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“Dark, dank and bug-infested”

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Secret Garden Villa
Ranked #19 of 32 Hotels in Unawatuna
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Dark, dank and bug-infested”
Reviewed 23 June 2013

If you like being ripped off for dark, dank, damp, bug-infested rooms, then Secret Garden is your place. If not, avoid it at all costs. The lonely planet writer was clearly a certain type of “traveller” with a very clear agenda – do not trust him.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Vincent584
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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129 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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13
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2013

If you're planning a stay in Unawatuna, do not look anywhere else. This location has it all - the beach is a stone's throw away, it's centrally located near all of the town's amenities, and it's tucked away from the road in its own lush retreat. The buildings are spectacular, the grounds are pristine, and the owners and caretakers could not be more friendly. Oh yeah, and did I mention the food? The food is ridiculously good. Enjoy some under the overhang and listen to the sweet noises in the garden, or perhaps do some yoga in the dome? I had a great time exploring Unawatuna, but at the end of every day, I honestly couldn't wait to come back to the Secret Garden - it's one of those gems that you only find every once in a while, where you could just stay forever. I'm sad I had to leave, but I can say that I will definitely be returning to this place more than once. Thanks to the owners and staff for the best stay!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank MountainTopSeaFloor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

We had a bungalow set in the tropical gardens which was beautiful and full of character. We had our own veranda and seating area, a lockable wardrobe and an ensuite with open air shower. We turned up without a booking but were treated straight away to fresh flowers and incense burning in our room. The breakfast is pricey by Sri Lankan standards but will certainly set you up for the day as the portions are very generous. It really does feel like a little sanctuary from the dusty and often busy street outside, set behind a stone wall and accessed through a little wooden door it's very peaceful and highly recommended.

Room Tip: Would definately recommend the bungalows
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Cia1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2013

We stayed at the secret garden for 3 nights in late february 2013 and wished we hadn't. The garden itself is lovely but because there is a non running stream that passes through it there are many large mosquitoes that are around from early evening until 11 am the next day and one cannot sit out comfortably. the bungalows are relatively basic and quite damp ..the partial exterior bathroom was dirty with green mould around the shower and quite basic. We paid over $70 for this privilege and the price did not include breakfast .

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Poppy809
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 review, 4 March 2013
Dear Guest
We understand that the mosquitos can get irritable and therefore we offer all our guest complimentary bugspray, I wish you could have let us know while you were at Secret Garden. Our villa has a beautiful one acre garden which becomes your living room, we also offer holistic wellness facilities. Since the architecture and style is rustic it is understandable that it does not suit those who want modern accommodation. We apologize for any shortcomings and wish you all the best on your travels.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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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Helpful?
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 review, 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!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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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Helpful?
1 Thank AsyaOm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tracyonhols
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 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:
#12 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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