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All reviewsboutique hotelshanth fernandorailway linegallery cafehomemade ginger beergeoffrey bawasri lankaexecutive suitebaked crabplunge poolspa ceylonadds to the charmbeautiful hoteltrains passinghuge balconypool attendantstayed for nights
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Reviewed March 1, 2011

For me The Villa Bentota proved to be a very different experience. We used to stay in big and posh places, where you were anonymous in a crowd of people. The Villa though makes you feel a part of a small family with new friends and homely surroundings. The service is impeccable, the staff is smiling and friendly. After three days they all practically know you by name and the Chef in a restaurant knows how you prefer your eggs for breakfast.
This hotel is very interestingly designed, there are corners where you can't but take photoes. I don't even mention the beauty of nature around you, which is blossoming, and the warmth of the ocean, which is striking.
As an academician, I can't accept(or believe) any review, if it lacks some critical remarks. Thus, the only critique I can think of is the train passing in front of your windows every now and then. It may seem annoying when you read these lines, but if you see the world optimistically and think positively, it may serve a tiny entertainment and be a piece of local colour. Just imagine: you lay in the sun drinking your pineapple juice, you are a little bored, and here comes the train, and you can watch people riding it, all hot and tired, and think to yourself how happy you are not being among them :)
Ah! One more thing which was very important for us was a free Internet access!
Valentyna, Lutsk, UKRAINE.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Valyusha3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AFS79, Director, Paradise Road group at Paradise Road The Villa Bentota, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review our property and share your very positive feedback to other TripAdvisor viewers!

We are so happy when we have guests who appreciate and enjoy our premises which have truly been created with a lot of love and care. As a family-run business, we are very hands-on in the running of our business and ensuring our staff provide a personal service.

We truly look forward to welcoming you back home to The Villa Bentota when you are next in Sri Lanka!

Thank you,

Yours in Service,

The Management,
Paradise Road The Villa Bentota

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2011

The hotel is beautifully designed and furnished. The staff went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. Particular praise to Brendon and the chef, Nishanta, who cooked the most amazing 'off menu' food for us on a couple of evenings.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank awsw_london
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2011

It's difficult to write about this place without gushing too much. Everything was just easy and no hassle and the hotel is very stylish without being pretentious.The staff didn't overfuss around you but anything you wanted they were there like a shot. Due to our short notice stay we actually stayed in 3 different rooms (all superior suites, i think) over our 6 night stay and they were all equally lovely. They all had huge terraces with a table and chairs and a more comfortable lounging seat.

Breakfast you could take iany time up to 11am. If you wanted it brought to your room inside or on the terrace, fine, this was no big deal or you could have it anywhere you pleased. The food in general here was outstanding. it was easy to eat great food healthily without being restricted. Don't get me wrong - you could certainly indulge if you wanted to and it was impossible to resist those desserts. The menu is incredibly varied for a smallish hotel and I was surprised they never ran out of any dishes and they were always very fresh.

The grounds of the hotel are the selling point. So chic, so picturesque. A gorgeous infinity pool with plush comfortable sunchairs and a huge gazebo padded out with cushions to lounge in if it rains or if the sun is too much.
The beach is just a few metres beyond. The currents are pretty strong so probably not great for swimming but it's a lovely beach for a stroll.

We were aware of the trainline running through the rear of the grounds before we arrived. It didn't really bother me and it was quite intriguing to watch it sailing through a fewf times a day and I would say it added to the character.

The hotel does not have an alcohol licence, however you can bring your own and either chill it in your own minibar fridge or give it to the staff to chill.

If i was going to write anything negative it would be that a couple of the rooms on the ground floor did smell a little damp and that the toilet roll holders are in a really awkward position, but that is being very picky!

We had a little look round Club Villa hotel which is next door when we accidently arrived there instead of Villa Bentota (the signs are a little confusing and they are adjacent to each other). Club Villa was similarly priced and in the same league but I personally thought Villa Bentota looked a bit cooler and it had been more rececntly refurbished.

Within walking distance of the hotel are some other places which looked like they would have been good for dinner and drinks. I normally like to try the local restaurants but in this case I couldn't bear not to eat in the hotel, the food and setting were that good.

Just down the road (5 -10mins walk, turn right onto the main road) is a spice garden. We wandered in there and an Ayruvedic doctor showed us round explaining the plants and how they are used in ayruvedic medicine. There was no charge, but we were shown the shop to buy some of the items - lotions, potions, teas, spices, herbs etc, which we did. There's also a few little antiquey / crafty shops just around the hotel which are worth a look. There's even a little buddist temple at the end of the little lane, although we were shooed away from here by a local guy when we tried to approach.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank caz78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AFS79, Director at Paradise Road The Villa Bentota, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2011

Dear Madam,

Thank you for your praising review of Paradise Road The Villa Bentota!
The property was created with a lot of love and care and we are so happy when guests enjoy and appreciate their time spent on the premises.

We are pleased to inform you, that as of yesterday, 23 February, we have been officially awarded a liquor license, which allows us to be able to extend our full food and beverage service to all our guests which we shall commence in the next 2 weeks. Our menus will feature an extensive wine menu and cocktails like what Paradise Road is famous for at the Colombo restaurant. We are truly grateful to our guests to date who have enjoyed their time at the property despite this inconvenience.

We look forward to the honour of welcoming you back to our property!

Thank you,

Yours in Service,

The Management
Paradise Road The Villa Bentota

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Reviewed January 26, 2011

The hotel is three colonial-style buildings arranged around a garden and pool. The buildings are beautiful to look at and full of unexpected nooks, pools, statues and works of art. It is stunningly designed, but not over-cool or uncomfortable. We thought it was really charming and quirky and felt immediately at home there. The staff are wonderful.

Two major sticking points: the train line at the bottom of the garden could have been annoying, but we chose to see it as picturesque and not to get bothered about it. It's not as bad as it sounds! No alcohol licence was a bigger issue - I can't understand why they haven't got one. In the event it wasn't a problem - we just got a tuk-tuk to the liquor store, got some beers and the staff kept them cool for us. If you get the friendlier manager on duty then he may even ask one of the staff to nip out for you. But wine is pricey and a pain to carry - next time we'll definitely pick some bottles up at duty free.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank pandjlondon2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AFS79, Director at Paradise Road The Villa Bentota, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to review Paradise Road The Villa Bentota!

It took 1.5 yrs of hard work, love and care to create the hotel as you enjoyed it, so we are truly happy when guests appreciate the spaces for you to enjoy!

The train line which runs at the end of the garden is a feature of our property, which was originally highlighted by Architect Geoffrey Bawa when he first renovated the ancestral home, Mohotti Walauwa, in the 1970s. We do inform guests of this fact on our website and on availability, we can offer our rooms which are less affected. We had a previous guests who suggested offering ear plugs, which we are in the process of sourcing!

We are still awaiting the Sri Lankan government to award us a liquor license and are hopeful that this should be in our possession within the next few months. In the meantime, we inform all guests of this fact on our website and on all reservation confirmation material. In addition, we inform all our travel agents to inform our guests so that they are prepared. Sri Lankan Duty Free is one of the cheapest in the world to purchase alcohol and as we do not charge corkage or a service charge, it ends up cheaper for our guests. Of course the inconvenience exists, so if preferred, we inform our guests to ask our staff to purchase requirements from the bottle shop nearby.

We do hope to have the honour of welcoming you back to Paradise Road The Villa Bentota!

Thank you,

Yours in Service,

The Management
Paradise Road The Villa Bentota

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Reviewed January 13, 2011

An expansion of a Bawa designed boutique hotel, Villa Bentota is a true gem for anyone seeking a luxurious and gracious experience on the Sri Lanka Coast line. For architecture and design fans the property is exquisite and there are several important homes, gardens and Bawa designed hotels within easy driving distance to visit. Most importantly though, the staff are very polite and helpful, always concerned with guests comfort and the restaurant has an International menu but also includes some of the best curries I tasted while I was in SL.
I had Suite 4 an oversized room with sweeping views over the property and the palm trees all the way to the ocean. Perhaps a few more amenities in the room would be appreciated but this is so minor, the overall experience was a delight.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank bjrmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AFS79, Director at Paradise Road The Villa Bentota, responded to this reviewResponded January 26, 2011

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review of Paradise Road The Villa Bentota!

The structure which was an ancestral home known as Mohotti Walauwa, was originally discovered by Geoffrey Bawa, renovated and converted into Sri Lanka's first boutique hotel in the 1970s. When Shanth Fernando of Paradise Road, took it over it was further renovated and extended. As you mentioned, 'Lunuganga', Bawa's country estate and his brother Bevis' garden, 'Brief' are short distances from the hotel and tours can be arranged. Sri Lanka does attract many tourists who appreciate the architecture and design aspect which is seen all over the island and Paradise Road does embrace design as being the core of all businesses. Thank you for valuing this.

Suite 4 is indeed a special room and we are so happy you enjoyed your stay, the service and our menu!

Thank you,

Yours in Service,

The Management
Paradise Road The Villa Bentota

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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