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“3+ bullets, for me a good deal in Unawatuna”

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Comaran Beach Hotel
Ranked #104 of 149 Unawatuna B&B and Inns
Reviewed 2 July 2012

I have spent there 5 days to attend a 3 days meeting with partners coming from different countries - Italy and South Asia, a group of about 25. Basically we were the only guests of the hotel, beside a few others.
I had shared the previous comments on TripAdvisor with the organizers warning them. The reviews was then shown to the management. Maybe because of that, we had no such bad experiences like others reviewers.
The hotel was previously Lavendish Beach Resort. See the website www.lavendishbeachresort.com.

It is not super-fancy hotel, more an average, the 3 bullets should actually be a 3-and- a half, taking into account the price, which was very much reasonable (low season, single room with a/c: 4,400 LKR = 27Euro=33USD: though I think price was negotiated for the meeting).
I am not quite sure whether you can find a better deal around, all considered: I have seen much more modest places at a higher rate. At the end, everyone of our group found it a good hotel and I was not reported any complain.

Now the details.
The hotel's name does not sound familiar to all the locals, maybe because it has changed; no the spelling is agreed, someone call it Cormoran/Comoran/Comaran... Anyway, just to give a direction, it is on the may road form Galle to Unawatuna, opposite to the Sun&Sea hotel, on the east side of Unawatuna bay. Now, you cannot miss it.
The hotel IS NOT on the beach, which is just 50 mt. across the road. Easy to flip-flop over there and come back for dine, anyway. The beach is peppered with any sort of restaurants and bars.
In 10/15 min. walking on the beach you can reach Unawatuna happeining part, it takes longer if you go by the street, better to take a tuk-tuk, available close to the beach.
Galle and its Fort are 10 minutes by tuk-tuk.

As others reviewers have noticed, the building(s) seems to be designed by Escher, it is a labyrinth of stairs.
My room was a good, comfortable one, on the last floor with a small, pleasant balcony over the swimming pool; far away from the street, not noisy. The room, with A/C,Sat TV and fridge, was clean, some of the finishes (details) just ok . WiFi is NOT available in the rooms: you have to go down to the lobby. I have seen other rooms and all seemed fine. There is also a separate cottage close to the swimming pool with two bedrooms and a kitchen.
On arrival I was offered a fresh juice.

An area with a pool is on the first floor.
The swimming pool was pleasant and it was cleaned everyday, though I am not sure the filters were working all the time.

Restaurant on the second floor enjoys a views on the bay, though the street makes it sometimes a bit noisy. Breakfast (toast, eggs, tea, coffee, butter, jam, fresh fruit) and meals, both on buffet, were ok. The management was able to accommodate the different taste of people coming from so many different countries and nobody complained -though nobody found the meals anything super-remarkable.
Did not try anything à la carte though... as I said you have plenty of choices around.
Restaurant service was a bit too slow.
Room service was faster, kind and effective.

We have not experienced any unconcern from the management nor from the personnel: I thing the place has improved and the initial warning I shared came to an use. The manager even proposed to organize a BBQ on the swimming pool as a social dinner.
Finally: all considered it is a good, budget choice in Unawatuna, which has the swimming pool and rooms cleanness and simple style as a plus. You can enjoy your time by staying here. If you go crazy for boutique hotels, design and more frills this may be not your place.

Room Tip: Rooms 217-217 look over the swimming pool and have a small balcony with chairs and a coffee table. R...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank lungoilcammino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 29 of 37 reviews

Reviewed 24 June 2012

My wife and I and 2 of our friends visited this place and we stayed in lovely rooms. The rooms were newly refurbished. They had a very clean, tidy bathroom with hot and cold water, excellent beds, aircon and a balcony. The double room we got was quite big.
You just need to cross the road to get to the beach. Convenient location. And the happening area of Unawatuna is only about a 15 minute walk from the hotel.

Could improve the restaurant though. When we went down for breakfast, the lad in the restaurant said that they didn't serve full-breakfast, but that we could order a sandwhich. So we decided to go for breakfast elsewhere. Then another waiter who brought us coffee said that we could have breakfast. That part was a bit unorganised and staff weren't sure about food.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Shan222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2012

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.

Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
3  Thank Swaati
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2012

Our experience at Comaran was nothing short of horrible. we had booked the property through Agoda where the property was registered as Hotel Lavendish with photos showing it to be on a hilltop close to the beach. This we found was not true when we landed there. Bad start. We checked in and were taken through a labryinth of stairs - giving it a very spooky feeling. Once we had checked cpl of rooms and rejected it. We were taken to be shown a set of rooms away from the main building. Heavy smell of stale air and wood paint - left us a little disappointed but we anyhow agreed to stay in the villa option (2 rooms and a dining plus kitchen). We were in for a rude shock when we returned in the evening after a trip to the happening part of Unawatuna (good 3 km away) - electricity was not there at the hotel and Villa was not connected to the generator backup (eventhough we were told there is power backup in all rooms). We then decided to shift to a room in a main building into a much smaller room. Lo-behold the power backup also failed as soon as we setlled into the room. We being two couples were in a sticky spot in pitch darkness- when 4 of the staff stood in the stairway - joking in local language and making us feel very uncomfortable. They kept making vague excuses like some problem in genset then saying the gasoline has finished and someone has gone to get it (this is at 10pm). The harrowing experience continued as no one from the management showed up in spite of our repeated requests and we were growing tense by the minute with no match or light being provided by the staff. We decided to switch the hotel immediately and moved to a better property. While we were shifting out our luggage - the duty manager turned up with glazed eyes as if he was doped and offered no apologies for the inconvenience - let alone any talk of refunding our 258 USD charged at the time of check-in. All in all - a property you must AVOID!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Vivek K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2012

Our experience at Comaran was nothing short of horrible. we had booked the property through Agoda where the property was registered as Hotel Lavendish with photos showing it to be on a hilltop close to the beach. This we found was not true when we landed there. Bad start. We checked in and were taken through a labryinth of stairs - giving it a very spooky feeling. Once we had checked cpl of rooms and rejected it. We were taken to be shown a set of rooms away from the main building. Heavy smell of stale air and wood paint - left us a little disappointed but we anyhow agreed to stay in the villa option (2 rooms and a dining plus kitchen). We were in for a rude shock when we returned in the evening after a trip to the happening part of Unawatuna (good 3 km away) - electricity was not there at the hotel and Villa was not connected to the generator backup (eventhough we were told there is power backup in all rooms). We then decided to shift to a room in a main building into a much smaller room. Lo-behold the power backup also failed as soon as we setlled into the room. We being two couples were in a sticky spot in pitch darkness- when 4 of the staff stood in the stairway - joking in local language and making us feel very uncomfortable. They kept making vague excuses like some problem in genset then saying the gasoline has finished and someone has gone to get it (this is at 10pm). The harrowing experience continued as no one from the management showed up in spite of our repeated requests and we were growing tense by the minute with no match or light being provided by the staff. We decided to switch the hotel immediately and moved to a better property. While we were shifting out our luggage - the duty manager turned up with glazed eyes as if he was doped and offered no apologies for the inconvenience - let alone any talk of refunding our 258 USD charged at the time of check-in. All in all - a property you must AVOID!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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8  Thank Vivek K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2012

This hotel goes under two names, which is a bit odd. It comes up on some internet hotel booking sites as 'the Lavendish' but the sign outside actually says 'Comoran Beach'. We were told it was in process of changing name but it made it hard for our taxi to find - the driver had to phone for directions.

It is directly across the road from a quiet stretch of beach and about 10 minutes walk along the beach into the centre of Unawatuna.

The hotel is a labyrinth - several buildings joined together. it has a pleasant and clean swimming pool and a restaurant with a view over the bay, through breakfast service was inexplicably slow.

We had a good room in one of the external blocks, clean, good sized bathroom, aircon and fan and the managers kindly allowed us to keep it on until the evening on the day of departure. However there were repeated power cuts (to our block, not the whole town) though these were promptly and politely attended to.

Galle fort is worth a half day. Despite the name it is more like a historical town than a fortress, offering quiet streets of colonial buildings to explore and fine views out to sea from the fort walls. There are many pleasant cafes and museums.

Unawatuna is a resort that appears to have been rebuilt since the tsunami. It offers an attractuve sandy beach round a bay with a reef close offshore, lots of paces to eat and drink and plenty of accommodation.

There is little to see in the village itself but Galle fort is 20 minutes aware by tuk tuk and trips are offered by agencies to many places including a whole day trip to Yala National Park, whe eif you get luck, as we did, you may see leopards.

Room Tip: Rooms in the separate blocks may be quieter being away from the road
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  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Polothecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Location
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Thank Василий П
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Comaran Beach Hotel

Address: Ganahena, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #104 of 149 B&Bs / Inns in Unawatuna
Price Range: £26 - £98 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 22
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 
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