Where to Stay in Unawatuna (And Where Not to)

In Unawatuna I stayed at three different guest houses. Yes, you read that right, THREE! In five days. Here I’m going to explain why. Plus I will briefly review each one and share useful info like prices and booking.

I have not been compensated for writing any of the following reviews: all my opinions are, as always, my own.

Village Inn, Unawatuna

accommodation unawatuna

I’ve stayed at some bad places but this was truly awful. Village Inn has to be the worst place to stay in Unawatuna and was the worst place I stayed in Sri Lanka.

This was the first of our three guesthouses in Sri Lanka as we could only stand to be there for one night. Unfortunately the place looked really pleasant when we arrived from Mirissa. We asked our tuk tuk driver if he knew of a nice, cheap place to stay and he took us here. We looked around before agreeing to stay but it was a nice, sunny afternoon and everything looked basic but cheerful enough.

Wrong!

Village Inn: Where NOT to stay in Unawatuna

In a nutshell: the bathroom was disgusting; the window didn’t shut and we couldn’t hide from the mosquitoes; some kind of dirt kept appearing on my pillow; the ants had seriously taken over and were running the show.

I was scared to get out of bed because I didn’t know what I would find on the floor when I walked across it, that’s how horrible the place was.

If you want all the gory details you can read my Trip Advisor review about Village Inn here.

After we’d dropped our bags off at Village Inn we went straight out to explore Unawatuna and hit the beach. When we came back to have showers and get changed at dusk that’s when we realised what a bad choice we’d made. So when we went out to get something to eat in the evening, we first of all checked out all the available places to stay.

Useful info for Village Inn Unawatuna

  • Don’t stay there
  • We stayed one night and paid 2,500rs (16€) for private bungalow with private bathroom (unless you count the ants), fan, no hot water. Man were we robbed!
  • Location: Google Maps

The Pink Elephant

That’s when we came across the Pink Elephant and met the charming Charminder.

The Pink Elephant is a popular bar in Unawatuna but does have a few rooms for rent too.

Charminder told us that for the next day he would have two rooms available: one at the front with sea view and one at the back. We couldn’t take a look that evening because they were occupied, but he told us to go back at 10am the next day and see which room we wanted.

We turned up at 9:30, with our big backpacks, with the intention of having some breakfast at the Pink Elephant before we moved in. Things didn’t quite go as planned.

Charminder didn’t even recall having spoken to us at first even though it had been just a few hours earlier. He blatantly said that he didn’t have any rooms available and that we should look elsewhere! Yet he had practically promised us a room the evening before. And there we were with all our stuff.

A blessing in disguise

Naturally we were disappointed and we tried to insist a little. When he realised we were not leaving so easily he recommended a place right behind his bar that was recently built with all new rooms, modern and private bathroom with hot water.

We went there to take a look and it was gorgeous. The woman who owned it or ran it was pleased to let us have a room and we moved right in.

We spent a very happy two nights there and when we decided to stay in Unawatuna for one more night we went to give the woman the good news. Except she already had a booking and couldn’t let us stay on! We were gutted. And we were back to searching for a place to stay in Unawatuna…

Useful info for the place just behind the Pink Elephant, Unawatuna

  • Find the Pink Elephant and then search from there.
  • We stayed two nights and paid 3,500rs (22€) per night for private room with private bathroom, fan, hot water.
  • Location: Google Maps

Navod Guest House

We lucked out with our last place in Unawatuna, even though we just stayed there for the last night.

From the street the place just looks like a residential building but there was a sign advertising rooms to let so we took a look. We were shown around by the owner and were pleased with what we saw.

There is no question that this was simple budget accommodation but it was clean and well-kept. It was nowhere near as nice as our previous place in Unawatuna but it was far cheaper.

What I loved most about the room was the pleasant terrace where we could sit on an evening watching the sunset while the monkeys played in the trees.

The room was on the first floor and had a great jungle view. The property is also just across from the beach.

We stayed here for our last night in Unawatuna which was also our last night in Sri Lanka.

The price of the room was already very reasonable but we negotiated to stay for a day and a half as we didn’t want to check out until 9pm the following evening when we had to go to the airport.

We also arranged our transport to the airport through this guesthouse. We booked with her because she matched the cheapest offer we’d had. The air conditioned taxi was great, driven by a very pleasant young man called Dimuthu.

Useful info for Navod Guesthouse, Unawatuna

  • We stayed 1.5 nights and paid 4,000rs (26€) total for private room with private bathroom, fan, hot water.
  • Location: I can’t find it on the map, but here is their Trip Advisor page if that’s of any help.
  • Ask them to book your taxi to the airport too if you need one.

Have you been to Unawatuna? Got any tips for people looking for accommodation?

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About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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