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“Wow!!! Amazing place and amazing people”
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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
54 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 54 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
RabihF
Lebanon
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Wow!!! Amazing place and amazing people”
Reviewed 20 June 2015 for a stay in July 2014

Mandalay, what a nice villa!!! we stayed there for a week in July 2014 and it was one of the best places we stayed in. We wish we booked it for longer. Our children still talk about it and ask us to go back. Kim the owner is a great person to deal with. Sudu the manager and his amazing family were the highlight of our holiday. They made us feel like we are members of the family. Even when our one and half year old girl had a small accident, Sudu did everything possible to help. The food that the chef cooked for us is so delicious and the fruit that Sudu provided every morning fresh from his garden is the best thing you can eat. The place is spotlessly clean, so beautiful and very calm. We loved being in the swimming pool and the super comfy loungers to relax on. The tree house was great for my son. You only need to think about a staff member and as if they read your mind, they appear. I already recommend it to all my friends. I can go on and on about Mandaly as there is so many wonderful things to talk about but all what I'm going to say is that if I visit Sri Lanka again I will only fo to Mandalay. Thank you Kim and a big big big thank you to Sudu and the family as you touched our hearts especially Liam and Ciara.
Well done!!!!

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Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
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Liked best: The villa felt like you are walking in to your own home. Great quality furniture.
Liked least: The rain :)))))))
Travelling group: Young Children
Your age range 35-49
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway 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 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
Jordanlee...
Leeds
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Fireflys, frogs and humming birds”
Reviewed 11 April 2015 for a stay in April 2015
2
people found this review helpful

I read all the reports before I rent a place because I can be very fussy. I read all, 26 in total, when I booked and initially thought it all looked too good to be true.
How wrong I was - where to start!
Inside first.
The place is exactly as the pictures show - probably better.
All rooms have a very large double bed and own bathroom.
One room has an additional single - but still loads of space this is upstairs.
Warm showers and clean surroundings.
All have a hairdryer and soap.
Large towels and additional beach / pool towels.
All beds have excellent mosquito nets and A/C.
Beds comfortable and A/C not noisy (no fans upstairs)
The living space down stairs (with one double bedroom) is excellent and two large doors lead out onto a covered veranda.
Plenty of seating and a TV with DVD player (selection of DVDs, games and decent books).
The kitchen is better than you average Sri Lankan Kitchen - plenty of everything and a washing machine.
Outside now - the best bit!
Fantastic views and lovely gardens (don't forget to leave a little tip for the gardener if you do that as I am sure he gets forgotten)
We saw humming birds, fireflies, frogs, lizards, woodpeckers, kingfishers, butterflies and monkeys stealing Mangos.
The pool is large, warm and very clean - we swam morning, afternoon, evening and late at night (it has lights in and around pool). It is cleaned daily and pumps go on every morning. There is a shallow end with an internal safety wall for little children.
The pool furniture and other garden furniture are of a very high quality - no plastic stuff just lovely wicker and wood.
We ate all our meals outside - this was another excellent treat.
All our meals were cooked for us and served to us.
Each morning we got fresh fruit, toast, juice and eggs if requested.
Each lunchtime we got soup, pancakes or spring rolls.
Each evening we got 4 currys, rice or noodles and often puppadoms
We went to the supermarket with Sudu and bought what his cook needed and extras we wanted like cornflakes, yogurt and beer and soft drinks (took about an hour on the first day). The first supermarket shop came to about £40 for a family of 4 ( we did one other at £30) and 3 vegetable shops of £10, £7 and £5. We also got some beer, about 50p a small can and some G and T (one word of warning just check that in the wine shop they charge you the right amount – they overcharged me by 1000RS = £5 – but Sudu went back and sorted this out)
The food was exceptional - my advice is buy the vegetables you like and the cook does wonders - Dhal, Spinach and Dhal, pumpkin okra and aubergine were our favs.
Lastly but definitely not least were the staff.
Sudu was extremely helpful and we had a lovely dinner with his wife Sita and 2 children. He checked on us every day and also asked us if we wanted to go anywhere everyday but we never felt pressurised to do anything. He took us to the train station one day to go to Galle and another day to the beach.
Kataranga looked after us with a smile everday – served our meals, washed up and cleaned our rooms everyday (we only needed this every 4 days but he always asked). He stopped and chatted most days but never invaded our space and family holiday - he got the balance exactly right.
Chef – produced the most fantastic currys I regret not getting the recipe for the aubergine or pumpkin one.
Alvis was the driver and he met and took us to and from the airport – drove carefully but got us there on time.
A fantastic holiday – thank you

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
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Liked best: Being looked after
Liked least: Would have liked to have been in walking distance from a small town
Travelling group: Teenagers
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 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
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
78 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 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
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