The Teak House
Seenimodera
Nakulugamuwa
Tangalle, Sri Lanka

House Notes

Roshan is the manager of The Teak House. He is also responsible for cleaning the house, shopping, cooking for our guests and ensuring that all of their requirements are met. Roshan’s telephone number is 0776 618257.  His brother, Ruane Chandana, looks after the garden and will drive you about in his tuk-tuk at a pre-agreed, local rate.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be prepared by Roshan, unless you wish to eat out.  However, on at least two days in any period of a week, you should choose between lunch and dinner at The Teak House.  We have provided a menu but you can request specific dishes which Roshan may or may not have prepared before. If he has not, you may wish to give him some guidance.

If Roshan is busy, his brother, Ruane Chandana, will always run errands for you in his tuk-tuk. He will also drive you in the evenings. You must remember to ask him before he leaves work in the afternoon should you require a tuk-tuk that evening. If you do need a tuk-tuk or van for any other journey, please ask Roshan. We have a list of recommended drivers whom we have known for a very long time and do not recommend that guests use any other transport whilst they are here, save should they wish to experience the bus.

‘Tissa’ is the sole remaining canine ‘watcher’ of The Teak House and he is fully protected in terms of vaccines, worming, etc.  He is thrilled to provide company, an escort to the beach and razor-sharp hearing should someone come to see you.  IT IS APPARENTLY SOMETIMES TEMPTING TO TAKE PITY ON OTHER DOGS YOU MEET.  IT IS ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN TO INTRODUCE OTHER DOGS TO THE TEAK HOUSE.  ONCE HERE, THEY ARE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.  THEY WILL ONLY BE TOLERATED BY TISSA ON THE PROPERTY IF THEY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT BY A GUEST.

Wherever we are in the world, all of us have rules for our pets.  The same applies to our dog at The Teak House.  He sleeps on the walkway or in the kitchen and is not allowed in the living room at night.  He is also never allowed in the bedrooms.  Please respect these rules since not doing so will inevitably cause a problem for somebody else.

Tipping

It is customary to tip the staff. It is important to note that we are all from different cultures and tipping is understood and practiced very differently throughout the world. Some cultures tip very generously while others feel rather awkward on deciding how much to tip.  In Sri Lanka, members of staff do expect to be tipped for good service, and our staff will accept whatever tip you choose to give them with gratitude.  Unlike most villas, we do not levy a service charge on your booking; therefore if you feel you have had good service from our staff, please do consider a tip at the end of your stay – a good tip is anything from US $10.00 to US $20.00 per day per member of staff.

Alcohol

PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU SHOULD KEEP ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS FOR ANY ALCOHOL BOUGHT TO CONSUME AT THE TEAK HOUSE (WHETHER AT THE AIRPORT OR ELSEWHERE) AS PRIVATE VILLAS ARE SUBJECT TO OCCASIONAL ON SITE CHECKS FROM THE EXCISE DEPT, AND ANY ALCOHOL FOUND WITHOUT RECEIPTS WILL BE CONFISCATED.  Beer and wine are also available for purchase at the Wine Shop in Tangalle.

DURING YOUR STAY

Shopping

All food, bottled water and non-alcoholic beverages are for your own account - you pay only the cost price and the transport for shopping. Roshan, and occasionally Ruane Chandana, does the shopping but feel free to go with him on the first day so that you know what is available at the fresh fruit, vegetable and fish markets in Tangalle town. You need to provide Roshan with cash and he will give you receipts which you can, and should, check.  

 It is impossible to provide accurate guidance about prices in Sri Lanka due to severe seasonal fluctuations - due to this and to constantly rising prices in Sri Lanka, we are keen to avoid any misunderstandings with staff, so if you have any queries on what you are being asked to pay (either on the prices or the quantity bought) please don’t hesitate to discuss this with Roshan.  

The tap water in Sri Lanka is fine for everything from brushing your teeth, making ice and boiling the kettle.  It is probably best for Westerners to avoid drinking the tap water (unless boiled) in any great quantity.

Most day to day necessities can be bought in Tangalle.  Twice a week – Wednesday & Sunday – the Pola or special market comes to town with fresh fruit and vegetables brought by local farmers. The inside market in Tangalle operates every day of the week. You can also go down to the harbour (early!) to buy the night’s catch. Or Roshan can ask a local fishermen to bring fresh fish. For other groceries, we recommend Muthumala stores in town or Food City (Sri Lanka’s answer to Tesco!).  

Dining Out

Whilst we do not offer a restaurant service at The Teak House, you can choose from a limited range of dishes on the menu overleaf. We can only provide one starter, one main course and one pudding per meal. 

 If you would like to eat out, there is a limited choice of places to go:

Amanwella - Luxury in Tangalle (the beach restaurant is good for lunch) 047 224 1333

Anantara - New and very expensive 047 224 4466

Buckingham Place, Rekawa - Book in advance Call Nick 0777 717473

Coco Tangalle - Ask Roshan

Things change fast in Tangalle. Please accept our apologies if this list is not fully comprehensive or out of date.

Swimming

Beach towels are provided and there is an outside shower for washing off salt and sand on your return.  Boogie boards are available so please ask Roshan. Please take care of the currents when swimming in the sea. Our beach is deemed safe to swim most of the year but the currents can change extremely quickly and we recommend you swim from the centre of the beach and avoid getting too close to the rocks at either end. 

If you are feeling energetic, stroll to the very far end of Mahawella beach and take a dip in the ocean pool protected by the headland.

Music

Our new Philips system takes mp3 files on a USB device, provides local radio stations and will take cds. However, the humidity can play havoc with cds so we recommend the USB/MP3 option.  With our new wifi system, you can also pick up internet radio and any music stored on your wireless device (I think!).

Laundry

We can arrange a laundry service for which we levy a charge of Rs1,000 per load including ironing.

Electricity

Whilst the electricity supply has improved dramatically in recent years, there is still the occasional power cut due to an ongoing programme of modernisation. Increasingly, these happen during the day. There is a marked reduction in power output between 6.30pm and 9pm, the period of hightest demand.  The government has also recently introduced a new tariff for electricity that heavily penalises high energy usage. The rate for the highest consumption is 12 times that of the lowest rate. Electricity prices in Sri Lanka have risen exponentially in recent years and are reaching Western European levels in price.  We strongly urge you to take care with electricity usage and turn off fans and lights when a room is not in use - just as you would at home!

Local Custom

Topless sunbathing is unacceptable in Sri Lanka.

Should you have no further work for Roshan to do, other than his daily duties, please ask him to leave you in peace.  Do not be afraid to request your privacy.

Massage

If you wish to experience a 'traditional' ayurvedic massage, treatments are available at a nearby villa. The spa is however only available to outside guests if the villa is not occupied. Please call Verena Labrooy on 0773 022276 to discuss treatments and availability. Guests are asked to take a shower following ayurvedic treatments since the oils used cannot be removed from our white linen.

Internet

The Teak House now offers wifi to all of its guests. However, it is NOT available for video streaming.

Money, Valuables and Insurance

The best place to change cash/travellers’ cheques is at Hatton National Bank on main street in Tangalle. To withdraw cash on a foreign credit or debit card, you should head to the ATM machines at Commercial Bank in Tangalle.

Never leave valuables lying around.  A hotel strong box is provided and may be set with your own digital password.  On arrival, ask Roshan how to use the safe.  It should have been reset to factory settings on the departure of the previous guests.  If it has, enter #1234# and when the screen shows ‘Open’, press the * key.  Enter your own 6 digit code and press #. 

We ask guests to confirm that they have an appropriate level of travel insurance in place.  We provide a safe for valuables.  Our insurance is limited to a total value of Rs150,000 for guests’ possessions.  We are therefore unable to insure high value items of jewellery, cameras and electronic equipment, all of which should be covered by travel insurance.

Library

We have endeavoured to provide a library of good quality reading material for The Teak House guests.  However, despite our best efforts, a number of interesting books, in particular, with a Sri Lankan resonance, have ‘walked’.  Where books are marked ‘The Teak House Please do not remove’, we would sincerely request that guests respect this in order that all of our guests might enjoy the collection that we have carefully accumulated over the years.

Tropical Affairs

You should wear shoes or flip flops outside the house. You should also be aware that there is the usual panoply of tropical insect in Sri Lanka.  The house is regularly treated for pests but, being the tropics, there are the occasional interlopers.  If you are unsure about something, please ask Roshan who will, in any event, light mosquito coils for you in the evening. LIke everywhere in the world, there are sometimes sandflies on the beaches in Sri Lanka; unfortunately, some people have an allergic reaction to sandfly bites. If you do, please head for the main pharmacy (Food City) in Tangalle and request an appropriate anti-histamine treatment from the pharmacist. 

Snakes are not uncommon. However, the dogs ensure that snakes are infrequent visitors on the land. In the unlikely event that you see a snake in the vicinity of the house, please inform Roshan or Ruane Chandana. Most are harmless but you should never be too careful.

Useful Contact Numbers

Roshan, House Manager
+94 (0)776 618257

General Practitioner/Doctor
Please ask Roshan.

Sujith, delightful driver with good English
+94 (0)777 621188

Gamini, another delightful driver with good English
+94 (0)777 920602

The Teak House is your home in Sri Lanka. Please do not hesitate to ask the staff for anything you need, or if you have any queries or concerns, please communicate these to Roshan who will do his best to address them. We are confident that you will be looked after by our staff in the true Sri Lankan style of genuine hospitality

Book or Enquire

From The Guestbook

"It is always a pleasure to be back here. The children enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks to Roshan, sweet and efficient."

Ivan & Hilary, November 2007