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“Nice BungalowTerrible Experience” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Plains

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The Plains
No 156, Kande Ela | Meepilimana, Ambewela, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Nice BungalowTerrible Experience”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

we arrived at The Plains Bungalow full of anticipation as the photos looked really nice and other guest comments were good. It was a really cold and rainy day and we arrived probably just before 5 or so in the evening, The bungalow was nice inside, very modern and tastefully furnished, however if you are going I would suggest you do so in warmer weather as the design nice though it is doesnt exactly retain heat because of all the glass and double height ceiling, we could hear the glass shaking throughout our stay due to the strong winds. The rooms were comfortable but basic and lacked a personal touch. Nice deck outside which affords a really good view of the surrounding countryside...

We were absolutely freezing when we arrived, this is inside the house, and our breath was causing foggy clouds so we were a little taken aback that the fireplace was not even stacked with wood, we asked the staff through chattering teeth (we had my husbands father plus two older kids with us) if they could set up the fireplace and they said no, the firewood has to be brought from somewhere quite far and they would light it around 7pm, I then told them that surely they were expecting us and should have made their preparations before we got there not after and asked again that they light it, There were 3 staff members, a cook, an extremely unfriendly and surly man, a steward Suboda who was pleasant and another young man who was civil enough when spoken to but that was it...

Magically the firewood that was supposed to be miles away appeared and the fire was lit and we hoped that the rest of the stay would we pleasant. We were wrong. After awhile we asked to speak to the cook to check on dinner and discuss the menu for the next day as we were booked for two days, he didnt come, asked for him awhile later and this time he showed up , we had been told by the lady in the Colombo booking office that there was a list of menu selections available and though she had told them what to make the first evening, but we could consult the menu once we got there and let the cook know which of the selections we would like for the rest of the meals, fair enough since we didnt know what they had available the first day, but when we asked to have a look at the menu the cook said there was nt one! At this point we said something like well, if we dont know what you can offer how can we choose the next few meals and he said the food is simple here, the colombo office will choose what to cook, its mainly vegetables and one meat item, chicken,and thats what you can have, all this said with the kind of attitude that said you eat what I give you!

At this point we were getting really annoyed and told him that we were definitely told there was a menu that we could select from and we were not going to let anyone else choose our menu for us. Again, at our insistence the the non existent menu magically appeared though the guy looked thoroughly sulky by now and his attitude was bordering on rudeness. We were really embarrassed as we were hosting guests/family from overseas and had told them about how great the upcountry bungalow experience was and how hospitable bungalow staff were, well, looks like we were wrong this time! Even when choosing from the menu we were told that most of the items listed there were not available.

Since this property was part of a strawberry farm and had a mushroom farm next door we asked if we could have strawberries and were told that the picking was over for the day, fine, but when we asked the next morning were told no as well... same when we asked about mushroom omelettes, ( we were willing to pay for these and the mushroom farm is just across the road, we could see boxes heaped with them the next day... they just couldnt be bothered to go that extra step...

To be fair I will say the local food was good though the glimpse I had of the cook licking his fingers while cooking did nothing for my appetite and I said nothing to the others as I didnt want to spoil their appetite...

Things were extremely awkward by end of the first evening, we just couldnt wait to leave and decided to shorten our stay, if we could have left right then we would have but unfortunately we had already paid for one day, we immediately went online and booked Mandira Strathdon Bungalow for the next day where all our expectations were not only met but exceeded by the extremely hospitable staff.

The owners of The Plains have obviously gone to a great deal of trouble to offer a great place to stay to their guest, so it is a pity their inhospitable and unhelpful staff undermine their efforts.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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14 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
234 reviews 234 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
260 helpful votes 260 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Spent 31st night at the Chalet on room only basis. We took provisions worth Rs.8000 for 3 days from a supermarket in Nuwara Eliya. The bungalow keeper organised a three wheeler for us to visit Horton Plains which is 30min away.

The entire bungalow is made out of recycled material. It is in a strawberry cultivation and you could walk down or take a truck ride around the farm.

The Ambewela Farm is also close by and warrants a visit if time permits.

I think the hot water is provided through solar power, therefore it takes a while to heat in the mornings. Nights can be very cold as there is no wind barrier.

Had a lovely peaceful stay.

Room Tip: The Chalet is secluded and cosy.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

We want to start off by saying, that the address given on Trip Advisor for this property is that of the reservations office in Sri Lanka and not where the property is. This bungalow / cottage is located in Ambewela (not in Kadawatha) which is 15 minutes from the Nuwara Eliya town. As such this listed address is misleading.

The official website is : http://www.theplainsgreen.com (contact details will give you the Kadawatha address of their reservations office)

The Plains (A Green Bungalow) as 2 accommodation options; the main bungalow which has 4 rooms accommodates up to 10 people and the cottage can accommodate up to 3 people. We took the cottage for 2 nights in February 2012 and loved our stay there.

We made a confirmed reservation in advance (50% advance payment was required for confirmation) and were driving up from the South of Sri Lanka. It was close to midnight when we reached the Ambewela town and couldn’t find our way to the property. We called the bungalow (we were given all the contact numbers by the reservations office at the time we confirmed our reservation) and informed them that we were “lost”! Subodha, the caretaker, despite the torrential rain at that time, was kind enough to meet us in town and accompany us to the property. It turned out that when he gave us directions to take a left onto the bridge, he forgot to tell us, that it was the second bridge and not the first!

The cottage is very private and situated away from the main bungalow. It has a king bed and also a divan which can be used as a single bed. It has an attached bathroom/toilet with hot and cold water, a dining area, a pantry (with cutlery and crockery), a wall mounted flat screen TV with local and international cable TV channels, a portable space heater and a balcony with an amazing view of the hills (you can even see “Adam’s Peak” when the mist clears up) and the strawberry farm adjoining the bungalow property.

We requested for a DVD player which Subodha was kind enough to bring over from an unoccupied room in the bungalow, but the connection was faulty. The hot water was not in steady supply and it was not fun having a cold shower in the freezing weather.

We booked the cottage on Bed and Breakfast basis and were asked before our arrival on our preferences from the 3 breakfast menus available. We were requested if we were staying in for our other meals, to bring along our provisions for their in-house chef to prepare our meals. We opted for Sri Lanka cuisine and took supplies for same, and Chef Sena’s preparations of our meals were very good.

The B&B rate for the cottage was LKR 12,200.00 per night (that was approx USD 110) and we feel it was good value for money. We had a really nice holiday and will definitely go back there. Hopefully the next time will be with a bigger crowd to stay at the main bungalow.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Plains

Address: No 156, Kande Ela | Meepilimana, Ambewela, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Ambewela
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Ambewela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
Reservation Options:
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