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“Bird watchers paradise”
Review of Villa Gaetano

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Villa Gaetano
Ranked #2 of 161 Unawatuna B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 March 2014

After reading all the brilliant reviews on here I had a good idea that we were onto a winner. The booking process was quick and simple. I emailed them direct and Melani answered every message immediately answering all my questions.
When we arrived we were met with a lovely cooling fruit drink and presented with a flower garland.
We were impressed before we even entered the building, the garden is beautiful so lush and green and the pool lovely and clean.
We had booked an upstairs room as we had been worried about Mosquitos (the large pond is next to the building) but there was no problem with this at all. Would be happy to have a room on either floor as all rooms lovely. Thick European mattress,immaculate bedding and comfy pillows on the bed. All rooms have a fridge stocked with beer wine and water convenient when it is so hot. Fresh flowers in the room every day, lovely little touches that make it special. The bathrooms are all very modern and tastefully decorated.
There was complimentary shampoo and shower gel provided and best of all constant hot water.

There is free use of the bicycles which is a big plus (other places charged a rental). My partner used one just about every morning before it got too hot to go bird watching. Thanks to Chrishan showing him around the mangroves and lakes he would never have found on his own he managed to spot forty six different species of birds just in the garden or within over one mile ride of it. Bird watchers paradise.

Chrishan will run you locally in their tucktuck as this gorgeous place is about a mile and half from the beach. We liked the fact that it was away from the madding crowd so peaceful listening to the birds,the occasional rustling of a monitor lizard in the bushes and the monkeys feeding on the bananas growing in the grounds.

Breakfast is served very flexibly in the morning. Tea or coffee, fruit juice(real fruit juice not from a carton) eggs any way you like them and toast and jam. Always asked if we needed any more so no need to leave the breakfast table hungry.

We only ate a few meals there as eating in different places is part of our holiday but what we did have was excellent. You must try the mangrove crab that Chrishan cooks - delicious - and very reasonably priced. They also do a deal for half board which just about everyone took them up on so must have been a good price.

Melani will arrange any excursions you want to do and their prices were comparable or even cheaper than the travel shops on the beach. Anything you want to know they go out off their way to help you nothing is to much trouble. We also used them for a drop of to Negumbo and that was very reasonably priced as well.
What more can I say this is customer service at its best. If you want attentive helpful smiling hosts then this is the place to book.

We stayed for two weeks and could have easily stayed two more. This place is perfect for young old, families, couples or singles - everybody just loved this place.

Thank you again for a wonderful two weeks,we heartily recommend this gem of a place.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Judie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chrishan S, Owner at Villa Gaetano, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2014

Dear Madam and Sir,

Thank you for taking your very much valuable time to write an excellent review about our Villa. We are really very happy to hear that you read our reviews and to be here for a relaxing holiday as it is a home stay. Great to know that you have enjoyed the food, the clean pool with beach beds to relax, the clean rooms with attached bathrooms, nice large terrace and the garden.
As you have mentioned madam this is a great place specially for Bird Lovers.
We are very happy to read your review and we will show your review for our family staff as it helps to motivate them even more. We hope you will visit us again for a nice relaxing stay.

Thanking you,
Melani & Chrishan
Villa Gaetano
Mangrove Road
Unawatuna
gjhapuarachchi@gmail.com
0094 7777 123 26/ 0094 77 340 80 47

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87 - 93 of 236 reviews

Reviewed 14 March 2014

From the prompt meeting at the airport to the flower garland and fresh juice waiting for me, things were already off to a great start. Add in amazing accommodation, a wonderful hosting family (who never stop smiling), great food, beautiful gardens, abundant wildlife (including some monkeys who occasionally swing into the banana tree in the grounds), a pool and you have a winning combination. The rooms are massive, modern and well equipped. I had a fan room but this was cool enough for me at night.
The beach is 2kms away. I walked it, but there is a free tuk tuk service. The beach area is quite cramped and crowded in terms of accommodation. I am so happy that I stayed just a little further away.
I HIGHLY recommend this place. This encapsulates everything that is wonderful about Sri Lanka. Read all the other reviews and you'll see just how much this place is loved.

Note- I emailed Melani directly and she was quick to respond. She confirmed a booking without a deposit. There are plans to link some of the rooms to agoda.com in the future. As I was a solo traveller, she actually reduced the rate for me.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank barkertron84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chrishan S, Manager at Villa Gaetano, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2014

Thank you for your feedback following your stay at Villa Gaetano Unawatuna (Melani+chrishan's Home). We are truly delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and our warm hospitality. It is great to know our culinary expertise exceeded your expectations with Chrishan's special cookery class.Also that we gave you a very special rate according the period that we are having as you have directly booked us. We eagerly look forward to having you with us again.
Thanking you,
Melani & Chrishan
Villa Gaetano (Melani + Chrishan's Home) Unawatuna
gjhapuarachchi@gmail.com
0094 7777 123 26/ 0094 77 340 80 47

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Reviewed 26 February 2014

We stayed for 6 nights and it was a wonderful place to relax at the end of our 5 week trip around Sri Lanka. There are 6 large luxury rooms with enormous ensuite and verandah. The building was completed in 2013 and was designed and built to a very high standard – quality furnishings and tiling everywhere. Most have a/c (extra cost) and all have a quiet and efficient ceiling fan. The beds are enormous with a large well-fitted mossie net.
The building is set in the owner’s large and beautiful garden which contains lawned areas, many coconut trees and an excellent swimming pool with loungers. The setting is very peaceful, being in a quiet lane but only a few minutes by tuk-tuk to the beach at Unawatuna, or to Galle, which we really enjoyed as a late afternoon excursion and to see the sunset from the Fort walls. The very helpful and kind owners, Melani and Chrishan, live in a separate dwelling on the grounds, so are at hand if you need anything. They cook a very good evening meal, (curry or fresh fish). There is also a raised thatched gazebo which can be lit with coconut oil lamps and you can have a romantic dinner there, as happened on our last evening. The setting could be a possible wedding venue, with the advantage of this nice raised feature, the large gardens and the excellent accommodation. Bikes are available free and Chrishan led us on some good rides along quiet country lanes through lovely countryside and to a nearby mangrove lake. We are keen birdwatchers and saw the following either in the garden or the surrounding area :-
Black Hooded Oriole, Indian Robin, Loten Sunbird, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, White Throated Kingfisher, Rose-Ringed Parakeet, White Breasted Waterhen, Brahminy Kite.
The price of the accommodation is very reasonable for the quality you get. Probably you should take the a/c. Wifi worked well.
Would have no hesitation in going back to stay there should we visit Sri Lanka again.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank colvic2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chrishan S, Manager at Villa Gaetano, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

Thank you for your lovely comments about relaxing & calming atmosphere of Villa Gaetano (Melani+Chrishan's Home). Villa Gaetano is a place where we cherish our nature with lovely flowers,palm trees, rare birds, monkeys & fire flies at night that are enjoyed by our guests.Specially bicycle rides around Mangrove inner island with paddy fields, Tuk Tuk drive to Jungle beach or Unawatuna beach or Galle Fort. Your comment was a delight to read & we are happy to know you also enjoyed the nice rooms the breakfast and Dinner and also your last day of holiday Romantic Dinner in a raised thatched gazebo which lit with coconut oil lamps. Hope to see you again to Villa Gaetano (Melani + Chrishan's Home) Unawatuna.

Thanking you a lot!
Melani + Chrishan
gjhapuarachchi@gmail.com
0094 77 77 123 26/ 0094 77 34080 47

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Reviewed 5 February 2014

We stayed at Villa Gaetano for 3 nights in January and enjoyed it very much. Melani & Chrishan are the loveliest, most helpful hosts and we were well taken care of. Chrishan is an excellent cook- try his amazing Sri Lankan crab curry! The rooms are large and clean (however a little bit dark). The A/C works well and there's plenty of hot water. Breakfast was great and there was plenty. The grounds are large, green and peaceful, a perfect spot for morning yoga practice!
It kind of feels like you're in the middle of the jungle, with animals, reptiles and insects (not so enthusiastic about the insects but I guess it's Sri Lanka and you just have to accept it.)
However it's just a 10min tuktuk ride from the beach and Chrishan was very helpful driving us there whenever we wished to go. It's perhaps a bit far to walk, especially at night as the road is narrow, jungle-like and dark but you can also borrow bikes for free.

However what is most memorable is the kindness, service and smiles of the hosts. They take care of you as if you were staying in their home. I warmly recommend Villa Gaetano!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank johannasandell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chrishan S, Manager at Villa Gaetano, responded to this reviewResponded 9 February 2014

Thank you for your feedback following your recent stay with us in Villa-Gaetano.
We regret any inconvenience that may have been caused to you during your stay with us. We thank you for the constructive feedback which is truly invaluable to us and we will certainly take the highlighted areas in to consideration for areas of improvement.
While thanking you for taking time to write to us, we certainly hope to have the privilege of welcoming you back at our Home, for a stay that we guarantee, will be memorable.
Thank you!

Melani + Chrishan
Villa-Gaetano
gjhapuarachchi@gmail.com

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Reviewed 29 January 2014

My friend and I stayed one week at Villa Gaetano in Jan 2014. We booked a transfer from the airport and was met by our driver and taken all the way to Villa Gaetano in a lovely air-conditioned car with a stop for coffee which was much needed.

Melani and Chrisan are just so welcoming and attentive to your needs I can highly recommend staying at Villa Gaetano. First night we had an amazing dinner served - home cooked and very tasty. Every morning we had breakfast served by Hassi - just delicious food, coffee and juice, can recommend the Sri Lankan omelette. The villa is just so well positioned in the mangrove away from all the hustle and bustle of the beach area, it is a very relaxing place and with such good facilities, great pool, lovely landscaping and you can play badminton in the lovely garden.

I hope to come back soon and thanks Hassi, Melani and Chrisan for a lovely stay at Villa Gaetano!

Room Tip: Get the room with the hammocks outside on the ground floor!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank SuperStinaLina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chrishan S, Manager at Villa Gaetano, responded to this reviewResponded 30 January 2014

Thank you for your great comments about Villa-Gaetano (Melani+Chrishan's Home) Unawatuna. We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us and specially that you enjoyed our breakfast and other meals. In the garden you can play badminton, have nice bicycle tours, and enjoy playing and swimming in the pool at any time. We look forward to seeing you at Villa Gaetano (Melani+Chrishan's Home) Unawatuna soon! Warmest Regards!
Melani+Chrishan

Villa-Gaetano (Melani+Chrishan's Home)
Contact us:- 0094 77 340 80 47/ 0094 7777 123 26
( When you are coming to villa gaetano please turn to the road near Unawatuna Post Office the road called Heenatigala Road, then cross the rail gate too when you are coming straight of this road you will find a little inner road called ''Mangrove'' in Sinhalese ''Kadolana'' please turn from that road come till you find ''Ayurvedic Village Garden'' then pass the biggest bridge over there next to it villa gaetano is with a green gate. There is a little Bord of ''Melani+Chrishan's Home''. As we are new and little make sure to contact us when you are arriving to give the directions to you in friendly manner!
Many thanks!

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Reviewed 22 January 2014

We booked direct and could not believe the quality of accomodation for what we paid. The room was spacious and beautifully presented. There was a shared balcony and a swimming pool in lovely gardens. We were picked up without cost from the bus stop and at all times were treated with gracious politeness and gentle charm by all the staff.
The Villa is about a kilometre from the main road but we found this a pleasant walk. We borrowed free bikes and the rides along the back roads were beautiful.
It is a bit far to easily eat anywhere else but there is a good menu and the table decorations are beautiful and full of flowers. We could be picky about the slowness of food arrival especially at breakfast and we probably had better currys elsewhere but to give this place anything other than 5 stars would be unfair.
Highly recommended for a relaxing and quiet stay in beautiful surroundings.

Room Tip: The upstairs rooms have a lovely shared balcony.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BangkokLoft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chrishan S, Manager at Villa Gaetano, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2014

Dear Madam & Sir,

Thank you for your feedback following your recent stay with us in Villa-Gaetano (Melani+Chrishan's Home).
We apologize that the services provided, did not meet your expectations. We are constantly reviewing our standards and always endeavor to improve our product and service offerings. Your constructive feedback is therefore deeply valued by us and will certainly be looked in to as areas where we could better our quality standards.
Once again thank you for taking your valuable time to writing us, and we certainly hope to have you with us once again.

Melani + Chrishan
Villa-Gaetano (Melani+Chrishan's Home)
Contact us:- 0094 77 340 80 47/ 0094 7777 123 26
( When you are coming to villa gaetano please turn to the road near Unawatuna Post Office the road called Heenatigala Road, then cross the rail gate too when you are coming straight of this road you will find a little inner road called ''Mangrove'' in Sinhalese ''Kadolana'' please turn from that road come till you find ''Ayurvedic Village Garden'' then pass the biggest bridge over there next to it villa gaetano is with a green gate. There is a little Bord of ''Melani+Chrishan's Home''. As we are new and little make sure to contact us when you are arriving to give the directions to you in friendly manner!
Many thanks!

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Reviewed 20 January 2014

Dear Melani & Chrishan,

We really enjoyed our four days stay at Villa Gateano, the room was big, beatiful and very clean. This little guesthouse is in Unawatuna, a short tukuk drive from the beach (but we prefered the pool). The area around this place is very safe and friendly and it´s not that turistic.
The best thing of our stay was to meet Melani, Chrishian and Hasi. The most friendly, helpful and happy persons.
Melani and Chrishian (the owners), made us feel like home, and organized theese lovely trips to the Buddhist temple and to Galle Fort.
The food was splendid, we ate there three times per day. We can specially recommend the sri lankan style crab... delishious!
If you are going to Sri Lanka, stay at this guesthouse, you´ll absolutely love it! It made our journey to the best!
PS. (they make the BEST mango and orange jucies IN THE WORLD).

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sofie_123sweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chrishan S, Manager at Villa Gaetano, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2014

Dear Madam & Sir,
Thank you for your excellent feedback following your stay at Villa-Gaetano ( Melani+chrishan's Home) Unawatuna . We are truly delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us and our warm hospitality. Specially our food ( Crab,Sandwiches,Sri Lankan Kitchen & Various Fruit Juices). It's a pleasure to join with you for a cycling tour to see around the mangrove beauty with inner village. Great to know our services & staff exceeded your expectations. We eagerly look forward to having you with us again.
Thanking you!
Melani+Chrishan

Villa-Gaetano (Melani+Chrishan's Home)
Contact us:- gjhapuarachchi@yahoo.com 0094 77 340 80 47 / 0094 7777 123 26

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Additional Information about Villa Gaetano

Address: Kadolana ''Mangrove'' Road | Atharagoda, Unawatuna 80600, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
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 #2 of 161 B&Bs / Inns in Unawatuna
Price Range: £25 - £54 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Gaetano - Melani and Chrishan's Home located in the village of Atharagoda, Unawatuna in a fully natural setup in mangroves.We have three large separate rooms ach with balconies, each with attached bathrooms & a refrigerator. All bedrooms are furnished. Melani and Chrishan's Home offers 1 free shuttle service per day to beach at your command. Rare facilities like free cookery class& kitchen facilities also are available on request.Other services: Swimming pool - (10meters long), Internet, frees bicycle, Library, Ayurvedic therapy and yoga, 24 hour safety guaranteed service, spacious garden for playing Laundry service, Airport pickup and Sight-seeing. When you are coming to villa gaetano please turn to Heenatigala Road from near the Post Office and turn again from Mangrove Road and come until you find Aturvedic Village Garden then pass the biggest bridge and left side with a green gate is Villa-Gaetano as we are new and a little place there is a little board with ''Melani+Crishan's Home'' Thank you! ... more   less 
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