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Buckingham Place
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All reviewshis teamthe ownerattention to detailsri lankaour honeymooncakeevery aspectseared tunahigh expectationsevery mealmoment you arrivesmall touchesgarden suiteboutique hotelwithout being intrusivenothing is too much troublefive nights
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Reviewed 22 February 2015

The kindest of words will only begin to portray how wonderful this hotel is. If you take the time to read though the many great reviews there is a common denominator to them all that stands out.
Our host, as well as the hotel owner Nick Buckingham, has eloquently stamped his abundance of great taste and style into a world class boutique hotel destination.
There is little more for me to add that fellow visitors have not previously written about. All points in regards to great food, authentic sincere service, amazing room designs, and the abundance of natural wildlife are true. Let me add how special the backdrop of subtle crashing waves were. A wild, nearly deserted beach puts on a show that mesmerizes. Friendly neighbourhood; we were delighted and amused by the smiles, waves and offers for rides we received from the local villagers while we were out on our morning runs.
Last, but not least; a great wine selection ( not an easy find in Sri Lanka) that included one of my all time favourite reds. Perfection! To Nick and his team, from "Sami" and I, thank you for making our time so special and memorable. We were missing Buckingham Place before we left the gates.

Room Tip: There are few hotels in Sri Lanka that offer two separate beds for friends who are traveling and sharing a room. Our room had a small bedroom off the main room that would be perfect for a child, or in our case, friends sharing.
  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled with friends
    • Service
1  Thank travelgirlnb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamplace, Owner at Buckingham Place, responded to this reviewResponded 2 March 2015

I reply with sincere thanks on behalf of us all, I’m touched by your passionate review of the hotel and its Team and humbled by its flattery for me also. However, quite honestly I feel that sooner or later, competitor hoteliers will rumble me and, rediscover what we ourselves and others who travel perhaps really seek and appreciate most - genuine hospitality.

Buckingham Place isn’t cutting edge or state of the art – it isn’t meant to be. It isn’t silver service or opulent high style either, nor would I wish it to be. It is, as if by some good luck, the result of a motley Team that has assembled around me in latter years, largely hitherto, not of this industry or its training schools – that, through vocational training, development and the embodiment of decent values has succeeded where others sometimes fail and now delivers, real service with a genuinely good attitude and wholly natural smile. There, that’s it – the secrets out!

If I admit to having some goals, some passion and to being somewhat blessed with indispensible OCD I must also say, nothing I do in Sri Lanka or at Buckingham Place would work were it not for a loyal, willing, capable and I hope very happy bunch of people around me. Forgive me for using my reply to highlight this yet again, and again, thank you for coming to stay. Your support and motivation both through your good custom and 'flowing pen' is much appreciated I promise.
Your stay was memorable and fun and you were particularly warm and considerate towards all of us – thank you, I am so glad you had a good time here and truly hope you’ll return – you never know, we might even get your name right next time (oops, sorry!).

Warmest regards and thanks, I hope you follow your own dreams too…
Nick & the Team

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Reviewed 20 February 2015

I read the reviews before holidaying here for 2 weeks in February 2015 and confirm that this is a special place. Apart from the tranquility, outstanding service and delicious food you will be entertained by Turtles, Lamur monkeys, Monitor Lizards and an astonishing variety of birds in and around the hotel..
We were lucky enough to see Blue and Fin Whales from Mirrisa and recommend Bundala Reserve as a wildlife trip.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 and 3 have great views.
  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank JSJT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamplace, Owner at Buckingham Place, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2015

Fabulous!

Thank you for coming to stay with us and, for following up with a really helpful review. The focus of your review is potentially very useful for other nature lovers as well as being a reminder to me of the reason I settled here back in 2002. I often describe Sri Lanka as a giant and spectacular wildlife park, where fences contain much of it but, where wildlife roams freely – one should never be surprised to encounter monkeys or monitor lizards on a journey or, even an occasional elephant crossing the road. The hotel gardens are as you describe, home to a multitude of fascinating creatures which I feel privileged to live alongside. At times, monkeys and other animals can make a nuisance of themselves but for as long as I’m here I’ll never tire of seeing them – however disruptive, cheeky or noisy they may be!

I’m so glad you felt able to endorse earlier reviews and confirm what I and many others think about this place. Thank you too for the positive feedback on your trips to Bundala and Mirissa – this too should help future visitors to the island, irrespective of where they might stay.

Please come again soon, there is much more to see on this island I promise!

Warmest regards and sincere thanks - for your good custom and this helpful support,
Nick & the Team

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Reviewed 17 February 2015

This doesn't feel like you are staying in a hotel but instead we felt we were house guests of the owner, Nick. Please don't come here for one night only, you need to stay longer to truly appreciate the place. The staff were very attentive, cold drinks on returning from a walk, drinks brought to us as we relaxed around the pool and gardens. I asked for coconut water and that morning everyone was brought fresh coconuts as we cooled off in the pool. All rooms are spacious with views of the lagoon. I don't like air conditioning so the staff brought me a fan which I really appreciated. Enjoyed the food, we stayed 4 nights and had all our meals here. You can have breakfast at any time you want and room cleaned whenever you wanted-staff come and ask for your key so you know they are in the room.
Amazing beach that is only a couple of minutes walk away. Only downside to the beach was the number of wild dogs- at one point we counted 10 in a pack! We kept our distance from them!You can't swim in the sea but you can enjoy watching the waves rolling in- loved it.
Of course there is Ginger, the much photographed pony to keep you company as well as the peacocks ( who can be a bit noisy!).
Definitely recommend Buckingham Place and with Nick's new plans it is going to be even more amazing than it already is!

  • Stayed: February 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank sarge58Cumbria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamplace, Owner at Buckingham Place, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2015

Thank you very much for supporting what we do here in the remoteness of Rekawa! Your kind review and fresh images paint a wonderful picture of the hotel whilst your objectivity will I’m sure prove very helpful for fellow travelers. I’m delighted that you enjoyed a relaxing 4 nights with us - above all, I send sincere thanks for choosing our ‘place’ and for bringing your valued custom to it.

With regards to safe swimming; the nearby rock pool is comparatively safe for most of the year and, safer beaches are within a short and (for many) enjoyable tuk-tuk ride from the hotel. Beach dogs; throughout Sri Lanka it’s sadly common to encounter dogs wandering around apparently homeless and in packs. For perspective, over the 4 years since opening the hotel and indeed for the 12 years I’ve lived on this beach, I’m yet to hear of a single tourist or local being bitten, most dogs are likely to be timid and more fearful of us in fact. Usually, one need only pick up a handful of sand for these dogs to run off yelping - as if you’ve actually thrown it at them! We strongly recommend to guests that they avoid befriending beach dogs of course, though for animal lovers this can be challenging! Yearly, the hotel supports a local NGO initiative to sterilise, vaccinate, medicate and ‘repair’ stray village/beach dogs. Since doing so, numbers have been gradually reducing thankfully.

You’ve been very thoughtful with your compliments for our service team and, for me personally. Thank you but, the reason you felt like our house guests is that you were, but you were not just my house guests. We all consider this place to be our home and, that our guests come to stay with us in it.

Whenever you yearn to wake up really late for breakfast each day and, want to truly relax, please simply remember Buckingham Place - and us. As you helpfully advise others, “please don't come here for one night only, you need to stay longer.....”

Please do return - you’ll find a warm welcome awaits you again in our little corner of Paradise.

Warmest regards,
Nick & the Team

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Reviewed 17 February 2015

We had two great nights at Buckingham Place and really enjoyed it. Service was great, from the initial nice welcome and introduction to the hotel and our room, to the kind and friendly staff in the restaurant and grounds. The owner, Nick Buckingham was regularly around, for a chat or some advice on shopping or places to go.
Our room was spacious and comfortable, impeccably clean, pretty flowers on the bed when we arrived. Room enough for chairs and a coffee table, desk as well as a little balcony with views across to the lake. Open roofed bathroom was enormous, with ayervedic shampoo, toothpaste, skin balm etc. Lots of thoughtful inclusions like a clothes line in the bathroom! Also a safe and a hair dryer and a fridge with snacks and drinks included, with drinking water in environmentally friendly reusable bottles rather than the dreaded plastic water bottle.
We spent a relaxing day hanging around the pool but we also went for a ride around the local village and paddy fields on the bicycles, took the double kayak out on the lake early the next morning, paddling around the shores with the birds and water monitors and a couple of fishermen. Morning and afternoon walks along the wild beach, a long long stretch of sand where turtles lay their eggs (turtle centre right there next door but we didn't visit), dogs hang out in the sun and hardly any body in sight. You cannot swim at this beach, it's a really dangerous shore break. There is a bit of a rockpool for a swim a long walk up the beach, but just enjoy the walk and swim in the hotel pool. There were other suggested day trips around the locality but we ran out of time.
Food was delicious, a few fusion variations on Sri Lankan cuisine. Nice ambience in the restaurant and bar and lots of birds around the lovely gardens.
Be warned Buckingham Place is quite isolated from Tangalle, so you will want to stay in for meals etc (not a problem at all for us).

  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank hamfams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamplace, Owner at Buckingham Place, responded to this reviewResponded 22 February 2015

Thank you for coming to stay and for sharing your experience via Trip Advisor. Your thorough appraisal of the hotel and its environs highlights the fact there is more to do here than purely relax! And, although I do encourage laziness without shame for those in dire need, you’ve clearly outlined just how much more there is to do should one be activity inclined.

You are generous with your praise - thank you very much. I’m especially pleased that you’ve spotted and support my crusade against plastic bottles, sometimes I feel like a lone voice. Just think, my very conservative estimate of water bottle usage (had we used them) suggests that since opening the hotel 4 years ago until now, we’d have used a staggering 32,000 of the wretched things – and ours is but a tiny 15 unit boutique hotel. I rest my case! Thanks also, for emphasising the hotels isolation and that because you were happy enough with our food this did not represent a problem for you. Generally this is the case with most guests – 95% or more dine with us, however, for those seeking alternatives there are several to choose from within a c25 minute ride in a tuk-tuk.

Thank you for your valuable custom and this helpful support, please return to Buckingham Place whenever you wish – preferably for longer!

Warmest regards,
Nick & the Team

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Reviewed 13 February 2015

A refreshing change from the norm.
Everything works. This is the first time I can say this for 7 years and over 20 hotels in 7 different countries including England.
When you visit this amazing place your NOT entering the world of hotels. Your entering someones home. The owner doesn't Lord it about looking clever, he is your host. Its like visiting a good friends home.
This hotel outshone the 5 hotels in Sri Lanka we stayed at by a million miles.
What will I miss about this hotel?
Not the fantastic food and the regularly changing menu.
Not the kind considerate staff that do their job so well.
Not the fabulous rooms that are spacious and sumptuous with comfortable beds and CHAIRS...(many hotels we went to don't have these,,inside or OUT!)
Not the beautifully kept garden and its bird song.
Not the wonderful ambiance of the restaurant at night and the moody lighting.
Not even my most gracious host Nick who made part of our family holiday so very special.
What I will miss is Jean!
Those eyes, that assured walk and dulcet tones.
I have given 5 stars and wish there was a 6th for that special place we all eventually find.

Room Tip: There are NOT rooms as such. Your have your own well built mini apartment with balcony and view. Your not on top of your neighbours.. Everyone we spoke to just said "wow" about the rooms.
  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank RodFisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamplace, Owner at Buckingham Place, responded to this reviewResponded 16 February 2015

From your hosts...

Soon after I became an hotelier I discovered a downside I hadn’t really bargained for. It simply didn’t occur to me that almost daily I would be waving guests on their way as they departed from our gates, people whom I’d met too briefly and might have struck up long term acquaintances or friendships with had I met them in another way or in the country where I reside. Your visit to this hotel - all of you, was a joyous occasion for the Team, me and our other guests at that time. To see you get so much from your holiday and Buckingham Place and, to have had the great privilege to host you all, is a memory that will stay with me a very long time.

Thank you very much; you pay tribute to the hotel and humble me at the same time, but what you haven’t said is that everyone enjoyed being in your presence and, for us you were absolutely perfect or 'proper guests' guests – interesting, charming, almost too considerate for words and happily, with an infectious sense of humour!

As you left the hotel it was one of your fellow quests who quipped (in a nice way) "it’s going to be quiet around here for the next few days - what a lovely family?” Frankly it was - and you were.On behalf of us all and I guess those other guests too, thank you for coming to stay and above all, thanks for bringing some extra sunshine into our lives, it was huge fun for us too.

I hardly need say, you’re welcome here anytime and we’d really love to see you back. Please do return - please come again soon.

Finally, to clarify for other travellers, Gene (with a G!) is one of our resident (noisy) peacocks…

Warmest regards - and greeting from one island nation to another...
Nick & the Team

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