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“Felt safe and cared for by lovely people”

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Secret Garden Villa
Ranked #20 of 30 Hotels in Unawatuna
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Felt safe and cared for by lovely people”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2012 via mobile

We stayed 2 nights here, with my husband sick for one of those days. Staff here were great, really friendly and caring, and nothing too much trouble. Felt like we were guests on their house. The room was fine although a bit dark, shutters with no glass windows but it wasn't a problem. Open bathroom but again, no problem. Overall, we loved our stay especially with the lovely staff!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Getalife8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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128 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    73
    28
    12
    9
    6
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13
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6
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
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Zürich
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2012

We spent 6 nights here over Christmas 2011. The bungalows are clean and well maintained. The bathroom had an open shower. Simona and her team are extremely helpful and attentive. The garden is beautiful. Wild monkeys came down from th hills for a visit and there is a huge lizzard that lives in the stream that runs through the premises.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pascal W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2012

I called here after reading rave reviews in Lonely Planet guide. Couldn't believe the price of the rooms for what you got (didn't get). As usual I take off my shoes when entering a room in Sri Lanka to keep it clean; should have kept them on!! The stone floors of the rooms were dank smelling, dirty and covered in ants. The old style beds had brightly coloured throws on them; they too were damp and smelly. When I said that the rooms were dark, the badly fitting shutters on the window were thrown open and I realised that there was no mozzie protection or glass. Coudn't wait to get out of there. This may have been a beautiful well-kept sanctuary once upon a time, but it has been allowed to deteriorate over time. Once again, Lonely Planet should really update their guides. Much better value in Hikkadua or Mirissa. Went and stayed in Mirissa for 6 euros a night at Sunshine Villas right on the beach, clean room and private bathroom. Or try Goyambuka Guest House further down the coast, 20 euros a night. True peace and tranquility.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank AnnieOK609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2012

Among all guest houses in Unawatuna we found that The Secret Garden is the most beautifull place to stay. This colonial house is settled on a huge plot with nicely maintaind garden which sentisizes a "tropical look. You will also find a small river with bridges which leads to The Dome for your yoga classes or massage. Rooms are equped with antique furniture with attached open air bathrooms.Just a few steps from the house there is a beach where you will find a lot of restorans and bars. Historic city of Galle is 10 minutes by tuk-tuk it is worth to spend a day. Thanks to Mrs Simona and the staff our stay in Unaatuna was excellent

Room Tip: Room nest to the main house
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Miroslav L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2012

We stayed here seeing it listed as a "boutique hotel". Even their top suite (the "Tao" suite) is a long way from boutique. The room is dirty (floors, poor shower), poorly equipped (holes in mosquito net, intermittent power). Room is noisy, directly next to the road.
For USD 110 (ex breakfast), this is nowhere near the quality expected.
We moved up the road to the Frangipani Tree after one night. For only US 50 more, this is a completely different experience. It's worth paying a bit more and avoiding Secret Garden.
The garden itself is nice, and could be a nice stay for a much cheaper rate.

Room Tip: go to another hotel
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sax121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2012

The secret garden really is such a happy place. The staff are so friendly and helpful, the breakfasts (we only ate breakfast there) just delicious, the yoga a must! Our room was simple but all you need, the beds (and pillows) comfy. What more to say, can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: Friday nights can be noisy with the disco down the road, music stopped around 12pm, worth staying ou...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vicky W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
44 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2012

Firstly, Sri Lanka is mostly a destination for adventure travelers. Of course there are some high-end options that are very pricey in Colombo, but outside of the city - the coastal areas, even the 'nicest' places are a little rough for those not accustomed to such travel.

The secret garden is one of the 'nicer' places in Unawatuna, an awesome beach town with some cool restaurants and bars and beautiful beaches.

While Secret Garden isn't right on the beach, it's literally just across the street. Upon arrival we were shown our bungalow and I was a little disappointed at its condition. Let's say it was very rustic. We upgraded and it was still 'rustic.' the floors are earthen tile which didn't give the feeling of pure cleanliness, but you have to get used to being a little dirty at all times in Sri Lanka; it's unavoidable. The bathroom was outside, literally an open air shower and toilet. It's pretty cool actually but if you expect a shiny clean bathroom, this isn't for you. The lizards and chipmunks are always watching you. :-)

The staff is friendly. Although, we were told not to get our beach towels sandy. Ha?? Wi-fi is not available in the rooms, only within sight of the kitchen where the router is. And for some reason, they turn it off and on constantly so you never know when you're going to lose your connection.

Its location is within walking distance of everything in town. A little pricey for what you get though. Linens weren't changed and trashes weren't emptied.

And a last annoyance. They surprised us on the last day that they don't accept credit cards... And there's no ATM except for in Galle (20 minutes away!!!). Are we not living in 2012?

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EarthGopher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Garden Villa

Property: Secret Garden Villa
Address: Beach Access Road, Unawatuna 80000, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Secret Garden Villa 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secret Garden is an oasis within the lively coastal village of Unawatuna, just 20m walking distance from the beach. It boasts a 19th century Dutch-Sri Lankan Colonial Villa with bungalows and suites and a 4000sqm tropical garden. In the middle of the garden rests a large dome, offering 2 daily yoga classes, an on call Ayurvedic therapist for massage and wellness therapy as well as free space for dance, meditation and music. Our staff is courteous and warm. A large tropical breakfast is available daily at all times, and our two chefs are lovingly prepared to cook a great eastern or western meal for you on pre-order. Secret Garden provides relaxation and serenity alongside the opportunity to dive into the blue ocean of one of the country's most popular bays, experience the myth of the Rumassala Mountain and dance away at Unawatuna's many beach bars. May all be Welcome! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secret Garden Villa Hotel Unawatuna
Secret Garden Hotel

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