10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We spent the first 5 nights of our honeymoon at Saman Villas - and loved it. Words can not do it justice, but I'll try.....the room - a deluxe villa with pool (infinity!), overlooking the beach and sea beyond, with private garden and sun loungers. On our arrival, we were taken to our room, and shorlty afterwards were brought a huge fresh fruit platter, and a bottle of "champagne" - perfect in the pool as the sun went down! Every day the pool attendant would come and check the pool water quality and level, and lay towels and pillows on the sunloungers. The rooms were spotless, and every evening flowers were placed on the bed, and in the bathroom, with tea lights lit by the outside shower. The service was impeccable - the staff were lovely, and very unobtrusive - perfect for a honeymoon. The food was great - a lot of seafood, and quite imaginative, and very reasonably priced. Although there is only one restaurant, you could choose to eat in the gardens, or by the main pool - and the staff would be more than willing to rearrange the tables to accomodate your request. I could go on, but I hope you've got the idea.......the epitome of luxury!"
- Travel date: 30th August 2006
"We stayed for a week in June in a deluxe suite with swimming pool. Could not ask for better - the room was huge, the personal pool a godsend to jump into every 10 minutes and the staff were great. The hotel was so quiet this time of year there were more staff than guests but they in no way made it feel strange. Transfer: It is a long "drive" from the airport to the hotel - "drive" is a different concept to what I am used to! I thought Italian cities were supposed to be tough places to get used to - more like Sunday drivers on an empty road compared to Sri Lanka. No-one from Europe could ever think of hiring out a car here. Has to be seen to be believed, though I would recommend using your airline blindfold and ear-plugs for the 3 hour journey from the Airport to the hotel. Weather: Monsoon season while we were there but we were blessed with fine weather for the week. 30-35C in the middle of the day but the pool was enough to make it comfortable. Hotel facilities: This is primarily a hotel for relaxation - if it is action and adventure you want, don't spoil it for those of us who want luxury and peace! The restaurant is everything it should be, entertainment doesn't really exist (a flutist on the Friday evening was it) and the spa looked divine though we didn't need any treatments when everything else was so relaxing. Wireless Internet available throughout the hotel if you have your laptop (why bother?) and a pool/snooker table, library and computer for internet access. Staff: As mentioned, they outnumbered guests by around 4 to 1 throughout our stay but this didn't mean they were in your face or tripping over themselves trying to serve you. Everyone was very professional and friendly and did everything one would expect from a 5-star hotel. Rooms: Deluxe rooms are huge - large bathrooms with open area over shower, dressing rooom, king size bed, seating area with 32" LCD screen and writing desk, outside seating area with table and chairs and loungers . Deluxe with swimming pool (which you will be enviously looking on if you go for a deluxe without) also has a garden and 7 metre pool looking out over the sea and beach. The nicest room I have stayed in and that includes a fair number of 5 star hotels. Restaurant: Food was of high quality and very high quantity - the half-board menu is 5 courses though only a choice between two on each course. The a-la-carte can be used to extend your choices and costs around EUR10 for a full meal. It must have been difficult for them to cover such a small number of guests with the same wide choice but at no stage did we notice this being an issue. Room service is available 24 hours and having your dinner in the room and finishing off the wine in the pool is probably against water safety rules but highly luxurious! Overall: This is a hotel for romantic couples and makes no bones about not being for anyone else. Children are not overly welcome and there is nothing in the hotel for them. No trips, activities or entertainment that I saw. Nothing...but pure, unadulterated, luxurious bliss."
- Travel date: 15th June 2006
"We went to Saman VIllas for the first week of our honeymoon. We found it to be exactly what we wanted. It was beautiful. Our room was amazing and complete with an outside bathroom, closet room, huge bedroom with king size bed and an amazing balcony with a huge table and comfy seating. The staff couldn't have been nicer. They did everything they could to make our stay perfect. (They even sent us a New Year card 5 months later!) The food was a little pricy but completely gorgeous. The only complaint was that we couldn't swim in the sea because it was pretty rough, although the pool is stunning and was always empty! We were here for a week before heading off for a tour. If you're someone who likes to do things on your holidays and is bored of relaxing after a few days i wouldn't reccomend staying here longer than a week. If you want a relaxing break then this is the place for you. Absolute luxury!"
- Travel date: 2nd June 2006
A little taste of heaven
"After a hectic eight days of travel around the island. we made our way to Saman Villas to seek out a little rest and relaxation. We found a little taste of heaven. This is not a large hotel and it makes no pretence of catering to the mass market. It provides a very high quality service to a few fortunate guests and seeks to ensure that every need is anticipated and met. The room was divine with the lounge/ bedroom having an unbroken view of South Bentota Bay. My wife just loved the dressing room and the bathroom with its open air shower took our breath away. The food from a huge breakfast to the superb evening meals was served from an extensive and rich menu. For most guests, many of whom had been touring the island, the opportunity to do nothing but relax was sufficient. For those who needed to explore, tuk tuk drivers were always just around the corner. If you need to be in the centre of the action or require nightly entertainment then Saman Villas isn't for you. For those who wish to taste a dream go now. You wont be disappointed"
- Travel date: 17th February 2006
"I cannot recomend this hotel highly enough! We stayed over Christmas 2005 and had a fantastic time. The room was lovely - private terrace, lounge area with DVD & TV, huge bed and outdoor bathroom. The view was stunning. This hotel is very small and this ensures a personal service. The staff were very friendly and made an effort to quickly learn our names and look after our needs. The food was fabulous, as another reviewer said only one restaurant really but as there are so few guests hardly an issue. There is also the option of private dining - either on your terrrace, or in one of the dining spots around the beautiful pool and gardens. I recomend the pool pavillion. The location takes some beating - on a rocky headland with long deserted beaches either side - walk down at around 9.30 and watch the fishermen bring in the catch - interesting and the fishermen will love it if you help! I travel extensively and I think its fair to say I am not easily impressed but I think this place absolutly deserves its 5 star rating - fab!"
- Travel date: 15th February 2006
a little bit of heaven
"oh bliss.. quiet, clean, cool air con that wasn't too noisy to sleep through. lovely staff. yummy food. the view from the infinity pool was fab. we had our own pool and it was great, it was only small, but there is something very nice about taking a dip when ever you want, in privacy. you can walk down to the turtle hatchery 2 mins along the beach at 6pm and release a few turtles each evening, thats pretty special. there was just something very chilled about saman villas. dont expect much to do there, but you won't want to either. this hotel is for nothing but relaxing and pampering one word of warning, the spa is extortionate to say the least. we didnt have any treatments, they might be mind blowing for all i know, but the prices are about 5 - 10x what they are elswhere on the island! we were on honeymoon , we loved it. if we could afford it, we'd be back there now. we only had 2 days, and normally i get bored on resort, but it was perfect for us to recover from the wedding, get over our jet lag and spend some 'us' time together."
- Travel date: 9th November 2005
Excellent but missing that special something.....
"We actually stayed in Saman Villas over a year and a half ago (August 2003) for our honeymoon. It was the first stay of a two-centre holiday. The journey from the airport was horrendous. The roads are poor and the ride bumpy and hot - and it went on for ever. I think the brochure said it was a 2 hour transfer but it took us substantially longer than that. On arrival, I was a little disappointed. Having come long a dirty looking track, we were greeted by a high security fence and security guards at the door (sadly indicative of the way things are in Sri Lanka). I expected to be greeted with a welcome drink, or some special token but we were simply shown to our rooms. After the long and tiring journey, I felt a little flat! A waiter did however appear about half an hour later with a bowl of fruit, which was a nice touch. The rooms are great - really nice outdoor bathrooms and they are spacious and light with electric blinds that you can open from the bed-side to reveal the absolutely stunning view outside. We had a first floor ocean view villa, which is a little smaller than the groud floor villas but in my opinion far better because of the view of the never ending sand on each side of the headland, and the sea right at your door step. Eating breakfast or dinner on the balcony overlooking the ocean (and at night sitting out and listening to the waves pounding at the cliff), was the highlight of the holiday. The pool and grounds were equally nice, as was the outdoor restaurant (which is described as 2 restaurants in many brochures but is just one with a split level). It is hard to put my finger on what was missing, it just didn't have that "wow factor" that I was expecting (and that we subsequently got when we moved on the the Maldives for the second week or our honeymoon). I think the staff try especially hard to be invisable and to allow you privacy which of course is lovely, but in some respects it felt a little like they were being unattentive. That certainly wasn't their intention as when they did serve you they were exceptionally courteous and helpful. I noticed that one recent reviewer commented on the smell at the front of the property which he/she put down to the work that was taking place on the spa - unfortunately, that smell was there 2 1/2 years ago too! However, it is only really outside the main gates that it becomes noticeable and not inside the complex. All in all I would recommend Saman Villas if you want a very peceful, relaxing holiday in privacy."
- Travel date: 4th March 2005
Luxury property in spectacular location-bit rough around the edges
"I looked around this complex as part of a work trip so although I did'nt get to stay here my job is to look at the property and the different room types available to my clients so please bear this in mind as you read. I visited October 2004 and the property did'nt appear to be fully open or even finished, though the staff did say that is fully operational. A spa was being built and the ponds at the front of the property were half filled with rather smelly dirty water. The smell of sewers every now and then wafted from the reception area. There is a good quality jewellers at the foot of the steps leading up to the entrance in the form of an open air reception area. My group were not handed cool towels or orchid garlands which all guests received at the other hotels we visited-regardless of wether we stayed there or not. I think that this is a lovely traditional way to welcome guests in Sri Lanka and I was disapointed to find that this does not appear to be important to the staff at Saman Villas. Anyway, we looked at an ocean view villa which had a lovely covered terrace with traditional seating area and day bed. The views over the deserted orange sand beach were wonderful and the general decor of the rooms (light, bright and airy-luxurious without being too rich or over the top) appealing. Open air bathrooms with glistening tiles and large chrome showers. Simple understated luxury-ideal for honeymooners or romantic couples who wish to laze around in their villa all day...beware if you want to venture out!... The restaurant appeared to be too small for such a resort but still, very charming with views over the pool area and beaches at either side of the promotory on which the Saman Villas stand. Could still faintly smell the sewage though... A nice pool bar and additional bar upstairs beside the library and pool table. The swimming pool is also rather small for such an exclusive complex with a shaded area for non-sunworshipppers. Excellent sea views though. Can't comment on the spa as it was literally three walls with brass fittings semi attached to the fixtures and piles of sawdust everywhere. I got the impression that maybe the Saman Villas is running a little over schedule at the moment? Hopefully when the complex is straightened out and fully opened it will be the splendid luxury that clients see in the brochures. The smell would've gone, the spa will be finished, the smelly water replaced and there will be no bricks and piles of sawdust lying around. I would like to return in maybe 6 months to see how it looks when fully completed...fat chance of that though! Sri Lanka is beautiful by the way-don't laze around your hotel, just get out there and see what this amazing country has to offer!"
- Travel date: 13th November 2004
A perfect place to chill out.
"We won our holiday at Saman Villas, through a prize draw, and stayed March 2003. We stayed at three hotels including Saman Villas. It is worth noting that Saman Villas is a very long drive from the Airport. However, the scenery on-route is enthralling. I can fully endorse 'TripAdvisor User, London, UK' earlier review. I would also like to add, the beach which stretches in both directions, is likely to have the inevitable traders. Do not let this put you off! These locals are generally very, very friendly although quite (over!) enthusiastic. It is not a problem to smile, say 'no thank you' and walk on, or 'yes please' if you like! In fact one of the most memorable experiences we had, was an impromptu cup of tea and biscuits at Nuan's home (he and his sisters run the beach shop). We also saw two beautiful temples locally (not on the usual tourist tours). Only the locals (school children in one case and Nuan in the other) - could have pointed these out. Absolutely no ulterior motive from the locals who guided us. The children were a delight. Another highlight was watching the fisherman bringing in the haul whilst eating breakfast - open air style. Watching the bartering as the fish were sold on the beach was enthralling - it was also a relief to see the turtle which they had caught - put back into the sea. Saman Villas is the perfect combination of Luxury Hotel, stunning location and (if you are prepared to be adventurous, not just sit around the hotel but venture out), fantastic and memorable adventures within the immediate vacinity. We can't wait to win another trip to Saman Villas - next time we'll pay for ourselves!"
- Travel date: 16th October 2004
A piece of heaven.
"Wow! I have stayed at some fantastic places, but this was just the most spectacular. A wonderful (and I really mean amazing) view from each of the villas (all 24 of them). The staff go silently about watching after the guests every need, dressed in traditional Sri Lankan dress, it really is a magical and relaxing place. The food was absolutely fantastic with a full al a carte menu and some great wines. Watching the sunset in the evening disapearing over the horizon is worth it every single day. If there were ever a hotel I ever wanted to go back to, this is it and I'd do it tomorrow."
- Travel date: 22nd August 2004
Saman Villas is also called
- saman hotel aturuwella
- saman resort aturuwella