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“Great !” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Reef Villa & Spa

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Reef Villa & Spa
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Wadduwa
Certificate of Excellence
Doha, Qatar
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

Reef Villa is easily the most beautiful hotel we have stayed in. On our arrival, we were greeted by the owner with frangipani garlands and iced tea with honey, and as for first impressions of the place itself – wow! The main house and villa are set in stunning, lush gardens with a network of ponds full of fish which our children delighted in feeding during our stay. The bedrooms and bathrooms are large, luxurious and exquisitely set out - the attention to detail in the design really is something to behold. The main house reception area is also amazing to look at with lots of wonderful and interesting artefacts on display, but, (despite the array of games laid out), not particularly child friendly - I was reluctant to let my kids in there for fear of them disturbing the, almost too perfect, decor.
The members of staff are all lovely – polite, friendly, cheery and hospitable at all times – particularly great with our three young children and we all enjoyed the impromptu cricket matches! We have to mention a wonderful driver employed by the hotel, called Shiron. He is a lovely guy and couldn’t do enough for us. We also took advantage of the Spa and enjoyed very relaxing treatments – the facial is highly recommended for providing that ‘floating’ feeling! Without exception, the food was superb (if pricey), particularly the local dishes.
One small recommendation, but by no means a big deal - there is quite a selection of DVDs available to guests, but none suitable for kids. This was surprising as I can’t envisage anyone other than children wanting to watch a DVD in their room while staying here! Would have been nice to have had an appropriate DVD to occupy the children while mum and dad enjoyed a drink on the room’s terrace!!
The hotel lays on a variety of outings for guests - some are great; the river trip and Galle are well worth doing, but be wary of the gem museum and the spice garden which offer little to see and we felt were little more than a sales pitch for half an hour until we felt obliged to buy something.
In summary, Sri Lanka is a beautiful island destination with warm, friendly people and we are only disappointed we didn’t see more of it. Reef Villa is a fabulous hotel with a great personal feel and has given all the family some great memories. Our only fear is how we will equal this on our next family holiday – a new standard has been set!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Natasha G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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435 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (143)
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Hurghada, Egypt
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2013

We have just come back from a fantastic whirlwind two week trip to Sri Lanka, staying at a number of gorgeous boutique hotels from the Wallawa, The Ullagalla resort, and the Kahanda Kanda to name but a few, but none of them had patch on The Reef. Our tour operator Unique Travel Sri Lanka recommended the Reef as we wanted a few days of R&R at the end of our holiday and we couldn't have been more pleased with their choice.

We entered what felt like a secret oasis of lily ponds and swinging love seats (led in by 3 waddling ducks) and were graciously met with flower garlands and a refreshing drink by the very helpful manager, Malith (unfortunately we missed the owners by a day as they were also on holiday).

We had treated ourselves to a suite in the house so we could get a view of the sunset from balcony, but didn't realise we had booked the biggest suite in the house! It had not one, but two massive terraces overlooking the stunning gardens, pool and onwards to the sea and the room itself was unbelievable.

Although the property is brand new (designed we believe by Bernadatte one of the owners) you feel like you have stepped back in time to the Raj era with the multitude of antiques and artefacts in the room and the main house. I think we took over 100 pictures just of the room itself, and the bathroom with it's oversized bath made of pure granite was the piece de resistance.

The food was some of the best we had all holiday and we had a special treat of lobster on our last night. The staff were all unfailingly welcoming with their big smiles and excellent service and even the 'trainee' Amit with his infectious giggle had better service skills than we've seen in many other establishments. The garden and pool staff were equally charming making sure we knew when Monica the local elephant was coming along the beach, but not pushing us to go for a ride, and one of them even surprised us with a handful of shells as a leaving present!

I could go on forever, but suffice to say after searching for some time we have now found a perfect place to get married next year.

Room Tip: They were all stunning and huge, but for the best view of the sunset and grounds splurge and take on...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SidPCuracao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

When planning our tour of Sri Lanka we found difficulty in finding the right location for our four night beach relaxation at the end of the trip. We then came across The Reef Villa, initially through a Cox and King's suggested itinerary. On checking the reviews on Trip Advisor we decided this was definitely the place for us. The reality did not disappoint. The property has been thoughtfully designed - extremely tranquil with wonderful gardens and pool. The bedrooms and bathrooms are very spacious and beautifully appointed. There is an extremely high attention to detail throughout the hotel and the service is faultless.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lorna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kiev, Ukraine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2013

We were 10 days in Sri Lanka on both business and vacation in February 2013, including a stay at Reef for 6 nights. Overall experience at Reef was excellent.
Things we enjoyed the most are the following 1) A large and well decorated villa and the main house with lots of unique furniture. It gives you a feeling of British colonial times. At the same time everything looks brand new. The bathroom is just amazing; 2) Excellent food at the restaurant. We have traveled to dozens of countries in the last couple of years and this restaurant would be among the top 3 on my list in terms of food quality. 3) Great service. Everyone tried very hard to make our stay as comfortable as it gets; 4) Ponds and all vegetation around. Landscape design is well planned and looks great; 5) You always get a feeling of personal attention. Everything is "tailor made" specifically for you. You never feel like you are in a conveyer.

There are some things that would make the hotel event better (I realize I’m getting too picky here) 1. We love to walk around the property of hotels in the evening. This is a boutique hotel and the property is not very large. It is not very comfortable to walk along the beach because it is not quite flat. There is a pretty good angle and you get tired after maybe 20 minutes of walking along the beach (even though it is beautiful). Plus there are people trying to sell you all kinds of things once you leave the property. So, the hotel would benefit if it had a slightly larger area around it where people could walk. I realize it maybe very difficult to do.
2. There is an excursion menu and this is great. However, for someone that never been to Sri Lanka that may not be enough. For people that love to travel around there should be someone who could guide them through all options, brief them and find out all their preferences and wishes. This should not be a driver (by the way, the driver provided by the hotel was excellent). It is important that this person would look at everything as a foreigner, because it is very difficult for a local that rarely travels abroad to know what should be emphasized. This person could then make many suggestions based on preferences of the client. In the US (and some other countries) in some smaller upscale hotels priced at over $500/day we have seen a so-called “experience designer”. This is a specifically trained person (not a manager of the hotel or other employee). Maybe some richer people would like to travel by helicopter (I found out about this option only on the last day). Or maybe someone looks for something specific (like some old antique high-end souvenirs; we found such a store only by chance). Another example, we did not expect that on average it will take an hour or so to travel 30-40km around the country. It takes a very long time from point A to point B (times are indicated in excursion menu but often times it takes longer than specified there). When you look at the map and corresponding distance, everything looks very close but in reality it takes a very long time to get there. There are some other things outside of the hotel that we found out by "trial and error” type method. Nevertheless, these are just minor issues for very picky clients like us.

Overall we would rate this hotel in the top 10% of about fifty 5 star hotels on 4 continents we visited. I would definitely recommend it to friends/relatives.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vlad K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2013

Lovely place. Perfect for holidaymakers or honeymooners. We went there March 2013 and the place was amazing. Rooms fantastic, location has as much wow factor as you can imagine and Brendan and Bernadette the 2 owners have done a superb job. Decor, staff, food all A1. Will definitely be going back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

We have just returned from 15 days in Sri Lanka in which we spent 10 days at the spectacular Reef villa and spa. The setting of the pool is magnificent, the villas and main house are beautifully decorated in colonial furniture, and the food was truly amazing. What makes this place unique is that it is the dream of one couple and not a hotel chain, which means the luxury, and standards are the same as a 5 star hotel but the delivery is so much better with a true personal touch that just cannot be faked. Brendan and Bernadette are wonderful hosts chatting to guests like they are old friends and in their absence Malith the Manager keeps everything running like clockwork being as friendly as he is efficient. The restaurant staff couldn’t do enough for you but all done in their own genuine way, Danushka with a cheeky personality and Wasantha with a lovely smile; whilst the daily visit from the chef who we renamed master chef meant that each meal was prepared specifically to our taste. It is difficult to explain what a special feel this place has in one review so my suggestion is that you just book and experience this little slice of paradise for yourself.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JFlitcroft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kettering, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013

My wife and I spent a considerable amount of time planning and deliberating over our honeymoon schedule. We opted for what seems to be quite a common itinerary for tourists to Sri Lanka: a short tour around the island, and a final few days of relaxation. Choosing the tour stops was fairly simple, but selecting a hotel for the last part was not. I think the pressure of expectation played a part - we wanted something that was absolutely perfect...

With hindsight, we should have been completely confident in choosing Reef. After all, we chose it above some of the larger and commercially well known hotels on the coast. We should have had a bit more faith in our judgement...!

The Reef Villa & Spa is stunning. Despite the rave reviews, and sensational pictures available on the web - don't be fooled: none can do it justice. It's just not possible to convey the sense of remoteness and exclusivity that the complex achieves in its layout, landscaping and inimitable, immersive detail.

We loved it from start to finish. The staff were perfectly professional - many of them having worked in hospitality in Dubai. The quality of the food was superb - lots of seafood, and just enough variety in the vegetarian dishes to keep me from going hungry. (Be adventurous; order a Sri Lankan breakfast of rotti and curry - it's delicious. And the buffalo curd with kithul honey!)

The room was so thoughtfully furnished, combining function with aesthetically wonderful period pieces. We didn't even turn on the television for the 6 days we were there. I may have used the wifi a couple of times to send some gloating emails back home... And the bathroom was amazing, with shower and a freestanding bath, large enough for the taller guest (me), and direct access from the bathroom to a liberating private outdoor shower for the more adventurous guest (wife)!

The beach immediately behind the Reef garden is very close, but quite short and steep, and there's a little bit of a drop once you get into the water. The waves are strong, particularly later in in the day, but really you can do all your relaxing dipping in the pool.

The offers for treatments are comprehensive - see the website for details, and both my wife and I had a go. It was a new experience for me, but if you're staying at Reef, you might as well try it all. There's no room for macho aversions - man up, get on the table, and have those knots obliterated. You might feel bruised, but (keep it to yourself) it certainly gets you "new husband points".

In a way, I wish the weather had been terrible for just one day, so that we would have been forced to spend some more time in the downstairs area of the main house. You could probably sit there for a week, and still notice something new in the collection of paraphernalia that adorns the room.

We ventured out for a walk into the town just the once, but needn't have really. If you have another opportunity to see Sri Lankan towns in detail, save that for the other part of your holiday and do what you ought to at Reef: relax in the seclusion, get a massage, and don't think about your departure until the very last minute.

Thanks to Brendan, and to all of your staff. Reef was a perfect place to spend the last days of our honeymoon. Good luck with ever being able to do the place justice with words and pictures!

(Additional ratings explanation - Location: Convenient for Colombo/ Airport, but the local area could have been anywhere - we were happier to stay in the hotel grounds! Fitness Centre: Well not so much a centre, but there's a pool, and tennis courts and yoga sessions.)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tim O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Reef Villa & Spa

Property: Reef Villa & Spa
Address: 78 Samanthara Rd, Wadduwa 12560, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Wadduwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Wadduwa
#1 Luxury Hotel in Wadduwa
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Wadduwa
#1 Romantic Hotel in Wadduwa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Reef Villa & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reef Villa & Spa, is a spectacular luxury hideaway in three acres of beach side, exotic tropical gardens, just 45 mins south of Colombo, Sri Lanka. With our 65m sandy beachfront, all weather tennis court, large swimming pool, lush tropical gardens, Reef sets a new bench mark for luxury accommodation in Sri Lanka. Romantic, private, and intimate and just seven exclusive, palatial suites; the ultimate in elegance and luxury and a soothing blend of warm effortless service and harmonious spaces. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef Villa And Spa
Reef Villa Hotel Wadduwa
Reef Beach Hotel Wadduwa

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