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“Lovely authentic Sri Lankan experience”

Review of Mangohouse Villa

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Very good
22 reviews
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Overview
Villa -
4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8
Unawatuna, Galle District, Southern Province

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 22 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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CrystalCh...
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely authentic Sri Lankan experience”
Reviewed March 28, 2016 for a stay in March 2016
2
people found this review helpful

I stayed at the Mangohouse Villa with my partner following a recommendation from my sister who had stayed there with her husband and 4 year old girl in 2014. We stayed 8 nights in total and came from Dubai. The house is set in beautiful jungle-like gardens and we saw so much wildlife when we were there including monkeys, chipmunks and various birds and butterflies. The trees in the garden are so lush and full of fruit such as papayas, mangos, bananas, jackfruit - coming from Dubai it was such a lovely contrast. There was also a Buddhist temple on the doorstep and we often saw young monks playing outside or studying. The pool is a little haven of peace and quiet too and gets the sun all day long. The bedrooms are spacious and clean and we took the upstairs master bedroom which gives onto a terrace with stunning views over the sea and Buddhist temple - great for sundowners. For me the stay was really made by Bandu the cook, who was one of the loveliest, kindest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She cooked us delicious breakfasts and gave us the option of Sri Lankan or British (and we always tried the Sri Lankan which was things like Dal with chunky local bread or coconut rice - all served with the fruit from the garden). Bandu also made us beautiful Sri Lankan curries at night with little tapas-style portions which I believe is the Sri Lankan way - she is a top-class cook and a very warm and generous host. She also has lots of info about the local surroundings and was able to call us tuk tuks to arrange little tours around the local area and into Galle. At night we felt very secure because there is a night watchman and a guard dog (who is locked up the whole time guests are in so I wasn't worried). The villa is located on a steep hill and you need to walk down several steps to get to the beach but we enjoyed being cut off from the hussle and bustle of the town - Unawatuna is surprisingly busy! The beach was nice and we often had cocktails and lay on the sunbeds at Peacock hotel where the staff are really friendly (if a little slow). There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the local area, one particularly good one being Happy Spice in the town, which serves traditional Sri Lankan food for half the price you get on the beach. The beach is quite crowded sometimes and can get a bit grubby if the sea is rough - we went along to the next bay, Dewata, for surfing and we also checked out Jungle Beach which is quite cool and does a pretty wild party every Wednesday. I think the villa would be particularly good fun for groups of friends but we also enjoyed the peace and quiet of having a big airy villa as a couple who normally live in a 1-bed flat. Additionally, Shaun was really easy to communicate with and got back to us right away with any questions or info. My only complaint was the microwave and TV were a bit old and didn't function very well but I guess these things are easily replaced. Overall, a fantastic stay - I would definitely recommend it.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Liked best: Bandu, the cook
Liked least: probably walking up and down the steep hill
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
livvy72
Midlands
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“We were very happy here!”
Reviewed July 9, 2015 for a stay in June 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We had a really great time at the villa, the pool is absolutely wonderful and perfect to cool off after a busy. The villa is really homely and beautiful. We enjoyed watching the iguanas sunbathing in the garden, lots of chipmunks and geckos, as well as the occasional monkey in the trees. The view is stunning. We were all really comfortable, with enough space for us to not feel crowded.
In response to some of the comments about the walk down the hill, going down was a little challenging in the wet and very steep and not something a person with mobility issues would manage. And only the younger, fitter ones of our group were happy to walk up the hill... we took Tuk Tuks. The location, however, is great! Unawatuna offers lots of restaurants and we had divine fresh sea food, cocktails and a couple of nights dancing on the beach. Galle is a short Tuk Tuk or bus journey away, with beautiful Galle Fort and shopping to your heart’s content as well as more restaurants than you could possibly visit.
Kumari the maid is a gem! She was so helpful and always seemed to anticipate what we needed. My 4 year old daughter had chicken pox while we were in Sri Lanka and Kumari was so wonderful and did everything she could to help when she was poorly. There is a great supply of bed linen and towels and Kumari kept the villa clean and tidy daily, I wish we could have brought her home!
We had a lovely masseur come to the house at a very reasonable price (£5 for a back massage and £7.50 back and legs).
The kitchen lets the villa down a bit. We tend to cook/eat at home for about half of our holiday and the kitchen is not up to the high standard of the rest of the villa, despite being well equipped it is in need of a refurb but otherwise this a perfect holiday home and we totally recommend it.

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Liked best: Really beautiful location, home from home and super comfy beds
Liked least: Kitchen is in need of a refurb
Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sue P
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Superb property for a large family - wildlife galore and close enough to the beach and restaurants.”
Reviewed April 11, 2015 for a stay in April 2015
1
person found this review helpful

A fabulous large villa, with beautiful balcony views and a great pool, surrounded by nature and abundant wildlife. The set-up was perfect for us, travelling as four adults and three children (age 6, 7 and 10) - our family took the two large en-suite rooms downstairs, my brother, sister in law and nephew were in the two upstairs. Just be aware that the upstairs is connected by an external staircase though, so not actually within the main house - would be more tricky if you had more than two young kids as they'd be on a separate floor. The house is well stocked, with bodyboards, pingpong table, snorkellng gear and a great bookshelf! Every day a lovely cleaning lady came, as well as an onsite night security guard. There was also an option of a cook, who also does cooking classes, and comes highly recommended. We preferred to walk down through the Buddhist temple to the beach, which has a huge range of eateries - all very reasonably priced. If you're walking back at night, take a torch - or you can grab a Tuk Tuk for about 400 rupees - very steep incline! The highlight of the villa for both adults and children is the outside space - the garden is safe for the kids to run about, the pool is wonderful and there are hammocks and sunbeds galore. We enjoyed sitting out in the evenings for drinks and cards, and got to see monkeys (love bread and will sit on the roof of the property), chipmunks, stunning birds of bright reds, blues and greens, an array of lizards and butterflies... a real treat after living in Dubai for so long. So much to enjoy in Sri Lanka, and the Unawatuna area, but recommend the whale watching in Mirissa (saw 20 plus blue whales) and the walk to Jungle Beach over the headland, with excellent snorkeling just 50 yards from the beach... we saw parrot fish, angel fish, a giant 18 inch turquoise and yellow fish... like being in an aquarium and perfect for the kids. Also found some cheap and interesting market shopping before you get to Galle, near the fish market. The only thing that would have made the stay even better would be air-con (there are fans and it's very breezy and airy outside, but was sometimes hot at night in the bedrooms) and functioning internet.. Shaun is trying to get this fixed with the telcom provider to no avail - only really an issue if you need to work. We ended up taking laptops down to the bars/restaurants which had pretty fast service. Overall though, a fantastic stay in a great property. Would certainly recommend the place, and may come back again with additional family at a slightly cooler time of year.

Traveling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CliveJone...
Crewe, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Second Time Even Better!”
Reviewed March 16, 2015 for a stay in March 2015

This was our second visit to Mango House Villa. we returned as we were so happy with the experience the first time and stated then that if we were to return to South Sri Lanka, then we would stay again at this spacious, beautiful and ideally situated Villa.

This time we were even more satisfied as the villa itself, rooms and gardens were even better kept than on my initial visit, but what has made my experience even more fantastic the second time round was the addition of the marvellous pool to swim and relax in as you hear the sounds and witness the sites of the wildlife, flora and fauna that surrounds Mango House Villa and stimulates your senses.

We were entertained by the most exotic wildlife, waking to the sights and sound of wildlife from the spacious balcony, hearing and observing red backed woodpeckers, sun birds, bee eaters, turquoise kingfishers that took daily dips in the pool and many other species of birds that populated the garden and surrounding trees. We also were entertained by the monkeys and Palm Squirrels on a regular basis.

The staff were friendly, informative and knowledgeable. I informed the owners that we would need a scooter and one was there ready for me on my arrival at a very competitive price. Trips to safari parks etc were also arranged at very good prices.

A fantastic place to stay in a great town in wonderful country.

Who knows if I visit Sri Lanka again I will almost definitely go for the hat trick at Mango House Villa. An experience not to be missed!!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: all of the experience, espacially the addition of the pool
Liked least: bit of a climb on foot but one can take a tuk tuk up to the property
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naomi A
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A beautiful villa - a great holiday!”
Reviewed January 24, 2015 for a stay in January 2015
1
person found this review helpful

Mango House Villa surpassed our expectations and definitely has that WOW factor! The staff made us feel at home immediately and nothing was too much trouble - especially the chef who went out of his way to accommodate our needs. The property was light, spacious, cool, private and with a view to die for. The brand-new swimming pool on-site made this amazing place extra special. The kids loved the pool, the toys/books/dvd's that were provided, and running around the verandas! It's a short walk down to the beach & amenities, making this an ideal holiday spot. Thanks to the owners for answering all our questions and helping to organize a fantastic holiday. We will be back for sure.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The pool, the view, the space, the peace!
Liked least: 10 min uphill walk back from the beach (or 3 min tuk-tuk)
Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanthe G
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Superb”
Reviewed January 7, 2015 for a stay in December 2014

We arrived Christmas Eve for a 9-day stay. Shaun (owner) had emailed me directions, which were helpful, and Heran the property manager was at the villa to greet us. We arrived amidst a flurry of cleaning and bed-making, but the guys soon had the place shipshape and spotless. An unexpected bonus was that a swimming pool had just been installed, which was gorgeous after a few initial teething troubles had been sorted. It's a five-minute walk (down) to the beach through the temple grounds, and then easy to get a tuk-tuk back up the hill (just a few hundred rupee) if you don't fancy the stairs on the way home. You're surrounded by nature, so it was great to watch the monkeys, chipmunks, frogs and geckos. We were very well looked after by the house-boys, who were there throughout (but very unobtrusive) and nothing was too much trouble. We were housebound for the first few days due to torrential rain, but found enough at the villa to keep us occupied (tons of good holiday reading, plenty of loungers, although very small TV). The wifi was great on the first day, but was virtually non-existent thereafter. Heran and Shaun both tried to help when I asked, but I think unfortunately this is probably just a Sri Lanka thing? Otherwise, there's everything you need at MangoHouse for a great holiday and I would thoroughly recommend it :)

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Private piece of paradise
Traveling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paul M
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Very disappointing”
Reviewed April 27, 2014 for a stay in April 2014
2
people found this review helpful

We stayed in Mango House for the second week of our Sri Lankan holiday. Whilst we loved Sri Lanka, the Villa was a big let down- the place was dirty, the grounds unkept, empty wine bottles were strewn around, the house itself is over two floors with an external staircase and locks on every door, this was very impractical for our family as we have young children and felt vulnerable with them sleeping on a different floor to us with locked doors between us. We found our stay stressful due to the set up, the dirt, the location, lack of wifi, not being able to use the safe as the instructions we were given did not work etc. The place needs a clean and tidy up and for what it is, is very expensive, sadly very disappointing. We would not recommend this villa for any family with children as it is impractical and tuktuk drivers found it almost impossible to reach- it is a long way up a very dark, steep, rough track!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
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Liked least: The Villa is 'slack'
Traveling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Apr 26, 2014
Sorry that you were disappointed with your stay & that you found it expensive.Especially as I had given you a discount of 45% on normal rates.
We have stayed at the villa for six months of the year with our two boys who are under 3 years of age & it certainly works for us.As it has for previous families who stayed.
The track you say leads up to the villa is a road which all the locals use.This is what minor roads are like in Sri Lanka I am afraid.
I spoke to your wife the week before you were due to stay & she said that you knew where we were situated as you were already in Unawatuna.
The fish man, bread van all use this road daily as do the Tuktuk drivers who live nearby.If you had problems with securing a driver it may have been due to it being their New Year.This is why we have a list of Tuktuk drivers we use & their numbers are in the villa next to the phone.
The wifi was working when I left in march as I had bought a new router.Perhaps it was connectivity which could have been easily been sorted out.Likewise the safe is fully functional,I sent you the combination.If you had a problem accessing why did you not contact me or the manager Karuna
I dispute that the villa is dirty.Bandu has worked for us for a number of years & guests have always commented on what a star she is.I agree the garden may have not looked its best as you were staying at the hottest time of the year prior to monsoon so the ground can look a little scorched.
Again I am sorry you didn't enjoy yourselves whilst at MangoHouse but I didn't hear from you throughout your stay & I had said mail me if any problems. Regards Shaun
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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