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“charming villa, great location”
Review of Nisala Arana

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Nisala Arana
Ranked #12 of 24 Hotels in Bentota
Rome, Italy
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“charming villa, great location”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We stayed a week at nisala arana - we knew the place was going to be beautiful - you can tell from the website - but we were a bit worried about the location. the location was perfect: immersed in a quiet tropical village life, with bikes available to go to the local temple and lotus pond, and a 2 km bike to the beach which is beautiful, serene, and a great boogie boarding beach. and plenty of fun tuk tuks / 3 wheelers if you don't fancy the bike ride. we stayed in the coconut cottage, the outside bathroom was a bonus - lovely to have a shower outdoors under the palm trees. And the chef was outstanding - best food of the trip by far. In fact all of the staff were outstanding - harry and tony were fantastic - not something we encountered anywhere else on our trip. At nisala arana you get to enjoy a serene garden and pool, a beautiful beach life but without being part of the massive resorts or being surrounded by tourists.

Room Tip: the coconut rooms are gorgeous if you like the idea of bringing the outdoors indoors, if squeamish...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank aleen t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
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English first
Hong Kong, China
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We spent three nights at Nisala Arana over New Years eve. We couldn't have wished for a better place to stay- the people, ambiance, service made us feel home from home. This was helped by the charming owners and friendly staff. The boutique nature of the hotel means that you by virtue of the friendly environment, guests are encouraged to mingle with new people and the party on new years eve went into the early hours, filled with laughter and celebrations- all with people we had never met before. The staff went to a huge amount of effort- putting lanterns and candles all around the gardens and traditional dancers started off the evening. All whilst we ate in the gardens dining under the stars whilst fireworks were being launched when we hit midnight. Truely memorable!

Added to this is the beautiful, tranquail gardens where you can kick back and do as much or as little as you want. Activities can be arranged from the hotel as can massages, yoga etc. The pool was the central hub during the day and looked as enticing during the nightime when it is surrounded by candles and lanterns.

Thirdly, and very importantly- the food was fantastic and reasonably priced. We looked forwarded to all of the meals that were individually prepared to your specific tastes (spicy, western etc). Nothing was too much trouble.

The rooms were comfortable and stylish with outdoor private showers which are attached to your room which was a nice touch. They were charming without the glitz of a five star hotel.

All in all- a great place to stay. A driver can be orgnaised for $80 (USD) and the journey takes aroud two hours from the airport.

Thanks for a fantastic stay- hopefully we will be back again and will certainly recommend to friends.

My only complaint was on our last night- the owners dog was left outside and barked throughout the night which ke[t me awake. This was minor problem and only mentioned as a way to make Nisala Arana the most idyllic place to stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank George L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
staffordshire
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Nisala Arana was so different from anywhere else we have ever stayed in the entire world. As soon as the gates were opened and we were driven to our bungalow we knew we had arrived somewhere very special.
The grounds with their birds and wildlife are stunning. The outdoor shower was amazing - as for sitting on the outside loo watching a humming bird busy in her nest while tiny lizards scuttled across the wall - priceless! Amazing memories of having dinner in the pavillion as the monsoon rains thundered down, then paddling barefoot through the puddles on the lawn as we made our way back to our room. Another highlight was our trip in the open topped Morris Minor to Geffrey Bawa's tropical garden (well worth a visit) - brought back happy memories of the very first car we bought together. Thanks Tony for driving us and pointing out the giant monitor on the roadside!
Tony and Harry do a brilliant job of frightening off the mosquitoes with nets, spray and coils in bedrooms and restaurant - just don't drop your guard around the pool which we did on our last day - the scars are just fading!
I suppose if I was being picky I would knock off half a star for the dog that barked at the moon for 2 hours outside our door on our first night (sorted next day) and maybe there could have been a little more choice on the menus, delicious though all the food was, but I'm not going to be picky, so 5 stars it is! A fabulous end to our holiday in Srti Lanka.........

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sparky50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2012

Our two nights spent here were the first of our honeymoon and became the benchmark fr the rest of our trip. Harry and Tony looked after us impecably and we didn't want for a thing during our whole stay.

Highlights for us were the beautiful room and en suite outside bathroom, lounging on the central veranda between dips in the pool and sunbathing, afternoon tea, exploring on the bikes, reading in the double hammock, hanging outwithSimba the great dane , coconut pancakes and fresh juice for breakfast,endless refreshing lime soda's, lawn games played in the shade, watching woodpeckers from our balcony, and generally doing a whole lot of nothing in the beautiful gardens.

Our advice- stay for longer than 2 nights, and plan a trip somewhere in the morris minor! And if you're self driving (like we did)make sure you take the highway from the airport!!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kathryn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2012

After days of travel and events, our arrival at Nisala Arana was a really pleasant experience. There is a sense of being far from everywhere, when indeed the activities of Bentota are nearby. But who wants that when one can relax in spacious gardens, where every plant has a medicinal history from the estate's Ayurvedic past. Our room was a large, stunningly designed in a vernacular theme with the most comfortable set of huge four poster mosquito-netted beds. The huge bathroom looked out to the trees, and at night, we had the peace of garden life. Lying by the pool each day was a delight and the staff went out of their way to give us privacy whilst also educating us about the local plants and history and attending to all our needs. The boat trip on the Bentota River was really educational and beautiful and the hosts made us feel like their personal guests. Most memorable was our meal each evening. With just a few tables in the outdoor sala, the meals were private, peaceful and utterly the most gorgeous food. I love Sri Lankan cuisine, local and upmarket. This was well priced and unique...elegant, creative, tasty and memorable. Nisala Arana really was like a home away from home.

Room Tip: There are a few villas to choose from. We stayed in the Mango suite, an upstairs room, and that was...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Frangipanihongkong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beachmere, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

Nisala Arana is hidden away off the main road in a quiet part of the village close to the river. The rooms are in white-washed houses set in a magnificent 4 acre garden with an open-sided pavilion for sitting and dining next to the infinity edge pool.
We stayed in one of the two Coconut Suite rooms which consisted of a large mosquito net draped bed, desk, cupboard, bedside tables with reading lamps and polished concrete floor - the very large outdoor bathroom opened off the bedroom. Everything was sparkly clean, litre bottles of drinking water were provided in the room.
Our host, Ben, was very welcoming and offered many different trips to take in the sights around Bentota. As we had a self-drive car we didn't take advantage of this - but there would be enough to do to keep one occupied for a week! However, we did use the bikes that were provided free of charge and enjoyed an early morning ride around the small roads in the village, discovering two very beautiful buddhist temples.
Nisala Arana will also provide lunch and dinner for guests on request. Breakfast is included and can be western, american or sri lankan.
The large number of staff were all charming, happy and extremely helpful.
I would recommend this place to anyone wanting a peaceful hideaway.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jan j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
1 review
Reviewed September 17, 2012

Beautiful location with the most friendly hosts looking after evry nitty gritty a holiday maker could ever ask for. Peaceful and one with the nature that it is hard to imagine such ambience could exist in a boutique hotel. In fact it does not feel like a hotel, it feel like home away from home...

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Jessiefer
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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