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“Authentic Ayurveda??”

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Dalmanuta Gardens - Ayurvedic Resort & Restaurant
Ranked #12 of 26 Hotels in Bentota
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 June 2013

This is a lovely resort and very evident by previous reviews. My primary reason for booking this resort was for an authentic Ayurvedic holiday to relax,rejuvenate ,cleanse and recharge. My eight day stay at this resort was right after the big Sri Lankan New Year holiday and the beginning of the low season (end of April). The resort was less than half occupancy and some renovations were taking place.

The hotel is as lovely as reviewed by others, the grounds, the garden, the river front etc... all well taken care of and beautifully tranquil. My room was huge, comfortable and had everything you needed. The housekeeping ,especially "Mohammed", wanted to make sure of this. The little garden space in front of each cottage is a wonderful place to relax early in the morning and listen to the wonderful tropical sounds.

After an initial consultation with Dr. Dhammika, I had eight days of incredible Ayurvedic treatments which included all types of massage with different types of oils and powders/scrubs, Shirodara, and herbal steams and baths. My therapist "Pushpa" was
wonderfully skilled with intuitive hands and a calming spirit. I looked forward to my daily treatments and the Dr. was very helpful and always available for questions and discussions about my health.

The disconnect in my experience came with the restaurant. I am not sure if it was because of the recent Sri Lankan New Year or the low occupancy, but the continuity with the Ayurvedic program that I was committed to fell apart here. No one at the restaurant, especially the chef, seemed very knowledgeable about the foods that were required for each person and their Dosha. The first couple days I was served foods that were inconsistent to what the Dr. discussed that would be right for me. The buffets were sparse and not well attended to.

I did mention my issues with the manager, Chamal, and he was very quick and efficient to try to resolve the issues of having the restaurant be cohesive with the Ayurvedic program.

I know others write highly about the food and the quality of the restaurant, but this was my experience on a full board Ayurvedic program. Since in Ayurveda "the food is the medicine" , one would hope that this aspect of the program would be up to the same high level as the rest of the resort. This was a real disappointment for me.

I would recommend this resort for a lovely relaxing holiday with some nice treatments for a couple days, but for authentic Ayurveda.... I am not sure that this is the place.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank L-ECAEP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peer F, Owner at Dalmanuta Gardens - Ayurvedic Resort & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2013

Dear Madam.
Thank you for your kind words of praise concerning your 8 days of Ayurvedic Treatment and that you found that Dalmanuta was as lovely as reviewed by others, the grounds, the gardens, the riverfront, the housekeeping and the Ayurveda Treatment.
We try hard to offer an as Authentic Ayurveda as possible without being dogmatic or patronizing. According to Ayurvedic traditions, no food is dangerous to eat as long as you take it in small quantities.
Unlike Ayurvedic Hospitals we do serve Wine, Seafood and Meat at Dalmanuta. We never offer this to Ayurveda Guests. If any guests would like to “spoil” themselves for whatever reason the possibility is there, but we always ask the guests kindly to consult the doctor first.
In your case the staff got the impression that you already really know from before or from the Doctors advice what was good for you. They did not want to patronize you when you asked for different dishes. The client is always right.
At buffets we have special explanations at every dish describing what doshas is affected by the food. We also have different menus in the restaurant, corresponding to the three different doshas. We also have an a´ la Carte Menu. All those menus can also be found at our web page.
Our restaurant staff and especially Chef Athula, have great experience of Ayurvedic Food, as well as of many other styles of cooking, but most of all they know that guests are “ALLWAYS RIGHT”.
We sincerely apologise for the misunderstanding on our behalf. We have just now had a deep and intense discussion with the entire staff to avoid recurrences in the future, and we continue to work with our language improvement program.
Dear Madam, I assure you that we will make every effort possible to perfect your diet and of course your stay in general, whenever you find the time and means. I’m sure that we will find a way to compensate you.
Very welcome back and may joy and happiness follow your days.
Ayoubovan (Have a good long life)
Yours Sincerely

Peer Franzén

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117 - 123 of 303 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2013 via mobile

We came for the Ayurvedic treatments which were wonderful! Relaxing, well priced and staff extremely professional.

The Sri Lankan food is out of this world! Athula and his team maintain the highest standards if cleanliness in the kitchen. They are exceptionally proud of their food and with good reason-it's amazing!!!

Even if you don't stay here, you MUST visit!

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank Londongirl149
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2013

All the praise that has been written below (and probably also above by now) describes it perfectly and is absolutely 100% deserved. We have had an amazing time in Sri Lanka and our stay in Dalmanuta Gardens is a perfect (if sad) end. We woke up late this morning (it is so peaceful here) to hear coconuts falling to the ground. When we exited our cabin there was a man (later to be nick-named Coconut man for obvious reasons) shimmying up and down the coconut trees 'picking' the ripe ones. As soon as he saw us he hacked up one of the freshly dropped coconuts and gave it to us to take to breakfast! We drank the coconut water and ate some of the flesh - spectacular and totally different to anything we'd taste in England.

We arrived here more by luck than design, or maybe it's that Sri Lankan serendipity that everyone talks about, that brought us here. We were booked into the Cinnamon Bey hotel just up the beach in Beruwala. We spent about an hour there sliding around a damp floor and musty smelling room before deciding to cut our losses and get out of the impersonal concrete jungle. One quick check of Trip Advisor and a few clicks on Booking.com later and we were en route to Dalmanuta having snagged one of the last two rooms available (there are only 9 rooms in total at the time of writing). It was everything we hoped for and more. There's a free boat down the Bentota lagoon to the beach which we took yesterday, returning via an unexpected but very much appreciated diversion into the mangroves where we saw our first water monitor.

The Dalmanuta team have been amazing. It doesn't feel right to call them staff as they are so much more invested in the service they offer and calling them staff would do them a diservice. We have chosen to spend our last day by the pool and completely unasked and unexpected we were brought a bottle of mineral water and a plate each of freshly chopped pineapple. The food is excellent (the giant lagoon prawns which have been fished out of the lagoon running down the side of Dalmanuta, are a definite must at least once!). The whole team have been awesome, even helping me sort out any confusion surrounding our rapid exit of Cinnammon Bey! One couple that's here currrently have been here for 3 weeks and for another lady that arrived yesterday - this is her sixth visit to Dalmanuta! That pretty much says it all! I haven't tried a treatment yet or the 6pm yoga class which apparently is excellent, but there's still a half a day left. This is truly paradise on earth and the Sri Lankan people have been the kindest I've experienced despite travelling all over the world.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank gsdlover70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2013

We requested to visit for part of the day for a swim, have a massage and lunch. We were treated with kindness and shown the rooms, spice/herb garden, pool, restaurant, ayurvedic centre etc.We enjoyed lunch in an over water cabana.It was a lovely resort and we would be very happy to be staying for longer.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JandJteam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2013

We stayed at Dalmanuta Gardens for the first four nights of our honeymoon. We both agreed it was the best place we stayed in the whole of Sri Lanka. The beautiful gardens and the friendliness of the staff absolutely made this place for us.
The Bungalows were very spacious and felt private as they were not overlooked. The bathrooms were a little tired but the novelty of having two basins, toilets and showers made up for this. Rooms were very well equipped and the addition of a DVD player and a huge DVD collection available through reception added a nice touch for quiet nights in.
The buffet food was a little basic but as this caters for those on the special ayurveda diet it was understandable. If you are a carnivore like us I would recommend eating off the Al a carte menu.
The staff were amazing and very helpful organising transport and trips. Just ask, as nothing is too much for them.
We felt this place was excellent value for money and really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank imotravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2013

Imagine being able to reach Bali Hai, the "mythical island" in the musical, "South Pacific " and you will have an excellent mental image of Dalmanuta Gardens! This peaceful property greeted us with a sign that set the scene: "Please Don't Horn - Ring the Bell". There were winding paths that led one through the Ayurvedic Gardens, over the lagoons, alongside the swimming pool, and down the green allee to the cottages. The restaurant consisted of both the main building, as well as 3 small huts on stilts that jutted out into the Bentota River, making any meal a beautifully-calming experience.
Even though I was recovering from a serious illness & had to choose my foods carefully, I enjoyed delicious veg curries and/or omelettes, appreciating the river sights w/ every bite.
My cottage was adorned with planter's rattan chairs on the front patio and was shaded from the next cottage with a flowering hedge. The inside of the cottage was amazing: terrazzo floors throughout began with an inviting desk & sitting area from which one stepped up into the sleeping area where a large mosquito-netted bed displayed a flower-made message which changed daily. The bathrooms were sparkling clean w/ large glass sinks (!), a shower and a second WC for a guest to use. Both AC & ceiling fan made the room comfortable for sleeping.
This hidden gem did much to restore us from the rigors of travel & the hurly-burly of Life!

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank CoffeeMavenSara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2013

I'm sitting here at Dalmanuta Gardens having a beautiful lunch of assorted vegetable curries, overlooking the river and feeling the warm breeze. Am I dreaming?! I've asked myself this question everyday I wake up to this heaven on earth! Today is my eighth day here, I extended my stay...it's that special!

My first day here, one of the darling waiters serving my breakfast, Suresh, said "mam, your eyes are smiling!" It's so true, my eyes smile here at Dalmanuta Gardens. It's beautiful, the energy, the staff, the service, the grounds/gardens, the bungalows, the wildlife!!!! (Birds, water monitors, mongoose, kitty cats, fireflies!), the food - so fresh and flavorful, even the guests have such great energy. Oh, and the Ayurveda! The doctor is wonderful, the spa facilities simple and full of character, the therapists extra sweet with very loving hands. It's the most delightful place for detoxing & rejuvenation!

I've travelled the world, in fact I'm on my 40th Birthday Journey (7 countries, 3 months - eringoesagain.blogspot.com) and I've never stayed at a more special place. I chose Sri Lanka as the country where I would "treat" myself without going broke and the value here at Dalmanuta is tremendous. My stay has been priceless and offered me time to "be still", to reflect on my life and dreams, to feel my heart.

The general manager of the hotel, Chamal, and I were talking about how special this place is, and together we said its energy is pure like a temple. It allows you to easily sink into your heart and connect with the divine.

I feel like royalty (or a goddess) here. Showered with royal and warm treatment. Daily massages, and i even treated myself to a glass of daily wine. :)

You can tell how well the staff are treated here, they all seem to care for one another and they truly enjoy their work and treat Dalamanuta as if it was their own home or resort. Every time I offer a compliment they get so proud and say "thank you", it's incredibly cute!! The cleaning crew have become my best pals. Mohamed, the lead, has been especially helpful, answering all my questions about Sri Lanka and its culture.

It's a wonderful safe place to travel as a single woman. I feel 110% safe. Everything is secure, and everyone is so sweet!

Don't hesitate on booking. Just don't book my room (#1) when I want to come back! :)

I'm really going to miss this place.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank E.D. Austin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dalmanuta Gardens - Ayurvedic Resort & Restaurant

Address: No 21 Meegama Rd | Warapitiya, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Bentota
#5 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
#9 Spa Hotel in Bentota
Price Range: £57 - £89 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Dalmanuta Gardens - Ayurvedic Resort & Restaurant 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dalmanuta is situated in a large lovely park along the Bentota River. Dalmanuta offers full Ayurvedic Treatment or just a relaxing holiday. The Hotel has two pools, one diving deep and one Jacuzzi pool. The restaurant is open also for guests not living at the hotel. Minimum stay 2 nights ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dalmanuta Gardens - Ayurvedic Resort & Restaurant Hotel Bentota
Dalmanuta Gardens - Ayurvedic Resort And Restaurant

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