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Sri Gemunu Beach Resort
Ranked #8 of 33 Hotels in Unawatuna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 November 2013

Cons

- The food, while adequate, is not amazing. The table service is good, and there is nothing "wrong" with the food, it's just not very exciting.

- The bathrooms all seem to have the nice square "rainfall" shower heads, but they don't work and you have to use the hand held appliance. This is not such a big deal, except that when they show you the room you tend to assume the installed appliances work. (They didn't work in any of the two rooms I stayed in, nor in my neighbour's).

- They are VERY insistent that you should bring your valuables to the safe room. It's very likely that they're only doing it for the guests' safety and I don't question their honesty, but it got to a point where the staff were asking me about it whenever they saw me and I ended up just bringing a few things to make them stop.

- There are times when it's impossible to find somebody who speaks English to help you (and they will not go find someone who does, they will just shrug).


Pros

- The location might not be great if you want beach chairs, boats and music, or if you want to have a proper swim, but if you want a quiet, secluded, spotless stretch of beach, it's perfect.

- On the last night of my stay I was moved to one of the bigger, air conditioned rooms (with TV, minifridge and private balcony) at no extra cost (I didn't get the exact reason, but it had to do with a wedding that was being celebrated on the resort). Being asked to move all your things in five minutes early in the morning is inconvenient, so it's good that they acknowledged this by upgrading me.

- Other reviews talk about buffets or "dish of the day" menus, but apparently that only happens in high season or when there are enough guests. When I was there (September), I was allowed to have anything I wanted from the menu (and I was even encouraged to order starters and desert when I didn't). When I went to settle my drinks bill there was a glass of wine that I hadn't ordered and that was promptly taken off.

- The rooms were spotlessly clean and well ventilated.

- The taxi service to Colombo airport was punctual and very comfortable. It's 1000 rupees more than hiring a service in Unawatuna town, but to me it was worth it.

Tip: if you intend to stay here, be prepared to argue with tuktuk/taxi drivers A LOT. Apparently the resort doesn't pay commission to touts, which is a good thing, but it means that everyone will try very hard to get you to stay somewhere else, and they will lie to you if they have to (it's closed! it's 100 dollars for a bad room! you will get food poisoning!).

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank singtheendsong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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101 - 107 of 444 reviews

Reviewed 12 September 2013

I spent three nights with a friend with here in August and we had an absolutely fantastic time. Although we had heard quite negative things about the overcrowded beach in Unawatuna Bay, we were delighted to see that this hotel was placed directly on a white sandy beach with palm trees, which was very clean and secluded. At this time of year the sea is very rough, which means on this side of the island you are usually not able to swim, but the hotel had the added benefit that due to a natural reef barrier, there was an area we could access and swim in safely. The staff was great and the food was some of the best we experienced during our whole stay in Sri Lanka. In addition, one of the hotel managers is a jewellery expert with a goldsmith working for him who is able to create custom made master pieces in a very short period of time. All in all I can greatly recommend a stay at this lovely family run hotel and I cannot wait to return!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Karoline N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2013

No black out curtains so morning light comes in. Water pressure not great. Sometimes hot water not hot. Towels old, faded and stiff. Pillows yellow, dirty and extremely old with broken foam inside. Pillow cases stained and smells musky. Sheets also smell musky.They make the bed and decorate the sheet in a pattern but you have to then make the bed up before sleeping to tuck in the sheets. Door latch broken. No safe in room but at reception. Can’t swim out front – no deck chairs on sand but to the left, they advise you to swim in sheltered reef as the rest of the beach has big surfs so dangerous. Lovely grounds and view with rocks and boulders out front. Fisherman’s stick in front of property but did not see any fishermen on it. Room basic but clean with fan and a/c. Private balcony concrete wall too high to see out to enjoy the view. Deck chairs in balcony permanently reclined - most uncomfortable. Room cleaned but towels not changed or shampoo/soap not replaced.

Breakfast and dinner included in price but pay for drinks. Ayurveda massages at inland property with pool - 10 mins walk in heat or driver will take you there and back - not the cheapest for Sri Lanka’s standards US$30. I’ve paid $21 - $25 in other places. They did not even clean my feet but used their hands to wipe down 1-2 times before the massage, followed by face without washing hands from body before proceeding with the face. Laid on a big banana leaf but had ants which makes it very unpleasant. Not much else to do around here, you feel stuck unless you get a tuk tuk and wander – plus with dinner thrown in, you stay in the property.

Beach area not the best – Mirissa is better (Paradise Club where we had lunch is the best in this area). Not my idea of a beach holiday, if you want to just sit and watch the ocean, this is fine but if you want a real beach holiday, this place is not for you. Buffet dinner spread Sunday night good and plenty. Other nights ala carte from menu – choose soup, salad, main and dessert. Food pretty good.

They ask if you would pay 1,000rps a night for your driver, all other places provide driver accommodation for free (at no extra expense to the tourist) – this makes us feel very obligated and BAD, as if it is now OUR problem. The working staff are very nice. Breakfast OK. Property set back from beach front which makes it a little unattractive. Next door to the left is Ratna’s Guesthouse with beach front – lovely. We had lunch and a drink here. There’s a few more properties to the left of the beach with beach front restaurants.

Room Tip: Might as well stay somewhere else - like Chaaya Tranz in Hikkaduwa
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Tweetcoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

On one hand, the beach was lovely and we very much enjoyed lying on the beach chairs at night to marvel at the starry sky. On the other hand, the breakfast was quite poor in choice and the rooms were not as special as we would have expected, although we did appreciate the balcony looking towards the water. Also, despite previous reviews suggesting that the stick fishermen were often perching in front of the hotel, we found out that it no longer is so.
It is not the greatest and next time I will find another place to stay at.

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

I stayed here 2 nights and it was okay I would not say amazing. To room was okay, the staff where mostly nice. I have been a female travelling solo around Sri Lanka for 3 weeks, and I did not feel 100% comfortable with the younger male staff members here. I got stared at a lot, a lot more than any place I have been in Sri Lanka, which I guess is expected to a degree. But on the first night when I went up to my room on the 1st floor there were about 6/7 young Sri Lanka men hanging around on the balcony. I know they where not staying here, as there was only me and one other female on the floor and I am not sure if they were staff. Either way I did not feel that comfortable as I am not sure why they were on the 1st floor balcony?!?!

The food was average but it was nice being close to the beach. A bit further out from the main beach.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank KRI001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Good beach location, nice room
Duration of stay: 2 nights (16-18 August)

Booking process and check-in/check-out: We booked directly by e-mail with owner and corresponded with Aruna in Germany, which was convenient because there was no time difference. Drinks offered at check in. Check out went without a hitch.

Room: We were allocated the corner room on the first floor, at the end of the corridor. This was quite nice. as we had no people walking past the bathroom window. Air con worked perfectly, bathroom was nice. No safe in the room, but you can store your valuables in a safe near the reception.

Facilities:. We went to the pool (got offered transport there and back). We were the only ones there, it is set in a nice “jungle” atmosphere. The sea was too rough to swim in, except for an area protected by a reef some minutes walk away.

Restaurant/meals: We had half board and twice had a buffet dinner. Breakfast was served at the table one day and as a buffet the next. Pity that they do not serve the excellent rolls they have in the evening (to go with the soup) at breakfast. Staff were attentive and the chef was clearly proud of his work, eager to explain what the dishes were and to urge his clients to try them.

Other remarks/Conclusion: A good mid-range hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Charry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2013

We had 4 good nights in the chalet, which proved a good choice. A very spacious room, and quiet location that proved a really relaxing start to our time in SL. The pool was a highlight, which we mostly had to ourselves. Transport to and from the hotel for meals was always available. Staff were all very friendly. Management were keen to know of future plans, and anxious to help out with transport/hotel arrangements – like a lot of places we stayed, they seemed a little over keen to benefit from offering their version of these. Food was ok but in the 4 nights we had repeat options and certainly was lacklustre in comparison to food offered in Sri Lanka – do not judge the Sri Lanka food from your meals here.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank HampshirePezza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sri Gemunu Beach Resort

Address: Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range: £51 - £75 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
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Also Known As:
Sri Gemunu Beach Hotel Unawatuna

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