Based on previous TripAdvisor reviews, we had really been looking forward to staying here. However, while the bungalow itself is very nice, everything else fell a long way short of our expectations.
One of the main reasons we chose to stay here was that the 'Activities' page of their website lists a huge range of things you can do while staying at MF Bungalows, and also states that:
"We can suggest tours, either on foot by yourselves or with a tracker, or by hired vehicle with qualified driver/guide.
Just tell us what you would like to do and it will be organised."
However, all three members of staff who were there when we arrived seemed totally unaware that they were supposed to be providing this service. When I asked about the different activities listed on the website they had no idea what I was talking about - I had to actually show them the web page. After about two hours of back and forth discussion the best that we could arrange was that we go for an unguided walk around the estate and then one of them (obviously not a professional guide as advertised) would take us to a few places in his car.
Part of the problem here was that the staff member who we were mainly dealing with did not speak good enough English to be doing this job. In fairness to him, I got the feeling that he was actually the cook (he certainly cooked that night at least, and made us a pretty good meal) and was just doing his best in a job he wasn't really up to. However, given the excellent English on the website I was really expecting that at least one person on duty would speak sufficient English to deal with guests' enquiries and problems.
Our final problem was with the hot water. While my wife was in the shower it suddenly went off. We were the only guests that night and had been offered a choice of room when we arrived, so I went to ask if she could finish her shower in a room where the shower was working properly. To my astonsihment what the staff member seemed to be telling me was that none of the other rooms except ours had hot water turned on and that he could not turn it on. At this point I asked that he call the owner so I could speak to him. Instead he called another staff member (the gardener, perhaps?) who spoke no better English and was no better able to fix the problem. By this point I was pretty angry, and demanded to speak to the owner (Mr. Frank) first thing in the morning.
An additional problem was that unlike every other place we stayed in Sri Lanka, no bottled water was provided in the rooms. Moreover, both pillows smelt extremely musty (even to me, who has a very weak sense of smell).
Thankfully (and surprisingly) the wi-fi worked fine, so we made a reservation online at Melheim Resort for the following night, and I called to request that they send a driver to pick us up in the morning. This is the only time I have ever checked out of a hotel early due to dissatisfaction, and I am SO glad we did. For a little more money, Melheim Resort was like a different world! (See review).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Colonial styled bungalow in tranquil atmosphere on a working tea plantation. Surrounded by mountains and beautiful views. Ideal place for bird watching relaxation and walks to experience real Sri Lankan village life. Two comfortable bedrooms upstairs and four bedrooms on ground floor, with en-suite bathrooms, hot water shower, and bathtubs. All rooms bright and airy with Queen size beds. A cozy lounge with a fireplace and a veranda overlooking the garden. Variety of delicious Sri Lankan and western food available. Guests are requested to bring their own beverages. Accommodation available for around twenty people. Cook and caretaker available. Separate driver, guide room. ... more less