What can I say but the Retreat is amazing! A very lovely house with amazing caretakers in Sunnita and Preme who worked so hard to make our stay so relaxing and enjoyable. The house is spacious, beautifully finished (which is amazing given the located on a narrow lane) and very well equipped.
Preme took us out in the boat across the lake to see the wildlife in the jungle! He also had a fishing rod and my husband and son really enjoyed fishing in the mornings and evenings - they even managed to catch some fish while spotting herons, fish eagles and kingfishers! The local fishermen even went past and gave them some bait!
The pool was the best we have ever had an opportunity to use, deep enough for some diving and long enough to get some exercise, but also cool and relaxing!
We also went on some amazing trips including a brilliant safari in the national park, along with a trip to an elephant orphanage also in the park, then up to the highlands for a train ride at the top of the world. This was followed by tea plantation visits and rafting!
We also went whale watching and saw so many whales we lost count. Local dolphins played in the bow wave as returned to port!
All in all a brilliant family holiday!
We had a two week stay at The Retreat where we were looked after and spoilt by the lovely Prem and Sunitha.
Sunitha had cooked us a delicious meal as we arrived quite late at night. Nearly every morning and evening we asked her to cook for us with every dish absolutely delicious. They both went above and beyond including for a birthday celebration - organising a cake, putting up banners and Sunitha cooking a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast and extra special meal. They are such a lovely, down to earth couple who really made our holiday so wonderful.
The villa itself is beautiful. We had lots of games of table tennis on the full size table, loved the pool which Prem keeps immaculately clean. We even enjoyed a bit of fishing on the lake - Prem always at hand to remove the catfish from the hook!
We saw some wonderful weather while here, nearly always sunny but the odd amazing tropical storm and even a cyclone over the lake.
There is lots of stunning wildlife, we enjoyed watching the huge monitor lizards walk around the garden, had four eagles in the sky at one point, briefly saw a monkey. Did see a scorpion and a large spider but Jungle Prem was always on hand! We nicknamed Sunitha Snow White as she would feed the cute chipmunks rice and they would run around her feet as she walked down the garden! Fell in love with the adorable and friendly doggies who live on the adjoining property (nicknamed Princess and Meany - Meany doesn’t like to share food with the other dogs!)
Went whale watching to Mirissa and on safari to Udawalawe. While Udawalawe is a few hours trip it is definitely worth it. The lovely Sanji from Hikkasurf organised the trip for us and it was amazing, we even saw the baby elephants at the orphanage there. Definitely worth going if you get the chance. Hikkasurf organised all of our trips further afield and tuk tuks into Hikkaduwa whenever we needed them. They were always great and were so helpful.
We had a wonderful stay and are already looking at when we can come back. We always felt completely safe here and well looked after. The mix of idyllic property in paradise, with the kindest people you could meet make The Retreat just that - a retreat.
We stayed here over Christmas and New Year, and had a fantastic time. The villa is a secluded retreat, yet close to towns and beaches. The pool and surrounding areas are the absolute highlight. The on-site staff are very helpful, keep their distance, and the food they cook is better than any restaurant in town. The house is a great size, enough for a large group to have their own space yet come together in the main spaces. We had an issue with cockroaches in one of the bedrooms on a nightly basis - we understand this is a price of tropics - but the on-site staff did their best to help us. Overall this place is wonderful, and offers the perfect place to stay whilst in a fantastic country.
I have friends who have stayed at The Retreat and I had high expectations based on their experiences but nothing could prepare me for the most wonderful two weeks I have just had. I was travelling with my partner, my sister and her partner and 2 friends who stay at The Retreat every year. From the moment we arrived in Colombo and were met at the airport by Channa from Hikkasurf, to arriving at the villa and meeting Prem and Sunitha, to meeting the “tuk tuk boys” and being transported wherever we wished, I felt like a “princess”. Nothing is too much trouble and to say we had 5 star service is not doing it justice.
Arriving at the villa I was in awe of how gorgeous it actually is - a spacious open plan lounge/dining area with tasteful cultural decor, a kitchen with everything you could need if you want to cook - a tv with DVD player and a large selection of DVDs, a selection of books to read and there is even a table tennis table!. Upstairs the 3 double bedrooms with ensuite facilities are all beautiful with excellent storage and air conditioning and all lead onto a joint veranda overlooking a beautiful swimming pool. Waking up every morning, opening the doors, listening to the wildlife, no traffic noise, looking out on nothing but beautiful trees, the lagoon and the pool can’t be beaten.
The beauty of this villa is the versatility; you could use the villa as a base and visit the sights - the Hikkasurf team will provide whatever transport you need whether it be a tuk tuk, a car or a minibus and can arrange any sightseeing tour with that personal touch...they care and it shows.... or you could spend your whole holiday in the villa with Sunitha cooking for you (she is a wonderful cook). Hikkaduwa is a 10 minute tuk tuk ride away where the restaurants serve the most tasty local cuisine which is very reasonably priced. There are bars on the beach serving very tasty cocktails and a lively nightlife into the early hours. There are shops galore selling everything from clothes to spices-wooden crafts to jewellery.
Having a beautiful villa in paradise with such an attentive team cannot be described in a review.... you must experience it
Having booked for our honeymoon we were very excited. We were greeted warmly at the airport by the lovely Sanje who Phillipa had arranged to pick us up. We had looked at the photos on the website and thought we knew what we were expecting, but the villa was so much more! Prem and Sunitha, the housekeepers, were very welcoming and made our stay extremely comfortable throughout. We ate at the villa every night during our stay as Sunitha ps cooking is fantastic. Prem shimmied up a tree to get coconuts and Sunitha cooked us some coconut honey pancakes for breakfast.
The villa is spacious and light, with more than a touch of luxury. The gardens are well kept and the pool is fantastic, we were in it at all times of day and night (ask Prem to put the lights on)
The Hikkasurf boys were at our beck and call and took us everywhere.
The beach at Hikkaduwa is fantastic and there are wild turtles just casually swimming by. At sunset make sure you take your camera!
Our honeymoon was made extra special by staying at the Retreat and we would definately recommend it!