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“Best boutique hotel in Unawatuna”

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Dunes Unawatuna Hotel
Ranked #4 of 146 Unawatuna B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Best boutique hotel in Unawatuna”
Reviewed February 4, 2014

I've had an amazing stay at Dunes, so much so that when I left after 2 nights to continue my trip and hated my next B&B, I hopped in a tuk tuk and came back to Dunes the same day!

Where do I start?

First of all, the hotel itself is beautiful. Built entirely from scratch on his uncle's land, the owner Gayan and his partner Jenny have created a well thought through space that is modern, attractive, peaceful and extremely comfortable. I stayed in two different rooms, and both were the most comfortable I've slept in on my entire trip (which includes a month in Thailand). The beds may even rival my own back home in London, which is saying a lot.

The food - it's really really good. I tend to like trying lots of different restaurants as food is all part of the travelling experience for me; but I really liked eating at Dunes because I soon realised that it couldn't be beaten. It's still early days for Dunes (they've only been going a year) but when they're ready to open up as a functioning restaurant to non-residents I think they'll start to get known as one of the best places to eat in Unawatuna. And the story behind the young chef is impressive!

If you come to stay, then eat at least once there and definitely try the vegetable curry - I had pumpkin curry, with all the trimmings (which in Sri Lanka is usually sambal, daal, poppadoms and a couple of other side dishes). Sometimes I've had eggplant chips thrown in too and Dunes sometimes do an awesome date chutney which you could ask for if it's not provided with your meal, they're very accommodating. All prepared fresh and from scratch for you - as is typical in Sri Lanka... which means you just have to expect it to take a while to cook.

The only downside is that Breakfast isn't included but this i'm struggling to find any flaws as it's only an extra 650rupees ($5) and its worth it. You get a fruit place (with passion fruit, banana, pineapple and watermelon), a fresh fruit juice, and a choice of either eggs (however you like it), Sri Lankan curd (yoghurt) with syrup (which I added my passionate fruit seeds into, plus their homemade mango jam); or you opt for traditional cornflakes and milk, or some local options like hoppers or roti. With all breakfast options you can choose either tea or a fresh pot of coffee. And the coffee is really good. I'm not a massive coffee drinker but here i've had two pots a day on average.

Dunes isn't a party place, it's for grown up travellers who appreciate a nice space and respect other people's privacy and need for quiet. Suitable for families, couples, solos or groups. Which is perfect in Unawatuna, as if you want to have a drink, dine out, hit the beach or going to a party there are heaps of options only 5 minutes walk down the road.

And should you want to, Dunes will organise you any trips you want or drivers round the island etc. Gayan is always happy to chat to you about your trip and provide useful info and recommendations to ensure you have a great (and safe) vacation.

Dunes get pretty booked up in advance and were fully booked most days I stayed there (a total of 8 days in the end!) so this is one place that's worth committing to a good week or two in advance. And be prepared to want to stay a bit longer than you originally planned!

Room Tip: Room 4 is awesome for a solo traveller as it comes with a retractable wall (creating an airy, free f...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
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1 Thank AndreaGamson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Moscow
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2014

We stayed in the hotel for 2 nights. Excellent location. Clean room. Fresh and dry linen. Friendly personnel. Everything becomes in time without waiting that practically impossible anywhere else on Sri Lanka:)) Who can ask for more? May be price is a little higher than I expected…:)) I recommend this property to my friends!

Room Tip: Deluxe Cottage Room has much more privacy than other rooms in hotel.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank SergeyTripAdSergey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
193 reviews
114 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2014

I stayed here for 4 nights for some beach time . The hotel is next to the main road in to the beach area so not more than 5 mins walk to everywhere ! I had a balcony room and paid 6750lkr inc breakfast after ringing the manager to haggle ( better price than agoda ) and he gave this reasonable rate as I stayed 4 nights . The room is medium in size with a balcony overlooking a sort of dirty pond and a wasteland /car park ,They parked cars on this land at night so it could not be described as more than this ! They haven't planted any trees,(although there is a few trees already), so I suppose they have no plans at the moment ,The problem with the pond is our little flying biting friends of which there were many live here ,so watch out for them and as a result you couldn't sit out on the balcony .The room was not large but it was in a nice boutique style and the bathroom of the polished shiny concrete that's everywhere in srilanka in modern hotels at the moment.
There are no double beds at this hotel , 2 single beds pushed together with a mosquito net ! Bed was really comfortable although a double is my preference . Not a bad hotel for a reasonable cost ! And if your coming fm Galle it's 350 lkr fm the station and about 15-20 tuk tuk minutes ! And if you are coming to do some diving ( I wouldn't bother) I paid 6000lkr (£30) with submarine divers at the end of the beach , but very very mediocre , an old British boat to look at and a niceish rock dive , not much life , after all we are presumably having it for tea !

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Boeing737man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
1 review
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Visited Unawatuna for 3 days with my boyfriend last April and we loved the hotel. We stayed in the fouble rooms and the cottage and both are extremely nice. Comfortable and enchanting the hotel has loads of persinality, the rooms are nicely decorated and impecably clean.
Everyone tries to help you and make sure your holidays are the best.
I'm planning in going there again.
OH! And food was crazy good!
Highly recommended!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ems_globetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2014 via mobile

We saw the Dunes hotel last year when it was in the final stages of construction and decided to check it out on our return this year. Recently built using materials sympathetic to its surroundings the Dunes sits just of the "Main Street" that runs through Unawatuna, very easy to miss it but its just past Piples Coffee Bar on the left. The owner has created a lovely quiet little haven, rooms are on 2 floors and to the best of my knowledge none have A/C but do have good fans that also have a swing feature that gets the air in the rooms moving nicely. The rooms all face a pond that has been populated with fish and small frogs .
Rooms are well appointed with good european standard mattress and pillows. The room we stayed in was of a good size with a nice modern en suite, water pressure was good and the supply of "hot" water seemed plentiful.
Breakfast is available but they only do evening meals if requested in advance. Tea, Coffee and soft drinks are reasonably priced. Definitely at the top end of the non A/C market but the extra is well worth it if you can live without A/C.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Mac M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014 via mobile

We booked Dunes ahead of time concerned we would have trouble getting accommodation over New Years. We were staying in one of their cottages which is separate to the hotel, the room is beautifully and tastefully decorated with great attention to detail. However, when we compared our room to other hotels along the beach, we realised the room is very overpriced.

One can tell Dayan and Jenny care deeply about their hotel and treating their guests with the utmost care, so you will definitely be taken care of if you stay here.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank kim g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
China, Beijing
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We arrived on the New year eve, obviously the owner is expecting our arrival. Actually there is no reception, Jane led us to the room directly. The setting, design and the way they treat customers is more like something in between of a home stay and boutique hotel. They also lived in the hotel, which means u can find them any time u need. They provide extra service as car rent, whale watching, gems shopping, money exchange and etc..
The location is good even it doesn't sit on the beach. 10 mins walk to the central of the beach and surrounding by all kinds of shops and restaurants.
The room is very spacise for two and fully faciltied with masquito net and preventer, safe box, towel, sanity, hangers and fan in a neat, clean, modern style.
Last but not the least, the breakfast is wonder, but not including in the room charge, 5 dollars per person. But definitely worth the price, the home-made jam is the best I have. Tips, if u'd like local foods for breakfast, u need to book it one day earlier.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sophia W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dunes Unawatuna Hotel

Property: Dunes Unawatuna Hotel
Address: 65B Welle Dewalaya Road, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 146 B&Bs / Inns in Unawatuna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Dunes Unawatuna Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 11
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