We were really lucky because we tried to stay at Devi Tourist Home, but that was full and they told us to try Samagi. For 3,000 rupees we got a villa to ourselves containing a simple double room, a most beautiful bathroom, dining room and living room. A/C would have been an extra 500 rupees per night. There were some bedrooms not being used, but Manju (the owner) had no intention of renting out the other rooms as we had paid for the villa..
Meals were great and were possibly some of the best local Sri Lankan food we ate. Manju was extremely generous with the food he prepared for us and we felt exceptionally well looked after. Definitely ask to try the local breakfasts and dinner (if you like curry); we requested veggie food and it was all absolutely amazing and nothing was too much trouble.
The location is one of the best bits. It was so peaceful because it is off the main road, but only 1 km from 1st Canal in Polonnaruwa At night we watched the fruit bats coming home to roost and breakfast was taken overlooking a paddy field or in the garden.
We did an elephant safari, but no one pushed us into doing this trip. It was entirely our choice. The safari was one of the highlights of our trips in Sri Lanka.
Manju ensured we got to the Kaduruwela bus station without issue for our onwards journey; he couldn't personally take us so arranged alternative transportation.
DON,T EVER go to samagi villa polonnaruwa.Most unpleasant experience with samagi villa and manju(owner) the main man in the episode i paid required advance of Rs.5000/= one and half months prior to our departure.Bookd form 24th Dec to 27th Dec i Kept checking with manju at samagi villa and was advised that everything was under control.I called on the morning of 22nd Dec and manju informed there was a problem due to an online booking and we could stay two night.He said he would put us at another place, We proceeded to samagi villa Stayed 2 nights and opted to leave as we were tatally dissatisfied service was NIL, food was horrible and never on time.
One of two chinese ladies in the villa opposite came knocking on our door asking what to do, they did not even have Water in their room and manju could not be cantacted....
I forgot the adavance i had paid and settled the whole bill. While going ,i remembered the advance and called manju.He said to send my bank a/c number,he would bank the money.I waited for one week nothing came . I then sent someone personally on four occasions to manju'shome for the money. On each occasion manju avoided him. Once he was asked to come at 6.30am he went ,but manju was missing.
No advance upto date and unable cantact manju. His phone not answered my number now.This CON MAN must not be allowed to TRICK innocent people and foreigners must be warned about him.
We arrived in Polonnaruwa off the bus at 10pm: tired, hungry and nowhere to sleep.
Unbeknown to us, the bus conductor had called ahead to Manjula, who pounced on us as we decended the bus. Given our lack of options, we agreed to look at the room (agreed a rate of 1500) and if we did not like it he would tuk tuk us back to town.
I have to say the standard of the bungalow is excellent: the most westernised place we stayed all trip, with excellent beds, towels etc. We had the place to ourselves and it was heavenly!
We were too late for dinner but they brought us a fruit plate (450) and two beers (350 each)
Next day we hired bikes: Possibly the crapper ones from his collection of 500... (350 each)
The most important thing to note is no matter what bargain price you agree, any services you partake of during your stay will incur the 10% service charge.This is the one and only time this happened throughout our trip.
The owner (Manjula) was very welcoming, but unlike anyone I had come across on our trip, we found him to be rather intense and having now read some other reviews, I am not the only one!
We stayed there for a single night after visiting archeological site. We were the only guests in three-bedroom villa. The building is brand new, very clean, with good spacious bathroom, well-equipped living room with TV, the kitchen was under construction.
We had great dinner: rotti and avocado salad were delicious. Breakfast was very good and well served - one of the best during our journey (3 weeks). We also took the ayurvedic massage offered by the owner and it was interesting experience (note: massage center is 20 mins drive away from hotel)
I really enjoyed my stay at Samagi Guesthouse. I booked a single room, but as there weren't many other guests i had the whole cottage to myself. Each guesthouse room consists of two king-single beds and a decent air conditioning system. Each cottage has three guesthouse rooms, plus a shared bathroom, kitchen (still being built during my stay), dining room and lounge area.
The owners, Nami and Manjula, were fantastic hosts during my stay here. My driver to Minneriya National Park (Aruna) was also wonderful! Dinner each night was delicious (and reasonably priced) even if I had no idea what it was! The guesthouse was super clean, and was lovely to stay in - although the hot water didn't seem to work (to be fair: I didn't bother mentioning it - I am sure it would have been fixed if I had said something but I didn't want to cause a hassle!).
For those who are trying to find the guesthouse, it is a short 15-20 minute walk south of Polonnaruwa village. It is a bit tricky to find - it's right at the end of Church Road. But the owners seemed happy to pick me up and drop me off from either Polonnaruwa village and the main town 5km down the road. I just arrived a bit early so walked instead.
Recommend to others staying in Polonnaruwa. And ありがとう ございました (thank you!) to Samagi for being such a fantastic place to stay!