Nor Lanka Hotel in Una is a positive surprise.
I give out very few 5 star ratings, and this is one of them.
The rooms are all perfectly clean, large and well laid out. There are bed lights, really comfortable beds and nice white linen and comfortable head pillows. Unlike other places they actually thought about the placement of the A/C. It is put so that it does not blow cold air directly on you while in bed. And it works. Often the A/C is either on or off, but this one has a nice temperature control you can set at your liking.
The Wifi also works and its pretty fast.
Breakfast is delicious. Fruit, eggs, pancakes and good tea. Have a look inside the kitchen, this is one of the few that might actually pass a Health inspection. Its clean.
We did not eat dinner at the hotel, but its supposed to be pretty good. Good restaurants on the beach are KingFisher and a cheaper place One Love. A place to avoid is Tartaruga.
There are common areas where you can watch TV, read books or just chill.
Nor Lanka is located about 1 minute walk from the beach, right behind UBR. It is inside an enclosed wall and there is a 24 hour guard. Its quiet, you do not get the people and music noise from the beach places.
Unawatuna beach is OK, but not really the best. The North end of the beach has calm water, but also some pollution. The middle part of the beach has cleaner water and big waves. The South end of the beach has waves and a lot of current, plus some sand for you to lie down on.
We went to Wadiya beach (200 rupee tuk-tuk) which was better and had a great Pizza place. T
All of the above can be said about other places, so what makes this place special?
Well, its the attention to detail and the extremely friendly and welcoming attitude from the staff. Everywhere. You will have fresh flowers in your room everyday and also in the common areas. If you walk out the door and look like you are going to the beach somebody will immediately ask you if you want a beach towel. We came home one night from a restaurant and the front guard offered flowers to my daughters.
A lot of it probably comes from the almost all female staff. Something which is a bit unusual in Sri Lanka where you usually see men working in restaurants and hotels.
The hotel is owned by a Norwegian (Helge) and his Sri Lankan wife, hence the hotel name. Helge tells me he used to work at the Norwegian Railroads. How he managed to build and manage a hotel which such attention to detail remains a mystery to me. But fact is that he and his wife did.
Its a great little hotel in a good location.
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