Firstly a sincere apology for missing the AirBNB review deadline!! However I felt compelled to leave as positive a review as possible for our experience at Villa Surangana this April.
The first thing that hits you is the scale of the place, the pictures look amazing but in all honesty don't really do the place justice nor do they convey exactly how big it is. The staff are wonderful and do everything they can to help. The food is fantastic and varied. We ate mostly local dishes but they were super flexible and would cook anything at request. Manoj baked a cake for one of the children's birthday's which a) was well beyond the call of duty (biut hugely appreciated by everyone and b) was an incredibly good cake!!
I'd honestly have no issues recommending staying here to anyone it's amazing.
What a Fabulous villa situated in a wonderful location, nestled in the jungle overlooking redundant paddy fields ….basically everthing the other reviews say & more….
There are so many little things that stand out, the outdoor shower in one of the rooms that we all gave a go, an absolute must !!! the beautiful wall art dotted around, the sunrise gemstone door in the paddy house plus here nature abounds.
Monkeys and chipmunks scurrying around, stunning birds of all colours, just sit quietly by the pool one day and you’ll soon be surrounded by the sounds of the jungle and all manner of wildlife.
The interiors and the veranda has been updated with some new furnishings and the jungle has really grown up around the villa since the photos were taken and even though the photos give you some idea of the villa they really cannot capture the true essence of this very special place.
That said the true treasure of Surangana are the staff, wonderful, warm & friendly people that made our stay so much more than just a holiday.
Manoj the house manager will sort out any of your needs, what you would like for dinner, if anyone needs lunch during the day, any food or drink shopping you need he’ll sort out for you. He will also arrange any form of transport you need from airport transfers, safari trips or tuk tuks at any time to anywhere & although our group used a lot of arranged transport we often took advantage of the local bus stop at the bottom of the drive.
And yet despite our barrage of daily questions, whether it was about the country, customs, places to go, the food, spare adaptors !!! literally anything ….. Manoj would be there to help with a big smile on his face.
As for the food, Priyanka the cook deserves the equivalent of whatever a Michelin star may be in Sri Lanka possibly even 3 ! the food was absolutely INCREDIBLE, freshly prepared every day with the most amazing array of salads, Baked fish, Prawns, Chicken and of course Sri Lankan curries served with a dizzying amount of sambols and side dishes.
Breakfast itself was a sight to behold, massive platters of delicious fresh fruit, Buffalo curd and palm syrup followed by eggs how you like them & toast with marmalades, jam & also interestingly Marmite which is surprisingly popular here, who knew ?
Everything was perfection, Priyanka managed to match everyone’s taste whether it was spicy or mild without ever comprising on flavour. Although Priyanka’s English was not as good as Manoj’s she generously shared a few of her recipes with me that I am eager to try at home although I doubt they’ll compare to Priyanka’s, she should seriously write a cook book and sell it at the villa, I‘d have bought a copy in fact she would have probably sold about 6 to our group alone.
The rest of the team consists of a gardener who keeps the grounds and pools spotless, a night watchman and 2 young lads that assist Manoj and Priyanka in the daily running of the villa and who will appear at the best possible moment to offer tea/ coffee or any other refreshment you require, at dusk they put out the mossie repellent coils and pull to the nets on the bed and close all the shutters before setting up and seving dinner.
At Surangana your every need is met with a smile and a rare genuineness, a truly magical place with absolutely fabulous staff, Thank you all so, so much for a holiday of a lifetime. Mike, thank you for the amazing place that is Surangana and thanks to Ruby who was an absolutely gem in helping us prior to our arrival.
This holiday was a year in the planning, working and saving hard!!!! I would do it all again in a heartbeat! This is by far the most beautiful place we have ever stayed! We had a lot of "pinch me" moments.... Are we really here swimming in this pool looking out onto the jungle?!!!!!!!! We were a party of 9 all family with 3 children. Manoj and the team at Surangana are outstanding. The food at the villa is some of the best food we have eaten anywhere in the world and the children were catered for too as some wanted plain food!! They missed out I can tell you! The villa is too ridiculous for words the pictures do not do it justice!!! I am reluctant to write e review which will undoubtedly encourage people to visit the most magical place as I want to keep it for myself!!!!!!!!!!!! Which of course the s totally impossible! Mike and Ruby were fantastic from the off communication excellent. My daughter said to me last night " Mum it doesn't feel like we should be home, it feels like we should be there" ... How right she is. I very much hope that we are fortunate enough to return to Suranganacone day. Until then I will continue to miss the place the people and the country every day. I have def left a piece of my heart there......
The staff really made my family's week here special. From Manoj arranging transport to and from the airport and around town. The breakfasts and amazing Sri Lankan curry dinners made for us by the chef at the villa meant we often stayed in. The place was kept clean and tidy without any fuss by the staff. The villa has three bedrooms in the main house, each with their own bathroom, and there is a guesthouse next to one of the pools. The surroundings are tranquil, and you can watch the monkeys swinging from the trees, but they do keep their distance! Before we arrived, we were concerned about the mosquitos but we didn't encounter many, and there is netting on the beds anyway.
I was lucky enough to stay at Surangana Villa on a family holiday for 5 nights and I wish I could've stayed for longer!
The villa is perfectly positioned so you feel like you are in a secluded resort, while still being only a short tuk-tuk ride to the beautiful beaches and local bars.
It was always fun waking up in the morning with my coffee and seeing what the monkeys or chipmunks were up to. The house dogs, Frank & Cloudy, were always such lovely company as well.
But what really made it for me was Manoj and the team. They made it feel so homely yet so luxurious at the same time. Their friendly nature and hospitality made it hard to leave when it was time to go home.
I can't wait to plan my next trip back - I definitely want to stay again!!