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“Fun, Nature and Relaxation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Saraii Village

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Saraii Village
Randunu Kale Watta | Weerawila, Tissamaharama 82632, Sri Lanka   |  
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Perth, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fun, Nature and Relaxation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

We visited Saraii Village at the begining of September and i must say this was one of the most authentic experiences i have ever had in Sri Lanka. A small place, naturally built with clay houses and tree top huts providing a total rural feel. Some of our Sri Lankan friends joined us and they too were very surprised that something like this existed in Sri Lanka, but i do believe it has been open just this year. The location was great, but a tad bit HOT but your still close to both Yala and Bundala Nature Parks. Did two Safari's, one to Bundala as i'm a avi lover and you get to see so many birds of paradise in this amazing little country. Yala was great too, we saw tusker elephants and a leopard. Saraii organizes the Safari rides and i am told that they work with a few operators that have an agreement with them to ensure that the drive is safe, to the animals and for guests, as we saw many jeeps that were racing around crazily. As a nature lover, i applaude Saraii's effort to ensure they work with responsible drivers and guides. We all enjoyed the flavourful meals at Saraii, fresh vegetables, lake fish, great juices, all adding to the enjoyment. Do wish there was a natural swimming pool as well :) but i am assured that the management is working on it too. Now that would really add to the offering. Loved being at Saraii, some of the most happy people i've met. Will definitely be back.

Room Tip: Mud huts are cool inside, tree top hut gets a lot of breeze, both have fans.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Dear Sybil,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of your stay at Saraii Village! We value all the feedback and comments our guests share on tripadvisor.com and we believe they contribute to our we evolve and move forward as a business.

Your kind words mean a lot to us and we are thrilled that you encapsulated our objectives as an eco-hotel during your stay with us. We are still looking at options for a natural swimming pool, finding a suitable filtering system is proving to be more challenging than we thought it would be!

We would appreciate a pool to cool down in more than anybody else!
We will always try to provide the most sustainable options for all of our excursions, which now stretch beyond Yala and Bundula Safaris, to artisanal lake fishing experiences, bicycle tours and visits to home operated buffalo curd making!

All comments about our food are received well! This is an area that we take great pride in and is a key offering to guests in order to provide them authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.
We do hope that you return again, we are currently constructing a restaurant, some new, larger tree houses and a new mud chalet. We will also have cooking work stations where guests can learn to cook traditional Sri Lankan cuisine from scratch!

Many thanks,
The Saraii Village Management Team
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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Pakistan
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

This was my first trip to Srilanka and thanks to Sarii Village I plan to go back! Had the most relaxing time there! Our trip was nothing short of amazing! The Tree houses in Saraii village are simply charming! with all the pleasures of the outdoors with the comfort of a bed!! Its the best of both worlds! Who could ask for more?? (especially if your a semi-outdoorsy person like me). My partner and I especially loved eating outside under the stars. For the duration of the trip the staff and the guide were both friendly n warm, and the hotel accommodated us as much as they could ( and I'll admit, I'm exceptionally picky). The managers of the hotel were exceptionally helpful when it came to advising us on where to go and what to see! (and which places to avoid!) Though the food had spices that I was not used to eating back home, it was Srilanka at its finest!! This trip made me fall in love with this country and I am DEFINITELY going to go back!!

Room Tip: To fully enjoy the tree houses, keep in mind that they ARE outdoors and susceptible to the elements...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 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.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Dear Meera,

We are honoured that you have described us as being the “true essence of Sri Lanka”, this is a title we proudly accept. Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience at Saraii Village, we are glad that we surpassed your high standards as we set very high standards ourselves. It is delightful to know that you and your partner enjoyed your time so much here and we do hope that you will come and visit us again some day!

Many thanks,
The Saraii Village Management Team
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

I stayed here with my husband for just one night and it was a very pleasant experience. We were promptly greeted by the staff, who communicated well in English and were ready to help us with the luggage and reservation. We were showed to our tree house, and need I say my first thoughts were of Tarzan and Jane! Our tree house had a double bed, dressed in comfortable earthly coloured bed linen, with a view of the surrounding trees. What amused me more was the fact all the materials used to construct these tree houses were sourced from nearby shrub land when it was cleared for planting.. I think it's a truly remarkable concept, and if I'm not mistaken it is the only such place in Sri Lanka. We then went for lunch and were served authentic Sri Lankan dishes. While chatting to the chef, we learned that the meal was made from local farm grown produce. Thinking about it that must have been the reason for that added home-grown flavour! All in all, it was a holiday to remember! I'm definitely going there again, and next time I'm thinking of staying in one of the mud huts!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Dear Mariam,

Thank you so very much for taking the time to share the experience of your stay at Saraii Village. Reviews like this let us know what our guests thought, what they want to see more of and what they would like to improved.

It will not surprise you to know how often we here the phrase “Tarzan and Jane” at Saraii Village, so much so that we are actually expecting a visit from them at some point!

We are touched that you really understand and appreciate our efforts to create a sustainable hotel that caters for all, even those who have never stayed at an eco-hotel before. We believe that by sourcing all of our produce locally we are not only supporting the local economy we are promoting ethical practices amongst farmer and guests, thank you for supporting that mission.

We would love to have you come and stay with us again!

Many thanks,
The Saraii Village Management Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wexford
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

My wife has reviewed this establishment previously but upon just speaking to the owners we are updating you of the treatment we have gotten since our review.
We have tried to contact them repeatedly by email and txt and been ignored we then called them today and were given another number to call which was a wrong number. After this we called the first number again where my wife who I may add is nearly 5 months pregnant was talked to very rudely by a man claiming to be the proprietor. He said that because of our review we shall no longer be getting any kind of refund even though we only stayed in the accommodation for 1 night with no edible food and no one who spoke any English.
We did not feel safe there and moved to new accommodation...we were shown 3 places by the guide the second was quite far away from anywhere and we were not willing to stay. The man on the phone said this was offered to us free of charge which was not the case as we would have stayed there had we known it was free and taken this as repayment but this was NEVER ever offered
The man brought my wife to tears and when she passed the phone to me he had hung up and now refuses to answer his phone.
We are currently doing a documentary for english television who have the right to use all footage from our honeymoon so everyone can see how the proprioter spoke to my wife and the conditions in which we had to stay. We have tried to sort this out with them but will be taking this further now as we were not provided what was stated on the website.
This has put a huge damper on our honeymoon

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this review, September 15, 2012
Thank you for your review.

In fairness to all concerned and in the interest of transparency we would like to share the following, which we trust will give a more balanced perspective.

1. We continuously engaged with the customer through email and numerous telephone calls, prior to, during and after their visit to Saraii.

2. It was evident by the customer's own admission that he was disappointed with the general location of his choice for their holiday (Yala / Tissamaharama). Giving us reason to believe that It was not Saraii that prompted their first decision to explore alternate locations.

3. On learning the customer was not happy with the choice they made, we engaged with the customer and made a commitment to explore all avenues open to us in order to ensure they had a happy stay.

4. In honouring this commitment, we extended them the courtesy of alternate accommodation at Lake View Cottage, absolutely free of charge, including all transfers. This was clearly communicated to them and arrangements made for them to be picked up from Saraii and taken to Lake View Cottage. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1102395-d1988944-Reviews-Lake_View_Cottage-Tissamaharama_Southern_Province.html#REVIEWS

5. The customer chose NOT to avail of this opportunity extended by us after going to Lake View and decided to seek other accommodation.

6. Due to a written request from the customer prior to their visit to Saraii that they were on honeymoon and for a special touch to be provided to make it memorable; we coordinated for a celebrity chef from Colombo to be at site on Saraii to prepare a special dinner for them on Thursday the 6th (2nd night of their reservation). This was an additional cost incurred by us, which could not be avoided even though the guests decided not to stay at Saraii.

7. We had 3 inquiries for the dates reserved by the customer, which we had to turn down.

8. Contrary to the customer's claim of not being able to contact us and 'wrong numbers' being given to them; all contact details including two office numbers, fax, e mail and a 24 hour mobile contact of Saraii are clearly listed on our website and on Trip Advisor.

9. We are a new operation, just in existence for 3 months. Our website www.saraiivillage.com and our offering are completely transparent and we categorically refute the customer's claim that we "did not provide" what was stated on the website.

10. We are obliged to believe that the negative review by the customer is an attempt to muscle their way to force us to meet their demand, as the wife of the guest plainly threatened us with a bad review if we did not refund their full payment, including the night they stayed at Saraii. The customer even went to the extent of demanding that we travel to the airport (located 5 hours away from Saraii) to refund them the full payment or face consequences!!! We feel that this "strong arm" approach is further highlighted by the customer's continued threat of bad publicity on a documentary.

11. As leisure providers our philosophy is to make every experience count for every customer; We are an organization that will honour any legitimate claim.

12. While customer satisfaction and our reputation is uppermost in our minds and take priority in all we do; in this instance we wish to uphold our principles and values and not be intimidated by what we believe is a patronizing, vituperative and false attack, initiated with the sole purpose of forcing a refund, for a wrong choice the customer made.

Saraii - Management
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2012

Wow, what a concept. Simple charm of rural hospitality. The tree houses are REAL. They really are on top of trees and not engineered contraptions. The kids were in their element. Revisiting their childhood dreams. In fact, both my wife and i too felt we wereback in our own childhood. The rustic structures, simple wooden furniture all combined to give us a very relaxing holiday; a real moment where we switched off. The food was out of this world. The staff and service was unobtrusive, yet very attentive. Seven sightings of leoopard on our game drive the next morning at Yala National Park was the highlight of the holiday. The 5 lake tour recommended by the hotel and boat ride were cool but if your trying it, you would enjoy it more after the hot sun. The picnic lunch with village food and the river bath organized by Saraii was a signature treat though a tad spicy. Do insist on the fried fresh water fish. We will definitely be back next time we are in Sri Lanka.

Room Tip: Go for the tree top rooms
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Dear Danny,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of Saraii Village on tripadvisor.com, we really appreciate all feedback we receive from guests and believe that tripadvisor.com is a channel where guests are very honest! Thank you very much for your kind words, we are delighted that you and your family had such an enjoyable stay. We are delighted when guests throw them in to the experiences that we offer, this helps them enjoy their stay as much as you and your family did.

Thanks for immersing yourself in our country’s culture and cuisine!

The Saraii Village Management Team
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Dusseldorf, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

This was the highlight of our trip. We stayed in the "nest" tree house which has two floors and is large enough for a family, and it was so comfortable and peaceful. The hosts were very friendly and took care of us like family. Saraii is a small villa and I have never seen real tree houses as these. Natural tree houses and authentic Sri lankan food. They live up to their concept of being low in their carbon footprint. Hence, no ac, but they do make up for it by providing fans and being high up the breeze more than makes up for it. They arranged a safari for us at yala nature pak and we saw leopards and many elephants. They also arranged for us to visit kataragama, and religious site, and this was very special. In the evening we were given a special outdoor candle lit dinner, as a surprise and my wife was so thrilled. We saw many peacocks on the land and so many types of birds, we were told that we are located close to a bird sanctuary which explained it. The tree houses would be amazing for bird watching, next time I should bring my bionaculars. Amazing service, excellent food, comfortable and simple setting. This place was a treat.

Room Tip: Tree houses are amazing
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Dear Cane,

Thank you for writing a review on tripadvisor.com and taking the time to share with us your thoughts, opinions and comments, it means a great deal to us to have guests inform us of their stay.

We are touched that you thought of your stay at Saraii Village as being the highlight of your trip, we set very high standards for ourselves and it appears that we have met them, this is like a big pat on the back for us! Thank you for choosing Saraii as a destination during your visit to Sri Lanka, we hope you look back on your time in our country and at our eco-hotel with fond memories.

Many thanks,
The Saraii Village Management Team
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Wexford, wexford Ireland
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

Well what can I say... This shouldn't be open as a hotel.
Our trip to this place started badly before we even got there there was no signposts for it at all and our driver had to call more than once to get directions as it was dark..we drove down a very badly kept dirt track to a set of closed gates. The driver had to call again to ask if we were in the right place as we were told the gates were open.
So we got out of the car to be greeted by no one who spoke any English we were then showed round in broken English. We booked the treetop room as we thought it would be a great experience...we were wrong it was a poorly constructed shack with not one nail used in the whole thing.
When we asked for dinner it was like we had asked for a punch in the face. We were told we could have fried rice which took over 2 hours to make. We had been travelling for 6 hours so we were very hungry and tired. When the food came it was nearly in edible with mostly chicken bones instead of chicken and we were very unsettled by the staff chatting and laughing behind us as we ate like it was a big joke. We also requested an early breakfast as we were going to yala the next morning but were told no just tea was available. After dinner we said we were going to bed as we had an early start and the staff chatted loudly under out tree for well over an hour after we turned out our lights.
The plugs in our " room" cracked and sparked when anything was plugged in, the bathroom was awful with a broken sink and a blind which you could see through when ever the light was on so we couldn't take a shower as we were worried someone would see. We couldn't sleep as our bed was infested with ants that bit us thought the night.
Even our tea the next morning was horrible either the milk was off or it was poorly made milk powder. We booked for 3 nights and stayed for 1.
I could go on and on but I won't as we complained and are being given a full refund.

Room Tip: Dont book the tree house
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Dear Emma,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts and opinions of your stay at Saraii on tripadvisor.com.

Our policy now is to answer all comments left on tripadvisor, so guests can recognize that we have acknowledged their account of their stay at Saraii, this includes revisiting comments that were left from guests who stayed with us not long after we opened 18 months ago.
It is to our understanding that this case has been dealt with already, and the other member of your party had their comments replied to at the time.

We are truly sorry that you left Saraii Village with a bitter taste in your mouth. We set very high standards for ourselves to prevent these situations from occurring.

Thanks again for taking the time to review Saraii Village.
The Saraii Village Management Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Saraii Village

Address: Randunu Kale Watta | Weerawila, Tissamaharama 82632, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Tissamaharama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 18 Specialty lodging in Tissamaharama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Saraii Village is a truely unique location that provides guests an eco - agro tourism experience. Located in an agro-forestry land in Wirawila, Hambantota District, in the Sourthern Province of Sri Lanka, Saraii offers you natural Mud Chalets and Tree Houses. You can make a reservation at Saraii and secure a mud chalet along with an amazing natural tree house and your own bathroom... You can also book individual units as well. Guests can enjoy different types of food and even pick your own fruits and vegetables from the Organically Certified agro land. WI-FI enabled. Restaurant and hang out area for you and your friends. The mud chalets are great for two people and can also be transformed to accommodate 5 people (as we can add single mattress to create extra beds). The tree houses also can be transformed to accommodate either a couple or a group. The larger tree house which we call Nest can accommodate 6 people, and the small tree house Crib can accommodate 4.This is a great place for a romantic getaway too as the mud huts have a large double bed and a private bathroom and the tree house can be prepared to give a special, romantic feel.Saraii Village is close to many interesting sites, such as the Yala Nature Reserve, Bundala Bird Santuray & Nature Reserve, Lunugamwehera Nature Reserve, Wirawila Tank, Kirinda Beach, great for surfing, diving, dolphine & whale watching. Famous religious site, Kataragama is located 30 - 45 mins away, with many more attractions available for you.We can arrange for responsible tours within the nature reserves and visits to places of interest around this location. ... more   less 
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