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“Good value by the beach...”

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Wunderbar Beach Club Hotel
Ranked #11 of 25 Hotels in Bentota
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne AU
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Good value by the beach...”
Reviewed 19 January 2013

Am I mistaken, but is this beach an undiscovered gem? Palm trees line a pristine stretch of sand as far as the eye can see. Never crowded, this lovely locale is the perfect spot for an understated, simple hotel such as Wunderbar.

Basic airconditioned rooms, a decent pool and an open-air dining hall all make up what is a good value, mid-range hotel, right on a lovely beach. Staff are friendly and seem to enjoy hanging out. And if you're tired of eating in-house, there's a great place right next door - quite gourmet!

Overall, a nice place to hang out for a few days but no five-star resort.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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Thank FreqFlyerAU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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403 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Bengaluru, India
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 January 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 2 nights (23-24 dec) . Room was spacious and clean. Breakfast was good but monotonous, may be they can add some more options on breakfast menu. As we were tired and hungry it was annoying to wait for a long time for dinner to be served and food was extremely salty. We had ordered for some soup and noodles.
Beach is very close to the hotel and is clean and not at all crowded. I actually enjoyed watching trains pass by while eating breakfast. Railway tracks literally pass through the hotel.
(I had a disturbed sleep may be because I wasn't well or because of some kind of loud celebrations in the night.) I couldn't access Wi-Fi from the room . Signals are good close to the area near reception.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kkrat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2013

I loved this place. I stayed there for 2 nights with my wife and two teenage kids in December. We were looking for a place in Bentota near the big plush hotels and I met a guy called 'Lucky' Sanjaya who took me off on his motorbike to Wunderbar. I was looking for something with quality but not a supersize sterile hotel and I was glad I took a chance with Lucky as Wunderbar was perfect for our needs. We wanted a family room as it was just a stop over for two nights and they were happy to put a second single bed into the room. They lit mozzie repellant burners each night which personally I really appreciated. I associate the smell which is not unpleasant with being in the tropics and I like it. (in case you were put off by earlier review negative comment re this!)
The restaurant was really very nice. I would say the best I went to in Sri Lanka. The food was very good and the setting which is a very substantial timbered open sided first floor area with high timbered roof beams above that meant it was never stuffy or too hot.
I wasn't sleeping too well, (no fault of the hotel), and I had a great evening sitting drinking and smoking til after 3am with some of the staff who were top blokes.

Special thanks Sandul and Injin - good luck with your wedding. ;) - and we're all still here ha ha!

We had surfing lessons arranged by an older guy called Sunil who was another very funny pleasant guy and we also went on a jetski from the hotel with Poda. None of these activities was pressured on us and compared to prices for watersports in Europe it was very cheap.
Wi-Fi was available sitting in the gardens and the pool was lovely and clean so all in all I would highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roger P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2013

I stayed here with a friend for two nights in early January and we enjoyed our stay. The room was spacious, with air-conditioning and cable tv (albeit with limited channels). The beach was close, only about 100m walk and the beach chairs had umbrellas which was a nice relief from the heat of the sun. The restaurant had excellent seafood and was reasonably priced. Breakfast was included (fruit juice, fresh fruit, eggs, toast +/- bacon/sausages). The swimming pool was very clean & a good temperature. The only minor detractions were the proximity of the railway line (the trains literally pass through the property, about 20m from the rooms, but don't start until about 6am) and the water pressure in the shower wasn't great. Otherwise a very comfortable hotel.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2012

This was the 1st stop on our Sri Lanka tour in late November. The location was good, bed was very comfortable and service very good. Food in the hotel is excellent. On both nights I had the fresh fish of the day and my boyfriend had curries which he enjoyed. I have to recommend the Wunderbar Special Salad. This comprised of warm flatbread, a tomato salad and a bowl of crushed garlic. It was absolutely delicious and we had this for both lunch and as a starter for dinner. This real is a must try for garlic lovers. The beach was good. Very natural and quiet. There was a small turlte conservation area where they were caring for turtles which had been rescued from fishing nets. Overall we would recommend this place as a 1st stop on a tour of Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nickyg0606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2012

To be honest, I can understand why there are so many mixed reviews for the hotel. You will be reading them all, probably quite confused as to whether it's a good hotel or not....as I said in the title for the review, if you are a 'hippy' who apparently enjoy the drug atmosphere of Hikaduwa or the type of person who can live in very basic accommodation, you'll be happy with this hotel.
It's also important to note that you can only get a true reflection of a hotel if you can compare it to those in the same area. I am able to do this because their sister hotel, Pancha Villa, is 3 minutes south of Wunderbar which we visited because our friends were staying there. I would personally stay at Pancha Villa and then eat at Wunderbar next time as villa had much nicer, cleaner, more modern rooms with a nice pool area, despite it not being close to the beach, it had more of a welcoming environment and I much preferred the rooms and the size of the balcony......anyway, back to Wunderbar.
To begin with, we chose the Wunderbar because it was close to the beach, the photos of the rooms looked clean and the reviews on Tripadvisor were OK.
We arrived at the hotel at 8am in the morning, we had hired a car with Europcar (via FlyDubai after booking our flight....my advice is that you DO NOT use Europcar aka Aban Tours, that's a whole other story!!!) Ihad already emailed the hotel to ask if we could possibly have access to a room any earlier than the normal 1pm check-in, which was responded impressively very quickly informing us, if they have a room free we could have it earlier but they were unsure whether this would be the case and would have to wait until 1pm if this was the case- fair enough.
As it was, they did have a room free, so we checked in quickly with Chan and he showed us to our room. Ground floor just behind the restaurant. It had a small patio area with table and chairs and a connecting grassy area, with some privacy as we were the end room. This was a nice little area.
The room was a good size with basic furniture, not exactly flash but the bed was a good size for my friend and I with a mattress that was comfortable.
The room had an overpowering musty smell of some kind of incense which would probably not bother some people but we found it nasty! I assume the things they burnt outside we're causing the smell, I'd recommend citronella as opposed to that stench!
There was no phone in the room, no safe, no kettle, a tv that had 3 channels, two of which were exactly the same. The bathroom was a good size with racing green 80's style bathroom suite. My friend got locked in the bathroom on the first day as the handle mechanism was faulty. We were told not to shut the door so as not to get locked in again. This was not pleasant when needing the loo, my friend and I have known each other for years but we are not 'that' good friends to have an open bathroom door policy! Even then the bathroom door had transparent glass panels in it so you could have a good view of the bathroom anyway, so don't ever leave your front door open or the guests will get a shock whilst they laze in the pool!
The room had the round 3 pin sockets and we had to borrow the hotels adaptor has neither of ours fitted in their sockets, make sure you buy an adaptor which has 3 round pins as lots of international world adapters don't have them.
We bought two large 5 litre bottles of water before we arrived at the hotel because we had read in Lonely Planet that you shouldn't swallow any tap water of any form, even for brushing your teeth. We are glad we did as we didn't have access to bottled water easily at the hotel. We had a small mini-bar which had Lion beer and some bottles of coke and sprite in but we didn't use any. I don't think they did any kind of room service and we didn't even investigate it.
The bathroom window didn't close so we kept our wash bags on the shelf so as not to have any prying eyes looking in during our bathroom time, even then the top sections were transparent glass anyway so if you were on the first floor of the accommodation opposite you could see our entire bathroom, including our wet room!
We used some of the towels to use as bath mats as there weren't any and the floors got very skippy easily.
Don't forget your toothbrush, paste or shampoo etc as you get piece of soap and that's it, unless you like the 'au natural' look whilst holidaying.
The room was clean which cannot be said for most restaurants and other places we visited around Sri Lanka.
We took an overnight trip to Yala park so we could visit the park on safari (around a 4 hour drive to get to Tissa, just outside the park) and thought this was a good idea as it would have been a very late drive home had we done the trip in one day....big mistake. We asked what the name of the hotel was and was told it was called Lake Wind, this said it all, the place was like a cross between Fawlty Towers and the Adams Family 1 star holiday nightmare. The place was filthy- flies, roaches, frogs, lizards, bugs, crickets, mozzies, in fact every bug you think of and more were in every part of this hotel, some rooms were cluttered with tools, machinery and carpentry, not even finished. Our room was at the end of the hotel on the first floor. The only redeeming feature was the wonderful hot shower. When we woke up in the morning, the flimsy unlock able French windows which led to a small balcony, can kindly created a huge pool of rain water to welcome our feet as we got out of bed in the morning. There had been storms with torrential rain and gusts of very powerful winds which flew past the hotel, across the lake and straight into our room all night. I was actually grateful to get back to Wunderbar for a rest later that day.
The food at Wunderbar was ok. Menu was a little limited but we were grateful that wew didn't have any stomach upsets which we had worried about before the trip. We kept away from most seafood, salad, egg etc. The chicken curry was lovely, the red snapper which we had for 4 persons, cooked in a banana leaf and served with vegetables was a highlight of our stay, even though it cost 8,000 just for the fish!
We liked the restaurant because it was in a wooden 'lodge', elevated with an outlook over the beach and sea. Literally millimetres away from the train tracks which would halt any conversation you were having with anyone at dinner. Fortunately they were not too frequent and stopped by around midnight. It certainly didn't keep us awake at night as it sounded like a helicopter flying over when a train passed.
We didn't venture down to the beach at all as the sea was so rough the entire 5 days we were there, we were also warned that the beach was littered with rubbish, dead fish, no access to any sun beds and as there was no sun, we thought there was no point! We didn't visit Bentota to lie on a beach anywa, we wanted to see Sri Lanka and delve into its culture...
Papa CC took us on his tuk tuk safari for a day around Bentota, it was FANTASTIC. We loved every single moment of this generous, kind hearted and enthusiastic gentleman. His knowledge of the area was excellent, he was genuine in his want to impress us and show us his neighbourhood. We never felt pressurised to see anything, he even took us to a little shop where we bought a bag of sweets and pencils which we gave out to every child we passed, to see the children's faces light up as we handed them something so small, meant the world to us....we actually felt we were giving something back, however small, to such a lovely community. It didn't feel patronising, as teachers we really knew that they appreciated the small token, just from seeing their smiles.
He took us to a turtle conservation sanctuary which was brilliant, very informative and with such genuinely kind hearted people who are doing a fabulous job at conserving the lives of the turtles to Sri Lanka, despite the lack of support from the government, especially after the tsunami.
We went to a mask factory, again, never felt pressurised to buy anything and were shown how they made the wonderful wooden statues and masks in their small 'factory' out the back. Questions were always welcomed and answered.
We stopped off at a house where ladies were rolling cigarets using tobacco and leaves, I even offered to roll one for them, which they found highly entertaining!
He pointed out all of the different vegetation and crops that grew in the area, picking out some leaves for us to smell and telling us it was from a cinnamon plant. We visited a fabulous temple and learnt a great deal about the way Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims lived in harmony in Sri Lanka, side by side.
The whole day was just brilliant. We would highly recommend a day with Papa!
The Yala park safari which I mentioned earlier was also a fabulous trip, our driver was awesome. We saw elephants, wild boar, a baby eagle, deer, a black bear (which our tour guide had never seen before in all the visits he had made to the park!). It was a superb trip around the bumpy tracks but so exciting, waiting in eager anticipation to capture a glimpse of an elephant or leopard. We did manage to see a glimpse of a leopard but not a clear view as he was obviously having a day off from being the centre of attention!
Superb day out and again highly recommended, however, if I were to go again, I would not stay in just one place, I would have done Bentota, then headed down to Tissa and stayed in a nice hotel down there for the night, then headed on further along the west coast, up to maybe Kandy. Awe only had a few days so this wouldn't have been possible but this is what I'd suggest to others.
Make sure you pack mosquito spray, preferably the grey bottle of 50% concentration from Boots, this was a life saver for us as all our other friends who were in SL at the time were eaten to death!
Pack lots of warm hoodies, T shirts, shorts, socks, weather proof etc as you'll need it all! (for the monsoon seasons).
Due to our disastrous car hire episode, we had to leave the hire car at the hotel. We booked a transfer with the hotel to take us to the airport for our return. It was charged on the bill as 8,000rupees but we were quoted 7,500rupees by our tour guide, when I commented, he changed it to 7,500.
Beware of hidden costs such as 10% service charge, on top of your bill, yes for the room! And tax on top of the agreed price when booking online. We didn't argue about anything as we just wanted to get to the airport, finish our argument with Europcar and get on our flight back home!
Every single person we met in Sri Lanka was friendly, kind, informative and just lovely, we really enjoyed their hospitality and welcome to their country. This CANNOT be said for any staff member of EUROPCAR or ABANS TOURS (PTE) LTD Please for your own safety keep AWAY from these people. They use the Europcar name but are no way under any circumstances to be trusted to hire a car from or provide safe transport. If you do risk it, check your car is in good working condition with headlights etc as the Police WILL pull you over and have every power to fine you or worse. You can only drive on an International license, unlike any other country in the entire world. You also need to forward a copy of your IL to the Sri Lankan authority to get permission to drive. Please take heed to this or you could be in huge trouble!!

Room Tip: Choose Panche villa instead to stay!
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PeachesShire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2012

Well as soon as we arrived here we were disappointed as this hotel definitely looks nicer on the internet than what it really looks like. This hotel advertises itself as a 4 star property. You would have to convince me extremely hard it is a 4 star, you got to be kidding!!! It could I suppose pass as a 3 star as it states on bookings.com.

We booked a ‘sea view’ room and we didn’t get it. The supposedly ‘sea view’ rooms were booked out but we paid for one. You can see on their website there is a ‘seaview’ room but find it very hard to understand how you would have a seaview. The complex is behind another large block of rooms and then behind another building which is the restaurant and both have high roofs. So we believe ‘sea view’ rooms don’t exist and its false advertising.

We also had booked a ‘deluxe’ room. Not sure what was so ‘deluxe’ about it. Once again the photos on the website make it looks so much better than it really is. The furniture isn’t great although the room was a decent size room with a comfortable bed and bathroom. The water pressure wasn’t great and bathroom door wouldn’t close properly as the hinges were stuffed. The floor in the bedroom was slippery and had to be careful.

Some staff were great, some we got the impression that they were only there to sell you something and some wouldn’t even say hello. To us it felt like it didn’t have a good vibe at this hotel. For some reason they all think you come from Dubai, why?

The breakfast was good, with fruit platter, toast, oily bacon and oily sausages, good omelettes or eggs cooked your liking, juice and tea.

We ate dinner here one night, expensive, not a great menu and our curries weren’t great. My chicken curry had way too much grissle and my husband’s fish curry was tough. Also what we found annoying was even the staff would pester us at dinner trying to sell us a tour or boat trip etc. You would think staff could at least have the decency to leave clients in peace at dinner but no it was ridiculous pestering us while eating.

Next night we went out elsewhere for dinner and it was fantastic and cheaper and were not pestered by buy something.

The beach here is nice although we found one end of it clean and one end of it filthy with heaps of rubbish. You get pestered to buy something on the beach too eg. food from restaurant or tour etc.

If you book a seaview room and if they really do exist just remember you would be lucky to actually get one. Advertising is misleading.

Also a airport pickup was definitely overpriced and they even made you pay for the toll as well. Ok, it wasn’t much but with a hefty airport pickup you think it would be included in the price.

So I don’t really understand what why this hotel has such glowing reports. For us it was not glowing and very expensive for what you got!

Room Tip: If you find a better hotel go for it.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Butterflygirl54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wunderbar Beach Club Hotel

Property: Wunderbar Beach Club Hotel
Address: Robolgoda, Bentota 168/10, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#8 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Wunderbar Beach Club Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wunderbar Beach Club serves you with 24 rooms and 1 bungalow. Our rooms are furnished in accordance to the European standards with a Sri Lankan touch of elegance. All rooms are fitted with king sized beds, en suite bathrooms, air conditioner and ceiling fans. The hotel has a swimming pool and direct access to the sea. We take great pleasure when requested in organising birthday parties, moonlight parties and weddings. There are also have regular special BBQ beach parties with live music where everybody is welcome. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wunderbar Beach Hotel
Wunderbar Beach Bentota

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