Once in a long while, you come across a hotel that has everything - comfortable rooms, great location and fabulous service. The Villa 49 is one of these, for sure. From the moment I called the owner Mrs. Udugama to inquire about availability to the time she hurried back from town to bid me goodbye when I was leaving, my experience with the Villa 49 has left me with a big smile on my face.
First - it is a great injustice by Trip Advisor to list the Villa 49 in "Kandy District" - it is right in the city of Kandy, two minutes' walk from the lovely lake and 15 minutes' walk to the centre of town and the bus terminus/ train station. The hotel itself is located on a quiet street in one of the fashionable residential districts of Kandy (the Sri Lankan cricket team captain lives a few houses away) and nearly every tuk-tuk/ taxi driver will know the street. Waking up to the sounds of chirping birds and the sight of houses reaching up the mist-covered hills is just the balm one needs.
Second - the Villa 49 is not a "hotel" in the typical sense of the term. It's a large villa that's been extended and converted for use as a guest house. Apart from Mrs. Udugama, there are a couple of round-the-clock staff and a few more day staff who handle the whole show. Every single one of them is a pleasure to talk to and they really make you feel like a guest and not just a source of revenue. The personal attention I received was extraordinary. Oh and yes, the food is *brilliant* - not too much variety but really well made, authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.
The good points
1. Superb service, personal attention, great conversations
2. Great location
3. Comfortable rooms (not 5-star quality, but more than good enough for a good sleep)
4. Good food
5. Small hotel with a great chance to strike conversations with other guests
6. Real value for money
The not-so-good points
1. The wi-fi dos not pick up in the rooms on the top floor, but I understand this is being remedied soon
2. No elevator, so physically challenged guests and/or senior citizens may have a bit of a problem
3. The hotel is being shut for a brief while to complete extensions - so check with the owner
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa 49 is a private and luxurious home away from home situated centrally beside the lake in the heart of Kandy city. Our tranquil environment allows our guests to relax while enjoying exceptional personalized service. Step outside of the residence and you are beside the lake within a 10 minute walk to the Temple of the Tooth and the center of the city. It is also a Sri Lanka Tourist Board approved property. ... more less
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