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“Excellent place for wedding and honey moon” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Saman Villas

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Saman Villas
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Galle Road, Bentota, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 26 Hotels in Bentota
Moscow, Russia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Excellent place for wedding and honey moon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

The wonderful place for couple relax or even for wedding. Nice atmosphere , services on high level, world class meals, big rooms all with ocean view. Frienly personal, professional spa. Wedding prepared and organized on high level. We had very nice stay there and reccomend it to all, who is looking for quiet place with high standards.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myfacebook, Sales & Marketing Manager at Saman Villas, responded to this review, December 12, 2011
We thank the reviewer for sharing their holiday experience at Saman Villas and the excellent comments made in every aspect.

Thank you for making such favorable comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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531 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Dubai
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2011

Saman Villas is an extremely well maintained boutique hotel with excellent service, spacious and private rooms, and decent food. We stayed at the resort for two nights - one night in the deluxe suite, and the other in the saman villa suite with swimming pool. We would have ideally loved to stay in the deluxe suite with swimming pool, however they were not available. The deluxe room we stayed in was on the ground floor of a two level villa. The room was spacious, with an outdoor bathroom, a big bed, and a porch with lounge chairs. We didnt miss the private swimming pool because the hotel has a common infinity pool with a breathtaking view of the sea. Would recommend watching the sunset in the pool. The villa on the other hand has two levels, with a seating area, outdoor bathroom and private swimming pool below, and the bedroom with an additional bathroom upstairs. Both rooms were sea facing as well. The beach stretches on either sides of the hotel sufficiently and is quite private to the hotel guests. Since the hotel is far away from practically everything, there isnt much to do post sunset. The hotel gets very dark, as the surroundings are only the sea and trees. There are a lot of insects and mosquitos, especially after sunset, and would recommend asking for a bed net, and keeping the doors closed as much as possible. There is only one restaurant at the hotel and although their menu is quite elaborate, it could do with a little more consistency, as there were an equal number of hits and misses. The spa is exquisite, private and worth the time and money spent there. Saman Villas is definitely a place I would visit again and again!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myfacebook, Sales & Marketing Manager at Saman Villas, responded to this review, December 12, 2011
We thank the reviewer for sharing their holiday experience at Saman Villas and the excellent comments made in every aspect.

We are delighted to hear the excellent comment made about our spa.

We have noted your comments about our menu and I have informed our Executive Chef and our Restaurant & Bar Manager to look in to this.

Thank you for making such favorable comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2011

We spent four nights in saman villas and I have to say that this was one of the most relaxing vacation my husband and I have ever had. You cannot fault this boutique hotel in any area - from location, food, ambience to service...it is perfect in every way. Saman villas meets the standards of any international five star hotel yet it is small enough to offer personal touches that almost make you feel that every guest is treated like royalty. I will be going back to saman villas again and again.

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myfacebook, Sales & Marketing Manager at Saman Villas, responded to this review, December 12, 2011
We thank the reviewer for sharing their holiday experience at Saman Villas and the excellent comments made in every aspect.

Thank you for commending the hotel and making such favorable comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2011

I stayed this hotel over the weekend for my husband birthday, but ended up being unhappy stay. i have some good feedback about this hotel from my friends but all about hotel pool- infinity pool. I booked a delux suite w/private swiming pool, but several facility problems in my room (the ditch stinks in the bathroom, music player is out of order, hot water capacity is low so didn't soak myself), outside three wheeler guy is coming just in front of my private pool did asking restaurant or tour guid, and worst is they forgot a complimentary BD cake for my husband! I told them when i checked out, but just talked back they would arrange that cake just for BD guy stays on the day! if i knew that, i am ok to pay extra, but surely they mentioned it on my reservation confirmation email. We left the happy with unhappy mood, and no staff sent off at the hotel reception, just handed over the bill!! It's pitty hotel other staff is friendly, but others aren't good. Judging from food and facility, not worth paying (food is so seasoned). when compared to other srilankan luxuary hotel, i won't recommend this hotel. I won't come back this hotel, either!!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myfacebook, Sales & Marketing Manager at Saman Villas, responded to this review, December 16, 2011
We refer to the recent stay of two resident expatriates at Saman Villas and wish to explain in detail the issues raised by the reviewers.

1. Complimentary birthday cake:The reviewers stay was for one night from 3rd to 4th December 2011 and the actual birthday of the reviewers’ husband was falling on 5th December 2011. Complimentary birthday cakes are provided only if the particular guest is staying on the day of the birthday. The reviewer wanted to arrange a special occasion with a special dinner and cake to be presented as a surprise. We agreed to provide a complimentary cake. When the reservation was confirmed, we sent the prices for the special dinner but the reviewer did not want to book the special dinner. The reviewer did not discuss or specify the time the cake should be presented after they arrive. The hotel staff had also forgotten to check with the guest about serving the cake, which was a complete oversight on our part.

The reviewer mentioned about the cake not been provided only upon departure; had this been just mentioned to the hotel we would have readily arranged the cake as a surprise. Upon noting our mistake, I immediately called the guest and apologized and requested to meet them in person to explain. Since the guest was not able to provide an appointment, I immediately sent an apology card signed by me and Chairman along with a bottle of Moet & Chandon to the guest residence before the reviewers’ husbands’ birthday.

2. DVD Player was broken: A full check is carried out in all suites before releasing for arrivals. Based on our check list records, the DVD player was functioning before the guest checked-in and therefore we are rather surprised with this complaint. We were informed about a defect only at departure and our Maintenance Department had immediately checked the unit and found it faultless.

3. Ditch stinks in the bathroom: All rooms are provided with a water feature – a small pond and a spout with water circulating daily for a total of six and half-hours. The system was operating since August 2010 without any problems. During this period the South of Sri Lanka experienced gale force winds and heavy evening rains resulting 19 deaths and 35 fishermen reported missing. The heavy rains continued until 1st December evening. The pond drain-out could not cope with the heavy rains and water was flooding the bathrooms. For the 1st time since August 2010 we had to stop circulation and empty the ponds. The system was restarted with fresh water on 2nd December. Although the ponds were emptied to prevent flooding, some water remained in the pipe lines. Later investigations reveled that micro-organisms had formed in the water remaining in the pipe lines, which had developed unpleasant odors. When the ponds were refilled and the circulation restarted these smells came into the bathroom. Such human errors occur everywhere in the world. According to what we read in the world press not so long ago the nuclear disaster in Japan was one such incident. Since we are aware of the cause of the bad odor, we have taken preventive measures.

Bath, shower and sink water was not affected at all and it was perfectly safe to use the water. There were other guests in the hotel during this time and we have not received such complaints.

4. Unable to soak due to poor water flow: All suites are provided with an oversize terrazzo bath. The bath spout is a unique design where the water flows from a 6-inch wide, open-top spout. Water flow from a 6-inch wide, open-top spout will look slow as compared to water flowing from a normal half-inch tap. The bath filling time is normal and this is the first ever complaint we have received regarding water flow.

5. Whilst in the private pool a person climbing on to the rock: We were rather surprised of this incident as no one made such a complaint. We would expect our reviewer to immediately raise such an incident, but our reviewer did not do so until they departed from the hotel. Although we have no way of verifying this, we immediately took the matter up with the highest level in the Police. On the instructions of the Southern Province Police Chief, the Officer-in- Charge summoned all the Three-Wheeler drivers to the Police Station and warned them severely. In consultation with the Police, we are taking a course of action to prevent such incidents in the future.

6. Too much seasoning in the food: We note that the reviewer had consumed a Sri Lankan dish for lunch which was mildly spiced and probably the spices did not agree with them. In the case of dinner the reviewer had chosen the 4 course set dinner which was also consumed by many other guests who had commented very positively. Over 95% of our guests are very happy with our food. This is evident from reviews in websites, blogs and our own guest comment book.

All issues that have been raised by the reviewer could have been resolved immediately by informing us. The Chairman’s welcome letter provides details of all Departmental Managers, and guests are requested to contact them to raise any issues. Sadly our reviewers did not raise any of these issues during their stay.

Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011

I would echo some of the recent reviews. You cannot fault the the location and the facilities here. We stayed during the second week in November and we were delighted to be placed within the villa with the private pool. The room was faultless and the views from our room were spectacular. There were certain aspects that let Saman Villas down but we do believe that these can be easily rectified, provided the management take the criticisms on board and treat them as purely constructive. Having read some of the reviews which highlight some of the problems / irritations that we experienced, it seems that the default response is somewhat defensive. The facilities ARE magnificent but we stayed at a boutique hotel in the hill country the week before where the facilties were less opulent, but the service was infinately better. Why? The staff were very friendly without being intrusive, and were capable of making informed decisions. There were sensible policies on consumption of food and drink. The food was excellent.

Can we say the same for Saman Villas? Unfortunately not. The staff were not unfriendly, but they do lack the service skills you would expect from a 5 star hotel. We found the constant interruptions for cleaning the room, cleaning the pool and restocking the mini bar a bit of an irritation. You couldnt help feeling that all these things could have been undertaken in one visit.

The policy on water is mean in the extreme. Obviously you cannot drink the tap water and they give you one small complimentary bottle (each) per day. You have to pay for more water - and the price for a small bottle is at an enormous premium compared to buying water locally. This is a policy I would expect to see from a budget airline, not a five star hotel. The boutique hotel we stayed at described above gave complimentary water, and we certainly werent chased around by someone with a piece of paper to sign every time we had a drink. On another occasion we asked if we could use the hotel computer. We had to wait quite a long time while the staff searched for the key to the room. Once in there a staff member stood over us watching us use the computer! When we queried this and asked politlely if we could have a little privacy, the staff member in question seemed lost as to what we were asking for. It was all very awkward. In the end we decided to simply walk away. On another occasion I wanted to send an internal letter. This is where I would expect staff to say "dont worry sir, we'll add it to our outgoing mail". Instead, the staff at reception (there seemed to be quite a lot of them) seemed totally confused by my request to send a letter and when they finally worked out what I was requesing they made me pay for the stamp (10 rupees). Again, if I stayed in 3 star hotel in Majorca, I'd expect to pay for stamps and water and I'm happy to pay my way generally. Given this is a 5-star hotel, its lack of little touches like this that made us feel as though we were simply sources of cash rather than customers who appreciate friendly hospitatlity.

The drinks are very over priced. They are comparable / slightly more than London pub / bar prices. In doing this, the hotel has scored a spectacular own goal. The bar after dinner is dead as most customers head into town during the day to stock up on cheaper alcohol to drink on their balconies. Other holidaymakers there admitted to us that if the drinks at the hotel were slightly cheaper then they would probably avoid the journey into town and drink in the bar.

The food is good and tasty, but we wouldnt class it as 5-star. By European standards its upper chain restaurant standard.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myfacebook, Sales & Marketing Manager at Saman Villas, responded to this review, December 4, 2011
We thank the reviewer for sharing their holiday experience at Saman Villas and highly commending the Suite with pool and other facilities of the hotel. Though the reviewer was not pleased with some of the service aspects, we are very thankful for placing high ratings on location, cleanliness, rooms and sleep quality.

We post our replies to all reviewer comments on a public page; hence the reply cannot be personal as done in personal replies to guests. The objective is to simply address the issues raised by the reviewers and/or thank them. The replies we post are by no means defensive, but rather our honest point of view as it is important for other readers to understand our product in the correct perspective.

We thank the reviewer for pointing out the lapses in our services and we are taking immediate action to rectify them.

We provide unlimited bottled water in our suites free of charge and they are replenished frequently. We charge for bottled water only at the bar and the restaurant, as done in any restaurant or hotel, but not for bottled water supplied in the rooms. We note that our reviewers previous stay was at one of the boutique hotels in the hill country which presumably sells on ALL INCLUSIVE. Generally all inclusive hotels would provide complimentary beverages , food etc... and guests do not have to sign for bills. Since Saman Villas is a non-all inclusive hotel we are compelled to obtain signatures from guests when the bill is closed, but not as and when orders are placed.

Thank you for raising the comment regarding local postage as we never realized it. Based on the reviewer's comment, we have decided to offer free local postage for all our guests with immediate effect. Our intention was never to make money on postage and we do not consider our guests as a sources of cash, but rather valuable guest. We are one of the very few hotels who offer a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival and we would not have done so if we are all out to make money from our guests in every possible way.

Our reviewer and some guests are of the opinion that overall prices in developing countries such as Sri Lanka should be low and tends to compare prices in Europe. In reality this is not correct as our liquor suppliers are liable to pay a very high import duty and are subjected to several other taxes in addition to shipping charges; same in the case of imported food items such as prime Australian steaks. The government considers alcoholic beverages and tobacco to be a main source of income and therefore import duty on these items are subject to increases and hotels are compelled to pass it to the consumer. The Sri Lankan market is very small and our import quantities are substantially low as overall consumption of such items are small, hence Sri Lanka does not receive favorable prices when purchasing from Europe etc. Taking the above factors into consideration, it is not surprising that prices of alcoholic beverages been similar or slightly higher than in Europe.
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West Malling, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

Since booking our holiday we have been watching the reviews on this site and wondered if it could be as good as the best reviews say - it is!!
The location is magnificent, situated on a rocky headland with a palm fringed curve of sandy beach to either side. The accommodations all have a sea view and the gardens are well maintained. We had one of the Deluxe Suites which are on the ground floor - there was sitting space with loungers outside, a covered porch with table and chairs, a sitting area inside, a sleeping area with a large double bed was up two steps. In addition there was a dressing room complete with wash basin. The bathroom was off of the dressing room a featured an open air shower (the jury is out on this feature as it flooded twice during thunder storms!).
Housekeeping was of a very high standard. Towels were changed twice a day! My wife even had her shoes polished. The boys were friendly but not obtrusive.
The infinity pool blends into the ocean visually and has an apron which is the ideal place to top up that tan. I think (being pickey) that the pool bar is a bit soulless but the gin & tonic is spot on.
The food is a real highlight. There is an extensive menu of local and international food. The food is beautifully cooked and presented. The restaurant service is superb. There was nightly entertainment at dinner sometimes solo artists flute or guitar but tops were the Sri Lankan dancers - they were brilliant!!
I cannot praise the staff highly enough. they all combined to make this the perfect holiday. Yes it did rain (mainly at night) but even umbrellas are provided against this eventuality.

Room Tip: You can't go wrong with whatever. I would debate wether a private pool is necessary.
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  • Stayed November 2011, 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.
myfacebook, Sales & Marketing Manager at Saman Villas, responded to this review, December 12, 2011
We thank the reviewer for sharing their holiday experience at Saman Villas and the excellent comments made in every aspect.

We are delighted to hear the excellent comments made about our food and very especially about our team.

Thank you for making such favorable comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2011

We really enjoyed the stay in Saman Villa. It's a perfect place for relaxation and quietness. I highly recommend this place for honeymooners

  • Stayed November 2011, 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
    • 4 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.
myfacebook, Sales & Marketing Manager at Saman Villas, responded to this review, December 12, 2011
We thank the reviewer for sharing their holiday experience at Saman Villas and the excellent comments made in every aspect.


Thank you for making such favorable comments.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Saman Villas

Address: Galle Road, Bentota, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#1 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
#3 Family Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Saman Villas 4.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Saman Villas is laid out on a magnificent rocky headland dividing two long, surf-swept golden beaches. Close by is a sleepy fishing village but you would not know it, the only sounds are sea gulls' cries and the surf below. The resort is inspired by ancient Sri Lankan architecture. The restaurants, bars and villa suites are all angled to take full advantage of the sea shore vista either side of the headland. A terraced garden draws the eye to a dramatic infinity-edge pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Saman Villas Hotel Bentota
Saman Hotel Aturuwella
Saman Resort Aturuwella

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