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“A lovely place to stay just by the beach”

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Secret Garden Villa
Ranked #20 of 33 Hotels in Unawatuna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 March 2013

We stayed 3 nights here towards the end of our journey around Sri Lanka. Initially we were disappointed that our booking had been altered and we didn't have the room we had specified but instead were put in a quirky room in the old house. It's a beautiful old building full of antique furniture but we had no window, other than one opening onto another room, electric lighting was very poor and our bathroom was down a passage. However, the staff were great, always smiling, the night watchman was an absolute gem, the location ideal, and the garden and veranda quiet and serene, Simone was charming and helpful with local information Wifi a bit hit and miss and we felt it is on the expensive side compared to all the other places (many of them fabulous) where we had stayed. Would recommend if you like something a little bit different, would return if ever in that part of Sri Lanka again.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sarah1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
E_Abeyewardene, Owner at Secret Garden Villa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2013

Dear Guest
We thank you for all the glowing reviews, constant feedback help us maintain an excellent service. We are thrilled that you enjoy our magical place and took time to unwind at Secret Garden. We hope to welcome you again!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (134)
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60 - 66 of 134 reviews

Reviewed 20 February 2013

The most fascinating place to stay - combining beach location with peacefulness of a garden, old colonial furniture, and very friendly and helpfull stuff! Yoga dome is exceptional for meditation and practices - the energy is very positive =)

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank AsyaOm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2013

I am more a fan of impersonal good service, however this experience was just fantastic, the location is delightful so near the beach yet tucked away behind a wall in a lovely monkey filled garden. The old world charm of the building could best be described as shabby chic but clean and comfortable, the best aspect of this stay in such a lovely place was the staff, the hostess is European and the rest of the staff are local and they are such a lovely bunch, friendly and helpful and really attentive without feeling like they were waiting on you or hustling for tips. I hope very much to return some day, or recreate a place like this of my own.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Tracyonhols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2013

Lonely Planet recommends this as one the best places to stay in Unwatuna; thus we booked 2 nights. But what is described in the book as a lush garden and a beautiful house is really exaggerated. We found that the floors dirty full of sand, shower handles hanging loose, aircondition that we couldn´t understand and very little possibility for help to sort hings out in the evening.

If you are a backpacker this hotel will surely be nice if you lived some weeks in dodgy places. But as a recommended place for USD 140 a night is a rip off

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with family
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Thank norztn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2013

My wife and i stayed in secret garden for a few days, and just loved the place. Right from when you walk in you're blown away by the quaint beauty and serentiy of the place. Situated at a stones throw from the beach it has a great location.
The converted villa is maintained very well with a very nice team and a great hostess, Simona.
We were there for about 4 days and were spoilt silly by the staff. They were sweet enough to bake a cake for my wifes birthday and organize flowers for her as well. Fantastic people, and a great place to stay. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank dangerousminds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2012

Simona was utterly charming... as she royally ripped us off. This was our most expensive accommodation in Sri Lanka and the rooms weren't worth the price. They were charming enough, but pokey and the bathrooms were dusty, one was decidedly unprivate. When Simona quoted us the price, she did say that taxes still had to be added... our mistake for not asking what taxes, as she charged us for both service and tax on an already exorbitant room rate. We should have asked: it was 22% extra with the one tax added on top of the other! At breakfast (not included in the room rate - I hate this trend in Sri Lankan establishments, it's mean and money-grabbing), the staff kept on serving us food which we foolishly thought was part of our meal. I should have known better when I ordered the egg and grilled tomato only to receive one egg and a small slice of fresh tomato (someone is a bean-counter here...!) When we received our breakfast bill it was jammed (literally) with food we hadn't ordered, but had foolishly eaten (including separate costs for jam and toast!) Honestly, it's a sweet place, but not worth the ripped-off feeling you have as you leave, and the money-grabbing owner charmingly grins at you. The gardens are lovely, slightly shabby, with monkeys visiting. Bottom line: not good value for money.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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9  Thank wandel_gogga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2012

Secret garden is a magic place, we felt relaxed as soon as walked through the gates. Simona and all her staff were the most gracious of hosts, brilliant service with plenty of laughs and smiles. Comfortable rooms with lots of character, the best breakfasts we ate in Sri Lanka and possibly the best yoga master/Devine healer you will ever come across! Just a great place, a slice of the garden of Eden right in the middle of una!!

Room Tip: Beware of Tori (the dog) he has a split personality.... Ha
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Soboyeow
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

Address: Beach Access Road, Unawatuna 80600, 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:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range: £44 - £108 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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