We just stayed for five days at the Hotel Flower Garden
in Unawatuna having stumbled on it through the Rough
Guide which in no way does it complete justice
although the review is quite favorable. The hotel is
owned, managed by M. Sassi, a charming graduate of the
renowned Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne where he spent
five years perfecting his skills. Incredibly the Rough
Guide does not mention this fact. He comes from a
family of hoteliers, his mother owns a hotel in
Columbo. The site of the hotel is quite lovely, down
a small alleyway as you arrive in Unawantuna and quite
easy to miss. It was not damaged by the Tsunami in any way that we could notice. The hotel consists of 18 tastefully
decorated cabanas with their own bathrooms and
mosquito netting around the beds. All have air conditioning. The grounds are quite attractive and very well kept, and there is a
quite large, by Sir Lankan stardards, swimming pool
which is perfectly maintained.
The cuisine at Flower Garden is out of this world. We
took the European plan and enjoyed spectacular
breakfasts with a wide variety of fruits and breads.
You can also order at no extra charge all sorts of egg
dishes with sausages and other breakfast meats. The
dinners are exquisite and taken outside along a
veranda and it was after enjoying two of these meals
that we realized that Mr. Sassi must be European
trained. The attention tocolor, nutritional, and
aesthetic balances of the flavors of the dishes cried
out that he had received very serious training! The
cuisine is European and a welcome break from the
relentless rice and curry of Lankan restaurants.
Mr. Sassi has collected about him an absolutely
charming staff that are eager, kind, speak English
reasonably well, curious about their guests, and
incredibly hospitable. He also arranged a driver to
take us to our next stop, Haputale, about six hours
away. The driver was a mature man who drove extremely
carefully in a large van which was a relief given the
hectic, to put it kindly, Lankan roadways. The hotel
will also send a driver to pick you up at the airport
if you so choose.
The hotel is about a ten minute walk to the beach or a
one minute tuk-tuk. We enjoyed the scuba diving and
beaches and the loveliness of the Flower Garden Hotel.
We highly recommend it. And at about $50 per day for two people including breakfast and dinner, it is a real bargain.
We spend about a third of the year traveling throughout the world and have found this to be one of the best value and charming establishments we have found.
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- Also Known As:
- Flower Garden Unawatuna
- Hotel Flower Garden