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“most memorable place and hospitality!!!!!!!”
other travelers have booked this property

Review of Mandalay

Mandalay viewed from pool
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Mandalay viewed from pool
Front aspect of Mandalay Swimming pool, overlooking one of the cabanas and paddy fields below
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Excellent
55 reviews
Mandalay viewed from pool
Front aspect of Mandalay
Swimming pool, overlooking one of the cabanas and paddy fields below
Second cabana
Garden and treehouse
Mandalay's beautifully manicured grounds
Pool cabana and sun loungers
Mandalay illuminated at dusk
Master bedroom
Overlooking second cabana from master bedroom balcony
Second bedroom
Third bedroom
Fresh local fruit breakfast, prepared by your chef
Mandalay's team of staff and its fleet of vehicles
Picking our own tea
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Overview
Villa -
3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Sleeps 7
Darga Town, Western Province

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 55 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
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English first
iremalam
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 reviews
“most memorable place and hospitality!!!!!!!”
Reviewed December 2, 2013 for a stay in November 2013

First of al before I even got there making Arrangements with kim via email was excellent!!! She replied in a very timely manner. Very prompt and helpful. I mentioned ed go her what I would be interested to see which was a lot , obviously could not do all in a week stay. So she was kind enough to make the plan for me and also to enjoy her beautiful homely bungalow.
Everything went very smoothly as planned Drom picking up at the airport to dropping at the end of the week.
The house is beautifully located on a hill so the views are great!!! The staff unbelievable!!!! Words cannot describe e how amazing they were. From the Cook,houseboy to our tour guide. The bungalow and srilanka were great but they made it extra extra special. Never met such an amazing tour guide sodu.
Would definitely recommend this place. Please do take mosquitoes repellants:) the cook is also great, he will show u how he cooks if you are interested to watch him:))) kim was right in order to enjoy the house I needed more than a week....

How easy was it to book the property? How easy was key pickup/access to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: location and the people!!!
Liked least: my short visit
Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah M
Berkshire UK
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“This is not 5 star it is 7 star”
Reviewed September 18, 2013 for a stay in August 2013

We stayed at Mandalay for two weeks in August and September 2013. This was our first visit to Sri Lanka - having been forced to cancel a trip many years ago - and was much anticipated. It did not disappoint. Mandalay was the perfect villa to stay at whilst we both explored the island and relaxed. We were expecting a chef to cook some of our evening meals, but we were waited on hand and foot all day every day! Our chef, house boy, driver and gardner made our trip so relaxing it has been hard to come back to real life at home. Sudu - the manager was the most wonderful guide and friend during our stay. He organised everything we wished to see and more. His knowledge of his island, and most importantly his sense of humour were just amazing. We learned so much about the country and saw so much more than we would have if we'd stayed at a hotel. Kim - the owner - was fantastic throughout the booking process and kept in touch throughout our stay to ensure that all was well - which as you can see it was. We have been lucky enough to have some amazing holidays over the years, but I have never felt compelled to write a review before. All I can say is that I would recommend this to anyone who wants to relax but also discover the beautiful island of Sri Lanka and its amazing, friendly people.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Too difficult, it was an amazing all round experience
Liked least: Having to leave and come home and make and eat my own boring food.
Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernie_mc...
Cheshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Mandalay was a real find - simply divine”
Reviewed August 27, 2013 for a stay in August 2013
1
person found this review helpful

As a family of four, (children 12 and 15), we have recently returned from Mandalay after spending 2 weeks during August. We had the most wonderful of times. This is the furthest we have travelled with both of our daughters and it really was the best of decisions. They have returned buzzing with memories of chipmunks, chameleons, monkeys, elephants, turtles, crocodiles, tree frogs, fruit bats, TukTuks, families on motorbikes and of course the relaxing days spent at Mandalay in the pool, many many hours of fun had there. We managed to combine both sightseeing and truly relaxing at Mandalay and have returned really refreshed with our batteries recharged! The property and gardens were fabulous and kept exceptionally clean by a young gardener and also by Katuranga who looked after the house and pool to the highest of standards. Our food was prepared by the chef, Patti who took everyone's tastes into consideration and cooked the most divine meals. Veejay, the driver was very skilled and we felt we were in safe hands. This property was a real find and we would recommend it without hesitation.
One of our daughters uses a wheelchair occasionally due to ill health, this worked out perfectly fine.
On the last couple of days, our 15 year old daughter wrote a poem which made us laugh about her time in Mandalay, so we thought we would share it!

I'm a teenager, I live for my phone,
It's always in my hand at home.
Of course I brought it to Mandalay
and was only on it for a day.
But then the views, the people and the sun
took the need for my phone away.

I always loved a bit of tv,
but being outside was heaven.
I didn't watch much at all at night,
I was too busy in the pool
watching the fruit bats in flight.

And last of all Facebook,
my unbreakable addiction,
I was barely on it, maybe once or twice,
because watching the Sri Lankan people work
gave me a new insight to life.

The amazing feeling of not being nagged by mum to make my bed
because our wonderful Katuranga made it instead!
In addition to this, may I just take this time to say,
Katuranga, you've been immense during our stay,
You've quietly got on doing all your jobs,
secretly I thought you were an adorable heart throb!

To our driver Veejay,
nothing was ever going to get in your way,
Wherever we wanted to go, including the local town,
You'd be there to take us, guide us and show us around,
I loved sitting in the front of the people carrier with you and
hearing about what work the Sri Lankans do,
You were so lovely to us all,
and we knew you would be there when we called.

And now to the brilliant and loveable Patti,
I swear your food has turned me into a fatty!
Tasting the spices in every mouthful
made my tastebuds dance with delight and
I looked forward to our meals each and every night.
As for your divine chocolate pudding,
It would win prizes in competitions for cooking.

And as for you Sudu,
I loved meeting your family, and you too.
Thank you so much for all that you do,
And lastly to Kim, this is not just a house but a home
Your house here, your staff and the culture has enabled me
to realise.....
I don't always need my phone!!

Faye (age 15)

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The garden and pool, a very clean, cool and comfortable house
Liked least: I would be saying something for the sake of it, I honestly can't think of anything
Traveling group: Extended Family
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
329claire
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Stunning”
Reviewed April 16, 2013 for a stay in April 2013

Like all other reviews before us we loved Mandalay. The house is exceptionally well furnished and very comfortable. It was definately the garden which was a favourite for me, and also the views of rural Sri Lanka. We loved all the wildlife in the garden and also the birdlife was beautiful. The house is kept very clean and we were well looked after by Sudu and Vijay, the houseboy was also exellent and as this was our final week in Sri Lanka we mostly just relaxed and chilled out. A very big thank you to the staff and also the owners who were always helpful and provided very useful information which made our trip and real success.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
slackym
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“AMAZING PLACE. Home from home.”
Reviewed February 24, 2013 for a stay in November 2011
1
person found this review helpful

Mandalay is a sanctuary set on a hill over looking paddy fields. Sudu and his team made us feel like Kings taking us to the beach, the local market and around in his Tuk Tuk. Not only that he took us on a tour of the island, arranging the best hotels and tours wherever we wanted to go. Many a night we reminisce sitting in the amazing pool at Mandalay watching the fruit bats fly over for the evening. Amazing. Oh and the food...Chef cooked the best local food we have ever eaten, ask for the devilled calamari! Would go back tomorrow. Only wished we saved this treat for our honeymoon, don't think anything could top it!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Service
Liked best: The staff.
Liked least: Going home.
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NobbyWorc...
Worcestershire
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Mandalay is the REAL gem of Sri Lanka!”
Reviewed February 23, 2013 for a stay in February 2013

Being a cynic by nature (with exacting standards!) I was ready to take some of the reviews of Mandalay with a large pinch of salt.
I could not have been more wrong!!
The web site could not reflect the incredible staff, facilities, position and cleanliness.
Kim Lafdi (owner) was exceedingly professional in her ability to deal with my many requests and queries being unfamiliar to Sri Lanka.
Sudu, the house manager should be awarded a gold medal for his gentle, informative and fun way when on tour with him in his native country. Being a 'foodie' he showed me the local fish market at 6.30am! The sights and sounds of hundreds of various fish and many locals buying, will be with me for a long time. We had the most incredible tea factory tour in Nuwara Eliya where the 'health and safety' team would have a field day, but I learnt so much about the humble 'cuppa' production I will never drink it the same way.
From buying freshly dug up peanuts to eating the sweetest, juiciest pineapple (taken to the pineapple field by the owner, who cut us one to eat immediately it was still warm!) I had a most superbly educational tour without feeling I was in a classroom.
I saw the full life cycle of watching the rice being planted in the paddy fields (by water buffalo!) when on tour in the South, to then seeing it being cut and then threshed in the field just yards down the driveway from Mandalay and finally it was dried on plastic sheets for 3 days on the road just yards from the house to be eaten by the locals.
The rubber plantation next to Mandalay was another experience I never expected.
The simple but effective way I saw the the farmer cut the band around the rubber tree which encouraged the latex to run and finally drip into a coconut husk to be collected daily has made me appreciate the elastic band no end!
From being offered freshly cut King Coconuts from the house garden to drink and having the fruit platter fit for a King being offered every breakfast I felt I was in heaven - and I haven't even started on the superb staff of Mandalay, from Vejay, in his quiet, smiling way of driving, to Chataranga the house boy who cleaned constantly inside and out - have you ever seen the edges of the swimming pool tiles being cleaned daily?
This standard would be exceptional in a Five Star Luxury hotel charging hundreds of pounds a night - believe me - I have stayed in them all around the world. Yet, you are in a private house, eating the best food freshly prepared by 'cookie' which a fine dining restaurant could not equal at a cost so little is it almost beyond belief. Five stars on Trip advisor is not enough - it should be 7 at least!
Mandalay is an absolute bargain of a price and Kim Lafdi should be congratulated on being exceedingly fair in her price, for the house and tours to encourage many people to stay in Mandalay which then secures the livelihood for the staff.
My one outstanding memory of the house is waking up to the softly sweeping sound of the delightful gardener boy, sweeping the paths AND LAWNS to ensure when you go outside, everything is picture perfect.
Please visit Sri Lanka - after the horrendous Sunami it still needs tourists.
Please visit Mandalay if you want a holiday of a life time - completely stress free.
Please do tip the wonderful staff - I am sure they are looked after very well by Sudu, but additional Rupees would always be appreciated I am sure.
If you don't believe me, just GO!

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How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Immaculate house. Superb service of staff and great value for money
Liked least: Having to go home
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upton upon Severn
Reviewed February 15, 2013 for a stay in January 2013

How easy was it to book the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: The overall ambience
Liked least: The humidity until I got used to it.
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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