We’ve been both surprised and pleased with the boutique hotel scene in Sri Lanka. Hospitality offerings are evolving as tourists flock to the teardrop shaped island. Saman Villas, located a couple hours south of the capital, is no exception. Saman Villas embodies Sri Lankan luxury. Luxury which is defined by sweeping views, private plunge pools, expert chefs, pristine beaches, exclusivity, and a serene Ayurvedic spa. It’s not a Four Seasons type of luxury, but a more understated one.
I came to the coastal resort on a 4 day holiday in May this year and never wanted to leave. Perched on a cliff with long stretches of beach on either side in the relatively less touristy town of Bentota, Saman Villas really is paradise. What I remember most? Watching and hearing the low and long waves roll onto shore in a hypnotic melody. Cheesy but true.
Accommodation at Saman Villas
Although the property has an infinity pool with panoramic views, I chose the Deluxe Suite with Private Pool. There was something incredibly tempting about having our own nook to watch the beach from. The adequately interior’d wooded suite opened up to a small garden and patio with sun beds. An outdoor bathroom with lounging tub is something to take note of. The free Wifi had good signal but trust me, you’ll have little desire to use it.
The Spa at Saman Villas
Again, simplicity in all its splendor. You’re in a different world once you cross over the little bridge to the entrance of this Ayurvedic Spa. Outdoor massage beds and seemingly weightless stones floating in a serene pond with water lilies make you feel like time is standing still.
Areas that Need Improvement at Saman Villas
While Saman Villas is paradise and I highly recommend a stay, there are areas which need improvement for a hotel at this price point. Visit this hotel in shoulder or off season as we did because prices are significantly higher in peak season.
Everyone we came across was warm and welcoming, no issue there. It was with Housekeeping that I found an issue. We had the Do Not Disturb sign up throughout our trip and it was constantly disrespected. The doorbell would ring and instead of waiting for one of us to answer, one or sometimes two male employees would open the door to the outdoor area and come zooming right in. Any one can see right into the villa once they pass the initial door. I was changing and I had to scream for them to leave.
The second incident was right after a heavenly Ayurvedic massage. We were oiled up and without clothing under our robes returning to our suite just across the courtyard. Two male employees descended upon us like vultures with the final bill. Again, a complete violation. I am not implying there was some mal intent here but never should a male employee be able to approach a woman in a vulnerable state like that. What peeved me off was that the room was paid for in full prior to arriving. It was not necessary to make a guest feel uncomfortable in this manner for restaurant and room service charges. And that too after a calming spa treatment. We weren’t even checking out until the next morning.
A little training and cultural understanding will fix this right up.
While the food is yummy, the portions are small and expensive. The menu lacks some variety as well. One might assume, meaning me, that a beach resort will have plenty of seafood options. I was wrong. With not many dining options within walking distance, guests need to have a bit more variety. You might not be satisfied if you’re a person with a larger appetite. I will say, however, that the in house made coconut ice cream is one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. The fruits and bakery assortment during breakfast are also delicious.
This was not a sponsored or solicited post. Stay at the Saman Villas was self funded.
A post you should read before heading to Sri Lanka is 10 Tips You Must Know For Sri Lanka