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“Nice But”
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
Twistbit
UK
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Nice But”
Reviewed February 5, 2017 for a stay in January 2017
1
person found this review helpful

I fully endorse the previous comments regarding the views and surrounding countryside. Both Sanjee (the cook) and Chutaranga (the houseboy) were friendly and helpful. Be aware that Sri Lankan curry is very fierce with lots of pepper and chillies Sanjee adjusted his dishes to our taste. The owner Kim was very helpful and replied promptly to our emails. On the occasion that we had to alter our flight due to an airline schedule change she was most accommodating.
All the locals are very friendly and like to stop and chat, supermarkets all within a reasonable distance and Sanjee drove us there in the Tuk -Tuk. Sudu will arrange trips for you I would suggest that you do a little research beforehand the most common trip is a triangle, Kandy , Yala National Park (chose a morning safari) and Galle, all the trips follow the same route and venues with slight variations.
All in all we enjoyed our stay in Sri Lanka the “buts” were; it was not mentioned on Trip Advisor that part of the property is a Wedding Hall and although separate is next door. Only used in the day time we were told and you may get an invite!
There is also a noisy neighbour who likes to share his loud music, but as the owner Kim says they can’t control that although Chutaranga did try. Other noise came from local concerts/Weddings about once a week with very loud drums that went on to about 1.00am and in the flat countryside noise travels a long way. On these occasions it made sitting outside a little uncomfortable. We moved from the upstairs bedroom to the downstairs one as it was a bit quieter when the drums played late into the night.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Feb 7, 2017
I am very upset but not at all surprised that everything wasn't entirely right for you.
It was unfortunate that you had a local wedding and the annual music concert whilst you were there but as that was the only time that you were really disturbed then I am sorry. Mandalay is not an isolated villa in the middle of nowhere and was never marketed as such. I also do not see why trip advisor should have to mention the wedding hall. When I book a villa or hotel I have never yet seen - next to garage, shop etc.
The wedding Hall is not part of Mandalay but on the rare occasion when there is a wedding we always inform guests. You were actually on tour when the one wedding in your three week stay occurred so it did not affect you at all. Most guests love to go to a local wedding and have a totally authentic and cultural Sri Lankan experience. You are always treated as an honoured guest.
Regarding tours, there is a triangle of places that most guests choose to go on but we always offer the choices of visiting Trincomalee in the North East, Kandy, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Hill Country and the tea plantations, Adams Peak and the two game parks. All the trips most certainly do not follow the same route.
Our chef is magnificent, all past guests have said so and will obviously make your curries as hot / mild as you wish, all you do is ask. He was tested though when asked for roast chicken and gravy !!
Sudu looked after you like a king and even invited you to his home for dinner and then took you to the temple procession. He did not need or have to do this but did so with grace and kindness.
We did everything we could to make your stay as comfortable end enjoyable as possible - but -
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
683harris...
Herefordshire, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Simply an Excellent Location for Brilliant Family Holiday”
Reviewed January 11, 2017 for a stay in December 2016

We stayed as a family with 4 boisterous teenage boys Mandalay for 3 week over the Christmas period. Sudu and his team were brilliant, always on hand and looked after us exceptionally well. It is difficult to pick individual highlights since:

• The food was amazing (thank you Sanjay - boiled egg curry still my favorite)
• The house was comfortable, well equipped and had a great pool that the boys lived in
• Mandalay is in a perfect location, central to many attractions such as:
o Turtle conservation project,
o River excursions (Crocodiles, Water Monitors, Eagles etc),
o Water Sports (we all completed our PADI open water)
o Various Temples
o Fish Market

Sudu also arranged a 5 day tour of the island for us, including Yala National park (Elephants and Leopards), tea plantation (and tea factory) and Sigirya (UNESCO listed World Heritage Site). Everything ran perfectly and we had a great time. It was a great experience being driven, off the beaten track, through Sri Lanka. Due entirely to Sudu’s local knowledge we saw so much more of the local culture (Spice farm, Elephant orphanage, Batik factory, Little England, the list goes on); Indeed, far more than we would have normally managed.

A final thanks must go to Kim Lafti, the owner, who provided endless information and suggestions before we booked, allowing us to plan an exceptional holiday. Overall a brilliant holiday, I will always remember playing Cricket on the beach with the local fishermen as the sun set over the Indian Ocean.

Thank You

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Reviewed August 17, 2016 for a stay in August 2016

How easy was it to book the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Not knowing what new experience I would have each day, I couldn't wait to wake up
Liked least: Having to go home
Traveling group: Extended Family
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 an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
Aug 18, 2016
I am absolutely delighted that you had such a wonderful, memorable holiday.
Thank you for your fantastic review, and I know after talking to Sudu and the boys it would be a pleasure to welcome you all back at any time.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
ali955
Saudi Arabia
1 review
“Our little piece of heaven....”
Reviewed April 11, 2016 for a stay in March 2016

Our visit to Mandalay was exceptional and one of the best holidays we have taken with our young children. The villa was perfect for our needs, was comfortable and clean and was in the most beautiful of settings. The staff were more than that and became our friends who shared conversation and laughs and even a game of cricket!
Mandalay offers you the best of both worlds - you can relax by the pool or go out and visit temples, elephants, tea plantations , the beach - the list is endless. We will be back for sure!

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
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.
Management Response
Apr 11, 2016
I am so pleased that you all had such a fantastic holiday, thank you very much for your wonderful review and we welcome you all back to Mandalay with pleasure
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sogalo1
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
“Henderson”
Reviewed January 28, 2016 for a stay in December 2015

Our holiday was organised by Sudu and his daughter Lakeesha who were both brilliant. Nothing was too much trouble for them and we were taken to lots of wonderful places off the beaten track. I could not recommend them enough, the whole family welcomed us and invited us to share in all their celebrations.
We did not stay at Mandalay but stayed in the Elephant house nearby. Although, Sudu did organise for us to visit and have dinner at Mandalay with the family staying there. Both houses have lovely gardens and large pools. Mandalay has a beautiful outlook and is nicer than the elephant house which is reflected in my ratings. However, our house was near to the local temple and Lakeesha guided us around the temple introducing us to the temple elephant and explaining the workings of the temple to us. We fed this gorgeous elephant and also got to wash her so we would definitely recommend a morning walk/drive to the temple to try and catch this lovely experience. There were so many highlights to our holiday from releasing baby turtles, to seeing blue whales and watching sunsets on the beach, all of which were made all the more enjoyable by Sudu. He took care of everything from booking to transport, allowing us all to relax and just enjoy these wonderful experiences in this beautiful country. The sea temperature and the pool are like getting into a warm bath, even at midnight on New Years Eve the water was beautifully warm and a great setting to enjoy the fireworks. Our driver Alvis was a true gentleman and Sudu treated us like family.

Can't wait to go back.

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 pool and having travelled round the Island we were very pleased that we chose to stay in Aluthgama/ Bentota as the sand on the beech was superior to the beeches further south.
Liked least: The beach
Traveling group: Teenagers
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • 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.
CollinsFa...
Kuwait City, Kuwait
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Our family holiday of a lifetime made even more perfect!”
Reviewed January 3, 2016 for a stay in December 2015
1
person found this review helpful

There are not enough words to describe how wonderful our whole stay at Mandalay was! Our group of 6 (3 adults and 3 young children) were treated like royalty from start to finish, with Sudu and his staff doing everything possible to make our stay with them as relaxing as possible. 5* is not enough for this villa and certainly not high enough for the staff! From body boarding on Bentota beach, to a visit to the local fish market. Shopping in the local Monday market to river boat trips in the Mangroves.....so much variety to be as busy or relaxed as you wish. My family and I have made some true friends whilst in this beautiful country, especially at Mandalay and will be doing our upmost to book again as quickly as possible. Thank you Sudu for making our stay so special, you are a true gentlemen.

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 staff - unbeateable!
Liked least: The wifi is a little slow, but it is sufficient to maintain a link to home.
Traveling group: Young Children
Your age range 35-49
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.
Management Response
Jan 4, 2016
Thank you all for your wonderful review. It is so nice to know that we are doing it right. I know it is so important to all at Mandalay that you have the best holiday ever.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nichola_C...
Wilmslow, England
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Faultless, just wonderful”
Reviewed January 3, 2016 for a stay in December 2015

We stayed at Mandalay Villa over the Christmas period as a group of three adults and three children for our first visit to Sri Lanka.
I cannot say enough nice things about our stay. From the second we arrived to the moment we left we were made to feel welcome, comfortable and very well looked after by Sudu and his team. Every positive comment you read on these reviews is accurate; whether it be about the stunning peaceful location; the lovingly cared for, spotless house; the delicious authentic freshly prepared food; or the incredible host Sudu, they are all just perfect, in fact, beyond perfection.
On returning to Sri Lanka in the future I can safely say I would not wish to stay anywhere else.
Our stay at Madalay reflected everything that is beautiful about Sri Lanka as a country and Sudu and the team reflect everything that is warm, welcoming, friendly and hospitable about the Sri Lankan people. Thank you for some amazing memories to be cherished forever.

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: Everything
Liked least: Leaving
Traveling group: Extended Family
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 this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Jan 4, 2016
This is just wonderful. THANK YOU
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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