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“Avoid Grandma & Grandpa's House” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Spica Holiday Home

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Spica Holiday Home
77/5 Sri Dhamma Siddhi Mawatha | Asgiriya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #68 of 227 Kandy B&B and Inns
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Avoid Grandma & Grandpa's House”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2012

After reading all the great reviews, I was so disappointed with my stay at Spica. The rooms were well worn, not so clean and overpriced.

On top of this, the host Grandpa Tillek was always complaining. For instance, when I first arrived, he complained that guests come from the train station, take a look at the rooms and turn around and leave (that should tell you something). Also the breakfast at 450 rupees is a rip off. When I ordered, grumpy grandpa told me I could have cheese with my eggs or onions & tomatoes, but not both!

I had a cheaper room downstairs, with no aircon, no tv, and no view. I went outside to sit in the garden and the view there was nice, but the gazebo had a broken bench and an empty, dirty fish tank. With so many options in Kandy, there is no reason to stay here. Also NO WIFI.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
tillykandy, Owner at Spica Holiday Home, responded to this review, May 9, 2012
We do have great reviews and negative aberrations to mar that image once in a way! The Spica was designed by me and constructions completed in 1996. In 2003 it was refurbished, refurnished and the Spica came in to being as a guest house. In 2005 all beds and mattresses were renewed. In 2011 it went through major maintenance and upgrade of toilets with solar heated water and semi luxury toilet and shower fittings at an expenditure of over Rs.750000.00. So, the rooms and whole building itself is not well worn! The Spica is absolutely clean and is a homely beautiful villa as everybody (almost) observes the moment they walk in to the Spica.
The rooms are very reasonably priced and many say that we are under priced! I have myself as a naval officer traveled in many countries of the world and the lowest priced room en suite, here at the Spica which is about US $ 21.00 cannot be obtained for lesser than US$ 40.00 elsewhere.
When only one room was occupied by the guest, to say that the rooms are well worn, not so clean and over priced is not true. I have to say that a clean room becomes unclean in the manner how one uses the room. If a guest wants a room cleaned by all means one could request that service. Many guests who have been here, in this forum itself speaks on these aspects very differently.
We often explain to our guests the manner how taxi drivers or some of the tuc-tuc taxi drivers operate to take drivers on a long route or take the guests to their favorite guest houses to collect commissions. From the time they take you in to their vehicle they would be condemning your destination guest house making various comments about how far it is to get there, and take you on a wild goose chase and pretend difficulty to take you to the guest house of your choice. They do that and recommend to you that they will take you to a better place, a place closer to the city etc. They do this to collect commissions from those guest house owners who encourage them to bring guests, by give them commissions. So, the guests some times are gullible enough to take the recommendation of the tuc- tuc driver/taxi and completely forget that they have booked a room here and try to go somewhere else for any reason that the tuc tuc driver has coaxed them to believe. Believe me some are so gullible. So, not all guests go like that. It so happened that I explained to the reviewer of this aspect to which she has misunderstood or concocted fact, by writing that I was complaining to her and guests went back. Readers beware of these tuc-tuc drivers who may try this on you for their personal gain. Spica does not promote touts and third parties to bring guests to the Spica. We get our guests through the websites, our own and from the entrasites (micro websites) of travel forums and through on line reservations. Therefore handle tuc-tuc drivers with firmness.
I am sure, I and my wife at 72+ years, deserves much more respect than being called by names like Grandpa Tillek, Grand ma and grumpy grandpa Tillek. When a 41 year old uses such language, it is insulting. It is well for guests to read about the customs and traditions and social fundamentals which may be uniquely different to what they have experienced in their own countries. We do have a lot of compassion and understanding.
At breakfast it is normal to take the order for the eggs, if that was the plan for the breakfast. We give what is ordered. Sometimes people ask for combinations, like cheese, onions, green chili and tomatoes. In our experience various guests have various likes to their combinations. So, when I double checked with the reviewer, she seems to have misinterpreted or wrote to fit the negativity of the planned negative review. Breakfast at Rs.450/ is not a rip off. Simply put, then one does not know the costs of items in the market and what we are serving at breakfast. Order fruit, cheese (for information the price is 200gms=Rs.600.00) with eggs, onion, tomatoes, toast, butter, jams, tea (brewed from Broken Orange Pekoe) or coffee (of good quality) at table laid for you with cutlery and crockery, side plates, cotton serviettes (not paper tissues) and all. (Rs.450/- is about US $3.46). She has paid too little for her breakfast with cheese. Please do not write to kill. Learn how to write and learn about what you are trying to write because all of you may not be conversant with the prices that fluctuate so very much in Sri Lanka. In mid March 2012 the tomatoes were Rs.300.00 a kilo, papaya was Rs.120 a Kilo. We sometimes serve breakfasts at a loss. But that is acceptable as long as in the gross, long run we are not at a loss. If anyone wants to have cheaper breakfasts one could do so by going to the city or wayside fast food joints and eat off a paper wrap or paper plate and drink tea/coffee(bulk made) in a plastic cup. In the USA too there are One dollar joints. Always one could ask the price for breakfast and order if ones wishes to have breakfast at the Spica at our price. Please do not complain after you have received and enjoyed breakfast for three days continuous and after going back home! One could have easily decided to stop having breakfast from the second day onwards, without ordering eggs with cheese, tomatoes and onions every day.
The Spica is not a guesthouse immune to natural damages or damages by other means. Valves can leak, bulbs fuse, power breakers trip, seats are broken by merry makers (that’s how the concrete garden bench placed in the gazebo weighing 700 lbs was damaged a couple days before). The same merry makers damaged the fish tank which went leaky. We were waiting for an opportunity to repair as these cannot be handled with a broom like handling dirt! We hope that our readers and our guests be reasonable in their assessments of damages and cleanliness. Similarly, the WiFi router at my desk was hacked by a European guest who had manipulated with password settings. (I came to know about this later). So, it took some time for the Wi Fi computer person to come and attend to it as it was on guarantee and the warranty time had not expired. (She overheard my telephone conversation to the WiFi person who was late coming to repair/re-setup the WiFi. We have Wi Fi. It is written as if we have no Wi Fi installed at the Spica. Please do not think that we do not have WiFi. There will never be hotels or guest houses without a single flaw. Even in reviews if you read through them and place yourself at the owner/receiver end you will feel how thankless a guest reviewer can be, in spite of having received a Rs.400.00 worth transfer from the railway station in a van that was hired for that person’s use and never got reimbursed and expects more and more and more.
In our website and the micro websites for Spica hosted in travel forums we have stated what amenities are available at the Spica and in the rooms, even to the last detail of the clothes hangers. So, everyone who books rooms on line knows before making a booking and coming here, that they are booking in to a room with or without a view, with or without a balcony, with or without a TV, with a/c or without a/c, with or without an overhead fan, en suite or not, how many beds, linen, mosquito nets . etc. So, expect only that and not what you dream and fancy.
Spica is not a five star hotel. It is a good guest house mainly for middle class travelers and those traveling with family. It is a clean homely place, in clean, cool and pleasant surroundings, with a non-commercial atmosphere. It is a place where one should not expect pick-up from the railway station or bus stand or drop to these places free of charge. Spica does not have vehicles parked here standing by to perform these tasks. We can organize a van hire or a tuc-tuc for your use on your account. When the reviewer was about to leave she requested ne to drop her at the station. I told her that were standing by to provide breakfast to two German guests arriving within minutes and they had already requested that their breakfast were made ready for them to consume before they even went to their room, that they wanted so much to sleep after a very long flight. I am willing to help check the fact that the German couple did arrive here for breakfast and it was not a cooked up excuse to not help this person to the railway station even if it was a repeated freebie from a small guesthouse like mine. I also told her my own inability to drive our car because I am blind in one eye and the other sees only about 30% due to sudden glaucoma attack and told her that I could call for a taxi to take her to the station. Normally guests tell us the previous night for us to arrange a taxi to get to the station. All I received was a shrug and a crooked smile. I arranged for the taxi for her to be dropped at the station. With so many options in Kandy, please make your selection of guest house well and respect your own intelligent selection when you made your selection at booking time. Surely one reads what is available at the the Spica before one makes his/her individual reservations. Lastly, may I request all readers to be polite, respectful, kind and understanding. If you are here at the Spica and see something wrong and would like to be changed in the interests of oneself, or wish to suggest something to see an improvement for all, please be ladylike and gentlemanly and talk with us, than write negatively at forums and misleading the whole world. It is not possible for any guest house or hotel to provide for all what any individual may like to have at his /her disposal for what they pay or for free. We have spent large amounts of our money to provide guest house facilities and do not deserve to be killed just because a room boy forgot to take the waste bin away from the room or the moths that bothered when it rained while dinner was served or such like minor anomalies or because we did not provide free transport to the railway station. It is well for all to contribute positively in the interests of the travel industry as a whole and not contribute negatively intended to cripple our business. There are so many options for guests. For example, our guests can write in the guest book/suggestion book, have a direct discussion with the owners/staff and suggest something for improvement or suggest a solution to an anomaly, discuss a problem that one sees, one can write to the owner/management their sincere concerns. There are nice ways to live and let live in this world.
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62 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (12)
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English first
NY
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

Chitra's cooking is delicious. It was lovely to have home cooked meals and her food was the best I had during my trip. I was a solo traveler and she actually sat down with me at meal time and made conversation which was very considerate of her.

The room was clean and a good size with lots of natural light. Spica also has a wonderful view of the mountains surrounding Kandy. It was nice to be a just outside of the downtown area because it was quiet and relaxing.

I arranged a car through Tillek which I thought was a bit expensive but it also included a well informed guide who was knowledgeable about sites, as well as the flora and fauna of the area.

I would highly recommend staying at Spica and am really glad I had the opportunity to meet Chitra and Tillek. They are wonderful people.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Poznan, Poland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

We stayed one night in Spica Holiday Home. The room was clean with a big bed and a big clean bathroom and AC. In the price for a room we also had breakfast, which was good. The owners are very nice and helpful people. Spica is located on the hill so the views are amazing, and it is quite clode to the town centre - 15/20 min walk, and a little bit longer if you come back on foot because you have to walk up the hill. I recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Brooklyn, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

i have visited Sri Lanka several times and this guesthouse and the sweet couple who run it are one of my fondest memories....also the best food you are going to have comes right out of this kitchen...its dreamy here, a dew covers the grass and hills making everything look like a fairytale. The rooms are clean and comfy and its a nice walk from here to the town center and a laundry service close by as well. I read a couple off reviews about this place and i know certain travellers are really high maintenance and if you are that way then you should go to a five star resort that will cater to you hand and foot...at Spica you are a guest in someones house and i think people forget that sometimes...also one other review i saw bothered me because they went on and on fussing about having to pay for things they recieved..anyways thsi is a great little place if you want an at home vibe with good food..an amazing view and also the sound of prayer being called rolling through the hills

  • Stayed April 2011, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2012

My husband and I stayed here a week and found it pleasant enough. The room was comfortable and clean with plenty of hot water by solar power. They do not offer laundry service, and I got told off washing my cloths, something I couldn't avoid since we stayed for 7 days. Breakfast is ok - toast, butter, jam, eggs, and ONE cup of tea. Chittra did vary it a bit with rotis and waffles. Both hosts are helpful if picky - a bit like staying with your parents! The house is nicely furnished in a residential part of town, quite far from Kandy centre - going down is OK, but coming back is uphill, hot and exhausting, so you need to spend at least 150 to 200 rupees for a tuk tuk back from town. Also after 7pm, it is total darkness 50m from the house, so all guests must take a torch (light) with them at night.
All things considered it was one of our best places to stay in Sri Lanka.

Room Tip: You pay more for a/c room. Fan is more than adequate during the times you are in the room.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2011

You want to experience what your home will feel like when you live on top of a hill with the mist, cool air, beautiful view, homely hospitality - Spica is your gateway! The amazing thing about this place is that the hosts mingle with you and provide you vauable info and advise, as if we were the long lost relatives who have come back home. The hospitality is unquestionably from the heart and the food is excellent! Ensure to trek along the pathway to and from Spica as this will give you a true sense of what the hill country is all about. As opposed to the subways and highways that we are so used to in our snow covered country we call home now. You have to stay at Spica to experience it. Already looking forward to our next visit!

  • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2011

We have booked 3 nights in Spica after arrival in Kandy. As we liked the place very much, we decided to return for some more 7 nights at the end of our trip. It's a wonderful place to stay: Great location on top of a hill. A bit outside the center of Kandy, but you can walk to the train station in 20 minutes. Spica has a pretty garden and a great view over the hills. It's calm and the air is remakably better than downtown. The styleful villa is spaceous, and has a nice atmosphere. The rooms are clean and comfortable, the water is hot. The room on the first floor has a big balcony - you really can relax here. The distinguished owner couple is very friendly and helpful. Talking with them you can learn a lot about land, people and kitchen. The home made Sri Lankan dishes, prepared with a lot of knowledge and love, are excellent. All in all (location, hospitality, service, rooms, WiFi, price/value) it was our best guesthouse in Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Spica Holiday Home

Address: 77/5 Sri Dhamma Siddhi Mawatha | Asgiriya, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Kandy
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #68 of 227 B&Bs / Inns in Kandy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Guest house approximately 1.5 km from the city center. We have six (6) rooms, 4 rooms with two single beds in each (2 have air conditioning facility), Two (2) Triple room with three beds in each room one room is with air conditioning facility. Those with a/c can be switched on or used without a/c and charged as per preference. Very clean ensuite rooms with solar heated hot/ cold water. The Spica is quiet and peaceful away from the city noise.Excellent views from some rooms which have access to balconies.Can provide home cooked meals on order with reasonable notice.Free WiFi and paid high speed WiFi also available. Free Internet.Laundry underatken when loads are small. ... more   less 
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