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“VIP treatment even before we arrived!”
Review of Governor's Mansion

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Governor's Mansion
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Dickoya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 April 2012

The communications we had with the owner Frank and his staff were very attentive and fast so we felt confident we would be equally well looked after once we arrived and we were correct!
We arrived on a stormy afternoon and soon felt very pleased we had chosen this luxury setting for two nights at the end of a busy three week trip through Asia. We had the opportunity to wind down and relax in very welcoming and beautiful surroundings before heading back to work.
We had the added pleasure of the arrival of the owners Frank and Joy and two of their sons. It was great to hear first hand of the purchase and renovations they carried out to take this mansion back authentically to its heyday. They were so welcoming and entertaining, I just hope you are lucky enough to have your visit coincide with one of their quarterly visits to this, their Sri Lankan home.

The room we had was very spacious and well decorated and we thoroughly enjoyed having our early coffee down in the garden watching the tea plantations and the hills in the distance appear. No expense has been spared and the gardens are a joy to wander through.

My daughter and I played tennis on the lovely clay court each morning and just relaxed in the care of the specially selected staff.
Our driver was given bed and board during our stay in the special accommodation built for this purpose so he also enjoyed a break from our driving holiday :-)
As it was an all inclusive tariff including all meals, drinks and laundry in a fabulous setting, we thought the rate was value for money.
We are already planning to return and bring friends if we can as its a great place to just chill and be pampered or to have a great gettogether without having to worry about any of the details.
Thank you Frank and Joy for giving us such a memorable experience!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Wirrramirra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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79 - 83 of 100 reviews

Reviewed 8 April 2012

You simply MUST stay at the Governor's Mansion if you are looking for a magical tea country experience in Sri Lanka. We feel very lucky that we chose to stay at this property at the last minute - it was the highlight of our trip. I cannot say enough good things about the Governor's Mansion. Stunning homestead, huge rooms, never ending immaculate gardens - the mansion has been painstakingly restored by the gracious owners Dr. Frank and Joy to the glamour of it's heyday when Queen Elizabeth was a regular visitor as a Princess. The attention to detail is superb, even the chandeliers were custom designed and took two years to hand make.

The staff are the best I have encountered in my travels around the world - they tend to your every need whist making you feel very comfortable. Nothing is too much trouble. They will take great care of you!!

On top of all this, the views are just breathtaking. We took hundreds of pictures but they can't do the real thing justice. I was looking for the perfect high country vista, and it exceeded my expectations. We spent many hours watching the sunrise and sunset over the misty landscape. Great views out to Adams Peak. Such a serene spot and the temperature is great - warm in the morning and a little cooler in the evenings - a welcome respite from the searing Sri Lankan heat! They can arrange excursions for you to pick tea and we enjoyed playing tennis each morning on the clay tennis court - would have to have some of the best views of any tennis court in the world!

Make sure you try the wonderful Sri Lankan food prepared by the chef. The scones and breakfasts are great too!

You will not regret booking this hotel - I have travelled to some of the most exclusive properties in the world and this one truly impressed. We booked for one night but had to stay another night! We are already planning to return when we are next in Asia - for longer next time!
Don't hesitate, just book! It is a bit of a trek to get there but very worth the journey.
Thanks again to everyone at GM for a very memorable stay - see you next time!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank zoeskye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2012

Even before we arrived at Governor's Mansion I knew the stay would be wonderful because the owner, with his 24 hour hotline in London, really wants to make sure his guests not only love the Governor's Mansion but also Sri Lanka. I stayed there for three nights and could have been very happy staying longer. This doesn't feel so much like a hotel, but rather staying at a private home with excellent staff. I was travelling with my mom and the owner very kindly put is two rooms just to be nice - no extra charge. My mom had the Governor's suite and said she felt like she was in Downton Abbey in Sri Lanka! Every morning we walked the plantation trails, in the afternoon we played a little tennis. One of the highlights was when the manager picked some guavas from the tree and brought us out fresh juice. It's amazing because we were the only ones at the Mansion for part of the stay and when the owner says no request is too much for his staff, he really means it. The excellent service from the owner, Dr. Silva and his staff continued even after we checked out when we would call him for directions and other advice. Also have to comment on the sounds, which another reviewer mentioned. I would just take my book and sit outside and listen to life going on around the plantation. The Tamil drums, the kids at school. It's all very atmospheric, not disturbing, and add a touch of the exotic while you're sipping tea. Is the Governor's Mansion perfect? No. But it was a wonderfully relaxing trip... except for the drive on the road... but it's worth it! One final note that is worth mentioning, the wi-fi is great throughout the house!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank jillian1775
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

The positives:

The service which we received when booking and planning our trip was amazing - really wonderful, attentive, helpful and we couldn't have asked for anything more.

The setting is lovely as are the views (you can see Adam's Peak on a clear day). There are some great walks and the staff are only too happy to point you in the right direction.

The place is very grand from the outside.

The staff are very attentive.

Our room was very spacious.

Yet we felt as though it was not good value for money. We didn't hate the Governor's Mansion but we certainly didn't love it. Here are the downsides:

The bathroom was pretty poor - our bathroom at the Colombo airport Ramada was better. The hot water came and went (despite following the instructions which require flicking a switch - not really what you would expect at a hotel charging these rates).

The towels were musty.

The food is average at best. The menu is long and uninspired - our vegetable soup looked and tasted like it was from a can and the bruschetta just wasn't very nice. The curry was good but not as good as we had elsewhere. If the chef isn't an expert in cooking certain dishes, don't put them on the menu.

The bed was OK but not the most comfortable. For some reason, there was no top sheet or duvet on the bed. When I asked about it, I was told that there is a duvet in the cupboard. This is a bit bizarre - were we meant to sleep on a bed with nothing at all covering us? There was no turn down service so far as I could glean.

I'm not sure if the drapes around the bed were meant to be a mosquito net but they didn't enclose the bed fully so mosquitoes can get in.

I don't want to be too critical as the staff and owner were very nice to us which goes a long way. However, it was all a bit odd. I have no doubt that the owner will respond to this review but, having also stayed at the Tea Trails, we were a bit disappointed by Governor's Mansion. It didn't represent good value for money to us.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Citygoat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GOVERNORSMANSION, General Manager at Governor's Mansion, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2012

We offer our "own brand of hospitality" to all our valued guests. The Quality assurance questionnaires feed back from the guest states "exceeded expectations on many aspects and met with expectations in the others"?

The choice of food the guest comments on is totally different to what was ordered by the guests, offered by the chefs and consumed by the guests?

The staff were denied access to the suite to prepare the bed, to remove the bed runners, cushions, place the duvet (imported from UK) and replace towels etc. This is recorded in the work sheets.

I am lost for words to understand the reasons behind the misunderstandings?

We will always give our utmost to the guests.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2012

Having spent two nights at Governor´s Mansion, we are very pleased to say that in general terms, we had a good time.

- the house is lovely, with all the comforts and excellent views over the plantations

- the location is excellent, remote and with the possibility to walk around and meet the locals, who are more than willing to speak to you, always with a smile.

- the staff at the House do all their best to care about your needs and there is never a "no" as an answer. Everything seems to be possible for them. A big thanks!

However...there are some improvements which we would like to point out:

- the food is not up to the level and price of the accommodation. We had both western (meat, fish, soups, pasta) and Sri Lankan food (curries), and none of them was memorable.

- we felt that there was a lack of organization, mainly related to activities which could be proposed to us. We expected some explanations about walks or excursions in the surrounding area, but we were just told to go hiking around the Mansion, without telling us about any trails. There should be someone who took care of the activities (Hiking trails, waterfalls visits...) as the area is really beautiful.

Good stay, but overpriced by the standard of food provided and the facilities.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank XenaTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GOVERNORSMANSION, General Manager at Governor's Mansion, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2012

The valued guests were offered the full spectrum of services we offer and can arrange. One has the choice to reserve all inclusive services or even reserve a personal guide and concierge service. The offers were not taken up. Our operational staff however did furnish all the information giving the guests the choice and opportunities to decide.

I refer to the remarks made regarding the cuisine. We retain the records of cuisine ordered, consumed and QA feed back for all our guests. There is no record of the items referred to by the guests being ordered, offered and consumed by the guests during their stay at the Mansion.

There is a perhaps a mix up with feed back or the location referred to.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Governor's Mansion

Address: Ottery Estate, Dickoya 22050, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Dickoya
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Dickoya
Price Range: $466 - $551 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Governor's Mansion 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fully Restored English Style Mansion Set Above 4700 Feet Above Sea Leavel In The Tea Valley Of Dickoya. Offers The Guests A Trip Back In Time Where British Planters Made It An Exclusive Home. Frequented By Royalty In The Past. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Governor`s Mansion Hotel Hatton

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