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“Nice atmosphere but not worth the buck” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ganesh Garden Cabanas

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Ganesh Garden Cabanas
Madilla Beach, Tangalle, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Nice atmosphere but not worth the buck”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We had been looking forward to come to Ganesh Gardens given this was going to be our longest stay in a part of Sri Lanka. To this regards we had decided it was fine to spend a little bit more and lavish ourselves in a nice place.

Lonely planet states that this place "sucks in backpackers like a night out in a free bar"...well this is a big over statement. This might have been the case some time ago but definetly not now. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind spending money if I get what I am paying for but, for me, this was not the case.

Let me start by saying that the place is idyllic...we have walked through some of the places and I think this is one of the nicest set ups. The gardens are well taken care of and the place is clean. The beach is organised with chairs, sunbeds and a good number of hammocks.

There are different types of accomodations. What we did not like is that the prices stated on the website were different from those they offer you when you get there. Their website states that rooms range from 30 to 50 USD while they range from 45 to 60 USD...nothing wrong with that but they should update their website. We do believe that what happened is that, somewhere along the line the crowd has changed and more upmarket clients were staying at Ganesh and the management realised that they could increase the prices. Again nothing wrong with that...at the end of the day it is a business and everyone needs to see their bottom line.

We took a small wooden cabana for 50 USD. The accomodation was nice, clean and comfortable... a bit smallish but OK. Unfortunately what was not so ok was that the morning after I found a huge cockroach lying upside down next to our bed. Most probably the reason for that, apart from the fact that the cabana was not totally closed, was that the location of the accomodation was next to the kitchen and the rubbish.

The restaurant serves good and tasty food but over priced. Their buffet breakfast is fine but again overpriced in my opinion. As service goes I am quite neutral in giving an opinion on it. Over the phone they refused to take our reservation but they knew about us as soon as we gave them our name. We were kindly shown different accomodations and asked to choose. From then onwards though it was quite cold.

After spending a night there we decided to move...we had fallen in love with a place where we had eaten the night before...The Little Pumpkin and luckily enough they had a vacancy. When we check out the manager was very cordial and asked my husband the reason we were leaving. My husband told him that the place was nice but, in his opinion, too expensive as for USD 50 we had no hot water, no aircondition and breakfast was not included...a comment the manager understood. Strangely enough at that point he offered us a cabana for USD 35...which was quite strange given that we had been told that the starting prices were USD 45.

Any way, I cannot say that we had a negative experience but the places was just not for us. We moved to Little Pumpkin...a small place with only three cabanas, a nice vibe and excellent food.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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264 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (20)
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Edinburgh
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

There was much to be happy about with this place. The staff were smiling, friendly and never once needed to asked what room we were staying in. I was growing a moustache at the time (I can't really remember why) and one of them was inspired to do the same. They were the type of staff that (as a 33 year old) you could have a laugh with. The bill was correct after a 3 night stay and the Manager was absolutely genuine about getting us a taxi ride. He didn't have a deal with a local cabbie and was quietly frustrated at the rising fuel costs and taxi fares. The beach was nice, of course, and the neighbours dogs came out in the evenings to run on the beach which, although is common, adds to the entertainment of a beer. We really really liked this place. It was clean and far enough away from the village that it made a nice walk going there and back.

Unfortunately, there were a couple of niggly negatives. Once we unloaded our bags from the taxi the staff member said there was an extra 10% on all costs. This was annoying as it was a small amount that could be included in the overall room and menu costs, plus the taxi had gone. We weren't stuck, but it would have been a hassle to get another taxi. This first impression could have been easily avoided. The second thing was that our room wasnt cleaned during our stay. This might have been because on the day it was due we were in and out of the cabin as we had had a skinful of arrack the night before and the staff may not have wanted to disturb us. So this one Ill let slide. If we really wanted it cleaned we could have asked.

That's it, two small negatives against a large number of positives. I would confidently recommend it to anyone, well, anyone I liked.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

I wouldn't normally write on one of these websites but I feel I should as this place really is perfect for chilling out. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the seafood was absolutely amazing. We only planned to stay one night but ended up staying for 3, and maybe we should have stayed for more. The south coast of Sri Lanka is being ruined quickly by all the tourism, but this place seems to be relatively unscathed until now. We left this place to go to mirissa which was an absolute dump, pounding music all night, and felt like we could have been in any tatty European holiday destination. Ganesh gardens are perfect for enjoying a beautiful beach, with a cocktail or two and just chilling out. The overall cost of the place ended up to be fairly reasonable, but was worth it for all the amazing seafood.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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London
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013 via mobile

Rooms are very basic and not that clean. Towels and sheets stained. Great location on the beach and plenty of hammocks to laze in. Staff / Manager in wrong jobs. I'm not sure they understand the meaning of service. Food very average. I would steer clear. It's cheap but for not a lot more you can stay at nearby mangrove chalets , just need to be planned and book ahead.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Stockholm, Sweden
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

Restaurant is so so, semi clean rooms, snakes on the beach and in within the compound.
Good priced but service is slow like everywhere in Sri Lanka with some exceptions.
Strange managers, ok value, but wont come back, there are so much better places along this coast.

Room Tip: Closer to the water is better than cloes to the road,
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Bern, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We have stayed many times in Sri Lanka, mostly in similar bungalow resorts like this one. The price of 50USD (breakfast not included) was relatively high for not even having warm water in the bungalow and a leaking roof. The mattresses and slatted frames of the bed needs to be changed as it hangs trough like a hammock. Cleaning only all 3 days.

The location at the beach, the garden and the arrangement of bungalows is great. The restaurant is very dark in the evening, the food is moderate but expensive. The service was not as hearty and good as in other similar (but much cheaper) places. We were very warmly welcomed but when we left, no one cared to help us with the baggage, even though I was carrying a baby, 2 bags and a suitcase at the same time to the entrance, instead they were just watching me struggeling.

I would recommend this place to backpackers, young couples and singles, but I found it rather uncomfortable with a small child, as no space in the bungalow (it was raining several days) and the sea too rough to swim in it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Z
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

The simple but clean cabins are set up in a beautiful lot with lots of palm trees providing shade. You can enjoy the sound of the waves braking while lying in a hammock on the beach or one of the deckchairs provided. The food is trully excellent except for breakfast which is not included (and rather expensive) and very basic. If you wish to read in the cabin or on the nice porch of your cabin after sunset, you must bring a flashlight. The tour they offer to the rocktemple is a must (most beautiful temple caves we've seen in sri lanka) but make sure to haggle for the price. At the end of our stay we decided to take a taxi to mirissa (which by the way is beautiful and u can actually swim in the ocean there) and were charged way to much for it (rip off!!!). Before taking taxis with them, make sure to ask the neighboring hotels for prices.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.

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Additional Information about Ganesh Garden Cabanas

Address: Madilla Beach, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Tangalle
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 41 Specialty lodging in Tangalle
Also Known As:
Ganesh Garden Cabanas Hotel Tangalle

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