Since we stayed at the resort there have been a few other reviews of the place that I have read. I don't agree with them all but that of DennisandVera (aside from their agreement with the self referential review by the well travelled blah blah magazine people below "Beautiful hotel and idea in theory...horrifically [sic] execution") chimes well with our experience.
The hotel itself is unique and obviously a great deal of care has been taken with almost every detail. The rooms were lovely, the grounds expansive and well cared for, and the pool area individually styled and very relaxing.
I thought that walking through to the beach over the railway track was fantastic and we took the train we had seen and heard rattle past the hotel hourly down from Bentota to Hikkaduwa one day which was great fun (how anyone could find a creaky old train line running outside the hotel anything but charming bemuses me but it takes all sorts).
The beach itself was really nice, though the sea can be a bit choppy and you can, if you want, get access to the same beach from much cheaper hotels nearby. Those who lament a lack of loungers, towels and helpers may be missing the point I fear - it is a quiet and picturesque place with enough waves for a body board at least.
If there is a criticism, it is that the laid back, relaxed feel of the place seems to permeate into some of the people who work there. There was rarely anyone around, at reception and at the bar in particular. When people did eventually come along to help they were invariably charming (surly restaurant staff aside) but it did tend to take a bit longer than it probably should. I also thought things shut down a bit early at night.
Having said of all this, I would go again in an instant.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Villa Bentota is a unique and private beach-side hotel; Paradise Road's newest property located 2 hours south of Colombo. Offering 15 individually designed rooms and suites with all modern amenities and services, The Villa Bentota is located in the Mohotti Walauwa which was Geoffrey Bawa's first boutique hotel in Sri Lanka. Refurbished and extended with incredible sensitivity to the original design, Shanth Fernando has created yet another masterpiece to give those who stay in the city at Tintagel a new special resort option in true Paradise Road style. With sprawling coconut palm-dressed lawns opening to the sea, two swimming pools, a restaurant, The Villa Café open to all passers-by and a Paradise Road gift store, The Villa Shop and an art gallery, The Villa Gallery, The Villa Bentota is a must-stop for all those traveling down the southern coast of Sri Lanka. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Paradise Road The Villa Bentota Hotel Bentota