Each time I come to Shalini Villa I am astounded by its beauty and the warm and generosity of it staff. A sanctuary that is so close to beaches and the local area.
Giving the opportunity to immerse yourself in local cultures and then come back to rest in the fabulous garden and take a dip in the pool. Comfy beds, great AC, clean and very cared for!
If you are visiting this area a total must!
A very beautiful and spacious villa, well equipped with a lovely swimming pool, monkeys in the trees which is very entertaining they love bread and fruit,house keeper very friendly and helpful, the villa is off the main road and very private only a 5 minuites walk from the beach where there is various bars and restaurants to choose from,Tuk Tuks are available if you want to venture further very cheap,we had a lovely stay and would recommend
The second you walk through the big wooden gate and into the lush gardens, it’s a real “shoulders down and relax” moment. With this stylish villa permanently but very discretely staffed, you can return from a day on the beach (a short stroll or if you’re really lazy a 50p tuk-tuk away) or wandering around the extraordinary Galle Fort (10 min/ £2.75 tuk-tuk) to an oasis of calm, with the house open, immaculate and lit to welcome you. We loved the little details: fresh flowers lying in bowls on the tables and the delicious homemade papadums and sambal that awaited us in the kitchen.
All the bedrooms are big and spacious with super comfy beds, nice linen, mosquito nets, air conditioning and the en-suite bathrooms are really nicely appointed too. The bedrooms all opened out onto the gorgeous gardens, which was especially nice when we wanted to sneak out for a late night dip in the pool.
The open plan kitchen, dining room and living room with its huge ceilings and double doors to the garden, was full of light but at the same time nice and cool. It has everything you need: water cooler, fully equipped kitchen, excellent WIFI, English sockets to charge up everything, a wonderfully stocked book case that made the place feel like a home and DVD player - we even found the 6 Nations Rugby on the cable TV.
Surrounding the house is a shaded veranda, with different places to sit out and enjoy an evening beer, morning tea or the fantastic spicy coffee that the ever smiling and charming Gayan prepares for you whenever you surface (no matter it seemed how late!). Eggs, any way you want them, toast and bountiful supplies of delicious, fresh local fruit – whatever you want he’ll make it. For our arrival on the first night, he prepared a feast of curries, dahls, breads, papadums and chutneys. They were so good we didn’t want to eat anywhere else.
The gardens are lush and if you’re quiet, you can spot some lovely wildlife – we saw a beautiful kingfisher, a terrific lizard in the bushes, a lovely frog, a few geckos and a little monkey too. They all kept their distance from us and we only saw them in glimpses, which made it feel all the more special when we spotted them.
This place is a perfect base to visit all the wonderful places along the southern coast of Sri Lanka and especially Galle. The Fort can get stifling hot at night, so a return to the peace and tranquillity of Shalini Villa is a much better and almost certainly cheaper option than staying in town. Unawatuna Beach itself is great fun – the stalls, bars and restaurants are a must visit but you’ll be glad to retreat back to this villa when you’re done. Our favourite beach – Wijaya - is a couple of minutes away in a tuk-tuk and has a really nice, chilled out bar and restaurant. If you have young kids go visit the nearby turtle sanctuary - late on in the day and for a negotiable fee they’ll let you release a few tiny baby turtles onto the sand and into the sea.
Kamindika, who looks after you and the house whilst you’re there, will arrange for transport to take you anywhere – whether it’s a van to take you all to Mirissa to go whale watching or a couple of tuk-tuks to go into Galle (they’ll be with you before you’ve rounded up those heading out with you!). And as if by magic, your dirty clothes are washed and laundered for you. Nothing is too much trouble for this lovely man.
Shalini is a little bit of paradise in what is one of the most beautiful, enthralling and wonderful parts of the world.
We had the most amazing time. The villa is beautiful, we couldn’t believe how big it was- the photos are stunning but in reality it's even bigger and more beautiful!
We loved exploring first thing then it felt like we were coming back to a hidden retreat to relax after.
We were so impressed with the chef- he cooked for us every day and his food was delicious- better than anything we had at any restaurants the rest of the stay. So so good- we had curries each day and he took the time to explain what they were and show us pictures of the vegetables we hadn’t heard of.
But he was much more than a chef- our boys really took a shine to him, our three year old especially kept asking for him to join us on days out and they have been talking about him lots since :-)
The villa was beautiful. Inside and out. Monkeys, beautiful birds in the garden, and a cute water monitor one day! The chef is fantastic - you pay only for the ingredients, and the standard of food is amazing, as is the treatment by the staff.
5 mins walk to the beach....and to lots of restaurants, cafes and bars.
The sanctuary spa is excellent! Villa is very close and easy to get to Galle.
The owners were excellent too - pre, post and during our visit!
We enjoyed Shalini and the surrounding area so much that we made a return trip in October 2016. Quite simply, it is a great place to kick back and relax. You can do as much or as little as you like. We spent several days simply enjoying the villa and pool while the helpful, accommodating staff did the shopping and prepared the meals we agreed with them. Alison and Geeth provided useful local information ahead of time and made the airport pick-up arrangements. We thoroughly recommend Shalini.
This is a place like no other! My 3rd time staying here.The most beautiful surroundings and helpful friendly people I have met.
You feel really able to rest as you take time in the garden, delight in the monkeys and the birds by the pool. A good night sleep in wonderful bedrooms. Feel taken care of by most kind and helpful staff & owners who can't do enough for you.
The opportunity to taste life in an oasis and then step out the door and after a short walk you are at the beach. Enjoy a swim in the amazing ocean & have a meal in a local restaurant. If you have never been before you must and this is the best place to stay in Unawatuna!