Samudra Guest House
Habarana Road, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
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Samudra Guest House Polonnaruwa Reviews
Samudra Guest House Jun 03, 2013
This guesthouse listed in lonely planet guide book as a top choice, but when I arrived there, what a disgrace it was. The place was half empty, no reception or people inside the building. The tuk tuk driver has to call the owner (since he knows the owner) and then when I get the room, I have to change and checked 3 other rooms before settle in.
The room I was in, was old, a bit dusty and then I found out the dresser and inside the bathroom full with rat dropping. After I put my luggage, I search for other hotel nearby, unfortunately they charged ridiculous amount for a night such as Rs7,000 for a bit of modern but still basic room. Since I do not want to spend that much money, so I settle at the first place I was in and it cost Rs1,500 per night without breakfast.
The room itself was large, with three single bed and mosquito net, a couple of chairs and table and fan. I have to clean the bed and the bathroom before I used it and ask for a new towel, since the towel does not look clean to me.
The guesthouse has a quite large common area in the front building and dining area at the back facing a small garden. There is a cow pass by from the other garden when I was having breakfast there. They charged Rs500 for breakfast, and the breakfast was not exciting, only one fried egg, three slices of toast, a couple of banana and one slice of water melon, and tea or coffee. I also had dinner with them and the curry dinner was good, they gives chicken and vegetables curry and rice, and it cost Rs1,000. But I need to order dinner and breakfast in advanced and they ask if I want dinner when I arrived, so it was easy.
They also rent a bicycle for Rs 600 per day which I get one to explore the Polonnarua Ancient city. Unfortunately the owner is not that friendly as advertised in the guide book. The man owner basically refused my request to pump the bicycle tire as it was flat and he keeps insisting it was okay to ride the bicycle for the day. I insist to have my bicycle tire pump and finally he called someone to look after my bicycle. It was an old and basic bicycle without gears, okay for a day easy ride sightseeing but not good if ride on the hills.
Since I plan to leave early in the morning around 9 am, they asked if I can pay the expenses in advanced. After done this, the next morning when I leave, the female owner keeps asking about the key (more than three times) even I have said I leave the key in the door. Jezz, what an experience.
The location of this guesthouse is very strategis, plenty of restaurants and shops selling food and drink and within walking distance to the archeological museum which sell the ticket to enter the Ancient city.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Samudra Guest House Sep 13, 2011
The Samudra Guest House is located close to the old town of Polonnaruwa which is a bit away from the main bus station and the train station in Polonnaruwa. If you come by bus it’s not much of a problem since you can just let the driver or conductor know you want to get off at the roundabout in the old town area and they will let you know when to jump off - otherwise you can go to the main bus station and catch a tuktuk from there which shouldn’t be too expensive.
You might have to look a bit for the hotel considering the house facing the street is a restaurant run by the same owner as the hotel which is located behind the restaurant and connect into a small garden area. Since the hotel is withdrawn from the road the rooms are quite at night - though this might just be due to the fact the traffic is probably limited at night in any case.
The hotel got six rooms and a cabin in the garden - the cabin is more expensive but I don’t know what you get for the extra price except for a bit more of privacy since you will have nobody staying next door to you. The rooms all seem to be triple rooms all with a private bathroom and shower. The rooms are fairly big equipped with a couple of armchairs to go along with the beds and considering the price of the room they are probably a better bargain than some other places I have stayed. One of the rooms got an air-con inside. They will charge you a couple of hundred rupees extra if you want to freeze at night.
You can get evening meals at the hotel on the porch facing the garden. Here you can get you meals which are probably made a bit more western than style than the meals served in the restaurant which is more geared towards the local market. The food is pretty good both place if you like a decent curry or fried rice. Breakfast can be either European or Sri Lankan style depending on what you desire.
The hotel rents out bikes you can use when you visit the ancient city down the road. The bikes are fairly well maintained - but they are a bit smallish for me - though most people will probably find them big enough.
Even though the hotel is located in a city area - the country side of Sri Lanka isn’t far away. One afternoon I was sitting out on the porch for a while and then suddenly a group of cows came walking by - they simply just walked through the garden of the hotel passing by and going to somewhere else in the neighborhood. The cows didn’t stay long in the garden and didn’t seem to be eating the grass at places where they didn’t belong so they only served to give a bit of local flavor to the hotel.
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2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy