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“The real Sri lanka”
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Very good
32 reviews
villa
pool
villa
Paolo and Jacopo Cottages
villa
villa
garden view from terrace
pool
executive bedroom sleeps three
ocean front view
morningshining
house beach
executive bedroom sleeps three
kitchen
guest room
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Main kitchen
houseview
Morning light on villa terrace living
Polhena Beach 5 minutes walking from the villa
Villa private beach and rubber boat
Executive Room.JPG
executive bathroom.JPG
swinging bed double.JPG
Outdoor kitchen
breakfast
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dining.JPG
executiveroom  from outside.JPG
kitchen roof
executiveview.JPG
flowers.JPG
guestroom from outside.JPG
house corner.JPG
house temple.JPG
terrace.JPG
guest room
guest room
guest room
guest room
guest room
executive bedroom sleeps three
guest room no 2 bathroom
sunset
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Overview
Villa -
4 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8
Matara, Southern Province

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 32 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
Dutch first
English first
French first
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Any
English first
kateb1per...
Abu Dhabi
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Lovely but not the place for a family with young children”
Reviewed 3 May 2012 for a stay in April 2012
3
people found this review helpful

I want to start by saying the house is truly beautiful, gorgeous decor and very well equipped. Were we visiting with older children or friends it would be an amazing retreat and we would have made lots of use of the brilliant boat, bikes and scooter for sure. However, we were traveling with our 17 month old daughter and I want to flag to other families this is not an appropriate house for young children and I believe the owners should update their description to make this clear - it should not say the house is suitable for young children.

The description and reviews made it clear this is a little bit off the beaten track but it was far more isolated than we had envisaged (both the house itself and Polhena, and we have stayed in Sri Lanka more than once so do have some experience).

The house has a floating stair case from the kitchen up to a roof terrace which opens directly on to a roof, so we spent a significant amount of time trying to stop a toddler from going near the stairs in case she hurt herself on them or God forbid actually made it to the top. The terrace would be amazing if you don't have young kids though, it's beautiful up there!

A point we also wish we'd known before booking, all the bedroom doors open externally so you cannot put young kids in their own rooms. Sadly the thin mattresses were also the most uncomfortable I have ever tried to sleep in in my life, which my husband and our friend agreed with. Such a shame for such a nice house to have uncomfortable beds. There are ceiling fans but no air con and we were all desperately hot at night, especially the baby who could not sleep in the heat.

The private beach mentioned was not in evidence during our visit, the waves broke on the rocks and the water wasn't very clean so we could not play or swim there with our daughter and had to make the 15 minute walk to Polhena Beach or 25 minute tuk tuk ride to Mirissa. There is no restaurant nearby, the nearest (extremely limited restaurant selection) are a 15 minute walk away which is not really practical with a hungry toddler.

I also found that whilst having a watchman on site all day was sometimes useful, it was quite intrusive to not be left alone at all. It would have been great if he could have given the bathroom floors the occasional wash too as they are all wet rooms and got filthy very quickly but there was no cleaning.

We ended up cutting our trip the house short, which the owners were very accommodating of. If you do choose to stay here with young kids, there is lots to enjoy but proceed with caution.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The beautiful decor and finishing touches
Liked least: Beds, bedding, lack of air con, isolated, not young child friendly
Travelling group: Family with Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Large groups
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management Response
3 May 2012
Dear Customer, thank you for posting your comments on our property in Polhena. Notwithstanding the usefulness of your words, we consider your review a one way oriented: we explain what we mean. Travelling with a 17 month old baby and being pregnant in a rather secluded house can be challenging. You were accompanied by a baby sitter and imagine a child of that age should be looked after all the time in whatsoever environment. The house is conceived as an hotel and it is clearly stated in the house description. Such a big villa offers privacy to all visitors and some rooms have extra beds for babysitters of parents, if the case. April is one of the hottest month in Sri Lanka and having visited the country before you should have known. No air conditioning services are promised but ceiling fans do usually help in case of heat. We have slept on those kind of matresses for the last twenty years, we have had elderly visitors and nobody ever complained about the quality of their sleep. Our guardian is there 24 hours a day and it is stated very clearly, he offers protection and guidance to our customers but he is not supposed to wipe the bathroom floors after use. That's why each bathroom has a fitting device to remove water from the floor after using the shower. His quartier is located far away from the house and he is rarely seen unless called for any service.
You have expected a comfort accommodation that only a four star hotel can offer. We are sorry but may be this isn't the right choice you should have made: you'd better book a five star hotel next time you come to Sri Lanka. The amount you have paid for the villa for one week was very reasonable and you have cancelled your stay without notice and not corresponding the balance of the agreed rental fees. We understood and accepted your choice. You never said Thank you for our understanding.
Polhena is a village and its beauty is the lack of tourists who are not capable of appreciating the beauty of wilderness and the precious sound of silence. The owners
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
committee...
glasgow
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The real Sri lanka”
Reviewed 14 January 2012 for a stay in July 2011
3
people found this review helpful

This is the second time that my wife and two teenage daughters have travelled,on holiday, to Sri Lanka. We stayed at a hotel on our last visit, just to learn the ropes, with a view to returning for a longer stay in rented villa. I saw the villa on Trip Advisor and contacted Emanuela to arrange our stay four 4 weeks. Everything went smoothly, no problems. On the run up to the holiday one of my daughters friends expressed an interest in joining us on holiday, it ended up that her family joined us bringing the total of people up to 8, 4 adults and 4 teenagers (1 boy and 3 girls)
We arrived at the airport Bandaranaike airport and took a taxi to Fort Station (railway) in Colombo, cost $10, we then bought tickets for Matara, $2 each. The reason for doing this was to save money and time. A taxi to Matara is $80 per taxi, cost $160. By train $36. This then has to be paid on the way back, hence by taking the train you save $248. The train is also 45 minutes quicker than a taxi, but it is not for the faint hearted. Forget the nice comfortable,modern, clean trains of Europe, the rolling stock is pre WW2 and in need of scraping and replacing, all life is here. A taxi ride is just as interesting, and again if you are not used to it you will fear that death is only seconds away several times during your journey.
We arrived safely at the villa and on entering were greeted by the staff who handed us the keys. We settled in and had alook round, the grounds are beautiful, an old coconut plantation of about 1 acre with the house right in the middle and a seperate cottage at the back . The gardens are grass with small borders around the perimeter filled with shrubs, The front of the garden is right on the beach which is only available at low tide, the water is clean,blue, calm and swimable, and yes there are large turtles in the water. At low tide you can walk right out to the island where there is a budhist shine. The accomadation is comfortable, simple and kept clean by the housekeeper. Toilets are large all with hot showers wet room style. Security is not a problem as Mr Perera is on duty 24 hours a day, a quiet generous man who will help you in any way he can and if he can't he will find you somebody who can. The kitchen is well equiped with all the gadgets you have back home.
As far as supplies are concerned you can walk to the supermarket, 20 minutes, it sells all the "western " style foods at hard to explain prices, or you can pick up stuff at the local shops, meat is expensive but fish is very cheap, speak to Mr Perera. Eating out was a better option for us as I was the only person on the trip that could cook and I wanted a break aswell. We headed down to Polhena beach, 10 minutes walk through the village, where there are about 5 eateries, all have more or less the same menu but we went for one called the SEALION, you can't miss it as you enter through the mouth of a sealion. the food is the same as all the other resturants but this one was chosen by our girls because of the staff, the chef Kumar looks like he has just stepped off the set of a Bollywood movie with a winning charm and a filmstar smile. the food is good, plentiful and cheap.
Polhena is a tourist area for Sri Lankans, white people are very rare, this being the case everybody wants to know you, speak to you, help you and be your friend. You don't know their customs and they don't know yours, laugh, learn and have fun.
On a final very positive note about the villa........there is no TV, no WIFI no radio........FANTASTIC REALLY, REALLY FANTASTIC.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: location
Liked least: we had to leave
Travelling group: Family with Teenagers
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WA
Reviewed 1 May 2011 for a stay in April 2011

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Travelling group: Family (extended)
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
UK
Reviewed 31 March 2011 for a stay in March 2011

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Travelling group: Spouse / significant other
Your age range 25-34
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Canada
Reviewed 22 March 2011 for a stay in January 2011

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Travelling group: Spouse / significant other
Your age range 45-54
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
USA
Reviewed 28 September 2010 for a stay in August 2010
1
person found this review helpful

Travelling group: Spouse / significant other
Your age range 55-64
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Italy
Reviewed 22 August 2010 for a stay in August 2010

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Travelling group: Family (extended)
Your age range 55-64
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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