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“Faded old colonial charm”

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Nooit Gedacht Heritage Hotel
Ranked #17 of 29 Hotels in Unawatuna
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Faded old colonial charm”
Reviewed 18 February 2014 via mobile

If you don't like faded old colonial charm, don't stay here. Although there are new rooms, you will still have to use the older communal areas and the gardens so you could be dissatisfied.

It was our third visit to Nooit Gadacht over seventeen years and what we really like about the place is its faded colonial charm. It's a snip of a price compared to the more fancier old colonial places in Galle Fort.

We stayed in one of the old rooms near to the main house. They are clean and the bathrooms are very spacious. Fresh flowers are placed on the bed sheets each day. The hot water is a bit sporadic, but it wasn't a problem for us because it was never freezing and it's so hot outside. We found the water to be hottest in the late afternoon.

Whilst we were staying, the newer rooms were occupied by some tour groups of older people. I don't know whether this is their main business for these rooms?

The staff and family are lovely, with patience of saints. We experienced them deal with a couple of very unpleasant guests really well.

The food is nice, although sadly not as good and as authentic as on our previous visits before the hotel's expansion. Rice and curry is not at all spicy and the curries are the same each day, which is not good if you are staying for a while. On the second evening, We asked for our rice and curry to be as spicy as a Sri Lankan would eat it and although it then arrived with more spice, it still wasn't spicy enough. By the third night, we had become fed up with the same vegetable curries so chose something else.

It's really easy to catch a local bus into Galle or further down the coast from right outside the hotel so if you want this experience whilst you are in Sri Lanka, here's the place to do it.

I'm sure with the mixed reviews, the owners will renovate the old rooms and the communal areas sometime soon. When they do, prices will really go up, so get in quick if you want to stay here.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank BrixtongirlLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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359 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
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English first
uk
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 29 January 2014

This is 'the' oasis of calm in Sri Lanka. Nothing is too much trouble for the ever attentive but never intrusive staff. You are truly made to feel a valued guest and this is reflected in the service and the attention to detail to the individual's requirements. For example, call in at the local fish market in the morning and have that same fish served at your table that evening.
The massages are to savoured, a cathartic experience which we would highly recommend, and, should you choose to buy something from the market, or bring with you some basic essentials to donate, you will be given the addresses of local schools so that you can give your gifts directly to the people who need them most of all.
We would also recommend you contact Ajaa, who is a local tuk tuk driver, he is absolutely reliable and very knowledgeable of the local area and can arrange escorted tours to anywhere in Sri Lanka. His mobile is +94 777 284178, he also has a website www.ajanthatrip.com.
Enjoy !!

Room Tip: Choose the balcony rooms in the new block.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank xporta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falster
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2014 via mobile

Very old colonial estate with newer buildings. We had room in new wing, good space and very nice balcony/terrace above ground facing the pool. A beautiful garden with interesting trees, a pond with lotus flowers, a white pet duck, lots to see and enjoy. The garden ends where the hill and the forest begins - bring binoculars and spend some time during the day watching monkeys and birds.
The rooms are obviously not new or modern, especially the bathroom needs a makeover before long. Only top shower with water spraying all over the room - this was fixed effectively with some toiletpaper!
Beds are very squirky and a bit hard, especially the pillows are not so comfy. They are charmingly decorated with fresh flowers, sheet and towels put in nice arrangements. Every day, not just the first day of your stay. Mosquito repellants installed.
Free and good wi-fi indoors and outside.
Breakfast is good with varied foods and fresh fruit. Lunch can be ordered all afternoon, but dinner is preferably ordered in advance. The kitchen wants this for better planning, but it leaves less space for guests' impulse. We had excellent fresh fish several nights. No alcohol sold, but we didn't miss it at all. Guests may bring alcohol and the staff will serve it.

The staff is very kind and helpful. Always a smile and a greeting when you meet them.
Visitors at this historic hotel with a botanical garden are mainly people who want peace and quiet, tranquil surroundings. Nature makes a lot of sounds, but the guests shouldn't. So party people and noisy children may be welcome, regarding to the staff, but other guests will find them very disturbing here. It is our impression that the place calls for easygoing, laidback tranquility.

All in all: a very charming hotel with a faboulous garden, perfect place to relax. Very pleasant staff, really nice and helpful. Good food, well-working wi-fi. Best for adult guests, since most come here for relaxation and will be annoyed by to much noise, running around, playing in the pool etc.

Absolutely recommended, especially if you want quiet and beautiful surroundings with a scruffy historic charm and the feeling of staying in a park or even a small zoo.
We loved it!





D

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Mette J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2014

Reviews sounded promising, so we decided to spend last days of our SL trip relaxing in a nice hotel with pool. But already the first sight of the entrance hall revealed that hotel is away from it's glorious days. Some restoration is urgently needed. Our "cheaper" room in one of old buildings was huge disappointment: small, humid, with old degrading closet and bathroom full of ants. Rooms in new buildings beside pool are better but noticably pricier. Food in the restaurant was ok, nothing special (classic mix of western, chinese and SL) though.
Staff is a bit lost, not well organized I would say. Waiters seem a bit lost, not knowing how to approach guests and are not always polite. In the same time there was a group of older Danish people, which of course got much different (nicer) attention as we did. Staff that takes care for the garden had really inpropriate timing for work like triming of the grass (at noon whene everybody were laying on the lawn around pool), sweeping (soon after 7 am) or cleaning of the pool.
Hotel has a good potential, but needs restoration and some improvement in management. Comparing with some other places on SL south coast, for us facilities & treatment simply were not worth of price range 50-80 USD per night.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ursuula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
155 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014 via mobile

Stayed there for two nights and this hotel is pretty good considering the price we paid £30 (6500rupees) per night.
It's a charming hotel with a huge potential.

Good: bed decoration every morning with flowers, bed sheet styling etc.
Breakfast buffet: large selection
The look of the hotel: old colonial building (not extremely well maintained but very nice)
Average:
Spa was not great, therapists talking to each other while doing treatments and not a great technic.
We stayed there the night of a massive party in Unawatuna and a group of teenagers stayed at the hotel and came back from the party at 3,4,5 and 6am so we were woken up several time during the night by this group of kids. And when wanted to go for a swim at 8am there were all by the pool drinking and smoking.. Not great!
There were a (kind of) well behaved group of youngsters but that's not what you want to see when you reserve a hotel like this.
We are laid back hence the positive rating and really £30 per night is nothing! But i have to say that i was expecting much more from this place.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank RMC0212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santo
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

Upon arrival, first impressions weren't wonderful... the entrance gates were straight onto the very busy main road; and I feared that descriptions of "historic" and "characterful" basically meant "a bit run down"! One of the two pools was under repair - the other a milky colour; tarapaulin was stretched over sections of roof; our 'old' rooms were a bit musty; and plastic corrugated roofing topped the ensuite bathrooms. But during our 4 day stay we slowly grew to really like the place. The staff were absolutely wonderful; the pool was great for our young boys and the breakfasts were fresh. As a wider location, it was good being a bit removed from the crowds of the beach and main drag; with easy tuk-tuk access to both, and also to Galle. We didn't love the dinners (other guests did!) - but no minor quibbles could overwrite the sheer goodwill of the staff. Our rooms themselves weren't great - we had been strongly advised to try and get rooms in the new block (which were weren't able to do). These were better and are highly recommeneded.

Room Tip: try and get a room in the "new" blocks
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Del1977Santo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tel Aviv, Israel
1 review
Reviewed 1 January 2014

Excellent hotel, very homey, great Ayurveda spa and great food !
The stuff is very nice and kind, the roons are nice ' clean and roomy and the swimming pool is great. they also have a pet duck :p
A short distance walk from Unawatuna beach and a took took 5 minute drive from Galle.

Room Tip: Take the rooms above the pool, they are way better
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank johny1t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nooit Gedacht Heritage Hotel

Property: Nooit Gedacht Heritage Hotel
Address: 182 Matara Road | Opposite Timber Co-Operation, Unawatuna, Galle 80600, Sri Lanka (Formerly Nooit Gedacht - Ayurveda Health Resort)
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Unawatuna
#5 Spa Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Nooit Gedacht Heritage Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nooit Gedacht Heritage Hotel, Also known as Nooit Gedacht Ayurveda Health Resort is a historical Colonial style villa built in 1735. It was once the country home of a Dutch governor name De jong and was later taken over by the British as a military logistic centre. It is just 10 minutes walk away from the Unawatuna beach & 5 Km from UNESCO world heritage site of Galle fort. Nestled at the foot of Rumassala mountain (referred as Sanjeewani Mountain in the epic of Ramayana ) Nooit Gedacht is situated in the middle of a palm garden full of natural flora & fauna & a lotus lake. Guests can also enjoy traditional Ayurveda treatments, Spa, yoga & meditation while they indulge them selves in the tranquility that this place has to offer. Nooit Gedacht...Your Home in the Sun, is a place with old world charm & modern comforts that you must not miss while you are in Unawatuna! Come & enjoy the beauty & simplicity this place has to offer. Please note there are NO branches of Nooit Gedacht in the vicinity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nooit Gedacht - Ayurveda Health Hotel Unawatuna

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