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“Great Base for an Unawatuna Stay”

Review of Mangohouse Villa

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Very good
22 reviews
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Overview
Villa -
4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, Sleeps 8
Unawatuna, Galle District, Southern Province

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 22 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
English first
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English first
KiwiCriti...
Dunedin
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great Base for an Unawatuna Stay”
Reviewed 9 January 2017 for a stay in January 2017
1
person found this review helpful

We ended three weeks of travel around Sri Lanka with six nights at Unawatuna Beach.

Looking for accommodation that could cater for our group of seven (four adults, three teenage boys), and was a little removed from the hustle and bustle of the main beach strip, we chose Manghouse Villa.

The villa was a great choice: built on two levels, the house is peaceful, comfortable and spacious; the setting and views from the large upper deck area down to the sea are lovely; the pool (which is a practical design to suit all ages) is nice; there’s plenty of interesting wildlife around the property to keep one amused; the beach is just five minutes away, via a pleasant downhill stroll, though in the heat of day most folk will want to tuk tuk home (Rs300).

The villa also comes with staff: a night porter who is there 7pm to 7am, and a housekeeper who is there during the day. The housekeeper – Bandhu – is an absolute treasure, as she is both a great housekeeper, and an amazing cook.
Bandhu cooked us a delicious dinner on our first night, and we enjoyed it so much that we ended up getting her to cook all our evening meals. Each night we had rice, dahl, and two or three different curries (never the same two, unless we asked) from Bandhu’s extensive repertoire. We enjoyed helping prepare some of the curries, and learning how to make roti breads for lunch.

She does charge for preparing meals (Rs1000, plus the cost of ingredients), but we considered this to be very reasonable, not least because she is happy to pick up other items for you when our shopping.

We would especially recommend thiss establishment to families - it is ideal for two families travelling together, or maybe a family travelling with grandparents as well.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Robert W
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Good House, Great House Minder”
Reviewed 7 January 2017 for a stay in January 2017

Best thing about the house is the woman who minds it, Bandu. She's a wonderful, charming and sweet person and a great cook. Great cook! She took great care of us while we were there. The house itself is very nice. About a ten minute walk down a hill to the beach. Ok small pool. Nice balconies with views toward beach and temple next door. Feels a bit rural, with many birds and other wildlife, including occasional monkey sightings. Reasonably clean. The upstairs rooms were hot in late December/early January, even with the fans, but bearable. The kitchen is old and run down looking. But the rest of the house is nice. There's also a night watchman.
One criticism would be that the owner Shaun should communicate better. He could create a house manual that lays out information about the house and the neighborhood. For example, I had no idea we were to have a full-time housekeeper and cook! No idea we were to have a night watchman! Or, for example, if I'd known there was snorkeling gear I'd not have bothered to bring my own. If I knew there was coffee I'd not have brought. So many things to know, hard to know what to ask. That's why a manual would be good. I rent out my home and have one. Anyway, it all worked out, mainly because of wonderful Bandu and her sister Karuna, the house manager, who was also helpful even though she was busy with her own cooking school business. Thanks Bandu and Karuna.

Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CrystalCh...
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely authentic Sri Lankan experience”
Reviewed 28 March 2016 for a stay in March 2016
2
people found this review helpful

I stayed at the Mangohouse Villa with my partner following a recommendation from my sister who had stayed there with her husband and 4 year old girl in 2014. We stayed 8 nights in total and came from Dubai. The house is set in beautiful jungle-like gardens and we saw so much wildlife when we were there including monkeys, chipmunks and various birds and butterflies. The trees in the garden are so lush and full of fruit such as papayas, mangos, bananas, jackfruit - coming from Dubai it was such a lovely contrast. There was also a Buddhist temple on the doorstep and we often saw young monks playing outside or studying. The pool is a little haven of peace and quiet too and gets the sun all day long. The bedrooms are spacious and clean and we took the upstairs master bedroom which gives onto a terrace with stunning views over the sea and Buddhist temple - great for sundowners. For me the stay was really made by Bandu the cook, who was one of the loveliest, kindest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She cooked us delicious breakfasts and gave us the option of Sri Lankan or British (and we always tried the Sri Lankan which was things like Dal with chunky local bread or coconut rice - all served with the fruit from the garden). Bandu also made us beautiful Sri Lankan curries at night with little tapas-style portions which I believe is the Sri Lankan way - she is a top-class cook and a very warm and generous host. She also has lots of info about the local surroundings and was able to call us tuk tuks to arrange little tours around the local area and into Galle. At night we felt very secure because there is a night watchman and a guard dog (who is locked up the whole time guests are in so I wasn't worried). The villa is located on a steep hill and you need to walk down several steps to get to the beach but we enjoyed being cut off from the hussle and bustle of the town - Unawatuna is surprisingly busy! The beach was nice and we often had cocktails and lay on the sunbeds at Peacock hotel where the staff are really friendly (if a little slow). There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the local area, one particularly good one being Happy Spice in the town, which serves traditional Sri Lankan food for half the price you get on the beach. The beach is quite crowded sometimes and can get a bit grubby if the sea is rough - we went along to the next bay, Dewata, for surfing and we also checked out Jungle Beach which is quite cool and does a pretty wild party every Wednesday. I think the villa would be particularly good fun for groups of friends but we also enjoyed the peace and quiet of having a big airy villa as a couple who normally live in a 1-bed flat. Additionally, Shaun was really easy to communicate with and got back to us right away with any questions or info. My only complaint was the microwave and TV were a bit old and didn't function very well but I guess these things are easily replaced. Overall, a fantastic stay - I would definitely recommend it.

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: Bandu, the cook
Liked least: probably walking up and down the steep hill
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway 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
livvy72
Midlands
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“We were very happy here!”
Reviewed 9 July 2015 for a stay in June 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We had a really great time at the villa, the pool is absolutely wonderful and perfect to cool off after a busy. The villa is really homely and beautiful. We enjoyed watching the iguanas sunbathing in the garden, lots of chipmunks and geckos, as well as the occasional monkey in the trees. The view is stunning. We were all really comfortable, with enough space for us to not feel crowded.
In response to some of the comments about the walk down the hill, going down was a little challenging in the wet and very steep and not something a person with mobility issues would manage. And only the younger, fitter ones of our group were happy to walk up the hill... we took Tuk Tuks. The location, however, is great! Unawatuna offers lots of restaurants and we had divine fresh sea food, cocktails and a couple of nights dancing on the beach. Galle is a short Tuk Tuk or bus journey away, with beautiful Galle Fort and shopping to your heart’s content as well as more restaurants than you could possibly visit.
Kumari the maid is a gem! She was so helpful and always seemed to anticipate what we needed. My 4 year old daughter had chicken pox while we were in Sri Lanka and Kumari was so wonderful and did everything she could to help when she was poorly. There is a great supply of bed linen and towels and Kumari kept the villa clean and tidy daily, I wish we could have brought her home!
We had a lovely masseur come to the house at a very reasonable price (£5 for a back massage and £7.50 back and legs).
The kitchen lets the villa down a bit. We tend to cook/eat at home for about half of our holiday and the kitchen is not up to the high standard of the rest of the villa, despite being well equipped it is in need of a refurb but otherwise this a perfect holiday home and we totally recommend it.

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: Really beautiful location, home from home and super comfy beds
Liked least: Kitchen is in need of a refurb
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway 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
Sue P
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Superb property for a large family - wildlife galore and close enough to the beach and restaurants.”
Reviewed 11 April 2015 for a stay in April 2015
1
person found this review helpful

A fabulous large villa, with beautiful balcony views and a great pool, surrounded by nature and abundant wildlife. The set-up was perfect for us, travelling as four adults and three children (age 6, 7 and 10) - our family took the two large en-suite rooms downstairs, my brother, sister in law and nephew were in the two upstairs. Just be aware that the upstairs is connected by an external staircase though, so not actually within the main house - would be more tricky if you had more than two young kids as they'd be on a separate floor. The house is well stocked, with bodyboards, pingpong table, snorkellng gear and a great bookshelf! Every day a lovely cleaning lady came, as well as an onsite night security guard. There was also an option of a cook, who also does cooking classes, and comes highly recommended. We preferred to walk down through the Buddhist temple to the beach, which has a huge range of eateries - all very reasonably priced. If you're walking back at night, take a torch - or you can grab a Tuk Tuk for about 400 rupees - very steep incline! The highlight of the villa for both adults and children is the outside space - the garden is safe for the kids to run about, the pool is wonderful and there are hammocks and sunbeds galore. We enjoyed sitting out in the evenings for drinks and cards, and got to see monkeys (love bread and will sit on the roof of the property), chipmunks, stunning birds of bright reds, blues and greens, an array of lizards and butterflies... a real treat after living in Dubai for so long. So much to enjoy in Sri Lanka, and the Unawatuna area, but recommend the whale watching in Mirissa (saw 20 plus blue whales) and the walk to Jungle Beach over the headland, with excellent snorkeling just 50 yards from the beach... we saw parrot fish, angel fish, a giant 18 inch turquoise and yellow fish... like being in an aquarium and perfect for the kids. Also found some cheap and interesting market shopping before you get to Galle, near the fish market. The only thing that would have made the stay even better would be air-con (there are fans and it's very breezy and airy outside, but was sometimes hot at night in the bedrooms) and functioning internet.. Shaun is trying to get this fixed with the telcom provider to no avail - only really an issue if you need to work. We ended up taking laptops down to the bars/restaurants which had pretty fast service. Overall though, a fantastic stay in a great property. Would certainly recommend the place, and may come back again with additional family at a slightly cooler time of year.

Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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