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Saraii Village
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Reviews (302)
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All reviewstree houseunique experienceyoga retreatchalet suitesalt water poolsri lankaholiday experiencenature loversopen airorganic foodamazing treeoutdoor bathroomclose to naturemosquito netstaff was very friendly and helpfulamazing foodspent nights
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Reviewed January 28, 2013

This place is a must visit for anyone who plans to go to sri lanka. The tree nest which we had booked is of 2 floors and was just brilliant. We just loved the stay there. Te rooms are very clean and the food was out of the world. It was a night with the nature.

Room Tip: if you are in a group go for tree nest (2 floor nest accomodating atleast 6 people). the mud chalets are rooms preferably for honeymoon couples.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank saumil s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2014

Dear Saumil.

Thank you very much for posting this review on tripadvisor.com. It is very important to us that future guests can use tripadvisor to help aid their decision to stay at Saraii and we love to hear what we are good at and what areas we can improve on!

Thank you for your kind words, we take great pride in the food that we provide at Saraii Village and for you to comment on that makes us feel great!

We hope you enjoyed your time in Sri Lanka and look back at your visit to our country and our eco-hotel with fond thoughts and happy memories.

Many thanks,
The Saraii Village Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2013

We spent 2 days at Saraii and let me tell you it was the most exciting couple of days of my life. Never have I experienced such simplicity and charm at any hotel or resort. The hospitality at Saraii is unmatched by any other place I've been to.

We decided to be vegetarian for the two days we spent at Saraii and found that we did not miss any meats as the cook made up for it by preparing the most unique types of vegetables and herbs. The amount of dishes given is well worth the price.

The safari ride was good, I wish we had seen a leopard, but we only saw elephants and deer. This was good enough as the scenery alone was fabulous. We stopped at the beach area and had the breakfast Hassan the manager at Saraii packed for us.

In the evenings we hung out at the common lounge area, again a very simple set up, but of course with wifi. Had some cold beer along with some fried local vegetables. This was delicious.

By the way reading the negative reviews by some guests shock me as we were fortunate to meet the owners at Saraii who visits at least once in two weeks, and they were the nicest people ever. The owner is a young female that started Saraii as her MBA project and she has some very nice plans for the next phase of Saraii. I was sad to see a review stating something negative about her by a fellow Australian.

Let me say very clearly that Saraii village is definitely not for everyone. It's for a traveler that is looking for a different experience. Not someone who thinks he wants something unique but still wishes to have the AC and the 24 hour room service and attached hot water jacuzzis. This is a place to relax, be one with nature and experience simple comforts of this lovely island. I know I will be back at Saraii hopefully next year. Next time I will bring my parents too.

Room Tip: Tree houses are fun as they are natural and unique
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Kerry_Stanton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Owner at Saraii Village, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2013

Thank you Kerry... Glad you had a great time at Saraii and it was great meeting you too... I'm sure next time you visit you will surely see a leopard... :)

You are always welcome at Saraii...

Charitha Abeyratne Hettiarachchi
Founder - Saraii Village

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

Hotel - a village .. absolute revelation - tree houses and cottages molded from clay. Very tasteful and high standard for such spartan conditions, separate bathrooms for each of the cottages. A place for those who like quiet and relaxation. Unfortunately, bad weather can be hard :) price for houses, but not the lowest, is worth paying.

Room Tip: All houses (tree houses and cottages) are beautiful , maybe for older visitors tree houses (wooden ladders) could be some trouble.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dariusz R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Owner at Saraii Village, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2013

Thank you Dariusz for your lovely review... Hope you would visit us again soon...

Charitha Abeyratne Hettiarachchi
Founder - Saraii Village

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

We booked for 6 nights one month in advance and spoke at the phone with Charitha, at this time we mentioned that the main reason we came to sri Lanka was to enjoy our honeymoon together and for surfing.
On speaking to Charitha I specifically asked about surfing in the area and she told me there was good surf break 10 minutes by tuktuk.
Once in Sri Lanka we discovered that there is no surfing at all in the area and decided to cut the stay to only 3 nights. We have been offered 50% refund for the 3 extra nights because they would not be able to fill up the room. (we communicated this 5 days earlier and over the xmas time 2nd, 3rd,4th of january)
On arrival, the place is pretty and the staff are all lovely, however, the room we were staying was unlike the one pictured on the web site: did not have a double bed but two single beds placed together on the floor and no candles. As well as this there was a mosquito net around the all tree house, but not properly fitted and full of gaps, so the night was spent fighting mosquitos, ants and different insects. My wife did not get almost any sleep by the time they woke us up at 5 am for the safari tour.
As we were paying 110$ for the room we would have expected these simple comforts to be included not to mention the fact that we were sharing a bathroom with four other guests.
As I mentioned earlier the staff are all lovely (as everywhere else in Sri Lanka), the dinner we had for new years eve was pretty good (35$), but the night after we had the option to eat the same buffet again and pay another 35$ each or go eat elsewhere (even if we asked for a simple meal).
We then decided to leave one night earlier, and even if they filled up the room anyway (we met the girl that took our room the evening before), we did not get any refund for it.
I believe that most likely they would have filled up the room for the all time that we payed for, and cashed in the double fare.
I do not recommend to stay here if you are a couple and definitely no need to spend more than a night.
I feel ripped off from the owner that runs all the operation from her office on Colombo.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Andrea D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Owner at Saraii Village, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback on our property and our staff; I am chagrined to learn of your disappointment with Saraii and sorry that you feel mislead and that you missed out on the true essence of Saraii's experience.

We have a revered policy of valuing all customer feedback, treating each comment and suggestion as objective, contributing value to Saraii. However as the owner of Saraii, I am disturbed and take exception to the completely inaccurate review and poor choice of words, with specific reference to the subject of your review inferring dishonesty on my part and that you were misled.

Let me address your concerns as listed in your review.

1. Surfing -

I am baffled by your claim that I said that there is a good surf break 10 minutes by tuk tuk... The only place to surf in this area is Kirinda and its 20 minutes away by car, although this is certainly not the BEST place in Sri Lanka for surfing, it is a location that few surfers use. The fact that Kirinda is 20 mins from Saraii is listed clearly on our website as well.

Saraii has not listed Kirinda as a place to surf; all our promotional material clearly list it as a location for a sea bath, which is an excursion option we provide to our guests. Kirinda is used as an embarking point for Diving in Great and Little bases... This is also clearly listed on our website’s Services & Facilities page - http://saraiivillage.com/services-facilities.php?news_id=117

If surfing was one of your main reasons for visiting Sri Lanka, I believe it would have been prudent to do your research on where you would want to do your surfing, as there are many other locations such as the world renowned Arugam Bay, as well as Unawatuna ,Talpe, Weligama and a host of other places that are pretty popular for this sport.

2. Misleading -

I wish to categorically refute this claim as at no time have I said anything inaccurate to you; we value total transparency and all information is clearly listed on our website and Facebook page. We stand by our position of total transparency and reiterate our statement "What you see is what you get; this place has no pretenses"

3. Cancelation Policy

You made your booking on the 29th of November. Your booking dates were 31st December to 5th January (6 nights) your reservation was made one full month in advance necessitating us to block it off on our availability calendar negating the opportunity for any other potential customer to utilize these days.

According to our company cancelation policy clearly listed on our website http://saraiivillage.com/accommodation-rates.php?news_id=96; if a cancelation is notified to us less than 3 days from the date of the reservation we charge a 100% cancelation fee. You notified us after three days (not 5 days ahead as inaccurately stated in your review ) of your decision not to remain for the balance three days of your six day stay.

Notwithstanding our standard cancellation procedure, I extended a special courtesy to you in reducing this fee by 50%, since you had stayed with us for 3 days.

Our cancelation policy is no different to most hotels in the world; I trust you are aware that in a situation like this we are unable to fill up our rooms immediately once they have been blocked out for a month; for you. This translates to us loosing out on 3 days of room revenue during the peak tourist season in Sri Lanka.

We did not as you inaccurately assumed, fill up the room for the days you cancelled and the day you left early. The girl you spoke of did NOT stay at Saraii, so please note that we have only incurred a loss because of your change of mind and not cashed in a double fare as you have irresponsibly and untruthfully claimed.

4. Room & Mosquito Netting -

Our online images reflect the exact setting of reality in every single accommodation unit we offer our guests. The picture clearly shows two single mattresses arranged as a double bed; the description of the Nest unambiguously states that we use single mattresses - http://saraiivillage.com/accommodation-rates.php?news_id=96

It is surprising that you mention that there was no Mosquito Net; the Nest has special protective mosquito netting set up enclosing the entire tree house, as anyone can see in our photographs. In fact all our accommodation units are replete with customized mosquito netting.

I am sure you will appreciate since Saraii is an eco resort, set in a bio diverse rich agro forestry property, it is impossible for us to assure our guests an environment free of the natural ecological makeup of the region. Our endeavour is to employ sustainable methods to minimize the unpleasant impacts of the natural eco system that could impair the comfort of our guests. You may have noticed that we spray Citronella oil, which is a natural mosquito repellant at Saraii as an additional measure.

Saraii has 4 accommodation units and 3 bathrooms. The Tree Houses are allocated the common bathroom and this is why you had to share your bathroom with 2 other guests who were occupying the other Tree House (The Crib).

5. Price

The price you paid for the Nest was 110 USD; the price of the Mud Chalet was 79 USD. This was not a hidden charge, this is clearly advertised on our website.
For further clarity below is a breakdown of what you paid and the special rate we offered you...
Nest - 110 USD X 4 days = 440 USD
Mud Chalet - 79 USD X 2 days = 154 USD
Total = 594 USD

The combined concessions we offered you -
1) 10% discount on total room fee = 59.40 USD
2) Free breakfast for 2 for all 6 days = 7 USD x 6 x 2 = 84 USD
3) Absorption of the PayPal transfer charges = 21.15 USD

As per the breakdown above we offered you a special discount of a total of 164.55 USD, l which I trust you will agree is more than generous, in the peak tourist season.

6. Refund -

After taking into account our special 50 % concession on the cancelation fees, a sum of USD 132 was refundable to you from Saraii. On your request we set off the remaining food, drinks and safari payments from this. The balance refund has been refunded to you already.

7. Dinner

The special arrangements at Saraii for dinner for Dec 31st and 1st Jan have been clearly communicated to you… I have emailed you this on the 3rd of Dec, giving you enough time to inform us if you did not need this festive meal on any of the days, which was a unique gastronomic buffet (unlimited), that included shrimp, Crab, Lobsters, Chicken, Fish, many types of Vegetables, six different type of curry, two varieties of heirloom Rice, Hoppers, String Hoppers paired with Wine.

If you did not want this meal on the 2nd day you could have simply requested that from our staff who would have accommodated you with a simple meal. Our records do not indicate that you even enquired of an alternative; as you yourself acknowledge we have great staff, who would have accommodated you on this simple request should you have expressed it.

8. Running the operation from Colombo

I do not believe that my running the operation from Colombo has any bearing on your disappointment. The staff at Saraii are competent, accommodative and well equipped to provide our guests the unique experience we promise, a fact you yourself have clearly acknowledged. Our General Manager who runs the operation at site has 25 years of experience in the hospitality trade.

I understand that your allegations are stemming from us not agreeing to your claim for a 100% refund for the days you cancelled at short notice and your inaccurate presumption that we were able to fill up the rooms for the days you cancelled. Our records show that you had a good time for the duration of your stay, and I sincerely wish that you had stayed on to enjoy the rest of the days you had booked, as you could have made it a memorable stay for yourself and your wife.

The sole purpose of setting up Saraii has been to provide a unique sustainable eco friendly stay to responsible travelers that understand the importance of the “triple bottom line” and support this concept. Simplicity is key in our offering. We are sad that you were not able to experience this unique offering to the fullest, which we aim to share with all our guests.

I am sorry that this response had to be so long but in the interest of giving the correct perspective to other potential guests who wish to stay at Saraii we think it is the right thing to do.

Warm Regards,
Charitha
(Owner - Saraii Village)

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

The perfect getaway if you want to slow down and simply take a break. Imagine your typical perfect resort and take away all the unnecessary frills, bells and whistles and you almost get Saraii Village; add in the signature tree house experience, the unique open air bathroom and a staff that goes out of the way to make your stay just right, you are closer; but nothing i write here would equal the actual experience.

Nestled in a wooded space between lake and civilization Saraii Village is embedded just enough to give you the feeling of isolation while being just 5 minutes from the main road. Both chalets and tree houses are designed so that you are completely in touch with nature. You can't avoid the sight of the trees, the sky and the odd jungle fowl, even if you tried. The preservation of openness while not compromising privacy is pure genius. I highly recommend the tree house experience; the sense of liberation is hard to describe. The simple but tasteful arrangement of accommodation adds to the charm.

All meals have that home cooked feel about it and Vijitha, the chef, will conjure up anything that you specify. I highly recommend the traditional Sri Lankan cuisine; especially for breakfast. Vijitha makes a mean Pol Sambol, Potato Curry accompanied by Rotti.

Saraii Village can also serve as the perfect base camp for exploring this neck of Sri Lanka. The Yala & Bundala national parks, the religious cities of Kataragama and Tissamaharama, the Cine Village and of course the Weerawila and Tissa tanks are all within 25 minutes from Saraii.

Thank you Saraii Village; we are definitely coming back!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Gamindu H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SaraiiVillage, Manager at Saraii Village, responded to this reviewResponded January 27, 2014

Dear Gamindu,

Thanks for reviewing Saraii Village on tripadvisor.com, we are blown away by your kind words and feedback!

We are very happy that we exceeded your expectations. As a fellow Sri Lankan we are glad that you understood our objectives and purpose to be a getaway where guests can slow down and relax in a tranquil oasis that is hard to find in today’s world of fast paced, rat race living.

Many thanks,
The Saraii Village Management Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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