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“We came back to paradise for the 2nd time”

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Shangri-Lanka Villa
Ranked #1 of 62 Bentota B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 March 2011

Because we liked our last year's stay at Shangri-Lanka Villa so much (see our review of March 2010), we decided to come back this year. And we met again the same heavenly place. Wonderful setting in a beautiful park, clean pool, spacious and comfortable room and bathroom, extremely corteous hosts, fine food (Karen and Rohan fullfil nearly every wish!), great possibilities for well-organized excursions and much more. Not to forget the 3 lovely dogs that make the stay even more memorable. We will come back for sure!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wernero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 March 2011

This guesthouse was a very lucky find, it has all the aspects of a 5 star hotel but what these other hotels lack is the personal service you recieve at the Shangri Lanka.
Karen and Rohan were both very welcoming, friendly and would answer any questions we had to enhance our stay in Sri lanka.
My boyfriend and I wanted a chance to relax and that is exactly what we did. If we wanted to, Rohan would have arranged an overnight trip, but we chose to stay local.
The Shangri Lanka was that special my boyfriend couldn't resist proposing over breakfast!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank EastSussexGracie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2011

Second visit to this wonderful place.Another great stay. Great attention by owners and staff.
Very relaxing place to stay and short walk to a lovely beach.We will be back!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank KrisnSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2011

Firstly I must apologise to Karen and Rohan for the long delay in writing this review, I sincerely apologise! We stayed in Shangri-lanka for 3 nights at the end November 2010 and it really was a wonderful experience. They organised a driver, (Hamar if I remember correctly!), to pick us up from the airport and bring us to Bentota. Unfortunately, the rain was very heavy at the time but we were given a lovely welome with hot tea and breakfast. We stayed in the top floor bedroom and there was a lovely view over the pool and out over the country side. It was great to wake in the morning to see the monkeys swinging through the trees and birds making all sorts of noises! The setting of the accommodation is very relaxing, its set away from the busy traffic yet still a nice short walk to the beach. There is also massage therapy available on site although we did not avail of this.
The food at Shangri-lanka was really good traditional home cooked food. The fresh fruit and Sri Lankan spicy omelette hit the spot each morning. We were asked each day what we would like for dinner and really felt like we could have asked for anything so basically there is no need for a menu - you can have whatever you feel like! We decided to go for traditional Sri Lankan cuisine for 2 of the evenings we were there
and turned out to really good option! All ingredients for dinner were bought fresh on the day as we witnessed at first hand when we got a tuk tuk into Bentota one day and spotted one of the boys from the accomodation buying our fish. Rohan's nephew runs a lovely fish restaurant next to the train line called Maali. It was worth braving the torrential rain to get there!
Rohan also organised a 5 night tour for us from around Sri Lanka. He organised a very good, safe driver called Saman. The tour took in Yala, Ella, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Sigirya Rock. Everything was organised from accomodation, food and tickets to various attractions. While the driving was very long we did feel like we made the most of our short stay in Sri Lanka.
Everything about Shangri-Lanka was first class. I would highly recommend anyone to stay here. Rohan and the boys went out of their way to help us in every way they could. Our only disappointment from our trip to Sri Lanka was the weather was not as we had hoped as there were some very heavy rains so perhaps November is not best time to go! But this was not something that Rohan could fix but I'm sure he would have if he could!

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CathalFitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2011

From the moment we stepped inside the gates of Shangri-lanka, we experienced a sense of total relaxation and well being. We were greeted with warm smiles from Karen, Rohan and all the staff. We were immediately offered coffee and breakfast as we arrived early in the morning. It was total bliss eating our breakfast in the garden after the chaotic and hectic speed of life in the UK.
When we were showed to our room on the ground floor we could not believe how beautiful it was. The bathroom was the best we have ever seen, with the corner bath and walk in shower. All the lovely personal touches like the candles round the bath and the flower arrangements in the room, really made us feel at home. The room itself is spacious and very tastefully decorated. There is a large area with a very well lit mirror for us ladies to get ready in, unlike most hotels where you spend ages hunting round with a small vanity mirror trying to find decent light. There are also plenty of lights in the bedroom room and bathroom. So many hotel rooms seem to think we all want to live in the dark with one bedside lamp to manage on! If you lie on the bed in daylight on ground floor room with the patio doors open, it actually gives the illusion that you are in bed in the garden! Amazing! The balcony was very spacious and always had a fresh table cloth. We did not go in any of the other rooms, but we had a walk up to the third floor and all the balconies are very spacious, all with clean table cloths. We thought the lap top in each room was a really nice unique touch and very useful. Rather than pacing around in the reception of a large hotel waiting for someone else to finish with the computer.
The resort is about a five to seven minutes walk to a very beautiful beach. You can get the tuk-tuk at a minutes notice, but we preferred to walk down the lane, through the paddy fields to see all the beautiful birds. You will not have any trouble sleeping as the resort is very quiet at night and all the rooms have air conditioning and a fan.
There are three dogs on the property and they all have sweet and gentle natures. Even if you are not a dog person, you would not find the dogs intrusive at all. To us it added even more of a unique feel.
The resort is spotlessly clean throughout, in fact the bathrooms are the cleanest we have experienced any where. Even with the three dogs, you will not see any mess in the garden. The garden is constantly maintained and tended to by the staff. The pool is one of the nicest and definitely the cleanest we have ever swum in.
We loved the non-restricted meal times; we would also say that the food at the villa is actually better than any of the local restaurants, all of which were very good however. Karen is also really flexible with the food and menu. Both Karen and Rohan are fantastic cooks. The drinks are very reasonably priced and if you drink white wine or beer they are always ice-cold, which is not always the case in establishments in Sri Lanka.
As for the staff, they were all wonderful. Karen is great, nothing is too much trouble and if you are missing any of your special brands from the UK, she will really try hard to get them for you. Rohan has the same `can do` attitude and has an invaluable knowledge of the local area. He organised us a river boat cruise that was just perfect. All of the other boats on the river had ten or twelve people crammed on to them, but the one that Rohan organised for us was for just the two of us, so we had the whole boat to ourselves. The scenery was spectacular. Karen and Rohan always listen patiently to what you have to say and they are both really interesting to talk to. We genuinely found both of them really nice people. They have three boys working at the villa, Asanka, Danushka and Chaminda, who were all well mannered and extremely helpful without being over imposing. There was also a nice man that used to `gate keep` at night, who was also always ready with a big smile.
Would also recommend the massage lady, she seems to know just the right amount of pressure to use, and the little `out building` that you have the massage in is really authentic. Yes they are cheaper on the beach, but no matter how much they dust you off and wash you down you still have that grinding feeling of sand. The massages and treatments were very reasonable at the villa and a lot more comfortable.
We have travelled extensively throughout Asia, India and Africa; and have stayed in some high-grade hotels, but this resort is, without a doubt, the best place we have ever stayed. A lot of five star hotels in the world could actually learn a thing or two from Karen and Rohan about customer service.
The only negative thing we can say about this beautiful place, is that we had to leave it and come home!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GloriaGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2011

The Villa kept us from an early departure to Thailand having been very disappointed with previous guest houses and Sri Lanka generally.It really is very good and has set the standard for others to follow.....if they can.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mart21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2011

On the 6th October 2010 our booking was confirmed for 2 nights the 22nd and 23rd February 2011 and paid in full by the 13th Oct. with acknowledgement from Karen.

We arrived at 2pm 22nd Feb. and were met by Karen who said she had no room for us. She told us they’d had plumbing problems and she had confused the bookings and over booked so she had booked us into another hotel. She also said most hotels were more expensive and that she had arranged an evening meal at her expense. (different to a report Aug 2010 )
My husband asked if the hotel was in a quiet position to which she replied all hotels are near the railway.
This was watched by a number of staff and two Europeans walked past laughing. We had not even reached the entrance of the establishment. We found the apology totally lacking in sincerity.

However the hotel was acceptable and we did not wish to waste time looking elsewhere but we did not feel welcome. The hotel also had trains thundering past which were very noisy when outside.

After our meal on the 2nd evening the manager introduced another Sri Lankan who sat at our table and made further apologies for the mix up at Shangri Lanka saying they had plumbing and computer problems. We had not heard about the computer problem before. Nor was it mentioned on emails.

On arrival home we had three emails 17th Feb 20th 24th the first two saying much the same as we have written. The third offers to refund our money if we think it appropriate.

I cannot understand how this mistake was made, surely Karen has a hard backup for her bookings. Furthermore telling us with an audience looking on was unacceptable. This whole experience soured what was otherwise an excellent holiday

Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank screennamechalky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shangrilanka, Owner at Shangri-Lanka Villa, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2011

I understand how you feel and I am very sorry for the mix up that was entirely my fault and the reason I offered to refund your money as well as booking you in another hotel and paying for dinner.
I may not have appeared sincere to you because I was extremely embarrassed at my mistake that affected you and another guest who I managed to warn in time.

There was no computer problem only I had received no confirmation from you or contact at all since the 13th October . I emailed you when I realized there was a problem but realized by that time you may be travelling and not checking your emails.

It was unfortunate that some guests came to find me while I was speaking to you but they were not there when I was explaining to you and they were only laughing between themselves not at us as they were totally unaware of what was happening.

All the hotels in Bentota are on the internet and so you can see for yourself their prices are higher than ours. Almost all the hotels are close to the railway line as it runs along the whole beach. There were not many options open to me I just tried to do the best I could in the circumstances

We would welcome you here again and try to make amends but understand you may not feel this is appropriate

Karen Banister

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shangri-Lanka Villa

Address: 23 De Alwis Road | Horanduwa, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 62 B&Bs / Inns in Bentota
Price Range: £73 - £95 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique boutique guesthouse situated in the heart of a traditional Sri Lankan village. Surrounded by nature yet only minutes from the magnificent Bentota beach. We offer a holiday experience with a difference. No hotel receptions, standard packages, crowds, time restrictions. Just great hospitality and a genuinely personal service, with all the facilities you need. Experience the culture of authentic Sri Lankan village life where ancient customs and traditions blend with modern amenities and services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shangri-Lanka Villa Boutique Guest House Hotel Bentota

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