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“Good location, excellent food and kind team with careful service”

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Tartaruga Hotel & Beach Restaurant
Ranked #20 of 33 Hotels in Unawatuna
Reviewed 17 August 2013

We spent 2 weeks at Tartaruga with our kids. Though the beach in this part of the bay is temporarily eroding due to the changes caused by the recently built sea-defence, but in spite of the changes we spent a very nice holiday there. The location is really good! It was impressive to see how much effort is taken with urgency, to restore the beach as soon as possible. The staff was very kind, we felt like being surrounded by a family, the food was excellent, reasonably priced. We tried almost the whole menu anyway :-) and even the kids found always something new which met with their picky taste. I liked the owner's continuous efforts to be close to the guest, understand and fulfill their needs. He was there all day, all of our requests were managed immeadiately. Should the sandy part of the beach restored, this would have been a paradise place to stay for a vacation.

Room Tip: Room 9 is quiet, but not AC, just fans, so may be hot for some people. Room cleaning is done as freq...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Zoltan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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130 - 136 of 265 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2013

After a couple days in Unawatuna, staying at a different hotel, we found ourselves always parked in front of Tartaruga due to its central location, friendly staff and cold drinks! The logical choice was to stay there for the last night to maximise our time at the beach. The hotel is basic-basic to say the least, but seeing as we were mainly relaxing during the day, I did not mind the restless night (our room was closest to the public / staff area). They were pretty strict regarding check-out times, but I was able to use the beach shower to rinse off for the last time as I was headed straight to the airport directly from the hotel. It was definitely a luxury to be directly on the beach, and the plethora of restaurants, shops, stalls, within a short walk is a huge plus. If your #1 priority is location, then this is definitely the place to be. Book early to get a more private room so you can get a better sleep than I did!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank missaic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

We made a reservation for two nights at Tartaruga during our holiday in Sri Lanka, based on the excellent comments on Trip Advisor. We made a reservation for the family room, which was supposed to be quite luxurious based on the photos we had seen on the website. The price was according to the supposed luxurious room. However, when we arrived at the hotel, the room did not match the photos on the website. The room was small and dark, and the bathroom was just supertiny, with rust on the shower, and a strong moist smell. The room is nearly on the beach, with a beach restaurant stuck in between, and the sea eroding the beach. There were some workmen trying to build some concrete wall or so to avoid further erosion. In fact, there is no space at all to sit on the beach, as the restaurant tables nearly touch the water. In any case, we decided to stay there for the first night as we would see for the second night. We thought that maybe we were being too picky. However, that night was a nightmare. Our room was adjacent to a restaurant where some locals spent a big part of the night partying, making a terrible noise until well into the night. On the top of that, some car got jacked in the parking, and the alarm of that car went on every 10 minutes during the entire night. In any case, we didn't sleep at all.
After that night, we decided we would not stay one more night in this horrible place. We went to the front desk to tell them we were leaving and not staying the second night even though we had reserved it. We told them that the room did not match the pictures and reviews we had seen on tripadvisor and on their website. The hotel manager was very embarrassed and indeed confirmed we had been cheated by them. Apparently, the room we had seen on the website was a room "in construction" and not finished yet, and they gave us one of their older rooms. However, the price we paid was way too much for that old smelly room (we paid 150USD for a room not worth more than 30USD). Because of the embarassement caused, they did not charge us for the dinner at the restaurant. We left the hotel feeling cheated and went to a much cheaper and nicer hotel in Galle. What we learnt from the experience: don't make a reservation if you don't find the hotel in a guide book like Lonely Planet or the like (it was not mentioned in any of our 3 guidebooks), and don't always trust tripadvisor. Having seen this hotel just a few weeks ago, I can't believe so many people give it a 5-star rating, I'm not sure that all the reviews are objective. If you really want to go there, my advice is: don't book in advance and go check it out in real time before you decide if you want to stay there. Just go there first, and then ask to look at the room before you accept to stay there. There is only one good aspect to this place: the restaurant serves excellent food, and the price is reasonable. For the rest, especially for families with children, stay out of this hotel. We like honest people, not cheaters. Even when they apologize afterwards (and therefore admit they cheated us)...

Room Tip: look at the room first before you decide to stay
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank CarolineandBenjamin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013

Disappointing on TripAdvisor reviews..
this place serves the best sea food in unavatuna.
i have traveled most of the beaches in srilanka. tried most of them.. but this is one of the best.
chill out area groove music and great staff.owner comes to each and every table and talking to his customers,not like other restaurants in unawatuna.
If you go to another restaurant you will see beach boys sniffing arround white girls not doing their waiter job arrogant looking .. but in tartaruga very respected staff and so friendly..normally i don't review this type of things but in unawatuna the only good place i saw is tartaruga other places good if you like Caribbean style junk..

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Sanjaya B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sraji, Public Relations Manager at Tartaruga Hotel & Beach Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded 29 May 2013

Thank you for the valued response dear Mr. Sanjaya. We appreciate it.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2013

This will be our 4th visit to Tartaruga. The staff is excellent, they are like friends by now. The food is great, the location can't be better. highly recommended to anyone!!! We'll be back in july this year!!!! can't wait:D

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Zsolt_Gall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2013

We didn't stay at Tartaruga, we choose another place, but all our time we spent there!! The best location on the beach in the heart of Unawatuna!! also their restaurant is really good both for the lunch and for the romantic dinner! Next time we will stay only in Tartaruga hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank yasik11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2013

Me and two friends stayed at Tartaruga for 1 week in April. Tartaruga is 15 mins from Galle in a tuk tuk and is realy central to all local attractions. From start to finish Tartaruga was amazing, wish we could have stayed longer. We stayed in the family room which was very clean with lots of space. The air con was a god send. Staff were very charming and helpful. Nothing was to much trouble. The room was a stones throw from the beach where the restaurant is. Food was so fresh and tasty. Hoping to go back very soon! Thanks Tartaruga for making our holiday very special. xx

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank caroline b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tartaruga Hotel & Beach Restaurant

Address: Yaddehimulla | Unawatuna Beach, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range: £30 - £73 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
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Tartaruga Hotel And Beach Restaurant

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