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“Chillax time at Kahuna Club”

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Shangri La Guest House
Ranked #70 of 143 Specialty Lodging in Unawatuna
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Confusingly this is listed as Shangri La on TA. The theme is Flinstones meets resort, but in a good way. The grounds are beautiful, tropical and well maintained; the ground is a tapestry of grass; hammocks swing in the gentle breeze. At night, fire flies come out to play, their green orbs mysteriously sparkle in the gloom. Our hut was a kind of adobe, 10 years ago would have been a major hit, now, it was a little tired. But the toilet was fantastic, open to the elements full of plants; at night a giant snail regularly appeared on the sink; marching across many trails were determined armies of ants on various important missions. The manager was delightful and helpful, a huge smile of her face, I was always happy to interact with her as I knew that I was see those pearly whites. The only downside was that the internet was virtually non existent during our three nights; and the laundry didn't appear laundered, maybe just washed in water. These were small minuses that didn't early matter.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank krys_k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 - 7 of 42 reviews

Reviewed January 4, 2014 via mobile

Been at January 2014. Wouldn't recommend. Place itself is quite good - lot of place, big garden with hammocks. Staff is friendly and ready to help.
But anyway, when you pay for room with hot water you expect to get it at your room. But there were none. Stayed 3 nights at Kahoona club (ex Shangri La) and hot water was hot only once - at a middle of one day. There's almost no chance you get a hot water at morning or evening.
We were living at main building.
For 3 nights and 4 days nobody came and cleaned our room. Sure, if we ask for it staff would do room cleaning, but I suppose that is not the subject you should ask about. It supposed to be clean. Maybe once in 2 days, but without asking.
The same with bath towels- 4 days and nobody changed towels without asking from us. In climate like these, towels are smell bad in few hours after using them, and staff should change them fast, without asking. Daily change, I suppose.
Shower also were almost broken - only half of sprinkling holes were good.
And there were countless number of small, but noticeable minuses. So, even if the place itself isn't that bad, you should think twice before choosing it. And the guest house should definitely be renovated.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Evgeni G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2013

We stayed at kahuna club(now name changed) on our last visit Srilanka on Sept first week, good ambiance... cooperative staff... beds were comfortable... i loved the private balcony we had attached with our room... only problem was this place is little away from the beach....

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Mahuya1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Once you enter the garden, you feel completely away from hassle and will be able to relax easily!
The garden is beautiful, the rooms excelent, the food tasty and the staff lovely and smiling.
I staid here four nights, walked down to the beach in five minutes now and then and just felt relaxed.
Thank you Kahuna. I'll see you again!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Kasper-Hz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
See more room tips
  • 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.
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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 #70 of 143 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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