Renting in Sri Lanka
Eden Villas has been arranging the short term rental of villas in Sri Lanka since 2000. We act as an agent between individual villa owners and our clients and by agreeing to rent a villa our clients accept all the Terms and Conditions and enter into a rental contract with the owner. We take it as our responsibility to ensure our clients are satisfied with the villa and we make every effort, through this web site as well as communication prior to and during your stay, that this is the case.
On occasion, thankfully very few and far between, there is potential for a divergence between expectations and reality and to help limit this further we have made a few notes below that we hope are helpful.
We can only tell you what the weather was like last year, last week, or yesterday. We have no idea what it will be like tomorrow. Tropical villas tend to be designed with blue skies and bright sunshine in mind and outdoor dining, barefoot beach strolls and sun bathing are not so much fun....unless you live in a desert...in the rain.
The distance is short but the time to get there isn't. Exact duration will depend on arrival time and if you have to come through Colombo be aware that in addition to usual office rush hour, in Sri Lanka schools finish at 1pm creating terrible congestion for about one hour. The mode of transport can be a 4x4 but is more commonly a Nissan type mini van that seats a max of 6/7 adults + luggage comfortably. Whilst there is a law that states passengers have to wear seat belts there does not seem to be one stating that vehicles have to have them....as such most don't. We use regular drivers that we vigorously test for safety but occasionally, especially at peak holiday times, we have to use third party drivers.
At the time of writing we believe SL Airlines are applying for a fixed wing float plane license to operate internally within Sri Lanka and when this starts it will cut journey time significantly.
The war is over but as with everywhere else in the post 9/11 world security forces carrying guns are visible. It is the law in Sri Lanka to carry ID at all times and if you are stopped you may be asked to show it.
In-villa security is provided by a 'safe' or a cupboard that can be locked. Please be sensible and do not leave valuables or cash lying around when you leave the room. There are no private beaches so do not leave valuables unattended in a public place. Do not invite anyone you have just met into the villa unless they are a professional and are providing you with a service - massage; yoga etc.
Some villas are isolated whilst others are situated in villages where there are other residents. Whilst Sri Lankans are wonderfully tolerant of noise please be respectful and do not play loud music or make audible noise late into the night because, as well as being antisocial, you will get a knock on the door from the local constabulary. Please also note local customs are mostly conservative especially when it comes to appearance. Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country where exposure of too much flesh is not normal and as such may lead to unwanted attention.
We are candid with the standard of staff in a villa and as with every accommodation everywhere some are better than others. Even though most villas have cooks and others have chefs, you may be a fussy eater and not like the food. If this is the case you are welcome to get into the kitchen yourself and demonstrate what you do like. All the staff will want you to have a great holiday and enjoy their country so will be very happy to learn new dishes etc. English is widely spoken but whilst speaking louder usually has no impact on understanding, speaking fewer words more slowly usually does. If you have any concerns please always call the villa manager and do not confront staff directly.
When we started renting villas in Sri Lanka there were 8 hour power cuts daily and whilst thankfully this is in the past the occasional tree falls on a line here and there. Whilst these are usually repaired in a day or two if the break occurs on a weekend, or during a public holiday, it is likely that it will not be repaired until a work day and during this time all that the villa manager / staff can do is provide candle light.
Electricity in Sri Lanka is expensive and villa owners ask that you be considerate to their expenditure.
In Sri Lanka the ocean demands respect. There are rips, strong tides and currents and there are no lifeguards. Swim only where it is obviously safe to do so and do not go swimming after a long lunch. Never leave children unsupervised.
Little things in the tropics can go amiss and whilst there is often a simple solution please allow for the unexpected.
Ever heard of mañana? In the tropics it would be fair to suggest there is insufficient urgency for even that. We suggest you remove your watch and 'go with the flow'. When wanting something at a particular time..lunch for example...we suggest you ask for it be delivered 30 mins before the actual time.
Our multi national staff were either born in Sri Lanka or have lived there many years and all know it well. If you have any concerns, questions or just want to chat about anything ask us. We will be happy to help.
One more thing
Coconut trees look great but can be deadly. Never EVER loiter underneath one.