3 Sisters - Matara
Grade - First Class Villa
The 3 Sisters is what most will dream off what imaging a beach stay at the end of an island tour. With just 3 bedrooms the villa retains the style and feel of the original Dutch villa with a sweeping veranda and high ceilings to create a hotel full of character and feeling. Move out of the villa and you find a tropical garden that leads past the infinity pool down some steps to a wide sand beach. The final ingredient is the laid back hospitality and superb food that makes any stay a joy whether you take 1 room or the whole place.
With just 3 bedrooms the 3 Sisters keeps it simple - the house, the garden, the pool and the beach.
There is an indoor living room equipped with a TV and DVD player, board games and Wi-Fi. Meals are generally served outside on the veranda or in the garden and Sri Lankan cuisine, seafood dishes and BBQs abound. Because of its size there’s far more flexibility in menu design and the chef will discuss your meal preferences when you arrive. Guests are welcome to bring their own alcoholic drinks that can save a lot of money. The pool is right next to the villa and the garden is fenced. A doorway leads to the beach which is safe for swimming during the winter season and is one of the most popular in the area for surfing with its clean waves breaking over sandbars just a short paddle from the shore.
Each of the 3 rooms is en-suite and decorated with local art, Dutch period antiques and tasteful modern touches. The “Poolside” bedroom opens up to the living room with views over the pool and garden that extend to the Indian Ocean. With a separate entrance from the veranda, the “Courtyard” bedroom enjoys the privacy of its own open air private courtyard. Upstairs is the “Loft”, a spacious open plan living area with its own external entrance and views overlooking the pool, beach and ocean.
The Owl & the Pussycat - Thalpe
Grade - Boutique Deluxe
Minimalist in design, but with a quirky, vibrant décor, the Owl and the Pussycat manages to successfully straddle the line between offering a fun beachside stay, whilst delivering a relaxing and luxurious end to any holiday. Just 5 miles from Galle, The Owl and the Pussycat is perfect for those looking for a beautifully designed luxury beach hotel that delivers extra touches, activities and holiday experiences.
The 17 metre pool sits centre stage looking out to the ocean, and is surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens dotted with sun loungers and secret corners. The Runcible Spoon is the hotel’s vibrant restaurant that occupies the outdoor dining terrace and offers a mix of Sri Lankan and Mediterranean cuisine. Down towards the beach you’ll find a bar, café and lively beach shack that has jazz at the weekend. On the water activities include an array of water sports including sailing, surfing, diving and paddle-boarding.
All 6 categories of room are spacious and make the most of the light and views by featuring large windows. All are en-suite with king-sized bed, living area, coffee and tea making facilities, satellite TV, minibar, safe and Wi-Fi.
Anantara Peace Haven - Tangalle
Grade - Deluxe
Arguably the best large beach hotel in Sri Lanka, the Anantara Peace Haven enjoys an unparalleled location sitting between 2 sentinel like headlands in a pristine bay looking out over a stunning crescent shaped stretch of beach. Scattered throughout the 21 acres of tropical gardens, this large resort style hotel dominates the bay that used to be a coconut plantation and retains a natural feel despite its size.
The centrepiece is the double deck 25 metre pool that looks down over the bay. The onsite gym is very well equipped and twice a day complimentary yoga is offered to all guests to try. Wellness is at the heart of quite a selection of activities including ayurvedic and reflexology treatments and holistic exercises on the beach. Other facilities include tennis courts, Sri Lanka cookery school and kid’s club. There are six dining venues dotted around the resort.
All 120 rooms feel spacious and offer either an ocean or garden view. All have balconies or terraces, while some also have plunge pools. There are a further 32 one and two-bedroom villas set along the coast away from the main hotel. All rooms are exceptionally well-equipped including wine cooler, satellite TV, personal safe, tea making facilities, coffee machine, mini-bar and Wi-Fi.
Buckingham Place - Tangalle
Grade - Boutique First Class
To be a success a small hotel has to make its guests quickly feel at home and so hospitality is the key to setting the right tone for any stay. The ability to create a relaxed and warm atmosphere, balanced with a professional attention to detail is hard to master, but the 16 room Buckingham Place has got it right. Located on a beautiful beach and complimented by beautiful gardens, perhaps an extra night at the end of your holiday is in order.
The hotel’s central hub includes the restaurant, bar, infinity pool, games room and outdoor theatre. There’s also a small 2nd pool and spa that offers a range of Aromatherapy & Ayurveda massages and treatments. The restaurant’s menu changes every day and offers a great balance of local dishes or something from a little closer to home. The sea is not safe for swimming but is great for a morning walk to count the tracks nesting turtles have left the night before.
The 10 suites and 6 rooms are exceptionally spacious, modern and elegantly designed, with every creature comfort you could want. Most have an outside sitting area. All are en-suite with seating area, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, mini-fridge and safe.
The Last House -Tangalle
Grade - Deluxe Villa
It takes a lot of work and imagination to make somewhere look so beautiful with understated elegance and barefoot luxury. Fresh white walled airy rooms give way to polished deep verandas, weathered wooden furniture mixes with antique treasures, a jade green pool leads down through a private gate to the inviting golden sands of Mawella Beach. The Last House will be most people’s idea of the perfect beach retreat (can be rented as a whole) and was the last project for the legendary Sri Lanka architect Geoffrey Bawa worked on.
The villa is set within a frangipani-fringed courtyard and has a ground-floor living room with TV, lounge and board games. Set in its centre is the turquoise swimming pool that’s surrounded by sunbed-topped lawns with views out to the beach and jungle-like interior. Follow the gently sloping garden path to the private gate that leads out to Mawella Beach, a magnificent expanse of sand that you’ll have largely to yourselves. Meals are generally served on the veranda enjoying the sea breezes and sounds of the waves, but private meals can be arranged in the garden or on the beach. The hotel doesn’t have an alcohol licence but you can BYO or they will buy for you locally.
The hotel also offers surfboards, bikes and a croquet set. Its own boat can be chartered for fishing, dolphin-watching and snorkelling around the nearby bays and beaches.
Just 6 rooms, each with a different feel and aspect. All are large, airy and en-suite with four poster beds, mosquito net, Wi-Fi and electronic safe. No air-conditioning, but the house layout and structure is designed to make the most of the sea breeze with ceiling fan.
Talalla Bay Beach House -Tangalle
Grade - Boutique Medium Class
Talalla Beach House is a relatively simple small hotel whose location will be the envy of many hotels that cost 10 times as much. Perfect for those looking for a home from home right on one of the best undeveloped beaches in Sri Lanka. Take long walks along a largely deserted beach, swim or surf in crystal clear sea, enjoy home cooked food looking out over the ocean and fall asleep to the sound of gentle waves. Life’s pleasures can be very simple.
The location and hotel’s relaxed atmosphere are the reasons to stay here. The food is delicious home cooked Sri Lankan fare and western diets can be accommodated. You can dine inside or out and there’s also a small lounge and outside sitting areas in the small garden. WiFi in public areas. Yoga and surf lessons are also available nearby.
Just 5 ensuite bedrooms that are simply furnished but have all the essentials. No air-conditioning but cooled at night by the sea breezes and fan.