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“If only there were air conditioning”
Review of The Last House

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The Last House
Ranked #9 of 23 Hotels in Tangalle
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 March 2014

We had the Moonamal room and despite what others have written we found it to be stifling at night. We were told that the weather was warming and the absence of air conditioning or even a fan made us very uncomfortable at night. I used a portable fan I had brought along so that I could get some sleep. If you want to go whale watching as we did, you really should stay closer to Marissa.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank gsrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 - 81 of 125 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2014

My wife and I did a last-minute trip to Sri Lanka and I raced through the reviews looking for places to go and picked Tangalle just for this hotel because the romance of Geoffrey Bawa was too appealing. Of course I didn't know a thing about Tangalle till long after we were booked, and had a panic attack when suddenly everyone we met said they had visited Sri Lanka and we should be going to Trincomalee, not Tangalle, because there's nothing in Tangalle. Too late to change!

So we got to Tangalle, after days in Colombo and Nuwara Eliya, and it's true, there is nothing to do in Tangalle! But there is The Last House and that is everything you want to do anyplace on earth. The house is lovely, colorful, everything about it says just relax, read, have a drink and soak up the sound of the Indian Ocean's crashing waves, and the breeze and that monitor lizard making its way across the garden. Being city dwellers, we were initially worried to find our ground floor room with doors and windows wide open, and the urge to lock up was great. It took about four hours to shake that off.

We had our best days at The Last House. Morning walks along the long, pristine beach, we saw fishermen come in with their meager catches of just a few fish. Lounging with our books and iPads and iPhones, sipping wonderfully refreshing passion fruit juice drinks, swimming in the pool which warms up like a hot water bath at the nd of the day.

The manager Ananda and his team keep the atmosphere relaxed and friendly and it really felt like being at home in this perfect place. At the end of the first day, we felt like we'd been here for a week, in the best way. Dinners were an event to look forward to, and it felt comfortable enough to wear my new sarongs from the Barefoot shop in Colombo! I wish there was more Sri Lankan rice and curry options, but the motto of this place is Ask And Ye Shall Receive! So on curry night, I needed a little more heat and asked for some Katta Sambol. Within minutes we heard someone in the kitchen pounding chillis and onions and Maldive fish and soon I had a bowl of fiery good stuff. On our last night we asked for Sri Lankan Chilli Crab and Ananda said Sure. He also let us know the rest of the guests would be having lobster, in case we wanted some of that as well, but we stuck with the crab and it was good.doesn't beat Singapore Chilli Crab though!

Ananda also helped organize our day trip to Galle Fort, and we had a great curry lunch at the Amangalla Hotel, highly recommended. (All right, it's true, if I'm in Sri Lanka, I want to eat curry! And they make the best curries and condiments in this country.)

Can't write a review of this hotel and not mention the fact that it is not air conditioned, and we did wake up at night wishing it was cooler...Tangalle was hot last week, and with all due respects to Mr Bawa, air conditioning would improve the experience by about 100 per cent. But I've already given the place five stars!

Room Tip: Our ground floor room, Atteriya, was very comfortable and easy to get around from. If I went again...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AlanRJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2014

This was idyllic. A small hotel on an empty beach where you able to enjoy the property as it was designed, that is a private beach house, that is with no reception area and perfect quiet. We stayed in two rooms, including the upstairs suite and both were wonderfully appointed. I am very glad that there is no air-conditioning. The air flow through beautifully designed, aligned window and doors was all you wanted.

The staff are fantastic, very keen to assist when you have a question or a need but at the same time almost invisible the rest of the time.

My only suggestion for improvement would be for the evening meals at the restaurant to be less western orientated.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank spiceylulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

We spent 3 nights here last week, we originally booked the Na room but switched to Moonamal on arrival once we discovered it was free for our dates (extra $$ but kindly discounted by the Manager). Na was lovely and large, had a view of the sea from one window and decorated beautifully but we loved the direct access to the garden and the sea view from Moonamal.

It was difficult to find and I recommend you ask someone local to drive you or give you directions. The exta 30-40 minutes trying to find it got a bit frustrating but all of that disappeared when we stepped foot in The Last House.

The photos from the The Last House website doesn't do this place justice; it is gorgeous. Located at the end of a 2km wide, clean, white sandy beach. The sea is clear but quite rough when we were there, we found the middle of the beach and the far end to be calmer spots. The complimentary boogie boards were put to good use!

As has been mentioned there are limited food options nearby so we mainly ate at the hotel. We found the food to be fresh and of an extremely high standard and we didn't think we were paying too high a price for it. The Manager is a former chef and food is his passion, he sources fresh ingredients daily and while the food choices were not typically 'local' dishes (at least while we there), he was happy to organize the chef to make string hoppers and dahl with coconut for breakfast on our last day (not on the menu). We also discovered the beach hut restaurant and enjoyed fresh fish, crayfish, hoppers and dhal curry for lunch one day (give them sufficient time for them to buy you freshly caught fish and lobster if you want that). I have to be honest, the beach hut dhal dish was slightly superior to The Last House.

The attending all male staff were courteous and respectful of our privacy but on hand when needed. The manager was available in the morning and evenings if you needed to make plans. We requested a massage one day and booked a car to take us to see the nesting turtles one night, my husband also had some beers brought in for him (the hotel does not sell alcohol but is happy to source it for you - they do provide either a bottle of red or white with your dinner, both were not particularly to our taste but not unpalatable either so my advice is to bring your own). The massage was a huge disappointment and I do not recommend.

There is no air-conditioning but Geoffrey Bawa designed his houses for natural air to flow throughout. It wasn't too hot for us and the fan and light sheet was sufficient at night. The animal noises outside however may disturb light sleepers (my husband didn't sleep that well) but this is the style of house, surrounded by nature, I think it's part of the charm.

Overall, we had a wonderful stay here and we highly recommend it. We plan to make it an annual getaway to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounds. Pack your mosquito repellent and go!

Room Tip: We liked them all!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank devstef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2014

We spent 4 nights at the Last House as part of our 2 week trip to Sri Lanka and I actually planned our itinerary around this hotel as we had high expectations. They were all met - except the food. The price of the food in my view was ok (unlike some previous posts) the issue was the lack of sri lankan food! The chef clearly has experience in a wide range of cuisine and has put together a fusion menu with two choices of starter, main and dessert each night and the food is nice. The problem is that we didn't come all the way to Sri Lanka to eat western food - we wanted to eat local food which didn't make much of an appearence on the menu when we were there and as everyone points out, you are quite isolated so there isn't much other choice.

That said we did find an excellent "shack' down the beach, which was called "sea dragon" and made excellent seafood and sri lankan curry and once we discovered it we ate lunch there each day.

This was really a beautiful hotel, on a beautiful beach which is pretty untouched. The only thing I would change is to put Sri Lankan curry on the menu! Also, aircon would be very welcome at night!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sarah S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

I suppose my title says most of it. We stayed in October, but it's taken me a while to get around to my review. The house is really lovely, and the staff are attentive. There aren't many options for food around, as this is fairly isolated, and according to others we met while staying there, other options are not very good. Because we love to eat good food on vacation (we live in a city with no high quality options available to both men and women) we ate at the hotel. WIth the exception of one meal for me and one for my husband, we were quite pleased with the food. However, it is extremely expensive and very limited. If you do not eat seafood, you will have one option every night. Also, the BBQ is even more expensive, and we were not informed of it until it was too late to make other plans. Too stay cool, you need to open everything up, which leads to limited privacy, and not what I want to do at night. Regarding the hotel itself, we stayed when it was not so busy, and they were offering special rates. Although it is, without a doubt, a lovely hotel, for me, the full rates are more than I would pay in Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank mmstyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2014

This is a gem of an hotel, right on the edge of a long, and usually almost deserted, beach. The building is a wonderful example of Geoffrey Bawa's architecture (even if he may not have had that much to do with the details of it in practice), and we had a beautiful room with views of the ocean and the local lake. There was no a/c but we prefer things that way (some of the hotel rooms we stayed in were so cold we needed blankets at night!). There was a decent sized pool, stylish common areas, and attentive and friendly staff. The food was excellent for the two nights we stayed there, with the 'curry night' being the best we had in three weeks on the Island. Prices were reasonable as well, with wine, water and coffee included in the fixed price (much better value than the sister hotel, Kandy House, for example). Well worth a visit, and we would happily return.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank DorsetHedley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Last House

Address: Pubudu Mawatha | Seenimodara, Nakulugamuwa, Tangalle 82200, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Tangalle
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Tangalle
Price Range: £115 - £228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It's beach and chic at this Tangalle beach villa. As Geoffrey Bawa's final example of his infamous brand of architecture throughout Sri Lanka, this six-bedroomed seaside escape enjoys space, ventilation and barefoot luxury in a private location. Decor throughout the property is largely a mix of fresh white walls and grey polished cement floors, serving as a backdrop to a mixture of antique and contemporary furniture, all adorned with bright colours. Bedrooms enjoy views of the sea or a lagoon, set in tropical gardens with a central swimming pool. Whether with family, friends or as a couple, this Tangalle Hotel - The Last House is a truly serene tropical hideaway planted beside the Indian Ocean. It can be booked in part or as a whole house, and is staffed (including a chef) to accommodate up to 14 guests. Well suited for couples and families, and situated at the end of unspoilt Mawella beach. The house is also a perfect wedding hotel in Sri Lanka. The Last House Tangalle beach hotel provides for a quintessentially seaside holiday combined with a variety of wildlife, cultural and heritage destinations to visit on the south coast. From The Last House you can visit Yala National Park to see Sri Lanka's highest concentration of Leopards, see elephants at Udawalawe Reserve or visit the Turtle Conservation Area at Rekawa. Alternatively try whale watching from Mirissa, only 45 minutes away. Or closer to home, get aboard our Fishing Boat to try your hand alongside Mawella's fishermen, dive off the boat to swim or snorkel, or just observe the Blow Hole at Kudawella from the sea. For sights nearby, take a short trip to the Mulkirigala Caves boasting a remarkable temple and monastery carved out of a large and sheer rock formation in the surrounding forest. Also nearby, fans of Bawa's architecture should visit Ruhuna University and Claughton House. There's the Dutch Fort at Matara to warm you up before a visit to Galle and its own UNESCO World Heritage Site at Galle fort, also an oasis for some browsing and shopping in its' boutiques. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Last House Sri Lanka/Tangalle

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