Our grown up family spent Christmas at the villa and it exceeded all our expectations. The staff were friendly and attentive and the meals were amazing. Nothing was too much trouble including arranging bbq's and bonfires on the beach. The sea was a bit rough (we all got dumped at least once :-)) but the pool water was cool and very inviting. Unforgettable sunsets, playing volleyball and cricket on the beach with some local boys, tasty local food are just some of the memories we will cherish. Thanks Nirmala and David!
Although most of the reviews are so positive we were (to tell the truth) a bit worried about the road noise mentioned in the last couple of reviews but decided to book anyway, and so happy we did.
You have to listen very attentively to actually notice the noise, specially if you keep the windows on the street side of the house closed. We kept everything open because we so loved the wonderful views of the garden with all the flowers and trees. Our stay at Olu Beach Villa was one of the best family holidays ever. My husband, mother-in-law and our two teenage daughters and I simply wallowed in the luxury of doing only what we really wanted to do, which was basically swimming, reading, and eating wonderful meals together. Rasika made the most heavenly curries - my mouth waters now, at the memory of them, and although I'm not one for desserts, must make a special mention of her wattalapan (hope I got the spelling right!) and banana fritters with local palm syrup.
Vasantha kept the house spotlessly clean throughout our stay. Believe me, I verge on the obsessive when it comes to this aspect of holiday rentals. The garden was swept daily and well maintained by Sarath, and it felt good to know Nelson was there at night, although we rarely saw him. The staff took good care of us, always attentive to our needs but never intrusive. The only negative comment I can think of is that the photos on the website don't do justice to this beautiful home. You walk in through a luscious garden into a house with stunning sea views and think - this is even better than the photos.
We spent a week here at Olu Beach villa in April (family of 5 with 3 young children).
What we loved
-The proximity to the beach, accessible via a gate at the bottom of the garden. The sunsets were especially beautiful and we have fond memories of our children playing cricket in the evening with the local children.
-The owner is very helpful and informative.
-Pool fence for small children
What we liked
-On arrival at the airport we were met by a friendly, helpful and safe driver who took us to the villa in a comfortable vehicle. This was pre arranged directly with the owner upon booking.
-Pool is lovely and the safety fence is a real bonus. This gave us peace of mind as our 19 month old had great fun exploring the garden. There is also a pond which was fenced off for us at no extra charge. On very hot days the pool does feel like a bath as it is not temperature controlled but this didn't spoil our enjoyment.
-Garden is large and very well maintained by the gardner. It is mostly fairly secluded. To the left of the property there is a high wall and trees for privacy but to the right there is a wire fence. The garden is therefore overlooked by the two storey building to the right of the villa.
-Mosquito nets are provided
-The kindness of the staff.
The cook is a lovely lady and did her best to adhere to our requests. Food was served when requested (sometimes a little cold) but was mostly delicious.
The housekeeper is a kind, polite and helpful. He arranged day trips etc and would willingly help when asked.
What we didn't like quite so much
-The villa is set directly off a busy road and I would certainly echo the previous review which mentions the over use of horns! For the first few days I found this to be quite intrusive and irritating but it never woke us at night or early in the morning.
-The restaurants/hotels are a good 15/20 minutes away by road-nothing is within walking distance except the beach.
-First impressions upon arrival were the heat and high level of humidity inside the main living are/kitchen. There was no AC only fans which was a little disappointing. We live in the Middle East so we are used to high levels of humidity but we also rely on AC! In all the windows, except for the bedrooms there is a large gap which does allow for air flow bit it also encourages lots of bugs!
- Again, totally agree with previous review, it is definitely a more outdoor style of living. You will see lizards, grass hoppers, mosquitos which may not appeal to everyone. It did provide my children with hours of entertainment though as they witnessed me shriek in horror as the lizards scuttled across the floor :)
-The ocean itself is not suitable 100% for week swimmers or young children in my opinion. The waves are big and strong and even though I am a strong swimmer I would not feel confident swimming. However, the guests from the neighbouring property did swim often so of course it does come down to personal preference.
-The staff are lovely but little luxury extras such as clearing away plates/washing dishes directly after the meal are missing. As a one off I asked the staff to serve our meal at 5pm in the hope they would do this for us but they left immediately after placing the food on the table-slightly disappointing.
- I had expected that beds would be made daily and bathrooms cleaned, however the bed was changed once in our 6 night stay (which is fine) but the beds were never made in between. The cleaning of the room actually consisted of sweeping the floor only. The floors were also only swept when requested. Clearly due to the proximity of the beach lots of sand made its way into the villa so more frequent sweeping of the floors would have been welcomed.
Overall, minus a few issues we enjoyed our stay and have fond memories of our vacation
We loved the villa, the grounds, the beach and the pool. The location is excellent and very beautiful. We had a few issues but these did not prevent us having one of our most enjoyable holidays to date.
Please note this is an outdoor living style villa so if you are not keen on bugs don't book as ants, dragon flies and all manner of lizards came in. This does not bother us, just had to make sure we cleaned up food everywhere, with two little ones this was difficult. I made the mistake of forgetting that the calpol was in my washbag so it took 5 minutes for our bathroom sink to be covered in ants.
You are aware of the road noise as there are trucks and vans using the road adjacent to the villa all day and there is an overuse of the horns on Sri Lankan roads, we got used to this and it wasn't loud at night. It did wake me up at 6am once but so did my 4 year old. TBH the beach road is heavily used so if you want a villa on the beach its a sacrifice you'll have to make.
The staff were friendly and helpful, the owner was wonderful in organising transport and giving advice for our holiday,and especially considerate regarding our late check out, but we had a few issues. The language barrier was hard, and we were not understood a few times. This was difficult to endure during a power cut, which was worrying as we were reliant on the AC. We also had an issue with timings. At first we were having dinner at 6pm but the staff had left by the time we finished, so we requested that the staff would be present to clean up after dinner. Therefore we agreed to have our meal at 5pm, so they could clean up, all staff had gone by 5.30pm, which begs the question "what if we wanted dinner at 8pm?"
The cook was a lovely lady but I felt the food could have been better. We tried to order from the menu, but it was inconsistent. Sometimes the food was fantastic and other times it was average. This could easily be resolved with a menu update. Prices for meals fluctuated which was difficult to plan for, this could be easily resolved with just a basic charge for food daily.
Other communication issues could have been resolved by more information in the welcome booklet. This needs to be updated.
On one occasion I was unhappy to smell smoke in my children's room from someone smoking directly outside, I did not complain as it only happened once.
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Spent a wonderful 5 days just chilling out at the villa. The staff were absolutely brilliant and could not do enough to make sure everything was perfect. One word of warning, if your on a diet don't expect to lose weight as the food is both delicious and plentiful. Particularly the seafood and fish try the jumbo prawns if they are available each one is almost as big as a lobster.The house itself is probably best described as "shabby chic" with the rear windows acting as picture frames to give a beautiful view of the ocean at the the end of the garden. There is some traffic noise from the road in front of the house but this is not overly intrusive.The sea is probably a little rough to swim in for anyone who is not a strong swimmer but then there is the private pool for that, leaving the near deserted beach for peaceful walks particularly at sunset.
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