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“A perfect place to stay”

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Sri Gemunu Beach Resort
Ranked #9 of 34 Hotels in Unawatuna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 19, 2014

We spent 2 nights at Sri Gemunu and had a wonderful stay. The location of the hotel is stunning, next to a very peaceful sandy beach with safe swimming nearby. The hotel staff are especially friendly and helpful. Our room was clean, light and bright with air con and hot water. All rooms have lovely sea views. The food was great and a good choice from a buffet at breakfast and dinner.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Gill12013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 17, 2014

We spent a week at Sri Gemunu over the Christmas period. As the days rolled by, it seemed to just get better and better. The resort is run by a family of brothers and they made us feel like part of their family, something I had hardly ever experienced when staying in various other parts of the world before coming to Sri Lanka.

It is a very popular resort amongst Europeans and was booked out for the entire Christmas period and longer. Besides the fact that it is a lovely location and a nice resort in terms of facilities and quality of rooms, it is the service that makes it exceptional.

Every request was met bigger and better than we could have hoped. For example, we wanted to try to find a small Christmas tree for our two year old given that we were staying for Christmas. They brought us a lovely pot of Christmas branches carefully arranged with flowers and very festive.

It is very close to Galle and it is very easy to take a Tuk-tuk there in 10-15 minutes. Galles old fort is a definite 'must do' during your stay.

The location of Sri Gemunu is one of the best on the Unawatuna stretch as it is a little more elevated perching on a small but prominent rocky out crop. To the right there are the famous Sri Lankan fisherman perching on sticks, to the left is the most lovely beach. Lined with coconut palms, white sands and clusters of artistic bolders. the sunsets from the resort are stunning. Unlike closer to Galle where the waves are really large and make swimming difficult, there is a big lagoon about 100- 200m along the sand from the resort. Swimming in the lagoon is just divine ad we could safely supervise our two year old as well as take in our 4-month old for her first sea swim.

We stayed in a chalet room. There are two chalet rooms and maybe plans for more.This was 800m inland from the main resort. It is set in a large garden section with a wellness retreat and swimming pool. It is very tranquil down there. As the resort provides breakfast and dinner as part of the package, we either walked or took up the offer of free transport. The walk is lovely, passes rice paddies, small houses, a few shops, monkeys, banana trees etc. A nice start to the day on the way to breakfast. However it was a slight hassle after dinner to make the journey back and the lack of convenience of not having your room to duck into to grab things. However, I would recommend it to families. The spacious chalets are like a studio apartment with a bathroom. They are furnished nicely and make an ideal space for a family. The bathroom is modern and well lit, though it can get a bit dark in the main living space. Take care outside using the lovely banana loungers as, like all of Sri Lanka, there are a few mosquitos about (watch out for the black and white large ones as they can carry Dengue fever). Mosquito nets are provided inside. There is a man who is responsible for attending the two chalet rooms, although he doesn't speak great English, he does a wonderful job and is absolutely lovely. We loved all the staff we met and they all seemed to love their job.

In terms of the food, it isn't exceptional but it is good. This is where the resort may find some improvement. As I mentioned, breakfast and dinner was included on our package. There is a restaurant menu operational between these times with loads of selection. In terms of the buffet, there is plenty of selection so you can always find something you like. There is someone custom cooking your eggs/pancakes/French toast for you on demand, fresh juice, tea and coffee etc. The buffet dinner menu changes daily. They serve dinner from about 7.30 onwards, we found that after a few days this was too late for our toddler to eat, we mentioned this to the staff and they were so obliging and offered to let him have something off the restaurant menu earlier at no extra charge.

We will be back and we will be recommending it to our friends and family.

Room Tip: Chalet rooms are best for young families, though are 800m in land. I think that all main resort room...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Gee4409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2014

We stayed here just before new year during our trip to Sri Lanka. We travelled around the island and visited many hotels, but this was by far the best. With no previous experience of the island, we were unsure of which beach to stay at. We had heard great things about Hikkaduwa and Mirissa and in the end chose this one because of the reviews of the hotel: good decision! We saw the other 2 beaches, and they are fine if you like beaches filled with European tourists, hotels and buildings. But then why come to Sri Lanka at all if you're happy with that, you could go to the Costa del Sol... The beach at the hotel is small, relatively private, with some areas with large waves (for fun swimming or surfing), and an area sheltered by an old reef which is perfect for young children. The hotel had their own life guard, and he came over and watched us when we swam in the large waves and advised us constantly about where to swim. There is also a largely deserted beach beside the hotel (because the waves are rough). The beach here is quite natural, with many palm trees overhanging and clean water. The hotel itself: our room was large, simple and not fancy, but there is everything you need and no problems at all. Everything is extremely clean, well organised and easy. All of the staff, from the check-in staff, cleaners, chefs and bar staff, were all extremely friendly and happy to help (of course, we found this to be quite normal in Sri Lanka, but in this hotel they were especially good and keen to help at all times). The owner found a room for us at very short notice during the peak season: go to the website and email him directly if you need help, he was very friendly, organised and helpful. His brother approached us after dinner, and we mentioned that we had no plan for the remaining holiday and no driver: the next day he had organised everything for us for the next 5 days including Yala safari, a very nice driver and AC car, train trip, hotels, visits to botanic garden in Kandy and temples, Sigiriya, Dumbala... We were so impressed and so happy that he helped us, his name is Aruna if you also want to just turn up and organise the trip once you have arrived. Our driver was called Upali de Costa. More about the hotel: There is a very cosy and pretty outdoor area infront of the beach for sitting down for meals and drinks. The buffet for breakfast and dinner is very very good, plenty of choice and delicious food: we kept going back for more and more :). Do NOT be put off by the main road nearby: this was a concern for us ´, and also for many of the other beachside hotels: at Sri Gemunu they have a large automated gate for security, and in our room and in most of the hotel, we could not hear the noise of the road at all. Our room overlooked the sea, with a private balcony on the first floor... The views are just beautiful, try and get something similar! Like many hotels, they offered some extras: we went for a massage at their massage centre. They organised a tuk tuk to take us these (although it is a very short walk inland, and quite pleasant if you want to see how the locals live). The massage was fantastic, the centre is in a large well maintained garden (where some other hotel rooms and the swimming pool are). The jungle is right there, right next door, and therefore it is very quiet except for birds and insects. It was so relaxing, you should definitely do that (maybe after a long day). The pool looked nice although we didn't use it. Finally, checking out was a breeze, and we also got some clothes laundered which was cheap, efficient and very good. I can definitely recommend this hotel, I would tell any of my family and friends to go there, and if I go back to Sri Lanka, I would go straight there!! We only stayed 2 days and were very sad to leave!

Room Tip: Our room was a 1st floor room with sea view and private balcony, but whichever room you choose you w...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank KatmeowCPH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2014

We spent 3 nights here and it was one of the best places we stayed on our 2 week trip to SL. We'd mainly been staying in budget options before this and were lucky to get a last minute check in after being disappointed by somewhere else down the beach that we were originally going to stay at (and was pretty grotty but more expensive than Sri Gemunu). So it was fantastic to arrive here and be somewhere clean, friendly and with excellent service. It was also good value - all rooms are half board - with a large buffet for breakfast and dinner. The food might get repetitive if you were staying for a while but it was fine for 3 days. They've also got a good drinks and day menu and it was lovely to sit on a lounger by the beach and have your order brought to you. The stand out thing for us however was the service. All the staff were so friendly and helpful - it was the best service we received in SL.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Evied
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2014

After a long and stressful drive down from Negombo that included a minor accident, stepping across the threshold of Sri Gemunu was like walking into paradise - the warm welcome, the cool drink, the soothing breeze, the lapping of the waves beyond the Garden of Eden. The following five days completely lived up to this first impression, such that we unreservedly judge Sri Gemunu the loveliest seaside resort we've ever experienced.

What made it so for us? First, the location is absolutely unbeatable: set in its own shady garden right by the Indian ocean, it has a dramatic setting yet feels private and secluded. The beach itself offers something for all tastes - Aussies and Kiwis might choose to tumble in the foamy waves right off the garden doorstep; Europeans and Asians will probably walk a hundred metres south to swim in the large reef-protected lagoon - they will enjoy the drama of the ocean waves without the fear of being pummelled. So the setting offers something for everyone - even surfers and those who might want to fish with the spry local pole fishermen in the morning. You can easily break out of the hotel's seclusion to go into lively Unuwatuna, or seductive Galle - both are an easy and inexpensive tuk-tuk ride away. But if you like nocturnal peace, you'll be pleased to come back to roost at Sri Gemunu.

Second, the hotel itself. It has a charming modesty about it, no superfluous gaudy luxuries, just the essentials for a relaxing holiday - lovely rooms with balconies and sea views, comfy beds, quiet effective a/c, all whistle-clean. The owners and staff were just right: friendly but discreet, there when you need help or advice. The food is excellent for all meals - a fantastic range of healthy vegetable-based curries as well as fish and meat, all varied from day to day, with chefs eager to explain the less familiar dishes. They clearly take pride in their work, and it's unusual to find hotel food that is so delicious, interesting, and healthy.

Finally, all this comes at a very reasonable tariff, even in high season, and there is no sense of 'captive audience' in relation to the pricing of extras like drinks of lunches. We'd like to ask the owners never to change their lovely formula, and to thank them and the staff for a wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2013

Our group of 30 family and friends gathered at Sri Gemunu in Dec 2013 for a week of wedding celebrations and were delighted by the amazing value and service provided by owner Aruna and function manager Padmini and their staff.

So many good things, large and small: friendly, smiling, attentive staff, personal table decorations, wonderful abundant buffet food with great variety and custom egg dishes in the mornings, thoughtful live music selections, personal room decorations each morning, graceful architecture with large shared balconies overlooking the surf, perfectly maintained beach side dining areas, monkeys in the trees and dolphins in the water, calm swimming lagoon nearby, long beach walks.

The wedding arrangements were a wonderful surprise - lots of local colour, culture and custom blended with world class catering and organisation standards.

Sri Gemunu gave our family and friends the precious gift of a perfect happy memory from a very special time in our lives.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2013

Just returned from an excellent 9 days chilling in Chalet 1 approx 900m from the Hotel. Airport pick up was efficient and when we arrived we were made to feel welcome. The Chalet was lovely and quiet, it is remote and surrounded by Wildlife, exactly what we wanted. Only had to share the pool one day. Menu at hotel was adequate but we had no "tummy" problems. Bill was itemised and explained. It is not 5 Star but you are not paying for it. Would definitely come back again. Thankyou

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MarkMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sri Gemunu Beach Resort

Address: Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range: $96 - $100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
Sri Gemunu Beach Hotel Unawatuna

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