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“Resting on their laurels!”

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Tamarind Hill by Asia Leisure
Ranked #2 of 23 Hotels in Galle
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Resting on their laurels!”
Reviewed January 11, 2012

We were really excited about staying at Tamarind Hill as we had read so many great reviews, however we were left very disappointed with the place.
Upon arrival our rickshaw had to traverse a muddy dirt track (in some places this can be part of the fun, here it was just a sign of what was to come). The signage of the hotel is terrible and the exterior of the property looks very unkempt - half the letters from the sign are missing.
The house itself is beautiful and has been decorated tastefully. As we had informed the hotel that this was our honeymoon, they very generously upgraded us to a suite. I have to say, the room was gorgeous and the bathroom splendid (though I took exception to the rock hard, threadbare towels)
But apart from our room the rest of the hotel felt a little dirty, run-down and lacked any atmosphere. The manager had a very blasé attitude to everything, which began to get very annoying. I think his attitude affected the rest of the staff, who were sweet, but really quite ineffective.
We only ate breakfast at the hotel as we preferred to visit other restaurants for dinner. On separate occasions I found hair in my mango juice and egg shell in my scrambled egg. It was not what you would expect when paying the prices they charge.
We were quite happy to move on to our next destination and have no plans to return to Tamarind Hill. It's a shame because it has so much potential.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MonkeyShah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2012

We chose this hotel because we wanted to experience the life of the riches during the colonial times. This is the former colonial house for the administrator of Galle's Fort, so a very prominent civil servant at the time. If you want a unique experience like this, this is the place to be. It is simply breathtaking!!!. Charming and very well put together for the modern discerning traveler. A very private luxury where you can unwind without the crowds of a large hotel. Plenty of different places where you can relax quietly. Our room was very unique and the bathroom was truly special with an open rain shower looking to our very private courtyard. The service was very individualized and there were plenty of smiles in everyone's faces. It is the perfect place to relax as a grown up but I wouldn't say that is the place for kids.

Room Tip: The more you pay, the more lavish the room will be although all are wonderful and different
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Laura S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lugano, Switzerland
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2012

We stayed one night in this hotel. The approach road, through a muddy ( to be fair it had rained for several days) bare open space, with half built or ramshackled buildings gave the impression of neglect and general decay. The approach area might belong to the local government, but hoteliers can exert pressure to maintain or in many cases do the work themselves. Added to this, the two missing letters in "Tamarind Hill" further confounded my first impression. The hotel its self is a pleasant surprise. It is a "Walauwe"; a stately home of a high cast Sinhala family now renovated but preserving most of the old features and I guess some of the furniture. The property is huge and one can understand why it is difficult to make it warm and welcoming. I got the feeling that it was unloved. This of course is my personal impression and reading recent reviews see that others think differently!
In contrast to the public areas, the rooms ( 7 & 8) and bathrooms were lovely, very spacious and tastefully decorated. Mattresses firm and linen crisp. Complimentary tea/coffee and mineral water. Large bathrooms with the usual complimentary toiletries, hair dryer etc. Both rooms and bathroom of nr. 7 opened through bay windows to a strip of lawn large enough to give a further sense of space. Bathroom of room 8 does not have this feature; in fact it does not have much ventilation.

Staff: friendly and helpful as is customary to almost all hotel staff in Sri Lanka. But, this is the sort of place which needs a "host" and I felt that there wasn't one to fit the bill. Which is a pity.

Food: We had lunch and breakfast, both good but not special. If you like to have a Sri Lankan breakfast ( hoppers, string hoppers etc) you have to order in advance. The staff inform you about this well in time. There is no such requirement for Continental. Lunch took ages ( about 1 hour), but that could be because we were not expected and ordered rather late.

Pool and pool area is narrow and gave a gloomy impression. It must be said that when we visited it had rained almost continuously for several days, but I have the feeling that this would be so even on bright and sunny days. There are too many steps to get to the pool which again is not very helpful for people with disabilities, or for any one when it is wet.

Room Tip: Rooms 7 and 8 are lovely
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Iromi P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2011

we spent 4 nights at the tamarind hill and enjoyed every minute of our stay here. the open spaces and spacious rooms were great. a short drive from the galle fort and right next door to jetting lighthouse , makes its quiet location very convenient. the staff is just incredible, especially dhurminder and dheeraj...who took such good care of our group. the manager offered some good recommendations on nature trips. we took a river cruise -which was right at the hotel's doorstep- with a well-informed naturalist and spotted over 15 bird species! he also arranged for our whale watching trip with raja and the whales which was awesome!

Room Tip: if the property is not full, ask to see the rooms as each one is a little different. the suites upst...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank seems33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2011

We stayed at the Tamarind Hill for a long weekend at the start of November for 4 nights. The hotel arranged transport and after 4 hours we arrived bright and early to the hotel. Instead of being told we were extremely early for check-in, we were greeted with a lovely fruit welcome drink and cold towels. The staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating. We quickly retreated to the room for a morning nap before starting the day. The room was spacious, minimalistic and very comfortable. The hotel is in a great location to explore nearby Galle or Unawantuna by tuk tuk and also a short drive from Hikkaduwa. The sri lanka curry dinner at Tamarind Hill was by far the best chicken curry I had in all my adventures around to the neighbouring hotels (this includes Galle Fort Hotel, Fort Printers) at half the price!!! The manager was attentive and very helpful in booking tours and transport. Shane is the most animated and lovely man that really made each day a little bit better. When you're not exploring the best of Sri Lanka, relax at the incredible pool and enjoy the natural beauty of the hotels surroundings.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank daniediego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Level 6 Contributor
81 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2011

Before booking here, we read all the previous positive comments, and after having stayed here we can confirm, they are all true.
just a few minutes off the main road, yet you do not hear the traffic, but only the beautiful birds in the morning, and a few lovely kingfishers in the courtyard.
its a beautiful sri lankan style "walawwa" situated on a quiet hill, the rooms are FANTASTIC! huge comfy bed, beautiful spacious bathroom with a great shower, and a lovely private little garden.
We didn't get a chance to have dinner or lunch here, only breakfast: the first day we had some great eggs and bacon, and the second day an amazing Sri Lankan breakfast. and a special mention: they have some of the best Papaya juice here. amazing service, great staff, great food, fantastic rooms... yes, looks like we found our base for Galle, definitely coming back next time we are in Sri Lanka.

Room Tip: just pick any room :)
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ShawnWithCaterina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2011

We stayed in Tamarind Hill in July 2011 for 2 nights.

Plus: A very relaxing atmosphere, quiet, beautifully furnished, good food, very courteous and flexible staff
Minus: No ocean/beach access

After a long drive from Nuwara Eliya to Galle, we were ready to relax and Tamarind Hill did not disappoint. The hotel is beautifully furnished and every nook and corner is a photo opportunity.

Tamarind Hill was built by a Sinhalese landowner. It later became the official residence of a navigation line official during British rule. Later it became a judge's residence. I suppose it gets its name from the tamarind trees in the courtyard. The house has been converted into a boutique hotel with 11 rooms and 2 suites.

We stayed in a standard room and it was luxurious. We were the only guests in the hotel - it being off season for Galle and also because we were there in the middle of the week.

The manager and staff are friendly and they did a wonderful job of making us feel comfortable and welcome. They also gave us a tour of the Captain and Admiral suites.

The pool and lounging area look very welcoming. They have a small collection of books, DVDs and a badminton set that you can borrow.

Our first night, we wanted to have an early dinner and retire. 6:00pm is very early for dinner by Sri Lankan standards, nevertheless the staff got a sumptuous dinner ready for us. Their menu is limited and mostly non-veg. Being vegetarians, we did not have much to choose from in the menu but the staff suggested a rice and veg curry dinner. It was a superb dinner with rice and some eight different types of vegetable dishes.
We ordered string hoppers for breakfast the next day. (You have to order the previous night.) It was delicious with potato curry, coconut sambal and daal curry.
For dinner we wanted something light, so we ordered a veg sandwich. It was OK but I wish we had ordered something Sri Lankan.
For breakfast the next day, we had fresh fruits and toast with tea.
I do recommend that you opt for Sri Lankan food.

The minus that I mention was not for us. Tamarind Hill is situated on the land side opposite to Jetwings Lighthouse. We were not looking for ocean access so it worked beautifully for us. If you want a hotel that provides access to the beach and the ocean then this is not the hotel for you.

I am definitely coming back here on my next trip.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank two_muddy_feet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tamarind Hill by Asia Leisure

Property: Tamarind Hill by Asia Leisure
Address: No 288 Galle Road | Dadella, Galle 80000, Sri Lanka (Formerly Tamarind Hill)
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Galle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Galle
#1 Family Hotel in Galle
#2 Spa Hotel in Galle
#2 Luxury Hotel in Galle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Tamarind Hill by Asia Leisure 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built over 250 years ago, Tamarind Hill, Galle is a magnificent colonial manor house. Today it is a Small Luxury Hotel of the World. Marvellous living is defined in each of the ten spacious rooms & two grand suites, with a great selection of antiques. Suites offer a private balcony and exclusive butler service. Modern ingredients sit side by side with history ... In-room dining, complimentary wifi, LED screen TV's and more. Tamarind Hill's exquisite dining, signature treatments at the spa, a secluded infinity pool and the Gini Ganga river that flows by, are all part of fine pleasures here. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarind Hill Hotel Galle

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