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Bask in Sri Lanka’s sun kissed southern beaches in class

Our guide to how you can best enjoy your getaway in Southern Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka’s Southern Coast is the destination of the season, especially for those trying to escape the sweeping cold winter. Lush wildlife, exotic festivities, tantalising food, historic landmarks and of course luxurious golden beaches will give you the relaxation and excitement you yearn.

Feast your eyes on Colonial Dutch Architecture, appease your buzzing spirit and find quaint solitude in the lands of sun, sea and sand. We’ve narrowed down the must-stays, must-dos and must-sees for you. 

Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara

Ayurveda is an age-long medicinal tradition that has been in existence in Sri Lanka for over centuries.The Heritance Ayurveda makes it possible to enjoy the benefits of these practices in an ulteriorly luxurious setup.Situated on the banks of Beruwala the resort is neat and classic —impregnated with the charm of a traditional Sri Lankan home.The pond occupies the centre spot and brightly coloured lounge chairs line the hard wood deck.The waters of the pool are pristine,taking a dip here is a temptation hard to resist. Nestled amongst towering tress, the resort casts a spell of beauty and bliss while letting both your body and mind relax.Rejuvenate yourself with a massage or other therapies which are meticulously planned and administered by a team of expert therapists and resident doctors. Dining here is more than just eating flavoursome food; everything here is prepared according to Ayurvedic principles wherein nutrition is the prime concern.The alfresco restaurant is located by the pool and offers vistas of the beach and the lush gardens.

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Bentota

AVANI Kalutara Resort

Built on 36 acres of gardens, Avani Kalutara Resort (formerly Kani Lanka Resort and Spa) is located by the Kalu Ganga River. It offers an outdoor pool, a luxurious spa and free Wi-Fi.Air-conditioned guestrooms feature beautiful views of the sea, river or garden. Each room is equipped with a minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and a TV with satellite channels.Guests can rent water sports facilities, or exercise at the fitness centre. A library provides an area for quiet reading.Buffet breakfast is served at the hotel. The two restaurants serve local, Western and Asian dishes. Drinks can be enjoyed at the resort's 2 bars.Avani Kalutara Resort is a 2.5-hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport. The historic town of Kalutara is only a 10-minute drive from the resort and free parking is provided.

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Laya Leisure

A short drive from Colombo’s city centre, Laya Leisure welcomes guests with an outdoor swimming pool and panoramic nature views. Guests enjoy elegantly furnished guestrooms and free private parking facilities.Air-conditioned rooms at Laya Leisure are tastefully furnished with a separate living area and dining table. A flat-screen TV and work desk are also provided. The attached bathroom comes with a hairdryer and free toiletries.Guests enjoy free access to the children’s playground and fitness centre. The resort can also arrange for horse riding and cycling activities. Other facilities include a 24-hour reception, tour desk and dry-cleaning facilities.This cosy property is located 8 km from Pahiyangala Rockcave Temple. The popular Sinharaja Rain Forest is 42 km away while Bandaranaike International Airport is 116 km away. For convenience, airport shuttle services are available at a surcharge.The in-house restaurant and bar will serve a selection of local Sri Lankan and international meals.

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Laya Beach

Laya Beach is a beautiful beachfront property located in the heart of Wadduwa. Guests enjoy free access to the outdoor swimming pool and games room. Free Wi-Fi access is available at all areas.This elegant hotel is situated a 35-minute drive from the town of Bentota. Colombo City is 50 minutes away by car while Bandaranaike International Airport is 65 km away. The town of Hikkaduwa is approximately an hour away by car.Decorated in soft neutral shades, rooms at Laya Beach all feature a sofa, flat-screen cable TV and private balcony overlooking sea views. Free bath amenities and a hairdryer are included in the en suite bathrooms.Guests can utilize the barbeque facilities and meeting facilities. The hotel also provides a 24-hour front desk and dry-cleaning services. At an extra charge, airport shuttle services can be arranged.Local Sri Lankan and international cuisines can be enjoyed at the in-house restaurant. For alternative dining options, 24-hour room service is available.

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Citrus Waskaduwa

The huge Citrus building spans a vast beach strip between Kalutara and Wadduwa on the west coast, south of Colombo. The hotel has state of the art facilities in all its 150 rooms. The building is simple in white but instils a sense of grandeur with its almost puritan architecture. Like its sister hotel in Hikkaduwa, this building keeps the décor modern and futuristic. The bar has a blast of Neon lights and chic furniture. Customers can dine at the ‘Lemon Sun’. The beach is perfect for surfing, water polo and other water sports.

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Kalutara

Eden Resort & Spa

Eden Resort & Spa provides elegant rooms on the west coast of Sri Lanka, along the golden sands of Beruwela. It features a freshwater outdoor pool, an Ayurveda Centre and 3 restaurants. Free Wi-Fi access is available.Hotel Eden Resort & Spa is situated 96 km away from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport. It provides free on-site parking.Featuring timber flooring, guestrooms are luxurious and air-conditioned. They are well-equipped with satellite TV, a minibar and a private bathroom fitted with both a shower and a bathtub.Garden of Eden, the resort’s main restaurant serves a selection of international dishes, while Temptations offers a fine dining experience in an elegant setting. It also boasts a wine cellar. Enjoy live music over refreshing drinks at Captain's Deck.Guests can choose from a wide range of personalised services like massage and spa treatments. The resort features billiard tables, a beauty salon and a squash court.

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Taprospa "Footprints"

Taprospa "Footprints" is a tropical resort in Beruwala, a 7-minute drive from the local fishing harbour. Its large outdoor pool and sun terrace faces the Indian Ocean. Free Wi-Fi is available in its restaurant and lobby. Featuring elegant dark wood furnishings, air-conditioned rooms are spacious and come with a private balcony. A cable/satellite TV, minibar and personal safe are standard features in all rooms. Suites come with a hot tub. Taprospa "Footprints" is 94 km, or a 2-hour, 30-minute drive, from Colombo International Airport. Free parking is available on-site. The on-site spa provides relaxing body massage and other beauty treatments. For guests' convenience, the hotel also provides a business centre and a tour desk. Taprospa's restaurant serves a selection of international and local dishes. A daily breakfast is also offered there.

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Beruwala

Heritance Ahungalla

Heritance Ahungalla is luxurious beachfront hotel located 76 km from Colombo. It offers stylish 5-star accommodation with an outdoor pool, a golf putting green and free parking on site. Air-conditioned guestrooms are equipped with a minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and a TV with satellite channels. Accommodation and meals are free for hired drivers of in-house guests. Hotel Heritance offers a tennis court, a well-equipped gym and karaoke rooms. The tour desk can assist guests with making travel and trips arrangements. Laundry services are available on site. The hotel’s restaurants serve a wide variety of Sri Lankan and international cuisines. Casual and fine dining experiences are both available. Bandaranaike International Airport is located 115 km from Heritance Ahungalla.

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Galle

Bansei by Hotel J

Offering an outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Hikkaduwa Beach, Bansei by Hotel J is located in Hikkaduwa. Free WiFi access is available.Each air-conditioned room here will provide you with a satellite TV. The private bathroom comes with shower.At Bansei by Hotel J you will find a terrace, a bar and a snack bar. Other facilities offered at the property include luggage storage and laundry facilities. The property offers free parking.The hotel is 350 metres from Hikkaduwa Coral Reef, the Hikkaduwa Railway Station is 1.2 km and the Bandaranaike International Airport is 143 km.

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Citrus Hikkaduwa

Citrus is a lofty building with airy verandas and spacious rooms letting its residents bask in the tropical weather. The décor is minimalistic and sticks to the prime essentials, Space is an important part of the building’s architecture, which is a nice welcome when compared with overly decorated hotels. Standard as well as deluxe rooms are available for guests who can dine at the Lemon Fish restaurant, open all day, and enjoy a drink at ‘Summer Salt’’ a bar with a sea view. 

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Hikkaduwa

Jetwing Lighthouse

Boasting beautiful views of the Indian Ocean, the hilltop Jetwing Lighthouse is 2 km from Galle’s centre. Minimalistic and elegant, this luxurious colonial-style hotel features 4 dining options, 2 outdoor pools, and a spa.Jetwing’s spacious rooms have a private balcony and a dressing room. Each room has cable TV, a DVD player, and tea/coffee making facilities. The attached bathroom is fitted with a bathtub and shower.Guests can join a yoga class, exercise in the gym, or play tennis. The hotel arranges whale watching trips and city tours. Services include laundry, car rental and currency exchange. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.Open 24 hours, Cardamom Café offers light meals and refreshments. Anchor Bar and Grill serves sandwiches and grilled dishes. Coats of Arm Bar features a pool table and library, as well as sweeping ocean views.Jetwing Lighthouse is 146 km from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport. It is easily accessible from attractions like Galle Fort, Galle Markets and the shopping street.

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Thambapanni Retreat

Thambapanni Retreat is located in Galle, a 5-minute walk from Unawatuna Beach. It features 2 dining options, an outdoor swimming pool and rooms with a TV. Free Wi-Fi and parking are provided.Retreat Thambapanni is a 10-minute drive from Galle Fort and Koggala Lake. The National Maritime Museum is a 15-minute drive from the hotel.Air-conditioned rooms at Thambapanni come with wooden flooring, dark wood furnishings and a 4-poster bed. All are fitted with a fan and an en suite bathroom with shower facilities.Guests can enjoy relaxing Ayurvedic oil massages, practice yoga or rent a bicycle to explore the area. For convenience, laundry services are also offered upon request.Available for all-day dining, the restaurant serves a variety of Asian and European fusion dishes. Room service is provided.

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Thaproban Beach House

Set on the beach edge, Thaproban Beach House is the perfect spot to chill next to one of the finest beaches of the Island. The hotel is an excellent choice to explore the warmth of the sun and golden sand with a friendly and attentive staff ready to assist you in your need. Accommodation units comprise of spacious and comfortable rooms ranging from Deluxe, Superior and Penthouse with charming furnishing and balconies with beach views. For seafood lovers, the restaurant is a haven of classic and authentic Sri Lankan dishes spiced in Sri Lankan style. The blue waters of Unawatuna are ideal for surfing, snorkeling and diving among the tropical corals of the Unawatuna reef.  

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Galle

Thaproban Pavilion Resort and Spa

Thaproban Pavilion Resort and Spa is set just a few steps away from the blue waters of Unawatuna Beach. Guests can unwind by the outdoor pool and soothe tense muscles at the spa.This elegant resort is situated within 5 km to the historical Galle Fort and Galle Railway Station. Bandaranaike International Airport is 140 km away and the public bus stand is 1 km from the property.Offering excellent sea views, air-conditioned rooms are decorated in earthy tones and include a spacious balcony. A flat-screen TV and a sofa are also provided. Attached bathrooms come with bathrobes and a hairdryer.This luxurious property offers yoga classes and a gymnasium. Other facilities include car rental services, luggage storage space and a tour desk. Guests can also utilize the business centre.Featuring seafood specialties, Waves Restaurant also serves Sri Lankan and other international dishes. Guests can enjoy drinks at the poolside bar. Thaproban Pavilion Resort and Spa also offers 24-hour room service options.

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Dickwella Resort and Spa

Located on a peninsula in southern Sri Lanka, Dickwella Resort and Spa features views of the Indian Ocean. It offers water sports equipment, yoga classes and early morning fishing trips.Dickwella Resort and Spa is within walking distance of Dickwella Beach. It is 8 km from the Hummanaya Blow Hole. Bandaranaike International Airport is 210 km away.The dive centre provides courses for beginners, as well as diving trips for the more experienced. Dickwella offers water sports like windsurfing and canoeing. Other recreational facilities include a saltwater pool and a tennis court.Rooms at Dickwella Resort feature large windows and beds with mosquito nets. Guests can sit at the private balcony or terrace and enjoy the beautiful sea view. Room amenities include a TV, mini fridge and tea/coffee making facilities.Open for breakfast and dinner, the restaurant serves Sri Lankan and European specialities. Lunch is available at the pizzeria, which uses a traditional Italian stone oven. At the beach bar, cocktails can be enjoyed along with the sea breeze.

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Kottan-On-Sea

Situated in Matara this private beach villa lies perched on top of a rocky platform overlooking the sea that. With adequately furnished rooms, a plunge pool that has views of the beach and a lounging area with sun beds sprawled across green patches of the lawn, is a perfect location to spend time with family. A colourful straw roofed hut by the side of the cliff is an ideal place to chit chat or dine in seclusion. The Dondra light house is at the proximity of the resort and definitely deserves a visit.

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Galle

UTMT - Underneath The Mango Tree Spa & Beach Resort

Set on a hill facing the sea, UTMT - Underneath The Mango Tree Spa & Beach Resort features a variety of modern room types with free Wi-Fi. It has its own Ayurvedic spa, restaurant and private beach.Wewurukannala Vihara Temple, which features Sri Lanka’s largest Buddha statue at 160 feet high, is 4 km away. Matara Railway Station is 20 km away while Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is 61 km from the resort.Offering garden or sea views, each room has a mosquito net. A private bathroom with bathtub, outdoor shower, hairdryer and free toiletries are included.Surrounded by coconut palms and mango trees, Underneath The Mango Tree Spa & Beach Resort also has a tennis court and offers water sport facilities and a shared lounge. Sporty guests can go cycling, hiking and diving.A fusion of Sri Lankan and European cuisines is served at the resort’s restaurant.

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Anantara Tangalle Peace Haven Resort

Featuring a mesmerising secluded beachfront, Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort is located along Sri Lanka’s southern coast and set amidst a 21-acre coconut plantation. The resort features complimentary WiFi, six dining options including a Sri Lankan inspired Teppanyaki beach restaurant and a specialty Italian restaurant, Il Mare, which offers dramatic views of the ocean.Cooking enthusiasts can sign up for a Spice Spoons Sri Lankan cooking class. The resort has an extensive Anantara Spa with Ayurvedic massage and reflexology treatment rooms, an impressive outdoor swimming pool and Children’s and Teen’s club.All rooms are fitted with a LCD televisions offering cable channels, a wine humidor and espresso machine. Every ocean or garden view room has either a balcony or terrace. Each of the 32 Villa’s has a private plunge pool, Bose sound system, separate rain shower, bath tub and Themae bath products.Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort is a 30-minute drive from Mulkirigala Rock Temple and 2-hour drive from Yala National Park providing guests with the opportunity to see Elephants and Leopards. The onsite travel and tour office offers excursions to an array of cultural and marine activities including surfing, cycling, wildlife safaris and blue whale watching.

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Peacock Beach Hotel

Peacock Beach Hotel is a four star 94 key property spanning over three floors. Upon entering the premises, the Lobby Lounge provides a spacious area to relax with its comfortable sofas and modern amenities while the warmth of the friendly staff heightens the welcoming ambience of the hotel. The main dining room, the Monara Restaurant can accommodate 200 diners and serves Sri Lankan and international cuisines.
The bedrooms at the hotel consist of three types; deluxe, super deluxe and suites. The suites also differ from the rest in that its bathroom is equipped with a jacuzzi. The Super Deluxe and Deluxe rooms are similar yet different due to the fact that the Super Deluxe rooms are carpeted and come with a tub whereas the Deluxe rooms have wooden floors and shower cubicles. All rooms face the ocean and have resplendent views.

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Hambantota

Kithala Resort

Offering an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant, Kithala Resort is located in Tissamaharama. Free WiFi access is available in this resort.The accommodation will provide you with air conditioning and a flat-screen satellite TV. There is also a minibar. Featuring a bath or shower, private bathroom comes with a hairdryer and bathrobes. You can enjoy garden view from the balcony.At Kithala Resort you will find a 24-hour front desk, a garden and barbecue facilities. Other facilities offered at the property include luggage storage and laundry facilities. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including cycling. The property offers free parking.If you feel like visiting the surroundings, check out Tissa Wewa (3.7 km). This resort is 21 km from the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.You can enjoy refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at the bar. Packed lunches can be requested. Room service is available.

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The Safari Hotel

Enjoying views of Tissa Lake from all its modern rooms, The Safari is located in Tissamaharama. A 20-minute drive from Yala National Park, it has an outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi.Decorated in warm shades of brown, the air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV and rainshower facilities. Each also comes with a personal safe and minibar.The Safari is a 6-hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport. Free parking is provided on-site.Guests can get daily newspapers or exchange foreign currency at the 24-hour front desk. The hotel also provides laundry and dry cleaning services.International dishes, available in both buffet and à la carte styles, are served at the hotel's lake-facing restaurant.

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Taprospa "Tissa"

Featuring an outdoor infinity pool facing beautiful Tissa Lake, Taprospa Tissa offers air-conditioned rooms housed in a low-rise wooden building. It features a lake-facing restaurant, in-room breakfast and tour services. The classically furnished rooms feature warm colour schemes and elegant wood fittings and flooring. They are provided with a satellite TV, a safe and private heated showers. For leisure, the resort can organize a group trek through the greenery of Yala National Park. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas. Offering outdoor seating and tropical views, the simply furnished multi-cuisine restaurant serves Asian and international dishes. Resort Taprospa Tissa is a 7-hour drive from Colombo International Airport and provides free parking.

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Tissamaharama

Mandara Rosen

Rosen is a mid-range hotel situated in shady, tranquil gardens close to the sacred town of Kataragama in Sri Lanka’s south-east. Yala and Bundala are also within easy distance of this bright, airy hotel. The swimming pool, with a children's section, the largest in the region, has a novel underwater music system. The 52 well-appointed, fully air-conditioned rooms include 2 suites and 4 family clusters. All rooms are spacious and cosy with the standard double rooms approximately 400 Sq. Ft. and tastefully furnished with facilities including satellite TV, telephones with IDD facilities, in house movies, mini bar, electronically operated safety lockers, remote controlled air conditioners and Tea / Coffee making machines. Other facilities include bar with pool table, fax, internet, and conference room, small gymnasium, table tennis, badminton, and board games.

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Hotel Elephant Reach

Located in the town of Tissamaharama, Elephant Reach is a 265 km drive, south from Colombo. The eco-friendly hotel offers an outdoor pool, restaurant and rooms with a DVD player.This nature resort is situated near the Yala National Park and is spread across 4 acres of land. Other nearby attractions includes the historic towns of Kataragama, Kirinda and Sithulpahuwa.Featuring wooden decor and flooring, air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a 20-inch TV, minibar and tea/coffee maker. The spacious bathroom offers hot and cold water.Elephant Reach offers free private parking, a bar and laundry facilities. A children's play area is available. Tours and day trips can be arranged to various nature parks and attractions.

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Jetwing Yala

Spread across 38 acres of land, Jetwing Yala features an outdoor pool, a business centre and luxurious rooms located on the borders of Yala National Park. Operating a 24-hour front desk, it provides free parking and offers complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the property.Fitted with parquet flooring and four-poster beds, spacious air-conditioned rooms are furnished with a wardrobe, in-room safe, a flat-screen cable TV and sofa seating area. Iron, minibar and tea/coffee making facilities are also included. The large en suite bathroom comes equipped with a hairdryer and hot/cold shower.At Jetwing Yala, guests can indulge in a pampering massage at the spa or approach the tour desk for sightseeing and travel arrangements. Luggage storage, laundry and child care services are available for convenience. Other activities on site include yoga, table tennis and beach volleyball.The property houses a restaurant, The Dining Room, serving delectable Sri Lankan and Asian cuisine. The Living Room bar and pool bar offers a variety of cocktails and drinks to choose from. Room service option is also available.Jetwing Yala is within 35 km from the new Mattala International Airport. Colombo City is approximately a 4-hour drive away.

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Laya Safari

Laya Safari is tucked away amidst beautiful sea views. Only 2 km from the popular Yala National Park, the property features an outdoor swimming pool and spacious guestrooms fitted with free Wi-Fi access. This well-appointed property is located just 200 metres from the beach and 25 km from the holy Kataragama Temple. Colombo City and Bandaranaike International Airport are approximately 4.5 hours away by car. Featuring large windows which offer ample natural light, beautifully decorated rooms at Laya Safari include hardwood floors, a separate living area and a spacious private balcony. The en suite bathrooms feature a bathtub. Guests can utilize the games room and barbeque facilities. Other facilities include luggage storage space, laundry services and a tour desk. At a surcharge, airport shuttle services can be arranged. The in-house restaurant will serve a daily selection of Sri Lankan and international fares. Guests can also relax by the pool bar while catching the sunset.

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WildTrails - Yala, Tented Safari Camp

Located in the buffer zone of Yala National Park, WildTrails - Yala, Tented Safari Camp offers luxury tents with a private bathroom. Inclusive of all meals, an experience ranger and naturalist are available for guests.Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is 27 km from the campsite. Kataragama is a 35-minute drive away.Surrounded by the jungle, each tent features a desk, seating area and private bathroom with shower, toilet and free toiletries. Rechargeable bedside lamps and free water bottles are provided.At WildTrails - Yala, Tented Safari Camp you will find a 24-hour front desk, barbecue facilities and a terrace. Other facilities offered at the property include luggage storage. The campsite offers free parking.

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