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“Not that impressed, actually”

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The Spice House, Mirissa
Ranked #3 of 192 Mirissa B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not that impressed, actually”
Reviewed January 9, 2012

All told, there are many better places to stay. We spent 8 days at the Spice House and my main impression is that these people aren't living up to the glowing reviews that attracted us there. Some of the pains:

- a staff member being rude and disrespectful, and 'helping himself' to our things
- surcharging us by one extra night and giving us drama when we pointed it out
- we were travellimg with a baby, and had been told we would have free access to the fridge to hold the baby food, and then we were given some grief about it
- in all the time we were there, they cleaned our room only once, and only after we insisted

The building and location are nice, very good location for fauna. Beach access is ok. But hardly stellar for Sri Lanka. That said, the inconvenience of not having a cook for dinners became inconvenient after a while. They should hire a cook. Their breakfasts were hit and miss but acceptable.

The main impression I had was that this family figured they could have a good business with the guesthouse, with no real experience or feeling for providing good service.there may be some potential, but this is soured by the BIG negatives, the worst being the negative and diarespectful attitude of some of their staff.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lhooq E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sprag1, Owner at The Spice House, Mirissa, responded to this review, January 10, 2012
Firstly we are really sorry to hear that you had an unhappy time during your stay with us.
You are right when you say that this is a very new venture for us but i can assure you and any future guests that our guests are very important to us and that we are not just in this to make easy money. My Sri Lankan family are all Buddhists and live their lives accordingly respecting & caring for everyone.
To address your concerns firstly about cleaning the rooms.You booked two rooms and one of them was cleaned as normal every two days.The other room had a baby in and when we tried to clean the room we were told that the baby was asleep and so it was constantly postponed.You were given clean towels every day.
Regarding meals - we do provide home cooked Sri Lankan evening meals if asked for and we can get "take away" meals delivered at any time.You are right that we dont currently have a full time chef but we are in the process of rectifying this and we will have one in place before the end of January.
Use of the fridge - You used the kitchen fridge and if anything of yours was taken it was done so totally innocently by mistake for which we apologize.
My Wife and her family are looking after the guesthouse as i am in the UK at the moment so i was not there but i will totally defend Wathsala who is terribly upset by your review.She is the kindest,caring & most helpful person that i have ever met.
I really wish that you could have approached me or my Family during your stay with your concerns - after all you stayed 8 nights with us so we could have addressed them at the time.
I dealt with the booking and we exchanged 24 emails before your stay but none during?
Anyway thank you for your comments,they are important to us both good and bad and i am sure that we shall learn from them.
Once again we are truly sorry that you didnt enjoy your time with us.

Regards,

Phil & Wathsala - Owners of The Spice House
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

We stayed in the spice house for 4 nights during our honeymoon and had a wonderful time. The family go out of their way to make you feel at home and what a home it is. Big rooms, with lovely bathrooms and a garden full of spices and animals.
Whilst it is a ten minute walk to the main beach, it is only a stone's throw from smaller, secluded bays.
From what we heard and experienced, the spice house is the place to stay in Mirissa

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank NickB210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed December 21, 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed in the Spice house for 9 night at the start of Dec 11 and we had such a lovely & enjoyable stay! Wathsala and her family were very welcoming, helpful and accommodating. Phil, Wathsala's English husband was not in Sri Lanka during my stay but during the run up to my trip I was in contact Phil via email to make my booking and I found Phil to be extremely helpful. At the time of contacting phil I was planning my trip and he was very generous with useful information and also sent me photos of places of interest in Sri Lanka. I would advise booking directly via email at thespicehousemirissa@gmail.com - it is cheaper than booking.com!

The Spice house is located just off the Galle road and is a few mins Tuk Tuk ride down to the main Mirissa beach. There is also a small bay a few mins walk away. I stayed in the Cinnamon room which had a lovely balcony facing the sea. If you spend a little time sitting on the balcony you maybe lucky enough to spot the local Monkeys swinging in the treas. I was amazed at the birds and wildlife I spotted during my stay.

If you want to visit Galle (50Mins Tuk Tuk), Unawatuna (40Mins Tuk Tuk), Weligama and other places along the coast this is a great base. There is a very friendly local tuk tuk driver you can book through The Spice House too.

From booking through to our stay at the Spice House we had the best possible experience and I would highly recommend if you are visiting Mirissa. I will definitely visit again!

Thank you Phil & Wathsala

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JaimeNeil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Porto, Portugal
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2011

We just love to stayed in Spice House! We arrived 1 day earlier and Phil and Wathsala did their best to arrange 2 rooms for us. We were very welcome, and we spent delicious hours talking with Watsala. She is the best host you can imagine! She even lent us a Sri Lanka Sari so we can take some pictures.
The breakfast was great, with great Sri Lanka food and the rooms were so beatifull and well decorated.
Wathsala gave us great advices about restaurants, bus, places to visit...We felt living with a real family and we felt very sad leaving that paradise!
Susana

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Susanamoreira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thespicehouse, Owner at The Spice House, Mirissa, responded to this review, October 19, 2011
Thank you very much for your kind comments.
It is always such a delight to have such nice guests staying with us and for us to be able to share our home with them. we really hope to see you again in the future?

Phil & Wathsala - Owners of The spice House.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2011

My Partner and I stayed at this guest house for three nights Oct 2011 and felt like one of the family. Wathsala's brother collected us from Tissa and drove us to the Spice house. He stopped off where ever we wanted him to and made the drive down to the Spice house a great start to our time in Mirissa.
We stayed in the room over looking the front garden. Although all rooms looked very similar, perfectly decorated to Sri Lankan theme, none have A/C. We think If we stayed again we would choose one of the back rooms to reduce the road noise.
Breakfast was lovely and very flexible with the times that we wanted to eat. Both Phil and Wathsala even waited for us to get showered on our first night as they were heading to Galle and so dropped us off at the main Bay to save us walking. Nothing was too much trouble for them they even arranged for Wathsala's brother to collect us from Galle and take us to Negombo at very reasonable rates as we hadn't sorted a driver out.
The Spice house is great value for money and with a very private Bay within a few minutes walking distance is perfectly located. The main Bay is 10-15 mins walk and the three restaurants offer great food and service for sensible money. The atmosphere and sunsets down at this bay are a most see. Some evenings even had Fire Boi to entertain us while we sat having a few drinks.
The only downside to the Spice house was no A/C. We understand why they have chosen not to install it but when its 30 plus degrees at night it can make sleeping uncomfortable.
All in all our experience of the Spice house and Mirissa is unforgetable highly recommended. Thank You.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank carl_bailey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thespicehouse, Owner at The Spice House, Mirissa, responded to this review, October 19, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us and also for your nice comments.
We realise that only having fans in the rooms - and not AC is not everyones choice but our view is that with AC ( apart from the global warming issue) you never actually acclimatize to the outside temperature and you either end up being too cold in your room or too hot when you go outside!
But if that is what the majority of our guests want we will certainly consider it for the future and we take your thoughts on board.
Thank you.

Phil & Wathsala - Owners of The Spice House
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 3, 2011

When my sister and I arrived at The Spice House (after a grueling 8 hr Tuk tuk ride from Arugam Bay!) we were greeted by the owner, Wathsala, with the friendliest welcome I think I have ever had, she immediately sat us down and gave us tea and cake that she had baked herself. She introduced us to her mother and they asked us all about our trip so far, genuinely showing interest and making us feel at home straight away.
We had turned up 2 days earlier than originally booked, and after a few emails exchanged before we arrived they were more than accommodating with our earlier arrival and the room we were given was a welcome luxury compared to the beach hut experience in A-Bay! We had a room overlooking the garden and jungle to the back of the property, on several occasions we awoke to see monkeys playing in the trees which was magical.
The breakfast was delicious and plentiful and we really missed it when we moved on after 5 days, especially the potato curry and string hoppers...thinking about it now is making me hungry!
We had fresh flowers in our rooms which were glorious and a little balcony from which to admire the garden and jungle beyond.

As for the lack of hot water and air-con, we didn't notice at all, in fact the shower was really refreshing and warm not freezing cold, and the fan in our room was more than enough to keep us comfortable in the night.

I will definitely return here one day, Wathsala and her family made us feel like friends from the moment we arrived, and we were very sad to leave them when we did, I highly recommend staying here if you stop in Mirissa!

Lucy

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Craftfiend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thespicehouse, Owner at The Spice House, Mirissa, responded to this review, October 12, 2011
Firstly thank you very much for taking the time to write a review for our guesthouse.
We are very pleased that you had such an enjoyable time with us and glad to hear that you felt like one of the Family which is what we are trying to achieve.We want our guests to go away feeling that they have stayed in a Sri Lankan Family home rather than a faceless hotel.
Once again many thanks for your kind review and we hope to see you again soon?

Kind Regards,

Phil & Wathsala - Owners of The Spice House,Mirissa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2011

The Spice House is a gem. The owners are very warm and hospitable. The rooms and garden are lovely. The breakfast is good too. It's a 15-minute walk to the beach, and you can always take a tuk tuk. Also, keep in mind at the moment there's no AC or hot water. Overall, fantastic stay!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank themelissard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
thespicehouse, Owner at The Spice House, Mirissa, responded to this review, October 1, 2011
We are really glad that you had such a good time in Sri Lanka and during your stay with us and thank you for taking the time to write a review.
To clarify one point Mirissa is made up of 3 bays - 2 small ones and a larger one to the West and our guesthouse is only 1 minutes walk to a beautiful little bay which is protected by a reef for calm, safe, year round swimming.The second smaller bay is also good for swimming as are either side of Parrot rock but the largest bay is where the big waves are and surfers use the far end of this.
It is true that we dont use AC to help protect the environment - our bedrooms have 5M high ceilings and dual aspect windows to help with natural air flow.We use electric fans in the rooms.
We are in the process of fitting solar panels for hot water so any new guests will have access to this.Although personally i dont use hot water as it is usually 30 degrees outside and it is nice to cool off !
Once again thank you for your review and we hope to see you again soon?
Kind Regards,
Phil & Wathsala ( Owners of The Spice House, Mirissa )
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Spice House, Mirissa

Property: The Spice House, Mirissa
Address: Km 151, Galle Road, Mirissa 81740, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Mirissa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 192 B&Bs / Inns in Mirissa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Spice House, Mirissa is a beautiful Colonial style guesthouse with its own private swimming pool set in a peaceful, landscaped garden full of tropical flowers, fruits, spices, ponds & hammocks. It is ideally situated only one minute from a beautiful, reef protected bay & 1km from the main bustle of Mirissa beach. The guesthouse is English owned by an experienced traveller and his Sri Lankan Wife which allows us to offer our guests the perfect mix of Western comfort & luxury alongside Sri Lankan charm & service - we like our guests to feel like part of the family. The house is shaded by coconut palms & cinnamon trees to the front while the back is terraced which allows wonderful views over the surrounding jungle. Local wildlife is often seen in our garden with daily visits from monkeys, kingfishers, peacocks, woodpeckers & squirrels. We can also help with Airport transfers & booking whale watching trips during the season (November - April). ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Spice House Hotel, Mirissa Hotel Mirissa

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