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“Good for the area”

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Rockside Cabanas Hotel
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good for the area”
Reviewed March 4, 2012

Very clean rooms and well organised. From our experience of Hotels is Germany, this was typical of such hotels and well run. The rooms are a little spartan and the "double" bed is two single beds put together, German style. We found the owners kind and responsive once we'd engaged with them. The four cabanas in the garden are not particularly private but the two beachside cabanas do have wonderful views.

It is much MUCH quieter than accommodation in downtown Unawatuna.

We did a three day dive package, which was good value for money and the dive team were terrific. The hotel and dive centre are 2.5 km apart but only five minutes by tuk tuk.

The food was good but not exceptional and the kitchen was exceptionally clean and the chef was helpful in cooking requested special diet meals.

We found all the hotel team friendly and helpful.

In summary: it is a safe place place to stay but with little ambience or character. We are certainly considering diving and staying at their new dive centre near Pigeon Island.

Room Tip: Beach cabana on right larger than others and beach cabanas re more private than garden cabanas.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank GOvv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (30)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2012

It is the first time I write "never never again" for hotels I have stayed before, after 6 years travelling.

Let me state the positive side first:

1. rooms are clean& big and the sight is nice.
2. the location is all right and price is fair.

Negative side that I will never recommend it to any of my friends: I really do not like the owner!

1. She welcomed us with a cold "do u have a booking with us?" even no "hi", no "smile", a pretty cool owner!

2. She informed us she did not have any space for our car and our driver immediately after we confirmed our booking. I totally understand it but I cannot accept the reasons she gave to me. She even did not dare to speak it loudly and that's why she could only explain it to me after we checked in, in our room. The reason is that she thought the Sri Lanka local drivers are not safe and they are not clean…… Hi man, you stay in Sri Lanka and all your employees are local Sri Lakans. What are you thinking?! Off course I know you are not Sri Lankan, but what's wrong of being Sri Lankan in Sri Lanka? Btw, I am not Sri Lankan.

3. As we need to find a hotel for our driver, I swing my left hand and said "Hi, do you know whether there is any hotel for our driver?" This cool lady said "Hi, it is not in China, and I am not Chinese". Man, what’s wrong of being Chinese?! I am using almost an international way of saying "Hi" and definitely I was not using the way of calling dogs.

4. After checking in, I checked with her whether there was any nice restaurant nearby as it was dinner time. She told me there was no nice restaurant except we go to Galle. We can have dinner at her hotel….. Hi, I did find several pretty nice dining places in LP, and I just wanna to ask how far away it is from her hotel…

5. She charged us 1000 rupee more when checking out as we put 1 person per room wrongly in Agoda booking. Actually we have two persons. I understand some hotels they charge more for 2 ppl per room. However, you should inform us earlier rather than checking out. What’s more importantly, I checked Agoda after back, and the website charges the same price for 2 ppl per room and 1 ppl per room.

6. Refer to my 3rd point, she said she was joking and you Chinese even does not understand joke. Hi, is it a JOKE?!

Overall, I do not like her cool way of doing business.

I do not like her cold way of commenting on local ppl. From my 1 week experience in Sri Lanka, they are all nice ppls, much better than her.

I do not like her way of commenting on Chinese, and especially the tone of "I have stayed in China for xx years and I know how you are".

I do not like her attitude that" I am the owner of this hotel and I want to charge you extra"!!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
28 Thank sangsang_lw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
germany
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2011

Never again...

Rock Side is a beautiful little wonder consisting of 3 rather basic, but nice cabanas and a couple of rooms in the main building squeezed in between the busy, noisy main road, the railroad and the sea. Cabana no. 2 is especially attractive, because you from the wooden deck are able to watch the turtles swimming to and fro in the sea in front of you.
Two years ago we stayed there 18 days and enjoyed every single of them; cleaning was not the most important item at that time, only the most necessary was done , but the atmosphere was great, relaxed and laid back and we had a good time there.

So with great expectations we returned this year.
The Srilankan manager had been sacked and the German owners, Renate and Hermann had taken over.
The first thing Renate told us was: “ I`m the boss here and you are not allowed to take any food or drinks to the cabana because of rats. And drinks you can get in our restaurant”
Inwardly we thought “Jawohl” and clicked our heels.
The question about rats and the food could easily be solved, if you provided the cabanas with a fridge – but perhaps there is a hidden agenda: it`s less about rats and more about profit!!
Non the less we enjoyed our own G&T`s on the wooden deck outside (Rockside doesn`t have that on their menue) but we felt observed when sitting there with our drinks.
As a whole there was a very bad atmosphere of suspiciousness and prohibits due to the attitude of especially the German woman boss and we didn`t feel well.
Breakfast is too expensive, food is ok, staff is nice, polite and friendly.

And the rooms were definitely a whole lot cleaner!

I`m sad that we will never go back there again

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank hehoberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2011

An absolutely beautiful week in the sun.

I am surprised at some of the reviews of Rockside Cabanas - I found it a perfect location on a stunning island. It is so lovely to open the the garden gate and step directly onto the beach. A favourite daily experience was to sit at the garden egde and watch the turtles bobbing in the waves out front for dinner - fortunately mine was prepared by the onsite chef and the curries were delicious. Looking forward to trying to recreate them back home!

I stayed in a guest room which was spacious with a balcony overlooking the garden and the sea behind. Next time I would love to try a cabana - benefit of the guest room was a/c but the cabanas looked so 'island paradise'. All have mosquito nets which are a must as typically for such a location the mosquitoes aren't shy and they loved me.

I found the staff and owners Renate and Hans very friendly and welcoming. I would recommend a stay. Next time I am looking forward to a massage (the room was just being built when I visited) and definitely seeing more of Sri Lanka as this time I was too busy relaxing and enjoying the sun and sea.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank alouise06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frankfurt, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2010

Nice idea the one of building a couple of cabanas on the beach. We decided to book them because it should be much nicer than just one hotel room. The cabanas have also a nice terrace with balcony where you can chill with great views to the ocean.
Unfortunately, the rocky and uncared beach doesnt make you feel like swimming.
The problem is that the cabanas inside are not very beautiful or any nice decorated, i would say nobody cares how it looks like. The toilet is big and simple, but the shower and the whole toilet is due to the way of construction always overflooded .
The restaurant is quite expensive and if you want to stay in the hotel there is no other choice. Breakfast has to be ordered on the previous evening and the prices are quite expensive, every extra needs to be paid sepparately.
Very unpolite management, which is either not available or busy with making up new ways how to earn more money instead of caring about the guest.
Only the staff (the guy from the housekeeping and the tuc tuc driver) were helpfull and willing to make your stay comfortable.
Conclusion let the Tuc -Tuc driver manage the hotel & the manager drive the Tuc-Tuc.
After we decided to stay longer in Unawatuna as planed, we also took the decision to change to another hotel, which was just in Unawatunabeach and realy comfortable.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Lanka10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2010

We happened upon Rockside quite unexpectedly and we were pleasantly surprised with the Cabana and the location. We stayed in a Cabana right in front of the beach with an beautiful stunning view of the beach and the ocean. Great swimming spot right in front and very private and peaceful.

Quite unfortunately we had an incident of theft from the room. We spoke to the only person who had been in the room that evening and nothing was really done about it. I advice you don't leave anything of value in the rooms and insist nobody goes inside. We asked for them to change the sheets as they were dirty and they simply re-made the bed ignoring our request.

There were an awful lot of mosquitos, very large spiders, crabs laying eggs and a vast array of creepy crawlies in the room, the mosquito net was of no use. Be prepared to be bitten and share the room with a host of creatures.

They allowed us to check out at 2pm instead of 11am and the staff were friendly.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Farfallina01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ZZZZ
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2010

We really loved our stay: lovely cabana, good beach & water, great food.

We also want to compliment the Sri Lankans who run the place day to day: not only was food (esp the curry's) and service great, but there was also attention to details, which makes all the difference. For example: the driver put a towel in the booth of the car so that our luggage would remain clean; when we took the bus to Galle somebody took the initiative to wave down a bus for us, the beer glasses are kept cooled in the fridge, etc etc. So thank you for a very good stay!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ZZZZ29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rockside Cabanas Hotel

Property: Rockside Cabanas Hotel
Address: 668 Matara Road | Mihiripenna / Thalpe, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 126 Specialty Lodging in Unawatuna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Rockside Cabanas Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
ROCKSIDE CABANAS HOTEL - directly at the Mihiripenna/Dalawella beach! Jump from your bed straight into the 28° C warm water of the ocean. Relax in a hammock under the coconut palms in the 1.000 m² garden of the ROCKSIDE in Mihiripenna near Unawatuna. And in the evening you'll probably lounge in our garden restaurant or on your veranda, sipping a cool drink and enjoying the spectacular sunset over the sea.If you want to perfectly relax just ask us to take care of you - or stay completely private in your CABANA or your APARTMENT. At our own UNAWATUNA DIVING CENTRE, PADI Resort S-36133, situated directly on the beach, only 2 km away from ROCKSIDE we offer you daily snorkeling trips and fun dives to our different dive spots (reef, rock, wrack). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rockside Cabanas Hotel Unawatuna

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