What an imposter hotel this is. Our experience of this place was full of lies and more lies, from the start. We booked it based on the hotel's website, which sells it as 'Hotel Lavendish' --- we were quite happy with the budget rates and clean rooms with good views when we booked (with 100 percent advance payment). We were assured that there were no reviews of the hotel, because it was 'new'. However, the chinks began showing as soon as we reached Unawatuna. Our cab driver could not find any place called 'Lavendish' in Unawatuna, even though we stopped and asked at at least five places. Finally we called the number provided on their website, and they directed us to a certain Hotel Comaran Beach Resort, which was under renovation and had none of the rooms and views shown in the pictures on the website.
The management assured us that this was because it was in the process for applying for name change etc, and took us to to pool-facing rooms which smelled like they hadn't been opened for a long time --- clearly no one had stayed there, even though this was peak tourist season and all hotels were booked in Unawatuna, which was the first alarming thing. The second was the under-construction look and noise of the place - so much dust and drill machines screeching away all day on the main dining floor, which we were not informed about on their website. Then the access --- through gloomy, narrow staircases and exits, and it seemed as if we were the only guests staying there. However, the small lobby-restaurant on the ground floor suspiciously always had men sitting there, at odd hours, whispering and huddling over empty tables -- clearly they hadn't any luggage nor were casual dine-in guests.
At night, the electricity went off and when we returned from dinner outside, the whole place was shrouded in darkness, even though we had been explicitly told that the generator back up was available to last all night. Not a single staff member had a working torchlight. We had to make do with the meager light provided by our mobile phones to see where we were standing even, and felt very unsafe. The workers were totally unbothered about our problems --- they just shrugged their shoulders and casually said that the blackout was because the generator had run out of fuel and that 'someone has gone to get the petrol' to restart it. This was such a breach of trust, if not an eerily shady place --- how could we be guaranteed that something more ghastly wouldn't happen in the course of the night? We quickly packed our bags and prepared to leave that very night, to look for an alternate hotel. The manager and staff were least bothered. Forget about refunding our money --- there wasn't even a single 'sorry' uttered by them all.
AVOID this place, for who knows what worse could happen here.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in a peaceful and beautiful location in southern coast of Sri Lanka, you will find Lavendish Beach Hotel Unawatuna overlooking the world famous Unawatuna beach which dazzles under the tropical sun. Offering the deserving traveler and holiday enthusiast with a lovely view of the Indian Ocean, Lavendish Hotel Unawatuna provides a memorable holiday experience with its cozy rooms, friendly service and delectable food.Guests at the Lavendish Hotel Unawatuna enjoy Room service, 24 hour Reception services, Restaurant & bar, Internet Access and Laundry. The elegant swimming pool at Lavendish Hotel Unawatuna allows guests to enjoy the sun and water or make the most of the holiday spirit by relaxing with friends and family, tasting delightful snacks from the poolside snack bar. The restaurant at Lavendish Hotel Unawatuna serves Continental and European breakfast, and local and international dishes at the hotel’s buffet. ... more less