Judging by other reviews, our experience may appear be a one-off - but I fail to see how, given we were handled so badly (and apparently the locals don't rate it so highly either). I wish I liked it more. But they lied to us about price and rooms, and would do nothing to rectify this, which in my eyes is unforgivable. Also we paid more per night for this place than the other places we stayed in Sri Lanka, and whilst it looked nicer on the surface, it didn't have some of the basics that you'd expect for the price (and trust me, I'm not fussy! - read on to hear more ...)
Twice on the phone, only the night before staying here, we were told there was availability for 2 deluxe cabanas, with 2 rooms in each (one king, one queen) for $89 per night each. Perfect for my 4 friends and I. These were reserved for us, and we were assured without hesitation that accommodation was also available for our driver (an important consideration when travelling Sri Lanka with a driver). When we arrived (and on first glance, this place was beautiful, no doubting that - we wanted to stay in this apparent oasis) we were shown an array of beautiful rooms, but nothing matching the description and price of those supposedly reserved for us. Finally they said they had given our rooms away to other people, but really, given the price of the rooms we were shown, I don't think they ever existed at that price. We ended up getting a double room, a twin room, and a single room which were meant to USD89, USD89 and USD79 respectively, but they oh-so-kindly discounted to USD85 and USD75 x 2. Supposedly. But when we checked out they even denied this (although it was written down) and made us pay 2 x $85 and 1 x $75 (the money was not the issue so much as the constant lies and dreadful customer service). The driver accommodation apparently didn't exist either ... our driver was sent off somewhere to sleep with some workmen at a noisy site - he was terribly unimpressed, and said the hotel has a bad name amongst the drivers and local workers.
The hotel certainly looked beautiful on the surface, and had some great attributes. The staff at breakfast and around the building were lovely and helpful, one even giving us a guided tour of the penthouse suites. The (included) breakfasts were fantastic, the omelettes superb. The pool provided a scenic centrepiece to the lovely gardens. The rooms were clean and spacious.
However, for this price there were other let-downs. The showers had futuristic-looking fittings with many nozzles, jets and taps. But water was directed out onto the floor, making it even more dangerous than it already would have been taking the giant step in and out of the bath. Our plug wouldn't come out so we mostly showered in shin deep murky cold water. Hot water came and went - there was none on our last day.
Wi-fi was available - but not in the rooms. You had to be in common areas to use it, where you were eaten alive by mosquitoes, and subjected to intense cigarette smoke as staff smoked right outside doorways to these enclosed areas, and other guests smoked in common areas (this could be a positive if you're a smoker - but if you're not - it's disgusting).
I sound like a total whinger, but really I'm not. Any one of these small things on it's own would be readily forgiven, but added together, and given the poor service regarding room price (the main negative for me), I felt very let down by this place which promised so much. I would rather a working shower and wifi in a plain-looking hotel, than something with jazzy tiles and a you-beaut futuristic showerhead where nothing functions as it should, especially given the price.
- Also Known As:
- Flower Garden Unawatuna
- Hotel Flower Garden
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Booking.com and Otel so you can book your Flower Garden Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.