by Aadil Fawme
Known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has been sought after by travelers from all corners of the world. When people fly into the island the first thing that gets their attention are the beautiful beaches, shaded by coconut trees and caressed by rhythmic waves. The impulse to sunbathe is almost instant when you see the soft sandy beach and the waves dance gleefully in the sun.
Scattered along the coast are a variety of stunning retreats of diverse architectural designs. Some of these are colonial styled bungalows that have been magnificently restored and others are contemporary hotels that are bound to make your dreams of a tropical vacation come true.
Here are my top 5 beach retreats in Sri Lanka.
Last house, Mawella, Tangalle
This beautiful six bedroom villa is perfect for travelers who are looking to enjoy the beach from the comfort of a luxurious setting. Designed by renowned Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa, the Last House hypnotises you with its sheer elegance and simplicity. Located overlooking the beach in the southern coast of Tangalle this is truly a gem of a boutique hotel.
Guests have the option of exploring the wildlife in Yala or going on a whale watching trip further west but if you do decide to stay in, the picturesque swimming pool, shaded by araliya trees and surrounded by lush green grass will definitely keep you company.
Hideaway, Arugam Bay
Hideaway, Arugam Bay is a collection of villas and bungalows, snuggled away within the resorts enticing garden that is located at the edge of the shore, with Arugam Bay’s turquoise waves crashing in the distant. The resort was originally set up in 1979 and is currently run by the children of the owners, who make sure that guests receive personalized attention.
This resort is perfect for people who love the beach as most of it is built on warm golden sand. You can relax and sunbathe by the pool or retreat to the classy dinner lounge for a delicious seafood meal. Most of the seafood in Arugam Bay is caught fresh which makes it much tastier. You can even request the villa staff to set up a seafood shopping experience for you, where you will get to go to local markets and pick delicious tiger prawns, crabs and giant lobster. The villa staff will then cook your catch for you and set up a table by the beach for you to enjoy your sumptuous meal.
Rock Villa, Bentota
Rock Villa is a beautiful 170 year old heritage house perched on the edge of a beach setting that seems to have been stolen from an enchanting dream. This private tropical garden, guarded by mangroves, golden sand and hypnotic waves was built with one purpose – to free all those who visit from their woes and worries. From the pool that overlooks glorious sunsets to the cosy bedrooms, this villa does not disappoint when it comes to making you feel at home. Colonial armchairs and hammocks are located all over the property so finding a quiet spot to soak up the sun or read a book with the music of the waves in the background, is very easy.
Jungle Beach, Trincomalee
Jungle beach is a tropical wonderland with a tinge of jungle habitat. This resort comprises of exotic cabins scattered between lush green trees and beautiful swimming pools. When you enter this resort you get a jungle vibe as all the cabins look like they belong deep in the jungle.
This beach resort provides a range of activities and sightseeing opportunities that will help you get an insight into Trinco’s rich cultural heritage and ancient civilisation. Snorkel amidst coral reefs and colorful fish or go on a boat ride to see the majestic whales.
Dolphin Beach Resort, Kalpitiya
Dolphin Beach Resort is located on a secluded bit of spotless coastline on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It’s a short drive from the main international airport and is perfect for a quick dash to the sea after a tiresome flight. The resort has a beautiful pool that overlooks the synchronised crashing of deep blue waves, a perfect setting to help get your mind stress free. Most of the resort’s ambience has an outdoor vibe to it, with the ocean always being a glance away.
The resort is famous for its authentic Sri Lankan cuisines and ayurvedic massages, perfect after a day of kite surfing, which the resort offers as well. Whale and Dolphin watching, very popular d uring particular seasons, has made Kalpitiya a popular choice among travelers looking to soak up some Lankan sun and catch a glimpse of some majestic whales and friendly dolphins.