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“Super friendly guesthouse set in a true paradise!”
Review of Gecko

Gecko
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Gecko
Ranked #22 of 29 Pottuvil B&B and Inns
Reviewed May 23, 2012

I loved staying at the Gecko! Right on the beach with very nice rooms with air conditioning. The surfing waves a short walk away. At night the restaurant is a hang out spot for tourists and laid back locals and sometimes a fire on the beach. The food is amazing! After almost a month in Sri Lanka, the prawns were the best meal I had in Sri Lanka. Run by a nice couple Liz and Ramesh. Liz is from the UK and was very helpful.

Room Tip: All of the rooms seem pretty similar.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank SiriusSkier23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 - 31 of 48 reviews

Reviewed May 23, 2012

Far and away the best place to stay or eat in Arugam Bay. I want to make it clear that this is not some 4-star hotel, it is a 3-star guesthouse with an awesome restaurant/bar. But it's literally the best place to stay in Arugam Bay (believe me, I stayed at other places when I was in town). If you're a broke surfer who doesn't care about mosquitoes, this is not the place to stay (but you should come eat a nice cheap lunch like everybody else). This place costs (slightly) more than some of the shanties around town, but you get what you pay for: Air conditioning, clean rooms, mosquito nets, excellent bathroom facilities.... BTW, if you've never been to Arugam Bay, you should understand that this constellation of amenities is pretty amazing. And did I mention you are ON the beach? This place has less than 10 rooms, and basically the owners (Liz (from UK) and Ramesh (from SL)) make you feel like you're a member of the family from day one, and their kids are hilarious and amazing. There are a few Sri Lankan surf instructors hanging out at the bar, and there will be an Australian or two, but what's amazing is that it is a chill place to be at any time of day. Although there are plenty of food options, I have to recommend the amazing Sri Lankan breakfast of rice, dahl, and coconut hot sauce, which is incredible. When I was there, the veranda with the thatched roof and fans was considered the primary social center of Arugam Bay (I realize that in July/August the tourist market may create some changes), and I met people who were staying at many other guesthouses, almost all of whom wished they had stayed at the Gecko.

Do yourself a favor and book in advance, because this place is popular. Try to get one of the Gecko's A/C rooms, which are among the most sought-after accommodations on the island (don't tell anyone). Spend an evening drinking with Liz and Ramesh, and spend the day in the company of one of their many surf experts. Or just nap and read cheap novels like I did. Any way you slice it, the Gecko is pretty much the best guesthouse around.

Room Tip: Make sure you get A/C!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Barthelme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2012

We arrived at Gecko thinking we'd stay for a night or two and move on. I think we decided within 5 minutes of being there that we'd stay for much longer. It's a brilliant place run by the lovely Liz and Ramesh who do their utmost to look after you in every way possible. Liz cooked great food and always helped with our questions, and Ramesh was an absolute gentleman, who did everything from building a wooden structure to give us some shade, to getting us to where we wanted to go, to coming running with water and a smile when all the G+Ts made us sick... They're doing a fantastic job.

They've created a lovely and safe haven and you'll have a great time. Say hello to Jay and Millie too when you're there!

Love, the noisy english girls

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Lucy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2012

We had a fantastic stay at Gecko- really relaxed and homely and they went out of their way to accommodate us in every way, making recommendations of things to do, organising transport, delicious food, even building us a lovely shaded area on the beach when we couldn't handle the blazing heat! Ramesh and Liz are really lovely. We really enjoyed our stay there and didn't want to leave.

Room Tip: We stayed in the cabana which was great for a bigger group but other rooms for smaller groups seemed...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank jossiestevens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2012

Whilst we have had super food experiences at Gecko's in the past, this time it was more than disappointing. The burgers we ordered were dry, and the Greek salad ordered did not contain any olive oil. On requesting for olive oil to add to the Greek salad, we were brought a bottle of 'olive oil' which in actual fact was VEGETABLE OIL. The staff insisted that it was olive oil even though we knew very well the flavor and taste of olive oil and were one hundred percent sure that what they brought to the table was in fact vegetable oil.

Overall, a very disappointing experience. I hope the management takes appropriate measures to correct the situation with the food.

Stayed: April 2012
2  Thank hishamshums
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2012

Although I didn't stay at the Gecko when asking around for somewhere good to eat everyone said I had to try the Gecko, especially their famous ice cream.
After 3 weeks of curry and rice (which I love) it was a treat to have a homemade hamburger - they make their own bread on the premises, the other ingredients Liz (chef by trade) sources from Kandy or they grow themselves .... and the ice cream ... you definitely have to leave room for.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Rebecca M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2012

Hmm where to start.
The surf boy staff who leered at our partners...
The water and toilet that didnt work...
the dirty floors in our room.

There are so many good places to stay in the Bay, it is simply not worth staying here.

There were 4 of us travelling together and we wanted accomodation we could share which is why we initially stayed there even after they were rude to our driver who was a real champ and one of nature's gentlemen.

After we were rudely informed at 10.30 one night that we had to be out early the next morning (After being told we could stay as long as we liked) we couldnt wait to get out of this dump.

I am glad others had good experiences here, and I agree that some of the food is great but there are major problems with service here.

The owners arent there during the week and the place is run by young guys. I would really not recomend that young females stay here alone or if your partner is going to be away surfing all day you are likely to be rather uncomfortable with their 'attention.'

The owners were arrogant and emotional and seemingly incapable of understanding that they had left us in an invidious position- nowhere to sleep the next night. No offer of assistance to find another place and absolutely no apology.

Kudos to the manager of Hideaway who was the most lovely person in the Bay (there are so many reasons that they seem to be the best) who offered to rearrange a whole room so 4 of us could bunk in.

In the end though we slept in the restaurant at Sababa which had to be one of the best experiences of the trip! The guys there were lifesavers and cooked us some of the best meals we had in Sri Lanka.

So all up avoid this place like the plague, although you could do worse for lunch.

Room Tip: hmm look elsewhere and definately dont accept the leaky shed that they tried to rent to our driver f...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank 1Bill1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gecko

Address: Located Between #39 Hillton And #42 Deens, Pottuvil, Arugam Bay 32500, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Eastern Province > Arugam Bay > Pottuvil
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 29 B&Bs / Inns in Pottuvil
Number of rooms: 7
Also Known As:
Gecko Sri Lanka/Pottuvil

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