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“Home from home.”

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Secret Garden Villa
Ranked #19 of 32 Hotels in Unawatuna
Certificate of Excellence
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Home from home.”
Reviewed February 8, 2013

I am more a fan of impersonal good service, however this experience was just fantastic, the location is delightful so near the beach yet tucked away behind a wall in a lovely monkey filled garden. The old world charm of the building could best be described as shabby chic but clean and comfortable, the best aspect of this stay in such a lovely place was the staff, the hostess is European and the rest of the staff are local and they are such a lovely bunch, friendly and helpful and really attentive without feeling like they were waiting on you or hustling for tips. I hope very much to return some day, or recreate a place like this of my own.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tracyonhols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    74
    28
    12
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    6
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Munich, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

Lonely Planet recommends this as one the best places to stay in Unwatuna; thus we booked 2 nights. But what is described in the book as a lush garden and a beautiful house is really exaggerated. We found that the floors dirty full of sand, shower handles hanging loose, aircondition that we couldn´t understand and very little possibility for help to sort hings out in the evening.

If you are a backpacker this hotel will surely be nice if you lived some weeks in dodgy places. But as a recommended place for USD 140 a night is a rip off

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank norztn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

My wife and i stayed in secret garden for a few days, and just loved the place. Right from when you walk in you're blown away by the quaint beauty and serentiy of the place. Situated at a stones throw from the beach it has a great location.
The converted villa is maintained very well with a very nice team and a great hostess, Simona.
We were there for about 4 days and were spoilt silly by the staff. They were sweet enough to bake a cake for my wifes birthday and organize flowers for her as well. Fantastic people, and a great place to stay. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank dangerousminds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

Simona was utterly charming... as she royally ripped us off. This was our most expensive accommodation in Sri Lanka and the rooms weren't worth the price. They were charming enough, but pokey and the bathrooms were dusty, one was decidedly unprivate. When Simona quoted us the price, she did say that taxes still had to be added... our mistake for not asking what taxes, as she charged us for both service and tax on an already exorbitant room rate. We should have asked: it was 22% extra with the one tax added on top of the other! At breakfast (not included in the room rate - I hate this trend in Sri Lankan establishments, it's mean and money-grabbing), the staff kept on serving us food which we foolishly thought was part of our meal. I should have known better when I ordered the egg and grilled tomato only to receive one egg and a small slice of fresh tomato (someone is a bean-counter here...!) When we received our breakfast bill it was jammed (literally) with food we hadn't ordered, but had foolishly eaten (including separate costs for jam and toast!) Honestly, it's a sweet place, but not worth the ripped-off feeling you have as you leave, and the money-grabbing owner charmingly grins at you. The gardens are lovely, slightly shabby, with monkeys visiting. Bottom line: not good value for money.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank wandel_gogga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
1 review
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Secret garden is a magic place, we felt relaxed as soon as walked through the gates. Simona and all her staff were the most gracious of hosts, brilliant service with plenty of laughs and smiles. Comfortable rooms with lots of character, the best breakfasts we ate in Sri Lanka and possibly the best yoga master/Devine healer you will ever come across! Just a great place, a slice of the garden of Eden right in the middle of una!!

Room Tip: Beware of Tori (the dog) he has a split personality.... Ha
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Soboyeow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

We showed up with out a booking, and were offered the one remaining room, a higher priced one, for the lower bungalow price (we couldn't believe our luck!)
The room was clean and very well appointed with lovely shared outdoor areas.
The genuine happiness of the staff shone through in the way in which they went about their work - professionally yet incredibly friendly in manner.
The manager/owner(?) was also very warm and welcoming and left a great impression on us.
Overall a lovely experience and great value for money.
Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Bahlu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2012 via mobile

We stayed 2 nights here, with my husband sick for one of those days. Staff here were great, really friendly and caring, and nothing too much trouble. Felt like we were guests on their house. The room was fine although a bit dark, shutters with no glass windows but it wasn't a problem. Open bathroom but again, no problem. Overall, we loved our stay especially with the lovely staff!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Getalife8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secret Garden Villa

Property: Secret Garden Villa
Address: Beach Access Road, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Secret Garden Villa 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secret Garden is an oasis within the lively coastal village of Unawatuna, just 20m walking distance from the beach. It boasts a 19th century Dutch-Sri Lankan Colonial Villa with bungalows and suites and a 4000sqm tropical garden. In the middle of the garden rests a large dome, offering 2 daily yoga classes, an on call Ayurvedic therapist for massage and wellness therapy as well as free space for dance, meditation and music. Our staff is courteous and warm. A large tropical breakfast is available daily at all times, and our two chefs are lovingly prepared to cook a great eastern or western meal for you on pre-order. Secret Garden provides relaxation and serenity alongside the opportunity to dive into the blue ocean of one of the country's most popular bays, experience the myth of the Rumassala Mountain and dance away at Unawatuna's many beach bars. May all be Welcome! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secret Garden Villa Hotel Unawatuna
Secret Garden Hotel

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