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“Ok room and not much else”

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Shangri-Lanka Villa
Ranked #1 of 59 Bentota B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Dunstable, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Ok room and not much else”
Reviewed 1 January 2014

Overpriced in all areas. Food was terrible and we were charged $45 for 10 burnt prawns supposed to weigh 500grams, oh and a tomato. We should have checked the menu before agreeing to their proposal on the first morning, if we wanted to try the jumbo prawns for dinner. They were far from jumbo. We argued the costs when presented with the bill but were told to just pay up….Our laundry that we had done smelt of fish, maybe re-use of the water they used to clean the prawns. We had to get it all redone in our next location. The room was large and clean but the noise from local dogs and horns kept us awake. We didn’t try the pool….I would not stay here again or recommend. The taxi airport pick up was the best part. Did not see Karen or her partner during our 2 night stay.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ian F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shangrilanka, Owner at Shangri-Lanka Villa, responded to this review, 4 January 2014
Sorry my husband and I were on holiday during your 2 night stay. We do take holidays but it does not alter anything here either way

Raymond is sorry to have disappointed you with your bill but was at a loss as to what you were complaining bout apart fro you not wanting to pay it

We are very open and honest here and fair to all our guests so we don’t do different deals for different people

Our menu with prices is on our website for everyone to see before they come. We have a menu in every room and we have menus in the kitchen so not sure why you wanted Raymond to reduce the price.

We take bed and breakfast bookings mostly so guests can enjoy our villa and eat out every night if they wish no pressure at all we even say on our website it is totally flexible.

As you say you and the other guests were shown the fresh jumbo prawns during the day when the fisherman brought them portioned out for you to see exactly what you would get as an option for dinner. Bentota is famous for prawns and so of course we offer

Sea foodies want to see the prawns raw to check if they are fresh or not. You saw them and ordered 2 portions.

You were served the 500grams of jumbo prawns that you had chosen with home made roti bread garlic butter and tomato salad. Cost was 2800rs plus 10% £14 in total per portion.

Because the prawns are fresh they are not boiled from frozen but cooked on a high heat with garlic butter or olive oil for the best taste and it is the shell that is charred not the prawns.


You ate all of you meal with out complaint and didn’t ask for anything else. You enjoyed 2 beers at a good price.

Rohan chef prides himself on presentation and I can 100% guarantee nobody gets any meal served with a tomato everything is presented decoratively even a sandwich. Raymond takes photos of most meals and weekly we put on our face book page for anybody to look at. The staff here are very proud and don’t do anything carelessly

Of course if there is a complaint and someone doesn’t enjoy the meal we would not charge and the same for the laundry had you said you were not satisfied we would have not charged.

Sri Lanka is very humid and because it was rainy while you were here the damp atmosphere will cause a damp smell if folded straight away and put in a case. That is why we only charge 100rs about 47p per item with ironing to air it quickly when people are travelling.

Thank you for acknowledging yours was large and clean which is a must for me in Sri Lanka.
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English first
Hounslow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

Karen and her husband could/would not be bothered to say hello to us.The room we stayed in had no internet reception, see-through curtains, bathroom doors that locked from outside and not inside, the bathroom windows with easy access to peeping-toms, the kitchens with dogs walking in and out all the time, the swimming pool with no life saving equipment, a live snake, the food more expensive than a five-star hotel and the beach was more distance than advertised.Out of all the places we stayed in Sri Lanka over fourteen days Shangri-lanka Villa was the least welcoming and no way I would recommend to anybody.One star for the staff.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ashwinshah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
shangrilanka, Owner at Shangri-Lanka Villa, responded to this review, 3 January 2014
We are so sorry for your mis-understanding regarding your stay in October at our boutique guesthouse and are glad of the opportunity to explain

As you booked your tour with Aitken Spence we had no control of your expectation of a large resort hotel with eat as much as you like buffet food like the other hotels on your tour.

We do not offer this type of experience at all in fact we try to offer the total opposite and our web site says
"Shangri-Lanka offers a holiday experience with a difference. No hotel receptions, no standard packages, no crowds of other guests, no time restrictions. Just ourselves and our dogs welcome you to great hospitality and a genuinely personal service, with all the facilities you need whenever you need them"

We had no personal contact because Aitken Spence made a phone enquiry as to whether we had 4 rooms available at our special low season rate of $90 bed and breakfast. I did not know at this stage it was an agent. No confirmation was made

Just before you came weeks later they rang again and I realized it was Aitken Spence so I explained we did not take bookings from agents as we had no driver accommodation and our place usually suited independent travellers. However the reservation lady was very nice and explained she was desperate as she had already confirmed with you without coming back to me. I took pity as we had the rooms free against my better judgement and have learned my lesson.

She did understand that drivers were not suitable to be staying here as she could not guarantee their character or even indeed if they were peeping toms!

Regarding myself, Rohan and all the staff here i can assure you of our honesty, integrity and lack of interest in peeping tendencies. We all love nature and ascetically pleasing surroundings and that is why the curtains are light to show the views of open paddy land.

Rohan and I didn't have much contact with you as we did not want to ruin your holiday. We were having terrible trouble with your driver, his helper and the guide, not sure why there was so many of them.

They wanted to sleep in their van on our property which we explained was not possible and their company knew this. The guide sorted himself out and left the drivers. I found them drinking and eating in our staff kitchen after having taken a shower and was still expecting to sleep in the van as if they though I would not know. They were trying to bully the staff not to tell me but of course they did as we are all professional

To save causing you any problems as we knew it was not your fault and you were on your holiday. Rohan paid for a tuk tuk for them as they said they had no money and usually expected the guests to pay for them and that you hadn't. Tthey were far from complimentary and probably thought I didn't understand Sinhala! Unfortunately another guest saw your drivers and was quite worried they may be staying swell. You all seemed to be enjoying your time in the garden and veranda

I must say this problem can be the companies fault or the drivers or a bit of both but it is very annoying and unfortunately common. you can read about on travel information websites

We organize tours ourselves and Rohan does tours himself so we can avoid our guests having these problems

I not even receive any payment from Aitken Spence until 2 weeks after you had left!

I know we are not a 5 star resort but you did receive

Good rooms

Very polite and personal service from my staff even though there was no service charge on the room rate

Free Wifi in public areas. (Now it is available on all balconies aswell)

Free use of our netbooks

Free tea and coffee

A good service of rooms daily not a quick bed make

We allowed you to bring large quantities of your own food

You enjoyed lashings of home made jam that one member of your group loved that much she asked the staff to put some in a jar for her free to take home. They did even though it takes them a lot of extra time and effort.

The meal you ate here was many different dishes and you did say was delicious and cooked to your own taste like an al a carte meal would be in n a 5 star resort. It cost you £8 per head. This is a different experience than a hotel pre-prepared buffet.
Our menu and price is on our website very clearly. It is a very competitive price for the same standard in Bentota. We use top quality products and don’t any additives or msg to make the taste cheaply

We give all our guests total flexibility to eat here and be waited on by staff that are only employed to look after them as we don’t take any outside guests or go out and we will recommend places freely that we think will suit budget and taste

Our kitchen is open and whether the dog walks through it or not I challenge you to find a cleaner one in Bentota! As a tip when you go for a meal ask to see the kitchen before you decide to eat there!

Swimming pool has life floats in the trees just at the edge of the pool and Rohan is a qualified in life saving but it is always best even in 5star hotels to watch over your children as there is always a sign saying they accept no responsibility.

You do get snakes in the jungle areas of Sri Lanka as it is the Tropics

Shangri-lanka Villa is not a hotel it is our home and we welcome guests to enjoy to Sri Lankan culture and nature

We are sorry we were not to your taste
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2013

A great find. Wonderful food and great service. We enjoyed our stay very much and would certainly recommend to others. The villa offers comfort, hospitality and also great valid for money. Thanks to Karen and her team.

Room Tip: Room 3 had a great view and was spacious
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank 231jane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 27 December 2013

Karen is a rock star. From the moment we got in touch to express our interest in staying at Shangri-Lanka Villa, to the moment we left Sri Lanka to return to the UK, Karen and her team expertly catered to our every need.
We were in Sri Lanka for 10 days, so wanted to spend the first half travelling around the country, visiting various sights. Karen arranged a four day itinerary, during which we travelled around almost half of the country (Dambulla, Sigirya, Nuwara Eliya, Yala, Galle), and Karen organised a driver, Hamar, to look after us. Not only did Hamar get us from A to B, but he also taught us a huge amount while we were on the road, stopping to show us extra points of interest on the various journeys, and also arranged all tickets for entering the more regulated attractions so that we got the best price. A truly lovely man.
Once we got to Bentota and settled in at Shangri-Lanka, we were treated to pure luxury. From the morning breakfast (the star of which was homemade pineapple, passion fruit & mango jam) to the very accessible dinner menu, the food was fantastic. The pool was a delight, and the rooms spacious and well-equipped. Karen helped us arrange a couple of day excursions while in the area, but otherwise we were more than happy to sit back, relax and enjoy the wonderful weather (and the odd thunder storm!) and scenery.
Finally, we have to give a shout out to the wonderful dogs, Bobby and Macie, who were adorably cute and made us very jealous of the fact they can enjoy Shangri-Lanka all year round!
Thank you Karen, Rohan, Hamar and the team; for anyone planning a trip to this wonderful country, there is literally no better choice.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank BMHI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2013

Incredible experience of how a hotel should take care if its guests. We were able to chill in the most peaceful, lush green environment whilst getting personal attention from a team of very efficient and polite staff who fulfilled our every request with a smile. But the relationship started with a warm and helpful hand from its owners, Karen and Rohan. They listened and then delivered exactly what we wanted. We thank the staff, managed by Raymond, and special thanks to the chef, a spice master who presented the food as works of art. Also our thanks to Saman who took excellent care throughout every journey - pickup from the airport, driving to Galle and Merissa, to Kandy and Dambulla, showing us all the sights, explaining history and advising on local shopping. There was not a single moment of dissatisfaction, stress or worry about anything. We have never, ever experienced such service anywhere, and we have a travelled a fair amount. So, if Sri Lanka is your destination, contact Karen and Rohan, you will not find better. They deserve six stars!

Room Tip: Choose any room, you will not be disappointed.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank 27Kay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2013

Wow! What an amazing place! We spent 13 nights at Shangri-Lanka Villa after a few days in Dubai. Right from the start everyone was so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. Our room was spotless and the view across the countryside was lovely.
Each morning we ate our breakfast on the balcony, watching amazing birds frequent the garden. One morning we even saw monkeys in the trees close by!
The evening meals were freshly cooked and always served at the time we requested, and we enjoyed chatting with the other guests and swapping notes about local places to visit.
The beach was a good ten minutes walk, but there was always a tuk tuk available to take you if you wanted. The beach was beautiful and pretty much deserted.
We had a few trips organised for us whilst we were there, all of which are highly recommended. We went on the whale watching trip and were fortunate to see both blue whales and killer whales during the same trip. A boat trip was also arranged another day for us on the Bentota River with Lesley, who was fantastic. We were the only two people in the boat and we saw absolutely loads of wildlife. Lesley took us further than any other organised tour and we had a wonderful time. Finally we spent a day at the elephant orphanage which we enjoyed.
We were sorry to leave Shangri-Lanka Villa and would love to return one day. Thank you so much to everyone for looking after us so well.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PcDb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2013 via mobile

Great team of staff. Very friendly and helpful - organised everything from tuk tuks to drivers.
Big beautiful rooms to relax in or spend some time by the lovely clean pool. You can even grab a massage if you like.
Also a great location for exploring both the Bawa gardens!

Stayed November 2013
Helpful?
Thank Nyenyezi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shangri-Lanka Villa

Property: 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 59 B&Bs / Inns in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Odigeo, Agoda and Priceline so you can book your Shangri-Lanka Villa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Shangri-Lanka Villa Boutique Guest House Hotel Bentota

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