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“Good hotel with great staff but organised tour and Sri Lanka a little disappointing”

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Shangri-Lanka Villa
Ranked #1 of 66 Bentota B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 9, 2011

Stayed here for 8 days on our honeymoon. Very peaceful accommodation, had the pool to ourselves on a number of days. Rooms are massive and very nice, hotel grounds are very nice and the 3 dogs are great fun. The 3 guys that work here are brilliant, food was excellent and reasonably priced. We had no problems with the accommodation at all..... but we did have problems with the tour organised by the owners, not all their fault though.

The main problem was constantly having so called tour guides dumped on us by Rohan at every attraction. These tour guides could be informative, but kinda ruined it all when they constantly asked for money when they had already been paid by Rohan, it kinda put a dampner on things. We were under the impression Rohan would be our guide throughout the tour, not just our driver. Another problem was what can pass as a tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. We done some amazing stuff like Yala safari, the elephant orphanage and Kandy but there is some utter dross. We also felt Rohan manner could be a little abrupt sometimes.

Sri Lanka has a lot going for it, but it was spoiled by some of the Sri Lankan people we had dealings with, were it seemed perfectly okay to attempt to take advantage. Some of the attitudes towards tourists were the worst we have experienced in any country we've visited.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank paddy100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shangrilanka, Owner at Shangri-Lanka Villa, responded to this reviewResponded May 16, 2011

Thank you very for taking the time to give us some feedback.
We are so glad you enjoyed your honeymoon at Shangri-Lanka Villa and were happy with everything in our home.
Rohan apologises for i s translation to English coming across as abrupt he was completely unaware. Sinhala is a very simple language and although his English is very good he is self taught and so his phrases can come out straightforward and maybe seemed abrupt to you.
Rohan has an excellent overview of all of Sri Lanka and guides throughout the journeys but each place has their own official guides who are experts and as you said are very informative. It is expected that these guides will be used when you buy the entrance fees. Sri Lanka has a tip culture as salaries are very low so most people hope to get one even drivers and hotel staff but as you stayed with us you didn’t experience this so it must have taken you by surprise.
The advantage of being on a private tour as I told you when you were booking meant anything you didn’t enjoy as you were going along could have been changed or skipped if you had said. Different people have completely different interests and opinions and so it is difficult for us to judge
As a developing country Sri Lanka’s appeal is that it is not over touristy so it is not really comparable to developed countries with mass tourism. On the plus side it is has an incredibly low crime rate towards tourists and so although you may get asked for tips you will never feel threatened in anyway which is definite plus point for visitors.

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Reviewed April 28, 2011

My wife and I stayed here for 2 nights in April 2011. We were offered a pick up but didn't know what time we were arriving. It was easy to find by tuk-tuk. Our room (top floor) was very spacious with a lovely, large, bathroom and sofa. The service and help from the owners is excellent and they offer free tuk-tuks to the beach (five minutes by tuk-tuk or a pleasent 10 minute walk). The pool at the villa is lovely and we spent a lot of time in it! We were leant a laptop and dvds so were able to check in for our flight and relax. The nearby stretch of beach is beautiful and deserted and also very close to a turtle hatchery. I highly recommend Shangri-Lanka!

Room Tip: Ask for the top floor room
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rct301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2011

we stayed here between Christmas and New year,we needed a good rest after a hectic 18 months,we found Shangri-Lanka Villa.We loved everything about the place and we cannot thank Karen, Rohan&all the staff enough, for making the first part of our holiday so wonderful. We apologize(Karen&Rohan)for taking so long to write this review but since returning to the UK life has been just as hectic as before, we will be in need of some TLC come Christmas time again.We try to emulate the service and attention to detail, in our own business, that we received here.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank fruitition
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2011

it is difficult to add to all of the other reviews but we will try. We took a 7 day tour of Sri Lanka which was a fantastic way to experience a truly lush country - Rohan is a fantastic guide helpful patient and very knowledgeable - we followed with 6 days of rest and relaxation and truly restful it was, Rohan and Karen are natural hosts and the atmosphere amongst the guests was friendly without being intrusive, the rest of the team were extremely obliging and totally dedicated to offering an all round great experience. we unreservedly recommend Shangri-Lanka - Tim and Julie

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank timmyju
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2011

sorry we have just got round to writing this karen!
wow............was my first impression of shangri lanka! i am so glad we stumbled across the villa on the internet. by far the nicest place we stayed in sri lanka. the rooms are so spotlessly clean, light and airy. bentota itself can be quite noisy due to the train line that runs through and the busy road. however shangri lanka villa is situated just off the main road and we heard no noise at all! i had the best sleeps of my holiday here.
unfortunately we were only able to stay 3 nights as the villa was fully booked. we were so sad to leave so if you know you want a week/2 weeks here my advise would be to try and book in advance.
karen and rohan are the perfect hosts, they made us feel so welcome. the atmosphere at the villa is so friendly too. with it being a small place in comparison to the big hotels, everyone gets to know each other and you instantly feel at home!! they also have 3 lads working for them who cant do enough for you.
shangri lanka would be my first choice of accommodation when going back to sri lanka.
thank you karen and rohan for making our stay so enjoyable.

Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank linzliam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2011

Shangri-Lanka is a must, Karen & Rohan are amazing hosts, they looked after us so well. The place is spotlessly clean and the staff cannot do enough for you. We were amazed at how little it cost us to have a perfect week in Sri Lanka. Will certainly recommend it to everyone we know. Thanks again Karen & Rohan, we will definitely be back. Pat & Phil Hopkins

Room Tip: Any is a good choice
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank mirdif_pat_phil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2011

An overdue thank you to Karen and Rohan for a wonderful experience. I stayed at Shangri Lanka Villa in January, sadly only for 2 nights.
The rooms are enormous, as are the bathrooms. The rooms are homely but uncluttered, bright and immaculate, with lovely personal touches such as fresh flowers and an in-room lap top with internet connection. Breakfast served up on your personal balcony overlooking the acres of surrounding palm trees, hearing nothing but the wildlife is a wonderful experience. The food is prepared by Rohan and the boys working at the villa. It is delicious. The grounds and swimming pool are beautifully maintained.
I would definitely recommend this wonderful place and hope to return next time i get the opportunity.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lowesam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shangri-Lanka Villa

Address: 23 De Alwis Road | Horanduwa, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 66 B&Bs / Inns in Bentota
Price Range: $77 - $148 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique boutique guesthouse situated in the heart of a traditional Sri Lankan village. Surrounded by nature yet only minutes from the magnificent Bentota beach. We offer a holiday experience with a difference. No hotel receptions, standard packages, crowds, time restrictions. Just great hospitality and a genuinely personal service, with all the facilities you need. Experience the culture of authentic Sri Lankan village life where ancient customs and traditions blend with modern amenities and services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-Lanka Villa Boutique Guest House Hotel Bentota

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