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“One of my favorite places on earth”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Villa de Zoysa

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Villa de Zoysa
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“One of my favorite places on earth”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2012

I have stayed several times for several weeks at the villa and was always reluctant to write a review here, because if people acually knew how great this place it, it would constantly be booked out and I might not be albe to go there anymore when I have time. I rather wanted to keep it a "Geheim-Tip" for those who are looking for something special: who apreciate the family-like atmosphere, the beauty, the great, healthy food at the big dinner table, and the joy of practicing Yoga twice a day with competent teachers. Devinda is a fantastic host who personally does his very best to show his guests a great time.
If you are looking for Sex & Drugs & Rock'n Roll - don't go there.
If you like feeling anonymous in a big, unpersonal Resort - don't go there.
What ever the website promises, the place keeps.
And I have met many interesting people there who I'm still friends with.
It's SPECIAL. It's not for everybody. And that's good this way.

Room Tip: The extra money for a Premium Room is well worth it.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tom_ConsciousAction
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2012

I had to write after reading the previous negative review, which was a million miles away from our experience. Everything about Villa de Zoysa was amazing, especially the organizer and owner who couldn't do enough for all his guests and went out of his way to suggest and show places of interest, giving lifts or arranging for guides to take you/bring you back to/from anywhere you wanted to go. He showed us around the local childrens orphanage which he is involved with and arranged for us to go to a tea plantation and all the way to Pinnewela elephant sanctuary (a long way but it was so worth it).

The location of the White House was beautiful and peaceful. Yes it's by a railway track but it wasn't any bother at all. It certainly doesn't "shake the house". One of my favourite memories is doing yoga with the open doors to the sound of the waves and all the unfamiliar sounds outside and knowing I was in Sri Lanka! The beach is beautiful and just a short, cheap tuk tuk ride away, which was another favourite memory and part of the overall exotic experience of Sri Lanka.

Another outstanding part of our stay was the food! Am sure it was the highlight of everyone's day and wish it was something I could still indulge in. It was healthy and delicous, there was lots of variety and you could eat as much as you wanted, they just kept bringing out more when plates got emptied!

I also found the yoga to be excellent and know that the organiser asked and made sure that his guests were happy with the teachers. It is a very laid back place and everyone is welcome, it is very much an "open house" and yes people drop by, you have to remember that this is the organizer's home and he is entitled to guests! The previous reviewer complained about there not being many people there, and then also complained when some showed up? We went in March and overlapped with some people so at some point there were only 3 of us at yoga, but we liked the quietness and personal attention we got. Yes I had a friend with me but had originally planned to go alone and still think I would have had a fantastic time as there's so much to do there and you can get as involved as you like, I think it all really depends on you. I don't have one single criticism of the whole holiday, it was a magical place and I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Michele F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2012

My partner and I stayed at Villa de Zoysa for two weeks, and loved every minute of it. The house was gorgeous, the rooms comfortable and clean, and the grounds are lovely. We spent our days relaxing and reading on the broad front porch, walking to the nearby surf spots, testing out the spicy food in nearby lunch shops, or riding in tuk-tuks straight to the beach loungers at Hikkaduwa.

The food at the Villa was amazing - we ate our breakfast and dinner there everyday. The usual breakfast was a tropical fruit salad (that is so delicious we've been trying to make it at home ever since), eggs and tea. Every night the kitchen staff prepared some new and amazing curries, fish, and rice. I think that those nights might have been the complete highlight of the trip - during our stay, the house was full of international travelers. Some of them were volunteering at nearby schools and orphanages, and for them, the owner provided a discounted rate on room and board. The others, like us, were tourists from Europe, Africa, and the United States, looking to relax and enjoy our time. The dinners were communal and we had roaring great times sitting around the big table and enjoying each others stories about the most recent Sri Lankan experience.

Each day we had the option of attending yoga classes (at that point, offered twice a day), which were relaxing and enjoyable. Sometimes the volunteers would join us, and each class was a little different because travelers would come through periodically and join or leave. We made fast friends with several couples and singles during those group dinners, so the sessions were really enjoyable, even with different people coming through. The yoga teachers were very experienced, but not in the way that some over-ambitious yoga retreats that I've attended can be.

At one point we decided that we were ready to venture out and explore some more of the island. The owner organized a driver for us (which is necessary, because driving around in Sri Lanka yourself is hectic. There might be road signs, but nobody cares), and invited us to store our bags, computers, and surf board there free of charge while we cruised around the island. The driver was great and took us all over - to Yala National Park, up to Kandy, Nurya Elia, Sigariya, etc. I feel like we saw it all!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank S M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2012

Happy November 2011 at Villa de Zoysa

Just came back from a stunning vacation in Sri Lanka.
Villa de Zoysa is the place to go!
- best food !!!!
- clean rooms, especially when you compare it to the rest of Sri Lanka
- super helpfull owner that are there for you day and night with great tips.
- local sufers that take you out on the reef right in front of the villa
- bring cash, as there is no credit card machine.
- small yoga classes, very relaxing

Hope to go back in May this year.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Surfer11CapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona
Level Contributor
72 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2011

I went to Sri Lanka from Europe for a 10 day yoga retreat at Villa de Zoysa. When I arrived I overlapped by 2 days with a girl doing a yoga retreat (she had been there for 2 weeks on a yoga retreat alone), then she left and I was to be there for the remaining 8 days by myself. One weekend the yoga retreat’s organiser’s family visited and the children did the yoga sessions with me for two days (their first time doing yoga) and then a German couple dropped in to do yoga for a couple of days. I was not very happy that the yoga retreat consisted of only me with various drop in people every now and again. I’ve done yoga retreats before and one of the things I like about doing the retreat is meeting the other people on the retreat who are into yoga, and to socialise with them. I had asked before coming how many people would be on the retreat with me and the organiser had told me 5. One evening halfway through my stay I went to talk with the retreat organiser (who lives in and owns the house where the retreat is held) about the fact that I was disappointed that I was the only person there on the retreat with the occasional drop in people and to me it didn’t feel like a retreat. On their website they say that people should come for 2 weeks, 1 week minimum – but they were accepting drop in people. I had found out that the drop in couple were paying less than me per day; the organiser had upgraded me to a “premium room” which was nice of him, but I was paying more than the drop in couple which I didn’t think was very fair - and so I told the organiser I was disappointed about that too. I was very polite about about it all. The organiser’s reaction to my criticism was defensive and aggressive - he told me that it was none of my business what other people were paying, and said that he knew I was trouble when I arrived (!), and then he told me that I had to leave, that my “negative psyche” would affect other people that might come. This was totally outrageous and unprofessional behaviour. All he had to do was listen to my criticism – explain why the other 5 people hadn’t materialised, apologise and leave it at that. But he obviously can’t any take criticism and so ended my yoga holiday. I was alone in Sri Lanka and he threw me out, he couldn’t have cared less that I had paid a lot of money to come to Sri Lanka (I only came to do the retreat), that he had caused me to waste my time, money and energy coming all the way to Sri Lanka in the hope of doing a relaxing and rejuvenating yoga retreat.

I left the next morning. We had agreed by email before I had arrived that I would pay 570 euros for staying 10 nights and that I would pay him when I was there – in the end I stayed 6 nights so I attempted to pay him 342 euros (57 x 6). He informed me that I had to pay for 7 days not 6 nights. I said I wouldn't pay for the extra day (57 euros) as this was not what we had agreed by email. He then got very annoyed and threatened to call the police; I was a woman alone in Sri Lanka – not only had he thrown me out to spend the next 4 days by myself but then he threatened to call the police on me! I had really had it with him, I couldn't believe he could stoop any lower. I told him I'd give him the extra 57 euros and that I couldn't believe his behaviour and that he shouldn’t be running a yoga retreat. He then said he wouldn't take the 57 euros, and I said fine, and then he said he was still going to call the police. This was totally distressful. Then he called the other retreat organiser over to see what she thought was right about the 6 nights vs 7 days - and she agreed with me on the 6 nights - and after that I just decided to get out of there as fast as possible before he did something else even crazier.

There is only one other place round there that does yoga retreats (rather than drop in classes), House of Lotus, but they were fully booked for the next two months. I tried a couple of drop in classes elsewhere in the area but they weren’t any good. So I couldn’t do anymore yoga for the rest of my holiday.

Another problem with this retreat is the location. The website shows a misleading photo (on the page showing the prices) of what you think is the property and its sun loungers being at the edge of the beach. This is not possible because between the house and the beach is a busy main road and a railway track. Luckily while I was there the trains weren’t working as they were repairing the track. I was told that the train it is really loud and shakes the house and starts at 5am. The place to do yoga is near the main road and you can hear a lot of traffic noise while doing yoga so it’s not very tranquil. The beach in front of the house (once you cross the railway track and road) is not a sun bathing or swimming beach. You can take a bus to the sun bathing / swimming beaches – the nearest one is 15 minutes away. The other beach is about an hour away as you have to take two buses.

I’m sure there are plenty of people that have experienced a nice yoga retreat here, but I felt I had to warn people about what could happen from my experience.

Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
Helpful?
20 Thank AndyFranc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa de Zoysa

Property: Villa de Zoysa
Address: The White House | Galle Road, Boossa, Pitiwella, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Pitiwella
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Pitiwella
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Treat yourself to a Yoga holiday. Relax and rejuvenate in a third generation ancestral home, at Villa De Zoysa, Galle district, Boossa, Sri Lanka. We offer Ayurveda treatments as part of a wellness programme. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa De Zoysa Sri Lanka

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