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All reviewsboutique hotelshanth fernandorailway linegallery cafehomemade ginger beergeoffrey bawasri lankaexecutive suitebaked crabplunge poolspa ceylonadds to the charmbeautiful hoteltrains passinghuge balconystayed for nightscurry
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Reviewed October 14, 2012

Being a hotelier I am always over critical.. could not fault this gem of a place in anyway at all. I have stayed in a number of 'boutique' style properties over Asia, and this really is the best one ever !! The kitchen is amazing, service spot on, cleanliness and a good location. We were so pleased at finding this place and really shoudl be kept a secret, well that is till I was in Uk and picked up conde nast and there is a 3page spread on the place !!! well done, deserved... we will be seeing you again soon at THE VILLA !!

Room Tip: Book one of the suites, a lot brighter.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SarahWK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

We stayed in this hotel during February 2012. The hotel property is very beautiful, and it has direct access to an excellent beach. The overall atmosphere is very relaxing and was perfect for us, considering we had just spent a very hectic few days discovering Sri Lanka.

There was only 1 things that slightly bothered us: the rooms weren't so clean. There were some stains on the sheets and the bathrooms were a little scummy, especially the shower area.

Otherwise, it's a great hotel. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Beirut29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

We knew it was a risk travelling to Bentota in rainy season - and as it turned out, we were treated to some of the heaviest rain they'd seen in recent years! However, the Villa Bentota is such a beautiful, special place that it didn't matter.

We were greeted with home-made ginger beer, which was the perfect tonic after a long trip and set the tone for the two weeks to come. Service is consistently fantastic in the restaurant, the bar (try the passionfruit daiquiri) and by the pool, and little touches like daily seasonal fruit or cake in the room only add to the experience. The food is great (definitely order the Sri Lankan breakfast at least once), the pool stunning and the rooms large and incredibly comfortable. Trips to Yala National Park, river cruises and a number of memorable shorter trips to waterfalls and parks with charming tuk-tuk driver, Nuwan (make sure you request him especially at the front desk!) were organised with the minimum of fuss, and days spent by the pool when the sun did make an appearance were the ultimate in post-wedding relaxation as we watched palm squirrels, iguanas, kingfishers and kestrels going about their business in the lush grounds.

There are only a couple of tiny things that we think could have improved the holiday or might worry other guests:

- The unusually heavy rain caused a small leak in our bathroom. However, we were immediately offered a replacement room (we declined as ours was so lovely!).
- The train that goes through the ground is quite loud and the drivers aren't shy about blasting the horn in the early hours! Light sleepers would probably be best requesting a room on the other side of the hotel.
- The wine list is limited and, we felt, overpriced. However, this seems to be common across Sri Lanka as I presume it has to be imported. Drink the excellent Lion beer, the stunning fresh juices and ginger beer or the imaginative cocktails instead!

Don't let any of these put you off, however - it's an amazing place, excellent value and the ultimate in Sri Lankan luxury.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MaryJq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Set amongst sprawling lush grounds with coconut palms swaying above you, The Villa is an absolutely heavenly ‘home away from home’ which doesn’t feel anything like a hotel instead it’s like living in your very own dream home with superb service and food to rival that of the Worlds top resorts (and at a fraction of the price..)

Upon arrival we were greeted by the ever so friendly staff who were always on hand to help you with anything. We were given homemade ginger beer which was outstanding! I fell head over heels in love with its tangy test and opted to have it frozen poolside each day whilst my Husband opted for the Dr.Feelgood cocktails – delish! Lazing there was a dream, not a care in the world with the palms overhead and friendly staff who will serve you delicious food and drinks anytime, anywhere. We chose for breakfast each day on our balcony and each day they were exactly on time with what we had ordered from a wide choice of both Sri Lankan and normal breakfast options including delicious fruit juices.

We were only in Sri Lanka for 4 nights but enjoyed doing absolutely nothing at The Villa…! We stayed in Suite 3 which was wonderful - large, modern bathroom with huge rain shower and had a large balcony overlooking the sea and the grounds, where we would spend hours enjoying a drink and watching the world go by and watching some other guests mill about and local characters over on the beach, often climbing coconut trees!

The owners have really excelled themselves with their sense of style and decor, pulling items that are modern yet with a Sri Lankan feel to them. It feels a quirky place, cleverly created with a nod to art that you really get the feeling you are staying somewhere different, somewhere up and coming and you are ahead of the crowd by getting there first. The food is simply outstanding with really clever concoctions that are Sri Lankan but also suitable for Western pallets. We ate delicious crab every single night! From the crab and coconut risotto which was delicious to the special crab curry (order 24hrs in advance). Each lunchtime we had yummy homemade pizzas, again all well priced and with a variety of delicious fresh ingredients which were different from your usual ‘hotel options’. You just felt they had done all the work and you could just kick back relax and eat!

At night, lanterns and candles fill the place to give it even more of a homely feel and the staff provide a turndown service which I loved coming back to our room to find it warm and romantic. The whole place has a slight tropical/Indian ocean feel but with a hint of nostalgia and without doubt the main feature is the vintage trains that chug by. Everytime, it would remind you of exactly where you were in the world with coconut trees swaying in the background as friendly locals wave back at you. We loved it! And although the train would rumble past in the early hours, you would hear it ever so slightly and just return to sleep with a smile. Easy to do in beautiful, clean, comfortable and modern rooms.

The beach is just a stones throw from The Villa, you must cross the trainline and its worth a look but not too much time to spend there, instead make the most of the pool and gardens. We also wanted to really experience the Sri Lankan vibe we got from The Villa so we took the train back to Colombo for the grand price of 100rupees!! ($1) It was a great experience with smiling locals and beautiful scenery flashing past you from the open side door of the train – a real hippy vibe.

We would highly recommend a stay at The Villa for anyone wishing to visit Sri Lanka (especially before the rest of the world decides to!). The property is far superior to many others 5* resorts we have stayed at that are overcrowded and overpriced. It is a beautiful property with beautiful grounds and staff who help make your stay even more special.

Enjoy! I'm counting the days until we can return...

Room Tip: Choose the suites 3 or 4 which have sea views and large balconies - worth the extra so you can really sit back and relax whilst watching Sri Lanka in front of you.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sunnybunny7381
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2012

We stayed at The Villa Bentota from 15th to 17th Aug 2012. This is a charming boutique hotel with around 15 rooms. The highlight is the railway line that runs across the property and old trains chug by throughout the day - it is almost like fairytale when the old Canadian locomotives pulling the old carriages pass by. The property has a beautiful garden and 2 pools. The rooms are well laid out with large bathrooms and attached balcony. The beach is a short walk across the railway line and you have pineapple trees along the beach laden with fruit. The beach is good but not spectacular.
The hotel has a good art collection laid out across the property. With very few rooms there is a quite feel to the property and is a welcome change from large overcrowded hotels. The service is quite efficient and you will have someone at your room within minutes of making a call to the reception.
The food is quite good though a tad expensive. We tried the pizzas which were authentic. The seafood (we tried masala prawns which are made in Indian style) is good too. The cafe has a very good selection of desserts. You can ask your food to be served anywhere on the property which is good.
Overall a beautiful and charming property that is worth a visit for a few days of solitude.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Akshat1179
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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