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“Style Over Substance”

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The Frangipani Tree by Edwards Collection
Ranked #6 of 32 Hotels in Unawatuna
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Style Over Substance”
Reviewed January 20, 2013

I’m sure when anyone first enters this place they say ‘wow’. There is no real reception area but we were welcomed warmly. We were staying in the Hawksbill villa which is located at the end of the complex. The villa had its own terrace and seating area. The room itself was big and spacious but it is only when you have stayed there the night you realise how impractical it is. The bathroom is outside and each time you went to the bathroom you had to unlock one of two doors each time. The wardrobes were also out in the bathroom area so once again you had to keep finding the key to the door and another key to open the wardrobe – it may sound petty but when you are staying there for a few days it is infuriating. There were many things over our stay which was annoying. The door handles to both the toilet and bathroom kept coming off in our hands, the shower flooded with water heading towards the wardrobes - towels were quickly thrown down to make a dam! One of the sinks leaked directly onto the floor and on one night my husband was trying one of the many light switches on the wall and it blew the whole circuit leaving us in the dark. We reported these incidents and although they were rectified I wouldn’t have expected this in the first place. If you are reliant on WIFI it is a little sketchy and nigh on impossible from our room. We were given a dongle which unfortunately didn’t work. The rooms are very masculine and while I like clean lines I also like to have practical items like a mirror and a bin in the room (wardrobes would also be a bonus). I would also like to have seen some information about the area in the room and the management were not very forthcoming. We booked a whale watching trip through reception but they omitted to tell us that we had to take our passports and that you had to pay in cash.

The staff were very friendly but service was incredible slow. We asked to see the lunch menu and was handed the menu but then didn’t see another member of staff for some time. The staff need to be more attentive. There is complimentary tea and cake in the afternoon but it is nothing to write home about. The breakfast was not up to scratch and it would be nice to see a menu to know what is on offer, although the eggs we had cooked different ways were pretty poor (didn’t realise you could muck up an egg!).

The pool area is very nice but didn’t seem to have enough beds for everyone and I would like to have seen some parasols as the sun was very fierce at times.

All in all the location is beautiful and the hotel could be perfect with a few tweaks. The competition in this area is high and hotels need to keep on their toes and if the Frangipani Tree doesn’t listen to their guests they could be left behind. We will definitely return to Sri Lanka but will probably stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kaype
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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446 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (106)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cirencester
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2013

We spent 7 nights in the Hawksbill Suite at the Frangipani Tree and left with mixed feelings.

On the plus side:
It looks gorgeous
The pool is lovely
The rooms are spacious
The breakfasts are lovely
The lunches were good and most of the evening meals were lovely (except bizarrely the Sri Lankan curry!)
The tennis court was great

However on the negative side:
The beach was very narrow, you couldnt sit on it and you couldn't swim in it
The European managers didnt appear to be on the ball and proactive and we didn't get good vibes about their relationship with their staff. In fact the manager had a heated discussion with the room cleaners on our patio area while we were sitting there!
There was very little information in the room on things to do in the local area
You couldn't walk to any restaurants and had to take a tuktuk if you didn't want to eat in the hotel (approx £2 each way into Unawatuna)
The outside bathroom flooring was exceedingly slippery and dangerous when wet
A huge cockroach lived under the bath (which was removed by the assistant manager) and we found another one on our towels subsequently
The sink was caked with black grime which we asked to be cleaned - and it was
The door handles fell off both doors to the bathroom - one was removed by the room cleaner and was never returned
The code for the digital safe didn't work so we had to carry a bulky key around with us
There were flies all around the eating areas - we eventually took our own citronella spray and wiped the tables with it before we ate which worked a treat!
A bottle of wine cost 40US$ - yet in restaurants in Unawatuna it was £8.50
Some of the bed linen and towels had holes in them
The mosquito curtain was grubby
The bed linen sometimes smelt damp (although changed everyday)

In essence we were very disappointed. If you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday, this is not the place to stay but if you are just passing by for a couple of nights it is probably fine.

Room Tip: The Hawksbill Suites were the most private.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gillycirencester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome
Level 6 Contributor
205 reviews
104 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 282 helpful votes
Reviewed November 29, 2012

Although we enjoyed our stay in this boutique hotel the accommodation is really very spartan. The design of the rooms is severe and minimal but not very practical. The large outdoor bathroom is spectacular but not when it rains. There is no walkway from the rooms to the reception / restaurant so your feet get soaked in the rain.
Considering the price of the room a few things were definitely missing : a safe, kettle for tea & coffee, bidet, fridge, some rugs, in room wifi........
The pool is well designed but extremely narrow I wonder how it copes when the hotel is full (as the beach is unsuitable for swimming). Only one hammock!
The staff were very attentive and pleasant and we had two good though quite expensive meals.
All in all if we had paid 30% less we would have been satisfied, but at the current rates we cannot give it full marks.

Room Tip: From the ground floor rooms you can't actually see the sea but you can hear it.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carrom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We loved beginning our honeymoon at this charming seaside boutique. Although you can’t swim on the beach just in front of the hotel, it’s beautifully located and nicely secluded.
The rooms are spacious although quite bare, and the outdoor ensuite bathrooms run out of hot water sometimes.
The food was EXQUISITE. By far the best of the 5 different hotels we stayed at during our time in Sri Lanka. Service is always with a smile. The nearby towns are easily and cheaply accesible by tuktuk or taxi. The cleanliness of the hotel was immaculate.
It is best to ask the local staff for advice on the area, as the two european managers seem somewhat less well-informed.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ECGrant-Ades
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2012

My partner and I had six wonderful nights at Frangipani Tree. On arriving, the view over the pool out to the palm trees and ocean was breathtaking. Our room was amazing, one of the two upstairs rooms with views over looking the beach. The room's interiors were minimal and beautifully designed. Food was the best we had whilst we were in Sri Lanka, everything was very fresh and we didn't have a single meal we didn't love. I would go back just for the food! The beach was great for a morning walk and run, and you could see the stilt fishermen catching fish. We also spotted a few turtles. The staff were incredibly friendly and would have a chat and help with anything they could.

I would recommend Frangipani Tree to anyone, the price was reasonable, service impeccable and the food incredible!

Room Tip: We stayed in one of the two upstairs rooms, with incredible views out over the beach. Really quiet a...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sophie V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2012

By far the best hotel me and my wife stayed in. The rooms are breathtaking super clean and both nights we dinned there and food was lip smacking good! the pool is gorgeous and the beach a stone throw away from the pool by far incredibly dreamy.

Room Tip: if you can get one on top floor facing the beach
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dylan w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Labas
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

We were looking for a quiet place, nice and calm. We arrived at the Frangipani Tree at the beginning of a 2 weeks vacation trip. First time in Sri Lanka as well. What a thrill during those 3 days in this little boutique hotel. Not only the the place is beautiful, but what we appreciated the most is, from far, the quality of the service. Smiles and sweetness is everywhere in the people working there. The food is awesome and all of this for a very affordable price. No reason not to give it a try quickly.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank publicdeades
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Frangipani Tree by Edwards Collection

Property: The Frangipani Tree by Edwards Collection
Address: 812 Matara Road, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Unawatuna
#3 Romantic Hotel in Unawatuna
#3 Family Hotel in Unawatuna
#3 Luxury Hotel in Unawatuna
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Frangipani Tree by Edwards Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spend Time with Sea Turtles and Sparrows who visit this beautiful property Set on an improbable juxtaposition of simplicity and luxury overlooking the turquoise Indian Ocean. The Frangipani Tree is sun, sand, trees, culinary, sensuous and spiritual indulgences among Intimate, Exclusive and Elegant surroundings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Frangipani Tree Hotel Unawatuna
Frangipani Tree Galle
Frangipani Tree Hotel Galle

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