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““a home away from home””

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Shangri La Guest House
Ranked #65 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Unawatuna
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Very comfortable and relaxing place to stay with a beautiful, lushy garden. Great value! The food was absolutely delicious. Fresh, tasty and well presented. The owner and the staff were tremendous and always there to help with any request, nothing was too much trouble. LOVE this place! I'm hooked!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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Thank EVA444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 - 11 of 42 reviews

Reviewed December 7, 2013

Stayed at shangri la ..now (kahuna club)..for a month..excellent staff..always pleased to help..great food..nice chilled relaxing stay in it's own gardens..but only 5 mins stroll..to beach and more lively bars..TOP TIP..check out the special for the day menu..

  • Stayed: November 2013
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2  Thank ANDYHILL285
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

I live in eastern Sri Lanka, and when I want to relax I go to to the Kahuna Club. The setting is lovely, and the rooms are of good value. The owner, Mally, is a cheerful, excellent fellow who tries his best to make everyone feel welcome. Staff is open and friendly.

As to some of the negative reviews, I have a few things to say. First, the dog poo incident. Frankly, I can't imagine Mally EVER doing something like that; and as far as "assault" is concerned, well that's just rubbish. I heard all about this couple from various staff; they (the couple) complained constantly about anything and everything and when it was eventually suggested that if they were so unhappy that they could find accommodations elsewhere, they refused. I might note that they left quite an impression in Una: the staff at a couple of restaurants also remember the couple, and their complaints about everything. It sounds to me that they were the sort of folks who need the drama and thus love to complain. To be fair: I wasn't there at the time, but I can say that they are well remembered in Una.

As far as the disco thumping, well, that's an unfortunate fact of life when living in a party town where everything is packed together. I know that many locals also complain about the loud music from some of the hotels. What to do?

Insects; well yes, there are plenty of them. And battling them is a 24/7 battle, sometimes more successfully that others - I know, living here. In Sri Lanka, most buildings are open to the elements (to a certain extent) and the bugs will get in. This is particularly true of cabanas, with wooden floors, etc. Only the top resorts have rooms that are sealed off completely. You have to keep this in mind.

Unlike many resorts, which hire outsiders, Mally hires local people. On one hand they are extremely knowledgeable about local things, and can answer even the most random or obscure questions about Una. On the other hand, they are participants in village life and so sometimes village obligations triumph - like at New Year, for example - and getting them to come in on time can be a challenge. Believe you me, it's a challenge the Mally faces all the times, and does his best to deal with.

If you want top level everything, then you have to stick with the big resorts in places like Bentota. The Kahuna Club is a small local place.

Having said this, I will tell you why I love it. I go several times a year. I never feel rushed, or feel like they are pushing me to spend money. The kitchen, BTW, is excellent; the Pasta Carbonara is to die for. The mood is friendly, communal and casual. Each night local folks, local expats, and guests gather on the veranda and hang out together, eating and drinking. Its just like being among old friends. If this is your vibe, then Kahuna is perfect for you. If you want immaculately uniformed and perfect, silent service in an antiseptic environment, then this is NOT the place for you. Not judging; just saying.

My only advice is to read the reviews, and read 'em all with a grain of salt.

But personally, I can't recommend the place highly enough. But then again, it fits my personality. Friends I've brought their, both foreign and Sri Lankan, have loved it as well. So go an enjoy and tell Mally hi for me.

Room Tip: Water pressure is better in the rooms in the main building.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank Hastwokitties
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

This guest house changed its name 8 months ago to Kahuna club, but didn't tell any of the locals we had quite a job finding it. The place itself is a mixture of hotel rooms. apartments and wooden cabanas, we stayed in one of the apartments which was basic but adequate for three people. The grounds were full of wildlife with mongoose, monkeys and even porcupines wandering about. The guest house has its own restaurant with a restricted menu but was unable to serve curry and rice and on a second occasion prawns which were on the menu. I found the beach to be very commercialised and very busy.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Barnsleyscot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2013

We stayed at Kahuna Club (formally Shangri La) in October for the last 3 nights of our holiday in Sri Lanka. Luckily there was only rain for one night on our trip to Unawatuna despite October being the rainiest season. The hotel is situated very close to the beach (5 minute walk) and set back within a beautiful jungle setting and near to all the restaturants and nightlife (however its quiet enough to not be disturbed by any noise from the beach bars)

We were greeted by the very friendly owners and shown to a choice of air con rooms or fan assisted Cabanas. We chose the Cabana and although humid at night with just a fan, it was more than adequate. Facilities-wise the place had everything you need and we really felt welcome and relaxed there.

Both the owners and Kim who was working on marketing were friendly and helped us with whatever we needed. There was also no pressure at all to eat at the hotel, but when we did have a breakfast it was top quality. I would definately recommend this hotel

Room Tip: Cabana was great
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Patbarnes90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2013

Shangri La consist of the main house and several cabanas, some wooden, some concrete, strewn across well groomed garden. We stayed in wooden cabanas, and although they were designed for two, we got extra bed for a third person (and a small discount). Even with three persons, it was roomy enough, so two persons will have lots of space.
Garden is cosy, with a lot of shade and several hammocks. Nice place to enjoy during midday heat.

Food in restaurant is good, but too expensive for its value. Check smaller establishments down the road towards the beach, they are much better option, especially for breakfast.

Shagnri La is located a bit away from the beach, at most 10 minutes of slow walk, but then again, its less than you need to walk up and down the same beach. Some hundred meters toward the main road there is a big fruit stand, and two hundred meters form the guest house is the main road between Galle and Matara, and a bus stop.

Service is OK.
Plus: We were leaving in the evening, but checkout was in the morning. They offered us usage of bathroom and showers before leaving.
Minus: Access to safety deposit box. It is safe, but only two owners had a key. At one point we wanted to pick things up, but they were not at the premises for several hours, and we could not get to our money and passports.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Zvijer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

My wife and I have been visiting Unawatuna regularly for ten years, including January 2013. We have stayed at Shangri-la:Kahuna Club exclusively since we spotted it on our third trip. The tropical garden grounds are spacious, quiet and restful. The rooms are clean and comfortable. The food is always fresh and really delicious, with a chef who's happy to make special dishes to suit all tastes. Mally, the owner, is a jovial, generous and most convivial host, and his staff is young, friendly and efficient. We can't recommend the guest house highly enough. Exceptional price/quality value. I know it looks suspicious to give an "excellent" rating across the board, but we really feel that way. We know all the guest houses in Unawatuna, and there are other fine ones, but Kahuna Club is really home. (Note: there is no fitness center, so I shouldn't have rated it, but I can't delete the dots!)

Room Tip: We like the spacious high-ceilinged rooms in the main house.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shangri La Guest House

Address: 55/1 Yaddehimulla Road, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #65 of 137 Specialty Lodging in Unawatuna
Price Range: $18 - $45 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Shangri La Guest House Hotel Unawatuna
Shangri La Unawatuna
Unawatuna Shangri La

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