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“Stunning setting right on the beach, but take your earplugs for the road noise”
Review of Joe's Bungalow

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Joe's Bungalow
Reviewed 2 January 2011

Having read the review below I was understandably worried about my stay at Joe's Bungalow (it appeared after we'd already booked). Having said there, I felt that the reviewer was overly harsh and did not give the bungalow credit for some very positive aspects. The setting of the bungalow is undeniably stunning - it looks out over the beach and has a lovely private garden which is great for sitting and reading in. The staff are friendly and helpful and will cook meals for you (we only took breakfast). We met Joe himself, who was very friendly and was telling us all about the area and the property. It is good value for money, given the location you get. The rooms, although damp, are well fitted and have comfortable beds.

The major drawback of Joe's Bungalow is the fact it is located right on the main road from Galle, which is very busy and noisy throughout the day and night. We struggled to get a good night's sleep in our 3 night stay - and that was with one of us wearing earplugs. The trucks and buses hoot their horns as they are going past, as its on a slight bend in the road. The ground floor villa seems to be slightly better than the upper floor, as it has marginal protection from the surrounding wall.

This criticism has to be placed in the context of Unawatuna as a whole - it is not a quiet place. Most of the other properties are either along the same road as Joe's Bungalow or are in the village itself where the noise comes from the all-night bars and discos. Pick your evil!!! You really need to decide whether the road noise would bother you that much - for two of our party of four it did, but the other two felt it didn't.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank sarahlrhodes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kay009, Owner at Joe's Bungalow, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2011

HI Sarah

Thanks for your review and just to let you know we are planning on doing some refurbishing during the off season and hopefully the rooms will be more sound proof!!

Many Thanks
Kate

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41 - 47 of 53 reviews

Reviewed 7 November 2010

This place looks great in photos. Unfortunately in reality it is located right on the highway which means that we were kept awake most of the night by the honking horns of passing lorries. While being located on the 'quiet' end of Unawatuna, this place is also next to a vacant block that is used by locals and tuk tuk drivers for beach parties. This meant we got accosted every time we walked out of the beach front gate. Not to mention the drunk men sitting right on the steps of the bungalow who would peer in at us. The villas are actually quiet dark and musty inside and there is a 3rd floor that can be used as staff/ drivers quarters which takes away from the privacy. We didn't enjoy our stay here and left earlier than planned.

On the positive side- Padma the cook is a wonderful lady and makes fantastic dinners. Gayan, the all rounder guy, is a very helpful and nice to guests. Between them, they made our short stay bearable.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jules2010Sydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kay009, Owner at Joe's Bungalow, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2010

Dear Guest

I am dissapointed to hear that you didnt enjoy your stay at Joe's Bungalow......especially after trying to accomodate all your requests that you made during your stay.

You mentioned that the place looks great in the photos. I just want to mention that the photos we have displayed are not professional, but taken by ourselves and do represent a true picture of the Bungalow, Villas, garden and beach. The photos have not been edited in any way.

The Villa's do look dark with all of the window blinds down and we tend to keep the doors shut as much as possible to avoid mosquitos and dust / sand blowing inside the rooms.

We have added brighter bedside laps in the Villas now, but there are full glass widows on 2 walls of each villa, so I have to disagree that the Villas are dark in the day time if you have the blinds open.

There is a 3rd floor above the villas, which I think would be expected in many hotels if they allocated you a room on the 2nd floor, there would be guests staying on the third floor, unless you specifically request otherwise. However I understand now that this is not what you were expecting. For a totally private, secluded Villa there is one further down Unawatuna that I know about charging over $200 per night.

Unawatuna beach is known for being one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and thats what attracts so many tourists. Unfortunately it is a public beach and we are unable to control who enjoys it. I think you would have found this wherever you stayed along Unawatuna beach however you would have surely paid more at any other place on this stretch

Thank you for your kind comments about Padma and Gayan, I will pass them onto them.

Kind Regards
Kate

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Reviewed 9 February 2010

We stayed 5 nights at Joes and would have stayed longer had we the time. The pros: For us it was the BEST location in Unawatuna at the quiet east end. The water laps right up to the front retaining wall and you can enjoy reading, cocktails etc under the shade of the palm trees overlooking the ocean whilst the lovely staff attend your every need with extra ice, limes for your drink, comfy lounge chairs etc. It's a little oasis. We went snorkelling right out the front and saw coral and fish. The sea here is calm like a bay and would be great for small children. The property comes with a resident couple who manage the gardens/security/housekeeping. Padma the cook comes in each day around 7am to serve your every whim. Whatever you want for breakfast is no problem as Padma is a well seasoned professional who has international experience. We opted for Sri Lankan cuisine, left it to her imagination and were treated with more food than 4 people could consume. All this for USD25 per couple per day. She shops daily for each meal and on one occasion I accompanied her for the experience. Lots of fun on the local bus. Such a lovely lady. We will return to Joes with our children however the cons - don't expect luxurious sleep ins. The bungalow mattresses are rock hard and after 5 days we were over it. The bungalows are situated behind a tall, brick security fence between the main road and beach, so each morning from 6.30am we were woken by traffic and honking horns negotiating the corner. No mosquito netting meant my partner woke one morning with around 80 bites on his torso and limbs despite anal retentive shutting of doors and running A/C and fan. Bathroom can be a bit on the nose and water pressure very low. However, we found that the pro's outweighed the cons as we had the whole complex and staff to ourselves and they made us feel like royalty. The place has two 2 bed bungalows and a villa that sleeps 8. If we had to share the garden etc it may not have been so ideal.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank juliezzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kay009, Owner at Joe's Bungalow, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2010

HI juliezzz

Thanks for your review and feedback and we are glad you enjoyed your stay. Just wanted to keep you informed that we have taken note of your points regarding the matresses, Mosquito nets and water pressure and these have been improved now and we have made other improvements to the property aswell.

Unfortunately we cant do anything about the noise from the main road, I wish we could, but the Sri Lankan traffic is generally crazy and noisy!

Hope to see you again at Joes Bungalow in the future

Kind Regards
Kate

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Reviewed 31 March 2009

Joe’s Bungalow is a private bungalow consisting of one main house with four rooms and two “villas”. There were five of us and we opted to stay in the two villas which were on the side of the main house. The rooms are lovely and spacious with a/c, cable tv and mini fridges which we used to store our drinks and snacks in for the weekend. However, we expected a tree house for the villa which was described to be “hidden among the trees” when in reality it was just the second floor of the building barely covered by a few leaves from the tree growing next to it.

The staff members at Joe’s Bungalow are lovely and obliging (although the welcome could’ve been more pleasant!). There are two caretakers and one cook. We didn’t have a chance to try out their dishes though and intend on doing so next time. There is no set menu; you can request whatever you want as long as you buy the supplies for them from the market/shops down the road. The cook is included in the price.

One of the best things about the Joe’s is the Jacuzzi that overlooks the beach. There is also a bar area around the Jacuzzi to keep your drinks etc. We watched the sunset from there over a few drinks and had a marvelous time. There are also a couple of hammocks hung along the garden for those who want to have a nice afternoon nap or read while getting a tan.

Joe's is also right next to the Riddim dive center and bar and minutes away from all the popular eating spots. Only downside is the sea right in front of Joe's is not suitable for bathing so you need to walk a bit further along to find a good spot.

All in all, Joe’s Bungalow has a lot to offer for the price we paid and I'd definitely like to go back.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Adrastia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: Ich würde immer die Zimmer im 1. OG mit Balkon wählen
  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
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Thank crichter45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: March 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Ольга S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2016
Google Translation

Stayed: March 2016
Thank dede4916
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Joe's Bungalow

Address: Unawatuna Beach, Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 133 Speciality Lodging in Unawatuna
Price Range: £81 - £84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Joe's Bungalow is a privately owned beach bungalow with 4 double rooms in the main house and 2 seperate villas. The whole property can accomodate 12 people. Situated on Unawatuna the beach, the property has a large garden and jacuzzi for guests. No food is included in the room rate but we provide a cook who can prepare meals. Rates are $200 for the bungalow (4 double rooms) per night and $50 per villa per night. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Joe`s Bungalow Hotel Unawatuna

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