My partner booked this as a week getaway from our jobs in Dhaka, and after reading some of the reviews beforehand I admit that I was slightly dreading the experience. However, I can only say positive things about our time here.
When we arrived I was blown away by the design and layout of the place, and with fountains and a mock raft dotted around you get a real marine feel that relaxes you and puts you at ease. Upon our arrival the towels had been folded into swans!
The rooms themselves are brilliantly laid out, and have spacious bathrooms. The bedrooms are equipped with a safe, mini-bar, TV, and tea making facilities too. There is Wifi available, although the signal strength is stronger in the lounge. The two rooms on the first floor have access to a communal balcony, whilst the top floor has one room with it's own swimming pool. The downstairs lounge also has a collection of novels in case you have the urge to read.
The staff who work here are wonderful and friendly, and really made an effort to make our experience amazing - the fact that we were the only guests for half our visit means we were virtually treated like royalty. They take a lot of pride and maintain the grass area at the back well. Every morning they rake the area of beach directly adjacent to The Cove in order to clean it and remove any debris (and it looks nice). They are the only establishment along this stretch of beach who bothers to do so.
Every meal we had was excellent - tasty and generously sized, and considerably cheaper than the alternative restaurants in the surrounding area. On the last night the chef prepared a special "going away" dinner for us as well!
I have an egg allergy, and after informing the staff after the first breakfast they were completely obliging in making an alternative breakfast for me each day. They catered brilliantly for our son, and when making his meals used artistic flair to lay out his food in the shape of a snowman or flowers (see pictures). A highchair though would have made things a lot easier in keeping our son focused at meal times.
Every meal we had there gave us an opportunity to eat with a great sea view, and enjoy the beach environment. The kitchen has a glass side which enables you to watch every meal being prepared. Our favourite dishes were the Devilled Prawns and Chicken Satay.
Being located right next to Negombo beach presents an excellent opportunity to relax by the beach and really enjoy a coastal holiday. You can either use the beach itself and dip your toes into a warm Indian Ocean, or relax on the beach chairs in the grassy garden area. There are a few good places to eat out as well, although in terms of other facilities and night life some people may prefer to travel in order to get to Negombo "proper", or even Colombo.
Only breakfasts are provided, but other meals can be ordered on request in advance. There is the option though to walk a couple of minutes in the direction of Negombo where you'll find a few local shops where you can stock up on supplies. A shop we frequented was between the laundrette and The Cove, and have a lot of fruit on display at the front. We recommend this as they were only one of two people not trying to scam us (the others being The Cove).
The meals are prepared with fresh ingredients obtained on the day for optimum taste and freshness, and therefore have to be ordered in advance (e.g. lunch ordered just after breakfast, dinner just after lunch), and one improvement that my partner would suggest is that people who arrive have a menu emailed to them so that they can order lunch or dinner for the day they arrive without "missing" the ordering deadline.
Ultimately I don't understand why so many people have posted negatively about this place. I am based in Bangladesh, and after spending a week here I was totally relaxed and re-energised - I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and would love to come back here again, and would definitely recommend it to friends and family. This is a great place, especially when it is half, or a 1/3 of the price of the neighbouring hotels.
I can only assume the disparaging reviews come from people who have never traveled in Asia before, and/or expect unreasonably high standards.
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- Also Known As:
- Cove Beach Villa Sri Lanka/Negombo