Reviews of Hotels and Guest houses

02 Apr 2016

Stayed here for our last night in Sri Lanka and it is the one place I wouldn't return. Room and view is lovely but for $120 it didn't even include breakfast which I thought was pretty poor. They also charge you extra to use the beach beds even though you are staying in the hotel (and with only 4 rooms it would be nice if this was complimentary). Lacked the personal touch on the other places we stayed. They are definitely a lot more interested in the restaurant and hiring the beach beds than the hotel guests.

02 Apr 2016

This is a nice place to relax and chill out with the absolute true spirit of nature to offer with mix of relaxation and ecological comfort with a unique hideout you never expect to see until it comes to you at the very end ....

There are few adventures we encounter with fish therapy and a wonderful boat ride with a very friendly crew ..... Staff is pleasant and helpful and place is excellent.....

Room Tip: best view at the river is recommended .....
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02 Apr 2016

We have just returned from a wonderful 8 night stay at Apa Villa, Thalpe. We were a little apprehensive before we reached there due to mixed reviews on here, but in our opinion this place is a gem.

The pictures on here and on their website do t do the place or the accommodation justice. The grounds and pool are absolutely stunning and the rooms are very comfortable and chic.

We travelled with a son, who is an active toddler. The only downsides for us were the pool being so tempting for him (but after a few days we had trained him-ish) and the polish concrete floors to the verandas- beautiful and stylish but very sloppy when wet, and for children of that age a little dangerous, after a few falls he wore sandals at all times and we got over this.

The food was very tasty and reasonably priced and the staff were very attentive.

The whole set up was great for us. Beautiful grounds, shared with a small amount of other guests; throughout our stay a good mix of families and couples.

The owner was present on and off throughout the week- dining, viewing, checking in. You can tell that this is a well maintained property and business.

Would highly recommend. A very relaxing holiday!

02 Apr 2016

Absolutely beautiful location and a great set up for big families to holiday together. We do a lot of great holidays and our 10 days here was amongst the best ever. Held a 50th birthday party in the grounds for 60 friends and family and the catering and set up was first class.

02 Apr 2016

We stayed at Mihiri Beach with our two sons and we all loved the place....the location is fantastic / the accomodation excellent and the staff simply brilliant.

We rarely go back to the same location but this is one place that we will return to..A simply brilliant place to stay.

From here we went whale watching / fishing and bike riding....there is so much to do (or you cold just relax by the pool and listen to the sea !)

The staff deserve a special mention...they are excellent and provide a "better than 5 star service".....we went shopping to the market with the guys one morning and ended up with a incredible seafood dinner that evening.....

Have fun...but let's not tell everyone about this genuine hidden gem !!!

03 Apr 2016

We stayed here for two nights and enjoyed our stay. Our hotel room was pretty basic but with AC, wifi access and it was very clean. The hotel has a great location right on the beach and it was lovely to sit out in the morning with the sea view while eating breakfast.

We actually ate there both nights. It was a slightly strange experience as it was so quiet and we were the only ones eating, so it would seem most people go elsewhere to eat, however the food was very good. The Sri Lankan breakfast was lovely there.

The staff were also all very smiley and welcoming.

03 Apr 2016

My wife and I have recently returned from a 9 night stay at Villa Tara and totally enjoyed the experience. The villa is 2 separate houses, either side of the pool in a quiet and pretty garden. We stayed in the upstairs master suite, which was really well equipped and very spacious. Nice new big fridge/freezer, fully working kitchen, new a/c unit, flat screen (which we never used). Lovely 4 poster bed, with very good quality linen & great bath towels. Pool and beach towels are also provided. If you haven`t stayed somewhere like this previously it may take some getting used to, but not in a negative way. The noise of the animals is constant, the many different types of birds, squirrels etc. start at daybreak and continue into the evening. The outside shower gives a welcome break from the humidity, it is very private with a 7 feet wall and no way to see in from outside. The villa is intimate, which is a great way to get the know the staff and if you`re lucky enough to be there when he`s at home, the owner Klaus. There are 2-3 guys who are there to prepare your breakfast and are then around the villa throughout the day, 2 ladies who clean and change the linen, all of whom really pay attention and genuinely care.
The villa arranged our transport from Colombo airport in a private car which takes around 2 hours, it`s mainly highway so the trip isn`t too difficult. They serve a huge and varied breakfast on the terrace; Eggs to your liking, Fruit platter, Fresh fruit smoothie, Toast, Yoghurt, delicious Ceylon tea or coffee. They will serve water, tea, coffee and superb coconuts throughout the day on request. We were lucky enough to have a meal cooked by one of the guys and ate in with Klaus and some other guests one evening, we supplied our own alcohol and had a great night! The villa has a tuc-tuc which is an easy way to get around and very inexpensive, around 200 rupees to south beach. If the tuc tuc isn`t there, just ask one of the villa guys to call one, they are everywhere and normally arrive within a couple of minutes. There is a good supermarket within a 5 minute tuc-tuc ride to get your drinks and snacks etc, the booze isn`t expensive. We found perfectly good NZ Sauvignon Blanc for 1350 rupees (expect to pay 2.5 times this price in a restaurant, but still not overly expensive), the local Arrack is worth a go, like a sweet brands and good with ice or cola.
This is a very well run villa, really quiet and peaceful with people who care about your experience and an owner who knows how to treat both his customers and his staff.

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms are more quiet
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03 Apr 2016

This hotel is ace! Its beach front location is great and the pool is just WOW! We only stayed for one night but could have stayed longer, and if we come back we will !

The staff were just lovely people, the service was top, and the hammocks... well I miss those to this day.

Thanks to you all for a great time :)

Room Tip: They are all good, the suites have a nice outside chill out area
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03 Apr 2016

Rock Villa is really, really beautiful - much more so than the website photos suggest. Service is impeccable: softly spoken, smiling and attentive (never intrusive) staff who make it impossible to do anything but relax. We stayed for 5 nights and barely saw any other guests, so it felt like having our own enormous private villa.

The standout here is the food - the best we had anywhere in Sri Lanka, with a fantastic range of options (Western and Sri Lankan) and very reasonably priced (though not 'cheap'). The chef is simply brilliant! Breakfast happens whenever you're up and there's an extensive menu throughout the day (order whatever you fancy and it'll be ready in around 20 minutes, either in the restaurant, by the pool or even on the beach), and a further three set-menu options, plus various specials for dinner. We didn't bother trying anywhere else in Bentota.

The hotel is situated on what we felt was the best bit of beach - further north past the rocks was far more crowded, and the hotel staff do a great job raking the sand and keeping it clean. There's a fair bit of litter that washes up on other stretches of beach. We loved crossing the railway track at the end of the garden to get to the sand. Don't worry about noise from the trains - they only pass every half-hour or so and we couldn't hear them at all from our room.

We stayed in the most basic room and it was spacious, well-lit, air-con worked well and water pressure was strong, v comfortable super-king-sized bed, room cleaned at least twice per day, 2 large bottles of water replenished every day. One tiny niggle - the extra charge for in-room wi-fi (it's free in the restaurant/pool area and the lounge). If the hotel reads these comments - please make wi-fi freely available in the rooms! We didn't encounter in-room charges anywhere else during our travels around Sri Lanka.

03 Apr 2016

We stayed here two nights April 1st till the 3rd. Nice natural setting but it was a major let down in many ways. Extremely limited food options even though the letter signed by the owner claims "wide variety of Thai, Sri Lankan and other cuisine" (have a copy of it). Run more like a boarding house where after 230pm, you have choice of a few basic snacks only and same applies for dinner. Since the place is away from it all, you are kind of stuck. When we complained, we were told this is how the boutique hotels operate, first of a kind we have seen with this arrangement. So if you can survive with very limited food options (2 for main courses) to eat with a set menu for set timings with limited choice for meals, then this is the perfect place for you. The pool was not clean and we did take some pictures with insects etc in it even though a daring lady took the plunge. The worst part was when you take a shower in the afternoon, you can surprise yourself with dirty, muddy water. When I saw the towel after taking the shower, i was shocked to see it all go orange. I went to the management office and was calmly told by I think the owner himself that there was some problem with copper or something similar in the tank and that it was just wrong timing of the day for me to have taken shower. That says it all that the management is aware and it was not a surprise for them but they fail to do anything about it. A casual apology and an acknowledgment is not something you expect from a place that boasts itself on luxury. Second day, the room was full of bugs even though the service team came and promptly did their job.The property is also short on blankets and when we asked for an additional blanket for a family of 5, the last piece given was a rug with holes in it. Thats the most appalling thing I have ever seen. I will separately post the pictures of the pool, the orange towel/ water and the rug with holes in it which was claimed as a blanket. In summary, a pathetic experience, callous service in palace that charges exorbitant money for nothing close to comfortable stay.

04 Apr 2016

We loved this small hotel. The location was great, just a few minutes walk from a beautiful, safe beach and lots of restaurants but it had a quiet, relaxed vibe. As always in Sri Lanka, the staff were incredibly friendly and attentive.
Our room was very quirky built into the side of the hill so had a rock in it! Very clean and really comfy bed. though if you want real luxury - this is not the place for you. Loads of ants in the bathroom for example.
can't wait to return

Room Tip: Ask for second floor with a balcony - some had a lot of steps to walk up!
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04 Apr 2016

We stayed at the Thambapanni Retreat for three nights in March and wish we'd booked more. The Hotel is a perfect retreat for relaxing and enjoying the nature and sounds of birds and various wildlife, including monkeys in the surrounding jungle, we loved it. We had chosen the room 108 from the website reviews so we knew what to expect and we were not disappointed. The staff were very friendly and did everything to make your stay a memorable one. It is a small intimate hotel especially around the pool but that in our opinion just made it the friendly place that it is. The walk from hotel to the beach is down a quiet road which we never tired of doing as there was so much to see and enjoy. We hope to visit again next year.

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