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The White House at Birdlake

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The living Area
The front entrance
The dining area leading to the verandah
The atrium leading to the bedrooms and the roof terrace
Hikkaduwa
|
Rental Home – 
3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Sleeps 6

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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Laonie
Brisbane
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
“A real home away from home.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013 for a stay in July 2013
2
people found this review helpful

My first word to anyone thinking of renting the White House at Birdlake is to not be discouraged by its location.

We arrived at Hikkaduwa well after dark. Having already been twice frustrated by accommodation that proved to be considerably further out of town than the owners had advised, we were unhappy to find ourselves travelling away from town up a filthy side road (extensive road works added greatly to the post-apocalyptic ambience) and then up another rough, muddy, seemingly never-ending private road. My partner was almost self-combusting by the time we pulled up outside the villa and there was talk about turning around and finding somewhere to stay on the beach. Then we went inside...and all was instantly forgiven.

In reality (and in daylight) neither the roads nor the distance from town are that bad. It felt like an hour that night but it really is only about 5 minutes.

The White House is balm to the soul after the rather hectic atmosphere in Hikkaduwa. Architecturally, its open plan, multi level design is quite stunning and the terraced location on the lake is sublime. The house is well maintained and clean by Sri Lankan standards and the ambience is light and airy with excellent cross ventilation and fans which serve to encourage relaxed use of the living areas even in summer. The furniture is good quality and comfortable. Our kids spent hours every day in the well maintained pool (conveniently shaded for much of the day by a large and rather pungent Jackfruit tree)

The AC in the bedrooms is efficient so you can escape the heat entirely if you feel the need. The views from the master bedroom are just beautiful. There is no safe but the bedrooms all have keyed locks. The beds are very comfortable, but personally I prefer more than just a single sheet so a lightweight blanket or quilt would have been appreciated.

Overall the bathrooms (3 ensuites and a powder room) were good, too. The second ensuite had a slightly dark ambience, a dreadfully impractical shower and it needed a few minor repairs but it was still nice. The water pressure was good and the hot water worked.

The kitchen was clean and well stocked with utensils, quality glassware and crockery and a washer & drier (yippee!) One thing to note; the villa doesn’t provide even the most basic of staple items. It took us over 7 hours to get there so we were tired when we arrived and it was a nuisance to be told that if we wanted a cup of tea we’d have to head back into town and go shopping! Trying to find teabags and Aussie-kid friendly breakfast provisions in a strange town at 9.30pm at night was the last thing we felt like doing, but thankfully our mission was successful.

Personally, if I was running this property, I’d be offering guests the option to purchase & pre-order a fixed ‘basic provisions’ pack (instant coffee, tea, fresh milk, bread, butter, juice, eggs, jam, fruit and laundry powder) but, failing that, forewarned is forearmed; make sure you go shopping before you arrive!

If you’re paranoid about insects then stock up on fly spray and mosquito repellent while you’re there. The kitchen and living areas have courtyards that are permanently open, with no doors or screening. Security isn’t an issue because the front gate is locked every night and the courtyard walls are high but we were visited by mosquitoes every evening and by a multitude of flies whenever we cooked.

We found the staff discreet to the point of being elusive at times, but since we were happy to cook for ourselves and we had our own car and driver, it really didn’t matter.

Speaking of drivers; you’ll need to make arrangements for yours because the villa doesn’t cater for them at all. That seems odd given that the property is a little way out of town and very suitable for a larger family or a group who are likely to bring their own car and driver. I don’t want my kid’s lives in the hands of someone who is exhausted and sore from trying to sleep in the cargo hold of a van, but maybe that’s just me. The option of a comfortable foldaway bed set up in the living room each night would be better than nothing.

Aside from no bed for our driver, the only major irritation we experienced was that the Wi-Fi (absolutely essential due to the nature of my partner’s job) didn’t work for the entire duration of our stay. We wasted a lot of time and money ordering drinks we didn’t want just so he could access the Wi-Fi in the cafes in town. The manager kept insisting that internet service provider must be to blame only to realise on our last day that the modem hadn’t been properly connected.

The White House was our last stop before heading back to Colombo and overall we thoroughly enjoyed it. It represents excellent value for money and I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking to rent a spacious villa in Hikkaduwa.

5 of 5 stars How easy was it to book the property? 3 of 5 stars How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
4 of 5 stars Overall condition of the property 4 of 5 stars Bedding & mattresses
4 of 5 stars Kitchen & utensils 4 of 5 stars Bathroom cleanliness
4 of 5 stars Other facilities & amenities 3 of 5 stars Service
Liked best: The house itself.
Liked least: No wifi
Traveling group: Friends
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Nov 25, 2013
Thank you for your suggestion about getting provisions in and we have made arrangements to make sure coffee, milk, tea, etc are there when guests arrive, or whatever they ask for in advance. We only have three bedrooms and so no drivers quarters. This is not often a problem, and I am sorry it was for you, but we do have a spare mattress which could be used.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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mattfaddy
dubai
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great house in a perfect location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013 for a stay in January 2013

We've just returned from a week's stay at the Whitehouse and loved it. The house is very unassuming from the outside but beautiful on the inside with incredible views of the lake. The house is really well looked after and looks and feels like it was renovated recently. The layout is great with loads of space - A kitchen and dining room in the basement , leading out to the garden and pool. A living room on the ground floor and 2 bedrooms on the 1st floor and a 3rd on the 2nd. The fact the house is around 5 minutes away from Hikkaduwa on a tuk tuk was a plus point for us. The setting is beautiful and it was a relief to be able to stay somewhere quiet and relaxing that was still very close to some life. The house is sandwiched between a quiet boutique hotel and a small lakeside resort , so if you want to pop out for a bite to eat or a drink in a bar you're 30 seconds away.
The owner provides a resident cook if required at an incredible low rate, all you have to do is pay for the food he buys at local prices. I highly recommend this as it was some of the best food we ate in Sri Lanka.
The families living around the area are lovely and friendly too, in fact one of the Tuk tuk drivers we used regularly lives a few doors away with his young family. We ended up visiting his wife and new born daughter in hospital as well as babysitting his 7 year old for the day. Just one example of how warm and friendly everyone was.
I would recommend this house to anyone who doesn't want to be in the middle of nowhere but at the same time wants a bit of piece and quiet.

5 of 5 stars How easy was it to book the property? 5 of 5 stars How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
5 of 5 stars Overall condition of the property 5 of 5 stars Bedding & mattresses
5 of 5 stars Kitchen & utensils 4 of 5 stars Bathroom cleanliness
5 of 5 stars Other facilities & amenities 5 of 5 stars Service
Liked best: The location and interior of the house
Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Owner
Alison H
852 6073 3410
Speaks English
Listed since : Nov 2008
Response Rate: 85 %
Response Time: Within a day
Calendar Updated: 8 days ago
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