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“Big, big disappointment” 1 of 5 stars
Review of MF Estate Holiday Bungalow

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MF Estate Holiday Bungalow
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Pattiyagedara, Bandarawela 90100, Sri Lanka   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 23 Bandarawela B&B and Inns
Japan
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Big, big disappointment”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

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).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bwetraveller, Owner at MF Estate Holiday Bungalow, responded to this review, September 18, 2014
Dear Mcoomber,

We're extremely sorry about the issue you faced and we've taken all measures to correct the concerns you raised. Please feel free a stay at our bungalow again something. Appreciate you'r feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    6
    4
    0
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    1
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Solo
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

We stayed at MF Holiday Bungalow for 2 nights in February when nearby Ella was full, and were completely charmed. This wood-beamed lodge is intimate and comfortable, with antiques scattered about and stunning views across tea plantation country - a vista we started calling 'Bandarawela Gap.' Free WIFI is offered, but bring your own beverages (apart from water, coffee, tea - you can buy sodas from the little stand just outside the gate, or stronger stuff in Bandarawela or Ella towns).

We were treated to excellent meals, including beautiful 'rice n' curry' dinners with multiple fresh meat and vegetable curries, and proper egg and string hoppers for breakfast. The two staff members on site were very friendly and accommodating, and the owner, Frank, took the time to welcome us and tell us about his vision for the place - which includes weddings on a new back patio under construction, small-wedding-planners take note.

Their usual driver/guide accommodation wasn't available, so they offered our guide an empty guest room - a very nice gesture given our observation, over the course of our 11-day trip, that the hospitality once offered to driver/guides seems to be waning in many places.

Our upstairs room was very clean and well-appointed with a comfy double and single bed, plus ensuite bathroom, which appeared to be the set-up in all 6 rooms. There are lovely views from the bedroom windows, fitted with full curtains. The spacious and spotless bathroom (upstairs rooms have separate tub/shower, a nice break from the 'flooded bathroom' scenario of many guesthouses) had ample hot water.

Stay at MF and drive back to Ella for the hikes, if you wish, or simply take walks in the local area, as we did - visiting a small stupa we glimpsed in the valley, and chatting with local folks along the way. Also ask about visiting the local tea factory where after clearing our visit with the manager and paying a small fee, we enjoyed a leisurely and informative tour as the only visitors.

Room Tip: 2 couples traveling together might like the 2 upstairs rooms, separated by a pleasant sitting area
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

We spent one week in MF holiday bungalow and had a lovely time. The room was large, nicely furnished with fantastic views. The en-suite bathroom was also nice and large and very very clean. The staff were wonderful. The cook went out of his way to serve one delicious meal after the other making sure that we got to taste all kinds of different Sri Lankan specialities. We really loved the location, right in the middle of the tea plantation and not too far out of town. We give this place a big thumbs up!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

We stayed at MF Estate Bungalow just before Christmas and very much enjoyed the warm hospitality and relaxing surroundings.
Although the bungalow is newly built and has all modern conveniences it retains some of the traditional tea plantation features. A special treat are the large panoramic windows in the dining area that overlook the tea plantations.
We booked with dinner and were lucky to have the staff and bungalow to ourselves. Service was great and food was plentiful and good.
The rooms have very comfortable beds with new mattresses and hot showers in the ensuite bathroom.
The bungalow is a few kilometers out of Bandarawela, this was not a problem as we were traveling with our mountain bikes otherwise there are busses and tuk tuks in case you don't want to venture out just from the back door.
We are hoping to come back with some friends and rent the whole bungalow for a few days, it can sleep up to 8 and has plenty of space in the living and dining areas.

Room Tip: The bungalow is new and all the rooms are great.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2011

We 3 families stayed one night and we were so happy.. Rooms were very comfortable and spacious and bathrooms were very clean. Recommend the place.......

Room Tip: Comfortable and spacious rooms
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this peaceful bungalow. We were looked after so magnificently by the staff there and thoroughly enjoyed all the Sri Lankan food they cooked for us. The rooms were comfortable, well appointed and the bathrooms luxurious with plenty of hot water. We enjoyed our walks around the hills and the local town offered lots of local attractions. We would thoroughly recommend this holiday venue .

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about MF Estate Holiday Bungalow

Address: Pattiyagedara, Bandarawela 90100, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Uva Province > Bandarawela
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Bandarawela
Number of rooms: 6
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 

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