Firstly, Rob's place is not Rob's place and this was never communicated to us until we arrived. The property, although very well located, is a cluster of private flats and rooms in a local Sri Lankan family's home. We unfortunately were not made to feel welcome as our stay started with check in at the Salt House, whose representative drove us to the house, and proceedes to argue with one of the ladies of the house in front of us for ten minutes in Sinhalese, while we sat unaware of what the problem was. Not the welcome we had hoped for.
Turns out this listed room had not yet been vacated so they were getting another room ready for us, which had been vacated by a long term tenant the day before. The bed and bathroom were clean. However, the floors and the kitchen were very dirty. They are made from an absorbent concrete which leaves them all looking, feeling and smelling very dirty. The kitchen is the worst as it has absorbed months of old meat smells and blood stains. We could not relax as the meat smell permeated the entire flat.
Additionally, we booked this listing because we thought having a Western host who runs hotels would ensure the little things would be catered for. But as mentioned, this is not the case at all. You need to ask for everything that has been forgotten or not thought of, but
Unless you speak Sinhalese this is extremely difficult. For example, there were no towels or beach towels (most places offer beach towels if they are on the beach!). We got 1.5 towels for the bathroom, with beach towels never arriving. We had to multipurpose a tablecloth for the beach in the end. When we told Rob that communicating was difficult, his advice to us was "use hand gestures". True story!!
It is also not very "serene" as the name would imply, as the young family are up early with the kids playing loudly. Fine if you paid half the amount and expected a guesthouse or homestay environment.
Lastly, Serene villa has nice comfy beds, but no hot water! For this price its a rip off. If we wanted this type of stay, we would have spent half the price, stayed in a guesthouse and got a friendly welcome, hot water, breakfast and no meat smells.
It would seem this operation is all about the money. It was evident that the relationship between Rob & the owner is the real issue here.
Appreciate the nominal refund given to us, but to future travellers, sadly I would recommend avoiding. This is the first time I have ever left such a review and it saddens me to do so :(