which helped us immensely. Your staff including the lovely Sonali and her husband prepared delicious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, helped arrange daily transportation and tours, called tuk tuks for our daily trips to the stunning beach on the Indian Ocean just 10 minutes from your home. The gardener was so sweet to point out any lizards, birds and monkeys on the property and we all enjoyed the daily wildlife sightings! Your incredible home and divine meals, recommended excursions (especially the boat trip which picked up our group at your private dock) and the outings in the tuk tuk to the beach nearby made our holiday so memorable. Of course the children miss your gorgeous pool which they were in from sunrise to sunset. We can't recommend your home enough for an amazing Sri Lankan holiday and thank you and the Lakeview Villa team again for everything you did to make our stay so special! Warmest regards, The Shier family

Excellent
Rune_Rask [TA], , Middelfart, Denmark

Excellent villa, pool and surroundings. Friendly and competent staff. We would like to return some day.

Stunning.........
X4brummie... [TA], , Birmingham

What can we add to the previous reviews, nothing really they extol this Villa perfectly. We stayed for 14 days and loved every minute of it. Our group ranged from 75 - 18 and it had something for everyone. It combines the best of what you want from a Villa holiday with the hospitality and food from a top hotel.
For those that enjoy tranquility and wildlife it has this in abundance, Monkeys, Mointors, the evening fly pass of the large bats with just the evening sounds of the forest. As avid birdwatchers we notched a 50+ list of species just from the outside dining area whilst supping a cold beer, now that's the way to bird watch!
Trips - we went to Sinharaja which was a gruelling 2.5hr journey to cover 52 km of the bendiest roads ever. Make sure you take travel sickness tablets even if you aren't normally sick. We also travelled to Udawalawae national park another 2.5hr journey but covering 123km of relatively straight roads. Well worth a visit but don't expect a great variety of animals. Lots of birds though.
Trips - speak to Sonali and ask for Prageeth he has aircon vans and can take you anywhere. He was great. Very reasonable. When we left a camera at Sinharaja he was happy to help and his driver went the next day and picked it up (of course we paid the driver, but I wouldn't have done that journey for any amount of money!)
My top tip relates to your suitcases. Only 5 out of 10 arrived in Sri Lanka from Dubai! Apparently this is a common problem especially if you are on a connecting flight within 2hrs of landing in Dubai. 4 of the suitcases turned up later that day at 10.30pm at our villa even though they arrived at Colombo at 13.30. But X1 took 4 days to arrive. Make sure you mix your clothes in your baggage and even carry a change of clothes with you. Make sure you have any essential medical stuff in your hand luggage. Also take pictures of your suitcases in case they are needed to identify them. But if you go as a group be careful as all your baggage may be under X1 name which may not be the name on your luggage tag!!! We were deeply disappointed with Emirates and there seeming lack of follow up service and communication when we needed them.

Paradise 'found'
Hilary G [TA], , Caythorpe, United Kingdom

Wow, lake view villa, the infinity pool, grounds and hospitality certainly exceeded our expectations in everyway!
From the moment we arrived we were absolutely enchanted by this amazing place! The views from each of the four bedrooms over the lake were stunning, the sounds of the birds and monkeys thrilling..... After a week of touring, Lakeview villa was the perfect hideaway for a week of relaxation with friends.
A very big thank you to the wonderful chef Sonali and her husband Lasthanta for providing such beautiful food.... Curry to die for!
We really didn't wish to leave and look forward to returning with our children and grandchildren.
Thank you Ken and Lesley.... Superb! xx

CHILL OUT IN STYLE
patricia... [TA], ,

There were eight of us and we stayed for 1 week in the villa. Prior to the villa we had done a week's tour of Sri Lanka with Trailfinders and were ready for a rest but still keen to explore Sri Lanka more.
However, once we had seen the villa and experienced the hospitality we lost our desire to move. 2 of us never left the villa grounds, 6 of us went for a 2 hour boat trip around the lagoon and 4 of us also went to Galle for a morning in a tut tut. The rest of the time we just enjoyed relaxing in the various parts of the villa. There was plenty of room to spread out and to be alone if required but also areas large enough for us all to be together. The pool was well used, being clean, warm and inviting. After dinner we all mainly retired to the media room for a film to avoid the insects and to cool off in the air conditioning. We all enjoyed seeing the wildlife, especially birds, but did not feel the need to swim at the beach or in the lagoon.
The catering was wonderful thanks to Sonali and Lasantha. We elected for them to provide breakfast and dinner every day. We asked for Sri Lankan cuisine which was not too hot and Sonali pitched it perfectly. Each day was different but breakfast always included fruit and toast as well as Sri Lankan items such as egg hoppas and sticky rice. Dinner always consisted of about 6 different dishes and usually a light dessert. We even watched her cook and participated in the preparation. During the day we raided the fridge for left overs or just ate bananas. The cost of all the food and drink worked out at about £125 per couple!
We particularly liked the tranquillity, beauty and of course the food. As well as that it was great to be able to learn from Sonali & other staff about life in Sri Lanka.
If we had to be picky all I could say is that we did struggle with the media room in that the sound and vision were not that good but we didn't go on holiday to watch films! also the wifi was a bit unreliable.

Beautiful villa in a stunning location
Charlotte... [TA], , Hong Kong, China

We had a wonderful week at Lakeview Villa over new year. We were a family group with young children and grandparents, and the villa was fantastic for all of us. Stunning location, with a beautifully serene view across the lake. We had initially tried to book a villa on the coast but, in hindsight, we were truly thankful we stayed at Lakeview. The coastal road is busy day and night and we loved the wonderfully calm setting of this villa. It is just a 5 minute tuk tuk drive to the beach, so you really don't miss out on the coastal action.
The owners, Lesley & Ken, have done a fantastic job: The villa is kept in immaculate condition, with 4 huge bedrooms and en suites. Each bedroom enjoys its own unique view across the lake. Lesley was also extremely helpful to us before arrival, helping to sort out airport transfers and stocking up on food/drink that we asked for.
One of the biggest pluses about this villa is Sonali, the manager and cook, and her husband Lasanta. They could not have been more helpful; looking after us throughout and calling tuk tuks whenever we asked. The food, most of all, was unbelievable. We do not think you could have a better meal outside.
The gardener was wonderful with our two young boys, shinning up the trees to gather coconuts and pointing out the assortment of wildlife around the grounds.
We had read that the mosquitos were troublesome but we really didn't find this a problem. Each bed has a large mosquito net, which keeps them at bay overnight, and even at dawn or dusk, we saw very few mosquitos.
We would come back again, any time!

Such a memorable stay
james p [TA], , Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Firstly I need to apologise to Ken as this review should have been done months ago.... I lost my trip advisor log in details.

We stayed for our Honeymoon back in August.... it seems like yesterday that we arrived at Lakeview and we really do miss it. Everything was a surprise to my new wife (she did not know what country we were going to let alone where we were staying)

I had short listed a number of properties throughout southern Sri Lanka however LakeView won very quickly...... my impressively Ken was quick to reply to my emails and was keen to make sure he answered my questions. I had never been to Sri Lanka before and Ken reassured me with a couple of concerns (the weather forecast always seemed to show the same thing..... Ken was great and said it was best to ignore the bbc website for the weather forecast... he confirmed August is a great time to visit

On arrival we were so impressed.... we were collected from Columbo airport by the recomended Taxi / tour guide (Prageet).... The Journey takes between 2 to 3 hours to reach Lakeview so it was an opportunity to catch up on some sleep from the flight.

On arrival we were not disappointed. The welcome was so friendly and the property is exceptional..... the view from the front door over looking the lake is fantastic. Ken and his wife took time to show us around.... and answered any questions.

Sonali looked after us during the stay...... we cannot thank her, and her husband enough for making our honeymoon so memorable. The food that Sonali prepared was excellent....... the spicey local fish curry is still stuck in my memory as it was truelly wonderful (Sonali... please write a book for your Sri Lankan dishes ! )

During our stay we visited a number of different places (Galle, wildlife parks, beaches) - my suggestion is..... go and explore....... but also take time to enjoy relaxing mornings by the infinity pool

The biggest compliment I can give is to return in the future and we will certainly return

Paradise by the Lakeview Lights
Philip C [TA], , uk

From booking this villa , we were both aware it was not going to be our most active and adventurous holiday.
We usually are out and about people in the countries we visit and mainly spend sleeping time at our usual accommodation.

Each morning however, it became more and more of a struggle to venture out, possibly the humidity with lightning most nights,
or possibly the tranquil isolation you can feel here.

The Fruit bat flypast each night similar to the "Red Arrows at Home", the fireflys who venture into your bedroom at night to lullaby you to sleep with
their pulsating glows.
To the amorous monkey whoops at dusk or dawn, to the Huge or not so huge Iguanas and Monitor Lizards that
make fleeting visits to the garden.
To the pesky mosquitos that make it past your defences and spend the night feeding on you and the Monkeys who make it soooo
difficult to get good video or photo shots.
The morning ritual almost of the Kingfisher using the pool as his own spa, to the millipedes, whom i constantly returned from the villa to the
grassy area outside and snake eating Peacocks romancing by the palms

Numerous strange bugs , chit chats and occasional small bats who pay you a visit whilst hunting their supper.

The knocking of the boats on the lake in their torch lit crafts, as they hunt down the prawns.

The strange bread van tune, that always got me thinking of an ice cream man coming.

Ayurvedic massages that had their ability to detox and de-stress you at the same time, although opting for a firm massage, can be pretty tough as the masseur strums your rib cage like a guitar.

Places we went,

Galle, with it's Portuguese come Dutch come English heritage was worth a look.
Hikkaduwa for it's laid back surfing dude ( every thing they do is "amazing" to them )
Although the lack of seating and beach facilities was limited.
The actual beach was okay, but the not so "secret" beach" in Unawatuna was better.
White tea plantation was an experience, especially selling tea at £35 a box, because they use gloves, is a bit much.
Mirissa for whale watching and several boats all trying to guess the next rise of the Blue whale and then
engines full power to get best vantage positions was fun.
The local turtle hatchery was both sweet and sour, with the large entombed ones that are kept there for
their own safety ? to the egg hatchery and the release of them.
Go out fishing if brave, with local fishermen, they hunt lobsters whilst you fish with plastic bottles entwined
with catgut and tackle.
Try running your hand through the sea at night to watch the amazing bio-luminescence of the small creatures,
which can ease the pain of catching Nemos mostly.

Finally our hosts, Sonali and Lasantha enough has been said how fantastic They are, so we will concentrate on how
happy these two are as a married couple.
We gained as much fun from this exquisite villa as we did from hearing their laughs and conversations.
One Being a Buddhist and the other Christian, they are the perfect fit, Sonali's planning and knowledge of guests
needs, combined with Lasantha's laid back approach and only pupose in life to make his wife happy, makes the
ultimate team " Sonantha".

Raja, the Gardener, always looking to spot wildlife and fauna for you, is that extra cog the villa needs to make
it run smoothly. Somar the night watchman, can seem strange at times, but it must be hard listening to fast talking
English people and have that ability to just look back with no coherence and smile :)

We have chilled at Lakeview and as a guest wrote before,
Lakeview Villa is an amalgamation of the owners ( Ken and Lesley ) their thought and planning skills of the villa,
The staff who are at the heart of the villa and keep the wheels turning in the style of a private 5* hotel.

We would love to return and share this experience with our children and partners.
Work commitments kept them away this time.

Phil and Jo

A VERY SPECIAL PLACE
Olga_Tue [TA], , Moscow, Russia

It was our second stay at the “Lakeview Villa” on Koggala Lake within this year – and this visit was as wonderful as the first one (if not better).

The owners of the villa, Ken and Lesley, are great people, very smart, pleasant to communicate with – and very attentive to every detail, so booking their villa is always easy and staying there is always very relaxing, ‘cause all of your wishes are predicted and all your needs are taken care of.

The villa itself is charming and extremely comfortable, with lots of rooms and corners to unwind and enjoy your vacation. It’s located by one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes of Sri Lanka – by Koggala Lake, where you can sail (it’s really big!), or fish, or just enjoy its amazing sunrises and sunsets from the villa’s balcony or veranda.

The garden there is large and lush, yet very well-maintained, with numerous species of flowers and trees, dozens of colorful birds, dragonflies, butterflies, cute monitor lizards and even with a family of big black monkeys, that comes there twice a day to taste if mangos and papayas are ripe (they don’t come close to the house though).

The infinity pool is clean, warm and big enough to do your morning swim or even to play pool volleyball.

There is a variety of table games, books and movies to keep you occupied in a free evening or in a rainy day, if you are not a nature lover and prefer some particular entertainments to a peaceful hour in a hammock or on a sunbed outside.

There is a kitchen equipped with everything you need if you’ll feel like cooking – however, I can bet none of the villa’s visitors really cooked for themselves there, ‘cause the dishes of the local chef Sonali (a bright young lady who speaks perfect English and manages to keep the huge house clean and well-organized together with inventing more and more delicacies for the owners and guests of the villa) will make you an addict, no matter which cuisine do you prefer. The food at the “Lakeview Villa” will become a special and very important part of your vacation, and I seriously doubt that you can try anything better anywhere else in Sri Lanka (talking from the experience of 10 trips to this island).

All the staff of the villa (Sonali with her husband Lasantha, the gardener and the night watchman) will do their best to make your stay as easy and careless as possible, while the breathtaking views, sounds and colors of the “Lakeview” will become a part of your most precious Sri Lankan memories.

We visited the “Lakeview Villa” twice – and we are counting days to come back there again.

Amazing place
IvanPryan... [TA], , Moscow, Russia

Villa was amazing: even better than on the pictures.
The location probably is not the best, but convenient enough if you have a motorbike or take a tuktuk (10 min from the beach).

The villa has all basic things that you may need, as extra plus: room with projector and cinema and library. The pool with a lake view is the heart of villa where you can spend all day long.

With you on the villa (in the guest house) live 2 managers/house-keepers: Sonali and Lasantha. They made our stay very comfortable and enjoyable, if you need help - they will try to do their best to solve any issue. Also we can defenitely recommend Sonali's cuisine: she was cooking for us traditional food twice a day (you pay for the food). And I need to mention a gardener: he got coconuts for us right from the palm tree and showed us some local animals :)

In other words, highly recommend this place.

Unbelievably wonderful!
Sinead P [TA], , Crediton, United Kingdom

From the moment we arrived we were enchanted by this wonderful place which was really enhanced by the lovely people who provided us with meals that surpassed expectations. Sonali and Lasanta were not only great at cooking wonderful breakfast and dinners but also so helpful in sorting out tuktuk and a problem with a lost bag. Both they and the gardener were amazingly friendly and kind.
The house itself was beautiful, everything thought through for maximum comfort and enjoyment. The pool was warm with exquisite views.
Trips into Galle were delightful though it was hard to tear ourselves away.
Our only negative is that 3 nights was not enough - ideally 3 weeks or even 3 months would be about right!
Thank you Lesley for creating such a wonderful place for a holiday!


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