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“Mandalay is the REAL gem of Sri Lanka!”
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Review of Mandalay

Mandalay viewed from pool
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Mandalay viewed from pool
Front aspect of Mandalay Swimming pool, overlooking one of the cabanas and paddy fields below
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Excellent
52 reviews
Mandalay viewed from pool
Front aspect of Mandalay
Swimming pool, overlooking one of the cabanas and paddy fields below
Second cabana
Garden and treehouse
Mandalay's beautifully manicured grounds
Pool cabana and sun loungers
Mandalay illuminated at dusk
Master bedroom
Overlooking second cabana from master bedroom balcony
Second bedroom
Third bedroom
Dining room
Fresh local fruit breakfast, prepared by your chef
Mandalay's team of staff and its fleet of vehicles
Picking our own tea
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Overview
Villa -
3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Sleeps 7
Darga Town, Western Province

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 52 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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English first
NobbyWorc...
Worcestershire
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Mandalay is the REAL gem of Sri Lanka!”
Reviewed 24 February 2013 for a stay in February 2013

Being a cynic by nature (with exacting standards!) I was ready to take some of the reviews of Mandalay with a large pinch of salt.
I could not have been more wrong!!
The web site could not reflect the incredible staff, facilities, position and cleanliness.
Kim Lafdi (owner) was exceedingly professional in her ability to deal with my many requests and queries being unfamiliar to Sri Lanka.
Sudu, the house manager should be awarded a gold medal for his gentle, informative and fun way when on tour with him in his native country. Being a 'foodie' he showed me the local fish market at 6.30am! The sights and sounds of hundreds of various fish and many locals buying, will be with me for a long time. We had the most incredible tea factory tour in Nuwara Eliya where the 'health and safety' team would have a field day, but I learnt so much about the humble 'cuppa' production I will never drink it the same way.
From buying freshly dug up peanuts to eating the sweetest, juiciest pineapple (taken to the pineapple field by the owner, who cut us one to eat immediately it was still warm!) I had a most superbly educational tour without feeling I was in a classroom.
I saw the full life cycle of watching the rice being planted in the paddy fields (by water buffalo!) when on tour in the South, to then seeing it being cut and then threshed in the field just yards down the driveway from Mandalay and finally it was dried on plastic sheets for 3 days on the road just yards from the house to be eaten by the locals.
The rubber plantation next to Mandalay was another experience I never expected.
The simple but effective way I saw the the farmer cut the band around the rubber tree which encouraged the latex to run and finally drip into a coconut husk to be collected daily has made me appreciate the elastic band no end!
From being offered freshly cut King Coconuts from the house garden to drink and having the fruit platter fit for a King being offered every breakfast I felt I was in heaven - and I haven't even started on the superb staff of Mandalay, from Vejay, in his quiet, smiling way of driving, to Chataranga the house boy who cleaned constantly inside and out - have you ever seen the edges of the swimming pool tiles being cleaned daily?
This standard would be exceptional in a Five Star Luxury hotel charging hundreds of pounds a night - believe me - I have stayed in them all around the world. Yet, you are in a private house, eating the best food freshly prepared by 'cookie' which a fine dining restaurant could not equal at a cost so little is it almost beyond belief. Five stars on Trip advisor is not enough - it should be 7 at least!
Mandalay is an absolute bargain of a price and Kim Lafdi should be congratulated on being exceedingly fair in her price, for the house and tours to encourage many people to stay in Mandalay which then secures the livelihood for the staff.
My one outstanding memory of the house is waking up to the softly sweeping sound of the delightful gardener boy, sweeping the paths AND LAWNS to ensure when you go outside, everything is picture perfect.
Please visit Sri Lanka - after the horrendous Sunami it still needs tourists.
Please visit Mandalay if you want a holiday of a life time - completely stress free.
Please do tip the wonderful staff - I am sure they are looked after very well by Sudu, but additional Rupees would always be appreciated I am sure.
If you don't believe me, just GO!

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: Immaculate house. Superb service of staff and great value for money
Liked least: Having to go home
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Upton upon Severn
Reviewed 15 February 2013 for a stay in January 2013

How easy was it to book the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: The overall ambience
Liked least: The humidity until I got used to it.
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
JarFr
Prague, Czech Republic
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful!!”
Reviewed 8 February 2013 for a stay in December 2012

We stayed in Mandalay over Christmas for a week and can only wish for one thing - that we stayed longer!
Being more of a hotel rather than villa traveler I was that customer that asks million questions, doubts every answer, stressed by work (reflecting in my emails) well in a sum, not an easy person to please! But Kim handled all my requests really patiently and quickly. My sister and her 2 y.o. were coming over from Czech Republic (we live in Singapore) and it being Christmas, I wanted the stay to be perfect and above all EASY! Well, I can congratulate myself for finding this place :), because I got just that - perfect! From the first smoothie upon our arrival, through decorated Christmas tree both indoors and in the garden, trips to beautiful places, AMAZING food cooked by Sudu's brother (so much nicer AND cheaper than restaurants), to Sudu's care and Chaturan's teas. Perfect. I want to go back just writing about it! Thank you all, Kim, Sudu, Chaturan, Dijay as well as the quiet man looking after the beautiful garden, and of course Mr Cook! Sorry forgot your name, terrible me. Sri Lanka is such an amazing place and I really hope to return some day and explore more. I would recommend Mandalay to everyone. Thank you again and apologies for taking so long to place this review. RJJL

How easy was it to book the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: the staff, the views over rice paddy fields with water buffalo, the nature
Liked least: shower didnt have enough hot water but not a major problem as hot country
Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
Families with young children People with pets
  • 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
Kirstenex...
Lima, Peru
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Perfect Family Holiday”
Reviewed 10 January 2013 for a stay in December 2012

We stayed here for a week just after Christmas. The house and grounds are exactly as described - well maintained, spacious and in a very quiet location. Sudu, the house manager, did everything possible for our holidays to be relaxing and fun: from the pick-up in Colombo to taking us shopping to planning dinners with us to sightseeing. He even invited us to his birthday party! The other staff were also very kind and attentive, keeping the house immaculate at all times.

We stayed here with children aged 6-13 and it was ideal. But I could also imagine it would be lovely for other groups or couples.

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: Sudu, the house manager, was brilliant. And the cook helped us all gain weight!
Travelling group: Young Children
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Angela C
Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
1 review
“Fantastic,beautiful and relaxing”
Reviewed 31 December 2012 for a stay in December 2012

This was one of the best holidays we have ever had. The house was so lovely, clean and just like a home from home.The staff were fantastic, they made us feel so so welcome. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone. I would recommend having the cook for a week, the food is wonderful, you get spoilt. The children enjoyed the pool, the wildlife and just spending time watching the chipmunks and other creatures in the garden. You are looked after well and you can go on any trips around Sri Lanka, that can be sorted out for you when you are there. I cannot wait to go back, roll on Easter!! Thankyou so much Kim and Sudu , from all the Clarke family.

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 house with the views and the staff
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
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?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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