We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Luxury, perhaps, but acutely disappointing”
Review of Serene Pavilions

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 8 more sites!
Serene Pavilions
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Wadduwa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 16, 2013

My stay here started badly - the "luxury car" which took a while to turn up at the airport was not in any way luxurious, did not provide any water or cool towels, and was driven by someone who had never been to Serene Pavilions and got lost before eventually getting the right directions. In fact he had no contact number for the hotel and had to get it from me in order to ring them to find out where to go. After a long flight, this was not boding well. I had in fact emailed to ask for a transfer but I specifically did not want a luxury car. I was told this was all that was offered.

This epitomises my problem with this place. Yes, it is luxurious, although with some surprising omissions, but when you are paying the prices charged the staff should be striving to meet your requests. I found that unless your request was expensive luxury, there was no help on offer. For instance, I wanted a normal taxi to take me back to the airport, but no, this could not be arranged as they only have "luxury" cars...Similarly for any other non-luxury requests. Heaven forbid I should ask about cheaper transport to get out and about - these cannot (will not) be arranged.

On the positive side, the "pavilions" are comfortable, the bed supremely so, the plunge pools are nice, wifi generally worked well, the Sri Lankan breakfasts were delicious, and the garden staff were wonderful. The views from the bedroom over the beach are lovely.

Now the negatives, and how many there were...
1) I find it astonishing that in such a luxury establishment the coffee provided in the room is a simple jar of nescafe rather than either filter or espresso machines. (Indeed when I asked for a pot of coffee in the early morning on the day of my departure, my butler simply came and put the kettle on for me to have nescafe. I didn't need a butler to do that, and proper coffee would have been nice.)
2) I went to find a bird book in the Reading Room, only to find that there were no such reference books there. I think this is a glaring omission, although perhaps the clientele that stays in this sort of place often do not take an interest in the flora and fauna around them?
3) My butler informed me he was to be off for one day due to family commitments. Fair enough, but one day turned into two, and then three days. Although I may be wrong, I suspect that he was not too pleased to have a solo female to look after, although to be fair, I'm not really into the butler concept anyway.
4) On one of the two days that I had a Western as opposed to Sri Lankan breakfast, I had a half-frozen sausage on my plate.
5)On my last night all the minibar items were removed in the late afternoon. As I didn't use the minibar items, it was not a problem, but I found it rather off-putting to feel that my room was essentially being cleared even before I had left.
6) A member of staff offered to get me some spices to take home, which I was keen to do. Until I was told it would cost me $50!!!!!!

I left feeling that, perhaps if one wanted one or two nights of pampering, without wanting to experience the local culture, and with money to burn, this place would probably be fine. But for a longer stay it is simply too restrictive, even obstructive, for someone who wants to do things a bit more independently, and simply not worth the money.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
3  Thank diverdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (234)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

104 - 110 of 234 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2013

After a cultural 12 days we wanted a few days to relax and wind down at the end of our holiday. Serene Pavilions was perfect. The accommodation, setting, service and food were all top notch. It certainly deserves to be rated among the best boutique hotels worldwide. The pool was the best we have ever enjoyed as was the spa treatment. We would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Room Tip: I don't think there are any pavilions that are superior to others
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jean J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

A truly fantastic luxury resort. Delicious food, impeccable service, amazing views. Each villa has its own butler and Naluka proved to be worth of the description butler, quickly assessing what was important to us and how we liked to spend our days. He even brought my husband a cold lion beer everyday just after noon! All the staff we came across were excellent and nothing was too much trouble. There is little interaction between guests so if what you are after is a peaceful relaxing break whilst being spoilt rotten then this is the place for you.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms worth the extra money
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Wiltshiregirl4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Our stay at the hotel was incredible. The staff, food and the service is top notch. We just stayed for one night but it was a great experience. Do try the Sri lankan food in one of the meal, it was great.
I would recommend this property to all my friends looking for a splendid holiday.

Room Tip: We took the Ocean villa and it gives u a great view of the ocean
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Anchal B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

We have been avid users of TripAdvisor for a few years now and wouldn’t dream of booking a hotel without fisrt checking the reviews. Despite staying in a huge number of great hotels over the years we have never felt so amazed and impressed enough to write a review. Our stay at the Serene was so incredible that we had to write a review. The only trouble is where to start and how to fit everything we want to say into a brief review. We are also torn between wanting to keep this hidden gem to ourselves and wanting to credit the team with creating such a breathtakingly wonderful place. It more than lived up to our expectations and is totally unique.

Here goes….

The Serene is without question the most wonderful, relaxing and peaceful place we have ever stayed at. It cannot be compared to a hotel or even called a hotel because it isn’t; it's so much more. It is simply a handful of spacious, high-spec, luxurious private Pavilions (villas) with open plan kitchen/living out to pool & garden which make you feel at home – albeit a more luxurious home. The beds are large and comfortable, the marble bathrooms are huge and the attention to detail throughout in the design and decor is outstanding. It is obvious that a huge amount of thought has gone into every aspect of the design and there are beautiful Balinese sculptures and artworks scattered about the Pavilions, gardens and grounds. The pools attached to each pavilion are totally private and refreshing. We had an Ocean Pavilion (all 2 stories) and the sea view from our bed was breathtaking. There is no better way to start the day than waking up to a view of unspoilt beach and the ocean.

The grounds are vast, filled with well manicured gardens and walkways and several ponds filled with friendly, colourful fish. It is like being in a hidden spa come oasis. The sense of relaxation hits you as soon as you enter the gates and stays with you long after you have departed.

The staff are not only warm, friendly and personable but they work like a well-oiled team which adds to the sense of relaxation. The service is impeccable and every member of staff wears a smile and knew who we were so the communication and management levels are superb. We have no doubt that they genuinely want to ensure you have a fantastic stay and want for nothing.

A special mention to the butlers…. Each Pavilion has its own butler who looks after you throughout your stay. The butler service is impeccable, discreet, attentive, easy to use and adds a delicate touch of star treatment. You can contact your butler at any time of the day and let him know what you want, when you want it and where you want it. There are no set meal times and you can have absolutely anything you want at any time of the day. You can choose to eat inside your Pavilion, by your private pool, in the garden, on the beach, in the restaurant, in the bar, by the main pool or anywhere else you can think of. The butlers are highly skilled and quickly note take note of your tastes to make the service personal to you e.g. how you like your eggs/coffee, what you like to drink at different times of the day. After a couple of days they actually know you better than you know yourself! They are truly masters of their trade. Your every need is met, sometimes even without asking.

Then there is the food – WOW the quality of the food is better than many of the top restaurants in London. It’s fresh, delicious and there is so much to choose from. Despite an 8 night stay we didn’t have enough time to work our way through the menu. Thankfully though we will be returning to work our way through the items we missed. The Sri Lankan breakfast is superb; a delicious and veritable feast!

The Serene is more beautiful than the online photos suggest and the sense of peace and well-being cannot be captured on film. Only staying there will you truly appreciate and understand what an incredible and beautiful place the Serene is. It’s heavenly and truly unforgettable. We have never re-visited a hotel (as there are millions in the world to try) but I know we will be visiting the Serene very soon and on many more occasions.

May we also take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to the entire team at the Serene, you have given us the most wonderful holiday imaginable and Senna (our butler) provided the icing on the cake (quite literally as we also got married at the Serene and Senna helped our day pass like a dream). He went out of his way to look after us and was quite simply wonderful; he regularly decorated our pavilion with flowers and candles, ran jacuzzi baths, set up romantic dinners on the beach and even played a part in our wedding ceremony -  he went to great lengths to make our stay extra special. If you are considering eloping to get married in a romantic and idyllic setting, look no further than the Serene. We had the most amazing and beautiful wedding there, which met and exceeded our expectations. Everyone from Rinosha and Erandi (who co-ordinated our wedding), Rukman (who decorated our bed with flowers each day and made it look oh so inviting) and the other butlers, bar staff, pool and towel attendants (who took additional photos and wished us well). The entire team worked tirelessly to ensure we had the most magical and completely stress-free wedding imaginable. Words cannot express how wonderful our stay was and how welcomed we felt. We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Ocean Pavilions are really fab.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank TMNM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the hotel for only one night but it was indeed the best hotel we stayed at during our 7 day honeymoon. The service is unmatched! From the time I called to make a booking till check out everyone at the hotels was so nice and pleasant! We were thrilled with our butler who gave us our privacy but was at hand whenever we wanted. The hotel rooms are absolutely amazing and fully worth the price we paid. We had our own pool which was extremely private even though it was outdoors. All in all we could not have asked for a better place to spend the last day of our honeymoon.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ShehP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

Hello,
My husband and I use to travel a lot and only in best hotels/ restaurants...but when appears to been exceptional experience, ( or an horrible one) I feel right to share with other travelers .
If you go to Sri Lanka, book in Serene Pavilions without any doubts!
The outside: Wide beach, paradise garden, fantastic swimming pool; our ocean pavilion has a magic view of the ocean and direct access to the golden sand. All day long there are exotics birds in the garden .
The pavilion : cosy and lux without being pretentious. You have all you need to be comfortable. Bed and linen , floral decoration- irreproachable.

The service: The first hours our butler was doing all kind of little cares for us( cocktails for welcome - 2 times, fresh water with some fruits, ets...- I let him know that we don't need so much attention as privacy - and if I need him I'll call him.
Every time I call him he came on the second! Very Profesional his service was excellent ! I just want to say: Thank you Nimal for making our stay so comfortable .
The house keeping and cleaning was perfect; the spa was a very good experience for me and an excellent one for my husband who got a facial ( his face just transformed) and a reflexology.

The restaurant: everything from the club sandwich to lobster could easily be served in best hotels in Paris or London. The chef is really good . I specially enjoy the starters from the vegetarian menu. Breakfast is a very complete choice of whatever cross your mind, and the cocktails ( Try piña colada) are served with delicious canapés .

My only regret is that the private swimming pool was not 10 meters long :)
I specially want to tanks miss Erandi for her effectiveness and kindness for the reservation and during our stay.

D & A from Padma pavilion

  • Stayed: January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Danabens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Wadduwa
0.5 mi away
The Blue Water
The Blue Water
#3 of 10 in Wadduwa
1,414 reviews
1.0 mi away
Reef Villa & Spa
Reef Villa & Spa
#1 of 10 in Wadduwa
465 reviews
0.3 mi away
Taprobana Wadduwa by Asia Leisure
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.6 mi away
Royal Palms Beach Hotel
Royal Palms Beach Hotel
#3 of 11 in Kalutara
1,285 reviews
3.5 mi away
Citrus Waskaduwa
Citrus Waskaduwa
#1 of 1 in Waskaduwa
984 reviews
18.4 mi away
Vivanta by Taj - Bentota
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Serene Pavilions? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Serene Pavilions

Address: 20 Upali Mawatha, Wadduwa 12560, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Wadduwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Wadduwa
#4 Spa Hotel in Wadduwa
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Wadduwa
#5 Luxury Hotel in Wadduwa
Price Range: $339 - $830 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Serene Pavilions 4.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Serene Pavilions is a spacious tropical haven, located on the Southwest coast of Sri Lanka. The boutique hotel comprises of 12 Balinese-inspired pavilions, spread over 5 acres of landscaped gardens dotted with coconut palms and lotus ponds. Each pavilion offers a sumptuous bedroom, large living and dining areas, a marble bathroom with Jacuzzi, a kitchenette. The delightful outdoor area features a private plunge pool, and a wooden sundeck with outdoor dining space. With an emphasis on personal service, Serene Pavilions can craft your dream escape. Start the day with breakfast served by your private butler by your plunge pool, or take a dip in the Indian Ocean. Unwind in your villa, where a mix of Sri Lankan and Balinese furnishings create a natural style and tranquil atmosphere. Play tennis, swim a few laps in the central pool, enjoy a spa treatment, or sit back on the beach and wait for the spellbinding sunset. For dinner, choose from the daily menu, or book a private dining session and give the chef free reign to create something new. Then enjoy a nightcap at Amritha Bar as you listen to the waves roll in. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Agoda, TripOnline SA, Otel, Cheap Tickets, Hotwire and HotelQuickly so you can book your Serene Pavilions reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Serene Pavilions Hotel Wadduwa

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing