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“Fantastic really restful”
other travellers have booked this property

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
55 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
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 55 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
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English first
Tim R
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Fantastic really restful”
Reviewed 19 March 2015 for a stay in March 2015

This was our 6 th visit to Mandalay, we had the most amazing stay, Sudu and his staff really looked after us . The house and gardens were as always neat clean and very tidy, we really loved the swimming pool and being able to relax and listen to the sounds of the jungle, and the local wildlife.
We were so sad to leave, and are looking forward to our next visit , hopefully next February, if it's not booked up that is, I know just how popular this villa is, so will contact Kim and book ASAP.
Many thanks to everyone for a great holiday.

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 fantastic location
Liked least: Nothing
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
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
jeantyzac...
Darwin, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A beautiful Villa in an idylic rural setting close to Bentota beach”
Reviewed 15 March 2015 for a stay in February 2015
1
person found this review helpful

We had been to Bentota before and love the beach and surrounding area.
As on this visit we were meeting up with 4 other friends we decided to forgo the hotel scene and try renting a house between us. We couldn't have chosen a better place, Mandalay is an absolute haven. Set in a beautiful rural area only 3 or 4k away from Bentota, as the kingfisher, sea eagle, or one of the other hundred or so different species of birds we saw, flies.
Exotic gardens overlooking paddy fields and bush land, and on clear days distant mountains. A paradise for tweeters, of the feathered sort, tho much to our disdain and our friends delight Mandalay has free wifi allowing those that would to twit and blog to their hearts content.
A delightful pool area without the battle of the beach chairs. 6 very comfortable loungers arranged under the shade pergola, no need to be up at dawn, towels in hand to stake your claim.
No bun fight at breakfast either, the table set on the verandah, with a very attentitive Kataranka at our beck and call. I feel sure had I taken longer to decide what to put on my, very decent, well cooked piece of toast, (what is it about Sri Lanka and the lack of ability to prepare decent toast) Kataranka would have spread the butter for me, and probaly hand fed me had I desired.
At first we were worried about being able to head into Bentota or Aluthgama when we wished, but this was no trouble at all, with the very amiable Sudu more than willing to drive us in any time we wished, with a pick up when ever we wanted.
As we were only there for 3 nights we decided to use the chef on all 3 of them. All 3 meals were delicious. At our request all were Sri Lankan curries, I'm sure if we'd have requested Western style he would have obliged, but why would you.
Finally a clamber up the magnificent tree house is a must. From where I feel sure, with a decent pair of binoculars, you could spy on those poor tourists fighting for space at the hotels on Bentota beach.
Any complaints. Yes. Why weren't we told upon our booking that 3 days would be no where near long enough. A problem we will rectify, we will be back.

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
Travelling group: Friends
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • 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
NobbyWorc...
Worcestershire
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“This Sri Lanka gem still sparkles and shines!”
Reviewed 26 February 2015 for a stay in February 2015

My husband and I travelled to Mandalay in february 2013 and promised a return visit - doesn't everyone....well, we did and I am delighted to report the absolutely everything about Mandalay, from the house, facilities, staff and food is still 7 star rating.
From the moment we arrived and were offered a delicious fresh orange, pineaple and passionfruit juice by Kataranga (the house boy) we knew we were going to have a wonderful vacation again.
That evening alone I saw fire flies by the wonderful re-tiled pool, fruit bats and the parrots flew over head all in the space of an hour. The wildlife here is amazing to watch, from the view from the two cabanas we watched the water buffalo being herded along the stream below and could see rice being threshed in the lane by the locals.
The following day, I walked to the end of the lane and watched a man on his porch just chipping the bark off a large branch which turned out to be cinnamon, then, just a few hours later, another local was climbing a huge coconut tree and I watched him trim the leaves before pulling down some huge coconuts...talk about being educated!
My husband and I booked a 5 day tour with Sudu whio is the house manager and the most wonderful guide you could wish for.
Even though he was driving (which is never an easy thing in Sri Lanka he spotted various birds, animals and fruit growing on the side of the roads. I have never seen so many dancing butterflies on the road to Elephant Corridor in Dambula. We stayed over night before continuning on to the East coast which has recently been opened due to the general public after the Tamil trouble and stayed for 3 nights at Passakudah at the Alinana Hotel.
We booked a bungalow villa which was 20 steps away from the beach, immaculate with superb facilities and the food was just first class. The most memorable part of the stay was how wonderful all the hotel staff were - from the gardeners sweeping the grass every morning, the waiters, housekeepers not to mention the operations manager and finally the executive chef who have us a tour of his kitche n operation (I have already posted a review about this hotel if you are interested)
Our final night was spent in Wildflower one of the three tea plantation bungalows high up in Hapautale, on the Kelbourne Estate. You are on top of the world here, the weaqther was kind enough to let us have an 'above the clouds' experience' and the service provided by Ravi,and the chef was as superb as the view.
The following day, after buying a boot full of the local tea we returned to the sactuary of Mandaly where we spent the remainder of our time being thoroughly cosseted by Sangay, the superb chef who produced the most delicious curries (or anything else you could think of)
You never need to go and eat anywhere else as the standard was just incrediable and such value for money...why would you bother?
We could see the Mrs Lafdi, the owner, had maintaned the property and even managed to make some improvements which I did not think possible! The new chairs under the cabanas are what you would see in top end hotels, and these improvements are what keeps Mandalay at the top of its game.
Mrs Ladfi advised us about the tour to take, from the best rooms and tea bungalow - her experience together with Sudu's mafe us feel as though we had the best 'tailor made' holiday for an absolute bargain price - this is what sets it apart from all other holiday rentals.
All the staff, from being collected from the airport in the best mini bus on the island to being driven to the beach in the brightest, blinged up Tuk Tuk you have ever seen, everything has been thought of for you.
Anyone thinking abour going anywhere else, please fo not waste your time and money - you will not better this holiday rental I promise you.

How easy was it to book the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The views,garden,staff and chef
Liked least: Absolutely nothing
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 a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stuart P
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful location and Home away from home”
Reviewed 6 January 2015 for a stay in December 2014

Mandalay is beautiful and the staff there make sure that you'll have a memorable stay. We stayed there as a family including a 17 year old daughter and 10 year old boy. All of us had something to do there and we all had an amazing two weeks.
Kim the owner is very helpful with replying to emails very promptly and Sudu the building/holiday manager is excellent at answering all your questions and helping out where ever he can.
We went on a few trips while we were there and again, Sudu or Alvis were always on hand to take us were we wanted to go even if it meant an overnight stay somewhere. The fact the property comes with a driver, cook and gardener means you can sit back and relax and have nothing to worry about. It means you can go shopping for whatever you want to eat and tell the chef and it's all sorted for you. You'll never feel hungry when you stay here!
it is definitely a destination that we would stay at again, this time exploring more of beautiful Sri Lanka.

How easy was it to book 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 best staff ever and the location
Liked least: Solar showers on cloudy days
Travelling group: Other
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway 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
6416942
United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“HEAVEN ON EARTH! LITERALLY!!!”
Reviewed 27 March 2014 for a stay in March 2014

I have just returned from a family holiday to Mandalay in Sri Lanka - Dharga down with my family for my Dad's 60th Birthday. I saw photograph's online beforehand but I was well and truly amazed when I arrived as were the rest of my family!

When we arrived at the airport we were greeted by the manager of Mandalay in a 4x4 and another vehicle to take us all back to Mandalay.

When we arrived we were greeted with the young man who took care of the property while we were there. He greeted us in traditional wear and fresh fruit juice, and upon arrival we were absolutely stunned by the location, the staff, the treatment!!! The list is endless. Immediately, we all felt like royalty !!!!!!!

Life in Mandalay got better as days went on! The staff were so attentive and could not do enough for us. It was immaculate at all times (despite the mess that WE made)! Every morning we were greeted with fresh fruit, fresh juice, a newly cleaned swimming pool, and a full course breakfast - and this was EVERY DAY! Dinner was served on a beautifully laid table every single night and the table was set up in different locations within Mandalay each night! As a family - we all felt like we were on one big honeymoon together and ended up calling ourselves "The Honeymoon Family"!

THE FOOD WAS FANTASTIC! Before going away we wondered if there were local restaurants or places to go. We didn't need to go anywhere! We arranged a few excursions but other than that we didn't need to eat anywhere else! The chef made about 6 different dishes every day. Most of my family are vegetarian so we were a little worried that we would be living on fruit for two weeks but I cannot even begin to explain all the variety of food that was available to us. And if we felt like eating anything in particular, it was no trouble for the staff to arrange and nothing was too much to ask!

Every day the young man who maintained the property cleaned our rooms, asked us when we wanted to eat and drink, went out to buy anything we needed! It was TRULY fantastic.

The staff did so much for us that we ended up cooking for them one night and enjoyed one big party together ! Kim and Tracey have a brilliant team in Sri Lanka and I could not recommend this place as a holiday much more than this - I have no words to explain how amazing it was and think anyone who reads this should not think twice!!! BOOK IT AND GET YOURSELF OVER THERE!!!!!!!!! YOU WILL NEVER FORGET THIS.

MANDALAY IS PARADISE - THE PEOPLE ARE AMAZING - THE HOUSE IS AMAZING - THE STAFF ARE AMAZING AND THE PRICES ARE MORE THAN REASONABLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU KIM AND TRACEY!!!!!!!! MANDALAY IS THE BEST PLACE I HAVE EVER BEEN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XXXXX

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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