This is probably one of the nicest places to stay in Unawatuna and around. The staff are lovely and very accommodating and they really couldn't do enough for us. They helped us get reasonably priced tuk tuks, ensured the lovely towels, water and peanuts were provided for the beach and saw to it that we received fresh juice when we came in for the evening. We were even given a very lovely gift as we left which was really nice. The older gentleman who sits by the gate making sure that everything is as it should be was also a real sweetie. They have made a wonderful business here out of what used to be the owner's jewellery factory after he sadly lost everything i the Tsunami.
There was a slight confusion with booking as I initially booked a deluxe room as there were no VIP suites available, but was then offered a VIP suite, which turned out actually not to be available. However, Sumith (the owner) was very apologetic and after two nights in the deluxe we spent the following five nights in the VIP suite which became available.
The deluxe room was very nice, though, echoing someone else's comments, it was quite dark and was also located right next to a communal kitchen. The kitchens are a really nice touch and provide free tea and coffee and the capacity to cook your own food if you wish. This seemed particularly helpful for those with young children. Unfortunately some incredibly noisy and rude Russian people decided to use this kitchen to party until the early hours of the morning. Obviously this was no fault of the Villa itself, and Sumith, after receiving several complains, told them that their conduct was unacceptable. However, it might be an idea to put some sort of notice in the kitchens asking people to refrain from playing music/shouting etc in the communal areas late at night as it isn't pleasant for everyone else and is really not in keeping with the type of place.
The VIP suites are quite a bit bigger than the deluxe rooms, have a better view and, importantly for me, had a bath tub. However, while we did like the aesthetics of the room very much, there were a few of problems:
First was the noise from the road. The villa is on a very busy road and I did find this disturbing. It was better with earplugs, but if possible I would recommend choosing one of the suites behind slightly off the road, unless you are OK with road noise.
Second, we had a lot of ants in the bathroom, and I'm pretty sure an ants nest which needs removing. We did report this problem, but it did not seem to get rid of the ants.
Third and finally, there was a problem with the air conditioning as we seemed unable to control the temperature when it was on to anything other than freezing cold. As we only had a sheet to sleep under this made it way to cold to sleep and we ended up turning it off which made the room really too hot. Someone did come to look at it but it did not fix the problem and in the process removed the extra sheet we had requested so we endured another freezing/boiling night before managing to get another sheet. These problems did detract a little from the experience but where not detrimental. However, as the place is quite expensive for the area they do need to be addressed.
The food selection at breakfast was eclectic, but good with something for everyone. They are very flexible and really want everyone to experience the different fruits etc. The breakfast room is also nice and airy, cooled by fans. Though again there can be a problem with ants on the tables and getting onto your plate which I appreciate is difficult to avoid.
Finally, we thought it was a really nice touch that we received the complimentary meal on the second night of our stay. My husband is allergic to some seafood and they were very accommodating by switching this to chicken (though I was a bit disappointed as I love seafood and when I saw others eating it it looked amazing). However, this did not suit me so well as I think they had forgotten that I mentioned that I do not eat pork and the chicken seemed to be stuffed with cheese and bacon. - I did not find this too much of a problem as I was able to scrape the filling out, but I mention this as if it had been for religious reasons it might have been more of a problem, especially as I think I had already eaten some before I noticed. Consequently be very clear if there is something that you do not eat. Otherwise the standard of cooking was very good indeed and the food was delicious. Hopefully they will see there way to making a full restaurant one day as I think it would be very popular.
Overall I would recommend Ridee Villa as a nice place to stay. You really cannot fault the intentions of the staff. Had I just been reviewing the people themselves, I would have awarded 5 stars.
This place is best suited to those who prize good service at the top of their list of priorities for a hotel. Perhaps it is less well suited for those who want a party atmosphere, to be on the beach (I would actually probably have preferred to be slightly closer to the beach or at least the other side of the busy road) or to relax by a pool. All of these options are available in Unawatuna.
As ever I offer my feedback not as a criticism but as an opportunity for travellers to make the best choice for them so they end up in their preferred place and can give a fair review on the merits of that place, rather than its compatibility with their preferences. Also to make the place even better for those who prefer a place like this. As this hotel is so well managed, I have no doubt that my comments will be taken into consideration as the owners are very good people who really do want to give their guest the best experience possible.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Come as a Guest, Leave as a Friend " Ridee Villa is not a Hotel or Holiday Resort But someone who travel down south or willing to spend a few days on the unawatuna beach, This is the ideal place to lodge.Probably this would be the best Specialty lodging of an extraordinary Unique Boutique Guesthouse in Unawatuna.RV offers you unbelievable serenity & freedom that cannot be experienced in a mainstream hotel. Therefore this becomes Your Home away from Home. It is virtually a second home where you can spend and unwind mainly due to the unique "Home Hotel Concept" practiced by the amiable owners who are at hand, personally, to accede to all your needs. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ridee Villa Hotel Unawatuna