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“The very best place to stay in Bentota”
Review of Nisala Arana

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Nisala Arana
Ranked #12 of 24 Hotels in Bentota
Mount warning
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The very best place to stay in Bentota”
Reviewed March 21, 2012

Our thanks to Ben and the fantastic team at Nisala Arana, we enjoyed 4 fabulous days there in march 2012, the food , service & ambience were fantastic!!!
Express illy the drive to Geoffrey Bawas gardens in the Old Morris Minor,
We will definitely be back again
Thanks peter , charlie - Austraila & Sandi - UK

Room Tip: They are all fantastic, we're individual, the Main house (Old doctors house) would be my favorit...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Charlie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Nisala Arana, responded to this review, June 26, 2012
Dear Peter, Charlie & Sandi,

It was an absolute pleasure having you stay with us at Nisala Arana recently and thanks for your kind review. Very Much Appreciated. We hope to see you all back again soon.

Best Wishes & Kind Regards,

Benjamin Pereira
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Debrecen, Hungary
1 review
Reviewed March 5, 2012

We stayed in Nisala Arana in November 2011 for 4 nights. My husband and I were looking for a nice and quiet location for our wedding and we will never regret choosing Nisala Arana. This was the best place during the 3 weeks we spent in Sri Lanka. The location and the buildings are wonderful and the staff is excellent. The restaurant is a good choise with fantastic meals and drinks. We took a boat trip but most of the time we were exploring the area on bikes, which was a lot of fun. Our wedding was arranged by Ben and the staff, we hardly had anything to arrange so we could really enjoy our holiday. We chose the simple and stylish wedding and it was really memorable, far beyond our expectations.
We are both very happy that we chose Nisala Arana as our wedding location. Many thanks again for Ben and the lovely staff!

Szilvia and Andras
Hungary

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Szilvia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2012

We stayed at Nisala Arana for 4 nights in February 2012 as part of our wedding-moon. We had travelled around Sri Lanka for 6 days before arriving here and we were a big jaded to say the least - when the gates opened at NA a wave of relief washed over me and by the time I'd seen our room in the Coconut Wing I burst into tears I was so relieved - the place is BEAUTIFUL!!!

We were getting married the day after we arrived so this was a special trip. Ben introduced himself when we arrived and showed us to our room and was very helpful. Everything was taken care of prior to our arrival and pretty much everything went like clockwork.

The wedding was AMAZING and we both loved everything single minute of it...other than the makeup which I managed to rectify! We had a lovely massage on the day, the most amazing Buddhist service in the garden with out of this world handmade decorations, dancers the whole shebang, was just beautiful. We went to the beach afterwards in the open top Morris Minor to be greeted by an elephant, had some champagne and photos then came back to see the garden illuminated as the last post mentioned - seriously, the place is magical at night.

The Coconut Wing has a lovely four poster bed and is spotlessly clean. The outdoor bathroom is beautiful and it is so much fun having a shower in the rain! Every night you magically get a mozzie coil out there and your shutters closed and you never notice anyone doing it!

The staff, as I said to Ben, he should be very proud of. They are immense. Tony was the one we spent most time with as he was with us throughout the wedding day and he is just a *star* - so polite and helpful and would bend over backwards to help you. All the guys in the kitchen were great (and the food lovely) and Carmony(sp?) was an absolute angel - always had a smile on her face. I'm afraid I don't know the names of the rest of the staff but I don't have a bad word to say about any of them.

Someone commented a couple of posts ago that Kevin and Jill were not around. They did actually pop down the day we arrived to introduce themselves and were incredibly nice and friendly but I believe they are now taking a back seat and Ben is running things which is probably why they weren't there. They also came down on the wedding day with Ashley (their daughter) and Mella(sp?!) (Ben's wife) which was lovely. I think Ben has a very laid back management style but we didn't have any issues.

The grounds are immaculate and the one sound that will always remind me of NA is sweeping! There was someone sweeping the grounds ALL day every day, hence the beauty of it all. The pool was lovely and the dogs added to it all. A few people have commented on the dogs (Simba is a Great Dane but not huge and Vino a little black and tan dog) being an issue but they are super friendly and get shut away if anyone has an problem so please don't let that put you off. We loved them, but we like dogs.

Overall I think the place is wonderful but could be spectacular with a couple of teensy teaks, I would thoroughly recommend it.

Room Tip: Coconut Wing has no AC but has a fan - but that was fine. Mango Wing has an elevated view over the g...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Nath_Jo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
2 reviews
Reviewed February 26, 2012

My husband and I decided to host our wedding after party at Nisala Arana after an exhaustive and extensive search for the perfect venue in Sri Lanka. We simply fell in love with Nisala Arana after having seen several photos and didn't have to look any further. We had found the perfect venue to host a wedding after party for our closest friends from around the world. I had always dreamed of an open-air garden party under the stars and Nisala Arana did not disappoint. The sweeping gardens at the property are immaculately maintained and offered plenty of space to seat 45 guests comfortably. We even added a 'beach party' segment to our wedding party, where Nisala Arana arranged for our guests to be driven to the beach and back for champagne. The local bus that took us there and back was a big hit with our guests and added a fun and exciting element to the celebrations. Upon arriving back at the gardens from the beach, guests were welcomed to a fairytale garden. The whole place had transformed into an utterly magical setting with hundreds of oil lamps, fragrant flowers and 'vesak' lanterns hanging from the trees. It took everyone's breath away! Dinner was served under the stars and the scrumptious seafood barbeque dinner was just heavenly. Everyone ate to their hearts content waited upon by attentive and helpful staff. The night continued into the wee hours of the morning as our guests started to unwind and relax by the beautiful freshwater pool. Some even took a night dip! We retreated at the end of a very long and enjoyable night to our beautiful bedroom in the Coconut Suite with its amazing four-poster bed and delightful open shower. The colonial architecture and tastefully restored interiors at Nisala Arana are truly beautiful and something one must experience for oneself. Waking up the next morning to the songs of birds and then eating breakfast by the pool at the open-air pavillion was the perfect ending to our stay at Nisala Arana. We only stayed at Nisala Arana for one night but what a night it was! Everything about Nisala Arana exceeded our expectations by miles - the service, the setting and the personal touch. A big thank you to Ben, Kevin and the dedicated team at Nisala Arana for making our dream come true. We will definitely come back!

Room Tip: The Coconut Suite has 2 bedrooms with large four-poster beds, private verandah and open shower. Quie...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bearroolz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granada, Spain
Level 6 Contributor
309 reviews
106 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2012

We wanted so much to like this place. Our expectations were high from the pictures we had seen and from what we had read. And so many things lived up to those expectations. The location is idyllic. The various little colonial-style buildings that compose the hotel are beautiful and renovated/decorated with wonderful taste. The small staff team are delightful, perpetually at work and perpetually smiling and every request is immediately catered for. The food is excellent. The only minus - in terms of a regular restaurant review - is the water. One of those classic situations where there is hardly any water pressure and the water either scalds or freezes. But that is a minor complaint and something we could live with. So why my rating and headline?

We had read in Trip Advisor about the charming, welcoming owners/hosts Jill and Kevin and the guest book on the pavilion coffee table repeats how fantastic they are - their conversation ,the husband's choice of music etc. Great. We didn't even meet Jill and Kevin. They seem to have taken a back seat as far as the hotel is concerned and left everything to their son. We arrived and were greeted by him, shown to our room, pointed to the various excursions he could sell us. Then we never saw him again that day. Worse than that, we felt like interlopers. The only paying guests for the 2 nights we stayed, we were surrounded by "family" - the daughter visiting from Australia, sunbathing topless by the pool, the son's wife along with her sister and partner, arrogantly drifting round with their iPhones, lolling in the sofas, sitting chatting in the office, and not even acknowledging us, when we attempted to say "hello". This made for an edgy uncomfortable atmosphere. The second day we saw the son only once and that was only because he needed some information regarding our departure. Not once did he inquire whether we were enjoying our stay or our food. Never did he wish us good night nor ask if we needed anything. He did not even come out to bid us goodbye, when we departed for our next destination. His lack of presence was shocking and in total contrast to all the wonderful small-scale places we stayed during our 3-week trip, all of which were visibly managed by friendly, helpful individuals.

Maybe Jill and Kevin will return again and everything will return to normal. Maybe they should appoint a new manager to replace their indolent, gauche, invisible son.

Full marks to the staff, who must be embarassed by the lack of leadership. They hold the place together.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank IntrepidHector
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lymington, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2012

I stayed there with my husband for 4 nights in Jan 2012. The property and grounds are beautifully maintained and all the staff are very helpful and curteous. The rooms are imaculately clean and large with very attractive pieces of restored furniture. Our room had a very large and comfortable four poster bed.
On our last night we were the only guests and the chef asked us what we would like for diner. He especially created an absolutely delicious selection of Sri Lankan cuisine - really good.
For us the only downside was the distance from the beach and Bentota town - we had been
somewhat misguided by our travel agent as to the distance and a '' few minutes away'' is in fact a good 15 mins in a tuk tuk along quite bumpy dusty tracks. The hotel does have its own Tuk Tuk but, if fancy being able to just walk to a local restaurant or beach then be prepared for a bit of a trek...
I would recommened this hotel for anyone wanting to get away from it all and anyone who wants a bit of peace and quiet in a garden setting.

Room Tip: Excellent for relaxation and a romantic weekend.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank 49RozE49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 31, 2012

Everything ... Every thing about our stay at nisala arana was heavenly...
The whole property is designed and maintained like an old heritage bungalow and preserved from scratch... The windows, bend told us are about 100 years old... !!!
Huge rooms, with a calming old world feeling... No tv and no ad is a welcome change, and the suites have something called a double king size bed...
The whole property is so well managed, manicured gardens, crystal clean pool...
That's not all, they have bicycles you can take for a ride to the city, or an in-house auto rickshaw that you can rent for your city visits... And also some amazing heritage cars available for hire...

But what really separates nisala from all other holidays we have had, is the love and the warmth that Ben and his family extend to every aspect of your stay... So much that one feels sad leaving the place ... They arranged for a day trip to galle/ body massages at the property/ will have dinner with you and give you tips on your holiday...

One of the very few places that I would want to go again and again... And lose myself in the quietness and calmness that nisala is all about...

Room Tip: Ask for the suites on the 1st floor, huge beds are to die for:)
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JJamrani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nisala Arana

Property: Nisala Arana
Address: 326/1 Circular Road | Kommala, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 24 Hotels in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Nisala Arana 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nisala Arana, a luxury Boutique Hotel amidst lush greenery and spacious tropical gardens, minutes from the beach. The Doctor's House, Coconut & Mango Villas offer six beautifully appointed colonial style bedroom suites. The freshwater pool, yoga inspiring gardens and open pavilion where delicious cuisine is accompanied by fine wines, make this hotel one of the finest discoveries in Sri Lanka. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nisala Arana Hotel Bentota

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