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“Wonderful Holiday ”
Review of Raajmahal

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Raajmahal
Ranked #10 of 44 Beruwala B&B and Inns
Reviewed 6 April 2014 via mobile

The first impression of the villa is magical. It's wonderful exploring the huge place and wondering when the trail will end! The only issues we had were down to basic maintenance of the place - electrics kept tripping when it rains and the drain in our bath was blocked so the water gushed back into the floor (no damage done!) - but once we reported it to the staff they could not do enough to try and sort things out (which they always did quickly with no fuss!) The team of three house staff added such a huge amount to our holiday and easily cancelled out the maintenance issues we encountered! The food they prepared was excellent...local curries every day went down a treat for our group. There is also a guide and driver (minibus) on hand to take you anywhere for a very reasonable fee. I think that with a bit of money spent getting the maintenance issues sorted coupled with the outstanding personal service this could be an amazing place!! Good work. Thank you!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raajmahaal, Owner at Raajmahal, responded to this reviewResponded 22 April 2014

Thank you for the comments and also bringing to light the maintainance issues. We have immediately looked into the matter and are sorting it out at this moment. Just to bring to your knowledge the reason for the tipping was because of the outdoor lamps which has been exposed to rain. And when water gets into these lamps , the tips start to faults , so we have identified the problem and are sorting it out now. The gulleys in the toilets have been blocked due to an oversight as we had some back to back bookings and this area was overlooked. We have now cleaned all the gulleys coming into the toilets and there is no problem at all now and the water is flowing perfectly well. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and totally apologies for it, thank you for bringing all this to our notice. Just on a final note, we usually clean all gulleys regularly but it seems that some plastic and tissues have blocked the gulleys. Thank you,

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9 - 15 of 26 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2014

The villa is beautiful and the location is perfect for exploring southern Sri Lanka, but what really makes this holiday special is the staff at the villa! Quintus & Leila looked after us all so well, nothing was too much trouble & they were wonderful with the children. The chef & Leila prepared the most amazing food & catered for all of our needs without batting an eyelid!
We organised trips via our very helpful guide who was affiliated with the villa, he helped us to get out and about and see temples, do a safari & visit beaches, a turtle hatchery & Galle as well as suggesting lots of other cultural sites to us.
We were 3 families with 4 children between us ranging from 2-5 years of age who, when they weren't charging around the stunning grounds, were splashing about in the lovely pool.
I highly recommend this villa!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Arobinson2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2014

We've just returned from a 2 week stay at Raaj Mahal. We had searched for a villa with a private pool for the 2 of us for the last 2 weeks of our holiday - a private space to relax after a hectic tour! Whilst the villa was larger than we had been looking for, we'd found it difficult to find something of a suitable standard and were attracted by the stunning photos on the website. The villa looked impressive, lovely grounds, interesting furniture, great size and space and good location relatively close to the Expressway for trips out, local town, beaches of Beruwala and Bentota etc. On the surface it seemed perfect. And it is nice, but it has some significant shortfalls.

The pool is in a walled courtyard area adjoining 3 of the 5 bedrooms. It is surrounded on 3 sides by vegetation and has a canopy over the 4th side. On the positive side, it's kept very clean being attended to every day. However, if you want to lie in the sun, you have about 5 hours from just after midday until late afternoon as the rest of the time, you are in the shadow from the canopy. If you're a large party of people, you may be disappointed as there's enough room for just a couple of loungers. The 'jacuzzi' is not what I'd call a jacuzzi, it's just 2 jets in the pool. One of the steps on the pool ladder is missing broken which makes difficult to get out.

The bedrooms all have 4 poster beds with mosquito nets (a must as there's loads of mossies) which look very romantic but the mattresses are not great so it feels like you're sleeping on a board and are therefore uncomfortable. We used one of the bedrooms next to the pool, which shares a bathroom with one of the other bedrooms. Each evening mosquito burners were placed in the bedroom and bathroom, which helped but made the bedroom smokey. The window in the bathroom isn't glazed, so each morning the bathroom had loads of mosquitoes in it - it would have been good to have an anti-mosquito spray to hand as it's not pleasant.

We advised the manager, Mr Salih who is the owner's uncle, that we wanted privacy and that also we would mostly prepare meals/cook ourselves or go out, so he advised the chef who was due to arrive on our second day that he wasn't needed, which was fine with us. However, I have to be honest and say that the kitchen left much to be desired which is probably why they want visitors to use the chef. It's at complete odds with the opulence of the rest of the villa and the equipment appears to be as old as the antique furniture! It's in desperate need of updating, (can't remember the last time I saw a built in oven sitting on the floor unhoused!) and 'feels' dirty as and there are ants all over the work surface. I chose to prepare as much as I could in the dining room, which has a fridge and sink (although the water just dribbles out of the tap)

And now for the big gripe....

The website says 'Not too far away there are Mosques', what it fails to mention is that just over the single track road (literally 15ft away) is a mosque which calls for prayers (through loudhailers) 5 times a day starting at just after 5am. I'm sure the location is great if you're a pious Muslim, but if you're not, it's horrendous as you WILL be woken up every morning. So that, coupled with a really hard bed, made it impossible for us to get a decent night's sleep. We were so tired that early in to the 2nd week, we checked in to a hotel for 4 nights!

The real gems at Raaj Mahal are the staff - Leela and Quintus who work in the house and Thushara who is the 'tourist guide'. They are truly lovely and wonderful people. I just hope that the owners really appreciate and look after them as they are the ones who make a very positive and real difference to the villa's visitors. They may be poor people financially but are so rich in personality, unlike the wealthy manager who had the bare faced cheek to ask us for money for himself on our last day!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Nickie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raajmahaal, Owner at Raajmahal, responded to this reviewResponded 13 May 2014

Just to answer your review about our villa, Thank you for the introductory comments about the general outlook of the villa as experienced by you.

As for the POOL , YES it is laid out in a courtyard for family and complete privacy reasons, although it may be not the appropriate place for some visitors but generally all our visitors have enjoyed it. Yes, the ladder was broken and we have replaced it with a new one. Please excuse us for the oversight.We truly regret the inconvininece.

As this villa is located in the country as especially the interior of Beruwela is very green and has exotic plants, there tend to be mosquitoes during the rainy season. But we are making every effort to minimise it and not effect our guests. As for the Mattress, yes the one bed in which you slept needed replacement and we have done that. We completely apologize for this. And we have also now placed Anti-Mosquito Sprays in All our Bathrooms as suggested by you. Thank you

About the kitchen, We offered our in house chef to be at your service which is our concept , that is to give a full Hotel style service, but to my knowledge you were comfortable in making your own meals but how ever we provided you a kitchen assistant to help you prepare and cook sri lankan Meals. I am sorry here, it looks there has been a slight mis- communication.We will look into the other issues which you have talked about like equipment etc. We are in the process of complete redesigning and re-equipping the kitchen.

Yes, Beruwela Has Mosques,Temples and Churches in the vicinity. Particularly as there is a big History to it. The Arabs were the first traders to shore Beruwela some 800 years ago, Ibn Batu-ta , the famous sailor set foot here.They were traders and they married Sinhalese Women and settled Down In Beruwela. The first known and oldest mosque in Sri Lanka is located in Beruwela although not anywhere near the Villa. On the coast about 5kms away it a historical site worth visiting. Therefore Muslims ,Sinhalese and the Christians live in perfect harmony close to each other. This is Part of the History of Beruwela and all this adds to the ambiance of the place when you are in the villa. The Azans are very Brief, about1-2 minutes Maximum and one gets used to it in a day and it does not seem to bother most. We know as you were just a couple in huge house, you would have felt its impact more. But its ideal for larger groups of 4,6,8 and 12 people where one can enjoy the full potential of this villa. We have had European weddings, anniversaries , friends getting to-gether from different corners of the globe and they completely enjoyed it. But as said they were all in larger groups.I am sorry it had impacted the peace that you wanted.

Thank you for the comments about our staff, we look after them well and we have trained them to be that way. And we have noted your comments about them and shall convey them.
About the Manager, We have made a thorough inquiry to your complaint and although he gave us reasons to it, I wish not to elaborate it but in short he had asked the money as an extra payment for the ironing and washing done by Leela which was on her request to be given it to her,. But we have told him to properly explain to the guests the reasons for certain requests and clearly appraise them without any room for any mis-understandings that will be harmful for the villa's good name. I truly apologize for this.

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Reviewed 10 January 2014

My family is spread across the globe and we try to meet up every two years at Christmas time to have some time together.

After punching the search terms " accommodation for 10 in Sri Lanka" the Raaj Mahal popped up first in the results. I was immediately taken by the website and the images I saw.

Not wanting to be impulsive I continued to search for other properties which met our criteria. There were none as nice or reasonably priced.

On arrival at the Raaj we were immediately blown away by the size of the bungalow. The various wings and the little nooks and crannies.

Faisal, the owner was there to greet us on arrival and introduce us to the staff, Quintus the multitasking, singing Sri Lankan, Leela the cleaner/ cook our Chef and Thusara our tuktuk driver/ tour guide/ fixer.

The pool table gave us many hours of fun playing Kelly pool along with the great swimming pool and massive verandah area. (For those who use the Kelly pool pot, we lost number 4 from the pot, so you'll have to substitute 16 for it!

Quintus magically acquired somehow a badminton net and many games of the Beruwala series of the Badminton World Series were played.

I was fortunate enough to go shopping with Chef to the Monday markets and stocked up on fresh fruit and vege and also visited the beach side fishmongers to buy some of the largest prawns I've ever seen. These were easily turned into an amazing BBQ feast for our New Years Eve celebration, which was even more special with Quintus singing Sri Lankan classics.

The Raaj Mahal is a great place for families to chill out from the world for a few days.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
1  Thank kniesel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2013

We had a great stay in Raajmahal. Welcomed by the staff we went shopping with the cook for our dinners the coming days. The house was perfect, 4 big bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. The kids loved to play pool. Many nice things to see and do just half an hour drive from the house.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank marianne t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2013

We have just arrived back from a two week holiday at Raajmahal and both the villa and staff surpassed our expectations. From the time we were welcomed at the airport to our departure from the villa we all felt that the team at Raajmahal could not have done anymore to make our stay memorable.

The villa is beautiful and very restful, we loved the space and informality of the place. the local mosques do compete at certain times of the day and night to challenge the peace, but for the rest of the time tranquility prevails.

The team organised two trips during our stay and although the roads of Sri Lanka are challenging we thoroughly enjoyed our time away from Berewula exploring Kandy and the surrounding area and an amazing not to be missed safari to Yala.

During our stay we did encounter one or two problems with electricity supply and rain leaks, but the team did all they could to sort out the issues as soon as they could....we could not ask for more.

Our trip with Anura, the chef to the local markets were wonderful opportunities to learn about local foods and how to make Sri Lankan curry and the food was so good we only ate out once during our stay.

We are a family of five (all adults now) and we all thoroughly enjoyed our stay, Ifham help prior to our arrival was invaluable and the team at the villa were exceptional, thank you.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank MalvernUKTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2013

After a trip of one week in Kandy area, we spent great days in Raajmahal. The villa is very beautiful, we felt transported in the past but with all the modern comfort. We mostly appreciated to relax in the wonderful garden or at the swimming pool after having visited some interesting place in the area (Galle, Brief Garden, the turtle hatchery...). All the people working in the villa are very nice and make your stay a very good experience. We have really liked the food prepared by the Chef, the best that we ever had during our entire journey, much better than in any restaurant we've been to! We dream to come back one day, maybe with a family of friends as we occupied only 3 of the 5 rooms of the villa.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank MaCo2602
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Raajmahal

Address: # 44 Karandangoda Road | Egodawatte, Beruwala 0300, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Beruwala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 44 B&Bs / Inns in Beruwala
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
'Raajmahal' A fully renovated 75 year old Sinhalese Mansion 'Walauwwa' with a mix of Dutch architecture with large 1 acre garden surrounding the house. It has 5 air-conditioned bedrooms, with 4 attached toilets. The bungalow has a large veranda of about 500sq meters overlooking the main lawn where one could relax with family and friends, where one could also dine and relax throughout the day. It has a well equipped kitchen. All floors are cut and polished cement which makes the bungalow cool throughout the day. The pool also has a Jacuzzi and can be accessed from your rooms.The Bungalow adorns furniture, fittings and lightings of typical Singhalese and Dutch periods with Antiques and artifacts that decorates the interior of the house. A 15 Minute walk to the Sea and Beach. A Haven to be with family or friends enjoying the garden and spaciousness and comforts of the Villa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Raajmahal Sri Lanka/Beruwala

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