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“'Why' I shall be returning to Why House” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Why House

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Why House
Mihiripenna | Talpe, Galle, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 107 Specialty Lodging in Galle
London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“'Why' I shall be returning to Why House”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

What an exceptional and idyllic place Why House is! I simply can’t recommend it highly enough. I went to Sri Lanka on a research mission, with the hope of a little R&R thrown in, and as a women travelling alone I have to admit I felt slightly apprehensive but there was no need. From the moment the plane touched down I felt entirely cared for and excited too, it’s an extraordinary country with smiling, welcoming people. The house organised my transport from Colombo to Galle and upon arrival I was greeted by Henrietta and Sanath, the hotel managers, with such warmth and generosity of spirit that I immediately felt completely at home. It’s so tranquil there, 5 mins Tuk Tuk ride from the stunning (but noisy) Indian Ocean and my room was bliss with a private terrace, huge shower, air con and a lovely big walk-in wardrobe – important for a girl! The food was utterly delicious and I had the choice of dining quietly alone or with other guests at the main house table…which was great fun and much more interesting. The staff bent over backwards to ensure my comfort and Henrietta even escorted me into Galle, explaining the general Sri Lankan ropes, so I felt totally confident alone thereafter. Sanath was ever happy to drive me wherever I needed to go – he even devised an overland tour for me to take when I come back with my children next year. I want to show them the elephants and the tea plantations and they will adore staying at Why House. This is no ordinary hotel, it has the feeling of a luxurious home set in a vibrant and exciting area of this truly magical country. Thank you all for looking after me so beautifully.

Room Tip: The room I had wasn't in the main house so it felt very private. It was even big enough to shar...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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114 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    106
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

We arrived in Why House after an exhausting journey by car. The professionalism, the kindness of the staff and the maginficient pool allowed us to put our long ride behind us very fast.
The spacious room with a separating door for the parent section was a plus.
The bathroom with its glass ceiling above the italian shower was a delight.
The team makes sure that you feel at home and equest what they can cook to please you. The western and Eastern food was FANTASTIC.
My favourite moment was that while I was reading beside the pool, Babou (one of the staff) was offering me some Lime Soda.....

Room Tip: Shall you travel with some kids, we recommend the double rooms in the main pavillon.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
london
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

From our being met by Sanath the manager at 1.30am at Colombo airport to our departure a week later being waved off by all the staff this was one of the best weeks we have ever spent.
Hen, the English manager, was not only friendly and welcoming but also extremely efficient and thought of every need you might have, often before you knew you needed it.
The food was delicious, from sumptuous breakfast buffets, light lunches, to delicious blow out dinners. And though asked for your preferences you could quite easily leave it all to the excellent chef.
Though there was a party who had taken most of the house (we were in a cabana) we never felt crowded and could always take our meals in a number of locations around the property.
Tuk tuks and drivers were arranged at a moments notice and reservations for dinner made without fuss.

We are already planning our next trip...need we say more

PS Don't forget to ask Babu for an Arrack sour...addictive

Room Tip: We were in a cabana which gave some privacy.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Carlsbad, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

Why not stay at Why House when visiting Southern Sri Lanka. This is a wonderful gem of a boutique hotel. The house and the spacious rooms are beautiful, and roomy and clean. (I particularly liked the large closet and the great shower. The pool and grounds are immaculate and well-maintained, but the best part is the wonderful staff. Henrietta and Stanath are not just hospitable, but they can't do enough for you. Henrietta supervises a wonderful kitchen that produces flavorful curries as well as Western food. The string hoppers for breakfast are a real treat with a curry, but my favorite was the beet curry (that's beetroot for you Brits) in an egg hopper. They can arrange transport to or from the airport or to Galle or to the beach and the house has the Cadillac of tuktuks for local transport. All of the staff were friendly and smiling and made me feel at home. Oh yes -- don't forget to try the arrack sour as a pre-prandial potable.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012

This is the most incredible, place in Sri Lanka, if your looking for either a relaxing or energetic holiday this it it. The staff are full of smiles, always helpful in anyway possible. The food is just incredible, whatever your feeling wether its an English dish, or Sri lankan style, Why provides it all. Only a 2 minute tuc tuc ride from the beach, it is a perfect location. I could not have asked for anywhere better on my stay in Sri Lanka, it is a dream place. I reccomend it to absoloutley anyone, your missing out on something very unique and special, if you dont stay at Why. Thank you so much for making my stay the best it could possibly be.

  • Stayed December 2011, 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.
Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2012

In the multitude of competing villas in this part of Sri Lanka, you might think that The Why House would be at a disadvantage due to its inland location, compared to some of the more swanky beach villas and hotels out there. But you would be so, so wrong. Although it looks like there's a lot of competition out there, in reality there is no competition at all because the Why wins hands down. The pool is the best we have ever (and I mean ever) seen, not just in Sri Lanka but anywhere. The house is stunningly beautiful and not overdone - so many places around here are just dripping with over-furnishing but the Why is wise enough to let it's calm beauty do most of the talking. Serene pools dot the main house, white and black accents make the living area a place of subtle yet beautiful sophistication, and restrained but luxurious fittings make the bedrooms a dream. The dining pavilion is just gorgeous and the communal eating area is lovely. We love eating with other people but if not, there are heaps of other places to eat - by the pool, in your own pavilion, or on the front or back verandas, if you want a little privacy.

But what really sets the Why apart is the service. It is difficult running a hotel (we know, we own one!) and service can be a real challenge. Being hotel owners ourselves we are more than a little nit-picky and we have rarely found a place that so perfectly fulfils every need and want you have almost before you've thought of it. From quietly keeping tabs on what you like to drink so they can make sure they keep a good stock, to ordering you a tuktuk before you've even thought to ask, to developing menus based on your own preferences without actually making you come up with the dishes yourself (a pet peeve of mine!).

This place has clearly trained their staff thoroughly and well, and it really shows, making it (in our book) a cut above almost anywhere else - and I'm including places like Amangalla in this, because these guys are a lot friendlier! Henrietta, the charming and adorable hostess, greets you when you arrive and shows you around, and she really cares about making sure you have a good stay. We couldn't imagine anywhere nicer. They could (and should) be charging double for what they offer.. but as they aren't, it makes it all the better!

Room Tip: The little private cabanas by the pool are glorious for couples - and gloriously affordable.
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  • Stayed March 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
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

The only reason this hotel did not get the full five stars is because we had previously stayed at Ulagalla in the north of Sri lanka and Tea Trails in the hill country both of which are in a different league, although also much more expensive.
The house, rooms, pool and gardens are all lovely and offer a peaceful retreat from the busy coastal road to Galle. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. The food was very good although not outstanding. Beaches are only a short tuk tuk ride away.
Our only slight niggle was the fact that, unless you wanted to eat in your room, meals were communal around a single table. The British manager and the owner joined the guests for dinner which gave it a feeling of a weekend house party rather than a hotel. While this may be fun for some people others will not be so comfortable with it.
Overall though it is a lovely, relaxing place to stay and probably one of the best in the area for the money.

Room Tip: Best room in one of the Cabanas or in the garden house
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Why House

Address: Mihiripenna | Talpe, Galle, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 107 Specialty Lodging in Galle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Why House and the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. Why House is located within a three acre private walled garden of peace and tranquility only a ten minute walk from the beautiful beach of Wijaya and a fifteen minute drive to the world heritage site Galle Fort. Our aim is to give you a fun, relaxed holiday experiencing the luxury of a boutique hotel with the informality of a private home. Children are welcome and supervision by the staff is available. A manager’s house and 24 hour security is on-site and a British supervisor is close by to look after your needs.This picturesque property can sleep a maximum of 20 guests, with 8 double en-suite rooms with private terraces.We have 2 Cabanas, 3 Main House Suites and 3 Garden Villa rooms available. Each individually designed room has satellite TV and DVD player (with film library), free Wi-Fi, mini fridge and luxuriously built en-suite bathrooms. An entertainment and outside dining pavilion that surrounds the large swimming pool are available to all guests within the extensive landscaped gardens, but we can also provide different areas for dining on the back and front terraces. ... more   less 
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