I have friends who have stayed at The Retreat and I had high expectations based on their experiences but nothing could prepare me for the most wonderful two weeks I have just had. I was travelling with my partner, my sister and her partner and 2 friends who stay at The Retreat every year. From the moment we arrived in Colombo and were met at the airport by Channa from Hikkasurf, to arriving at the villa and meeting Prem and Sunitha, to meeting the “tuk tuk boys” and being transported wherever we wished, I felt like a “princess”. Nothing is too much trouble and to say we had 5 star service is not doing it justice.
Arriving at the villa I was in awe of how gorgeous it actually is - a spacious open plan lounge/dining area with tasteful cultural decor, a kitchen with everything you could need if you want to cook - a tv with DVD player and a large selection of DVDs, a selection of books to read and there is even a table tennis table!. Upstairs the 3 double bedrooms with ensuite facilities are all beautiful with excellent storage and air conditioning and all lead onto a joint veranda overlooking a beautiful swimming pool. Waking up every morning, opening the doors, listening to the wildlife, no traffic noise, looking out on nothing but beautiful trees, the lagoon and the pool can’t be beaten.
The beauty of this villa is the versatility; you could use the villa as a base and visit the sights - the Hikkasurf team will provide whatever transport you need whether it be a tuk tuk, a car or a minibus and can arrange any sightseeing tour with that personal touch...they care and it shows.... or you could spend your whole holiday in the villa with Sunitha cooking for you (she is a wonderful cook). Hikkaduwa is a 10 minute tuk tuk ride away where the restaurants serve the most tasty local cuisine which is very reasonably priced. There are bars on the beach serving very tasty cocktails and a lively nightlife into the early hours. There are shops galore selling everything from clothes to spices-wooden crafts to jewellery.
Having a beautiful villa in paradise with such an attentive team cannot be described in a review.... you must experience it
Having booked for our honeymoon we were very excited. We were greeted warmly at the airport by the lovely Sanje who Phillipa had arranged to pick us up. We had looked at the photos on the website and thought we knew what we were expecting, but the villa was so much more! Prem and Sunitha, the housekeepers, were very welcoming and made our stay extremely comfortable throughout. We ate at the villa every night during our stay as Sunitha ps cooking is fantastic. Prem shimmied up a tree to get coconuts and Sunitha cooked us some coconut honey pancakes for breakfast.
The villa is spacious and light, with more than a touch of luxury. The gardens are well kept and the pool is fantastic, we were in it at all times of day and night (ask Prem to put the lights on)
The Hikkasurf boys were at our beck and call and took us everywhere.
The beach at Hikkaduwa is fantastic and there are wild turtles just casually swimming by. At sunset make sure you take your camera!
Our honeymoon was made extra special by staying at the Retreat and we would definately recommend it!
My wife and I with our 2 daughters ages 3 and 1 1/2 along with our live-in nanny stayed 11 days at Philippas's place. The pick from the airport in Columbo was arranged by Philippa and went very smoothly. When we got to the Retreat we were greeted by the amazing staff Prem and Suneeta with warm meal already prepared for us as per Philippa's offer in an email earlier. The house was absolutely amazing and the profile pictures don't do justice. We had breakfast every morning by the pool while the kids started the day after breakfast by jumping in the pool. Prem keeps the pool perfectly maintained and cleans the leaves and stuff multiple times a day. The staff at the house also made a grocery list and got everything we needed plus for lunch and dinner choices we made. We would obviously pay for it in advance and they would bring the change along with receipts. Suneeta is an amazing cook and after second day we decided to have most of our meals at the house as nothing came close to her cooking anywhere out there. We even had some Sri Lankan local friends that came to meet us at the house and they loved the place and service as well. This is a very quite and tranquil place. We were given a cell phone and we could call the TukTuk or Car to go anywhere. The transportation part is covered by a family of father and his 3 sons. Channa (driver) for most of the time took us to where ever we wanted to go at the beach or the near by tourist attractions. All in all I am pleased to say we will definitely be coming back to stay here next year to relax and unwind.
The retreat was our first stop on a 3 week first time visit to Sri lanka and we fell in love with the place. The villa and grounds are just stunning, everything is so well cared for and it is truly a place to relax and be spoilt. Our children range from 8 to 17 they all loved it and were all happy in the pool or spotting the local wildlife. The whole team at The Retreat are amazing - we used Channa, Sanjay and the Hikkasurf team throughout our stay in Sri Lanka and they even came to pick us up when we missed the train! Prem and Sunitha are just lovely - Sunithas cooking was the best food we tasted in Sri Lanka - I recommend the curried banana. We were only there for 6 nights but we felt so welcome and nothing was too much trouble. One of our teenagers is dog mad and after finding one locally with a poorly ear Channa took us to the pharmacy to get some medication and Prem and Sunitha administered it after we had left - Channa then sent us a picture to show it had healed -my daughter was so delighted! That is the kind of people that run the retreat - some of the nicest and kindest you will meet. We will be returning to Sri Lanka in 2019 and the retreat will definitely be on our list.
We used the Retreat as a base to explore the area. It was perfect for our needs. We are a family of 4, our 2 children in their early twenties. Sunitha, the housekeeper and her husband, Prem, who maintains the pool and the gardens, were very friendly and informative. We felt welcomed and relaxed as soon as we arrived.
We used the tuk tuk company, that is recommended by the villa, for all our travelling needs. The "boys" showed us around the area, stopping at the usual sights, but also gave us ideas as to where to visit. We hired two tuk tuks every other day and we went to a tea plantation, Galle, around Hikkaduwa, tsunami museum, river boat ride, moon stone mine, turtle sanctuary and still found time to chill around the pool back at The Retreat.
The villa had everything we needed. Sunitha cooked dinner for us every evening. She is an excellent cook and as well as my daughter being a vegetarian, she provided so many delicious meals. Prem and my husband, or my son, went to the local shops each day to buy provisions for the day, on the back of their scooter. The whole house was kept spotless and the bedrooms were very large. (The only negative thing about the place was having to get up every few hours in the night to turn the aircon back on in the bedrooms. It is on a timer switch with about 4 hours as its maximum.). We were very lucky with the weather for the beginning of July. We had no rain during the day during our entire stay of a week. It did rain in the evenings, which cleared the air. We had sunshine and a few clouds. We couldn't swim in the ocean as the waves were too rough, but we were taken to Jungle Beach by tuk tuk, where there is a natural cove and we swam there one morning. All in all it was a great holiday using The Retreat as our base and would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a peaceful, spacious place to stay.
I have recently returned from the Retreat which belongs to the Parents of one of my work collegues therefore I followed in the footsteps of many of my collegues who have been here before and they all said that you would love it so i knew we would not be disappointed. But i could not have imagined the experiences that we have encountered. The Retreat is just that a home away from all the stresses of everyday life, with everything you could wish for to make your stay perfect. But the Icing on the cake comes from the resident team. We was treated like kings and queens here at The Retreat by Prem and Sunitha two of the kindest people you could wish to meet who have such a passion to make your stay one you will always remember. To make the perfect package the owners of the Retreat have brought on board a local family tour company Hikkasurf were drivers Channa Kumara and his team have given a first class service from Guided tours to Tuk Tuks anytime day or night to take you out and about. It is with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye when we said our goodbyes on the last day and we had to bid farewell to these amazing people, but overall thank you for letting me have this opportunity of living in Paradise for 2 weeks.
All advance planning at booking stage was handled in a first class manner by the owners, I had many questions prior to departure and all communication via email was handled in a timely manner.
We will definitely be back.
This was our 2nd visit to the villa. We first went in 2015 and covered a lot of Sri Lanka seeing all the sights. This time we went to enjoy the villa and the local beaches using the local train as well as Tuk Tuk's. We were so looking forward to returning to the villa, which has all the luxuries to make a self catering holiday like a 5* all inclusive holiday. Shopping is easy, we took Suneetha and Channa on our first morning and got 3 weeks supplies in Galle, stocked the freezer and cupboards. We stayed by the pool watched mongoose, birds of all sizes, went to the beach swam with turtles had lunch in some lovely restaurants along the Hikkaduwa coast, went on a safari, saw elephants, crocodiles and many other small animals and birds. However, most days we spent swimming and reading by the lovely pool at the villa and spent our evenings eating the wonderful food that was prepared and cooked for us by Suneetha and Preme. All in all an amazing holiday again and we are looking forward to another 3 weeks in 2019!