Monday, April 21, 2014

Travel tips part 1- South of Sri Lanka

I said I will make a small travel guide but I love so many places in Sri Lanka I couldnt make it short. Im sorry.. I cant even fit it all into one post to be honest.
Please take into account this is purely my suggestions which are based on places I have stayed or visited. I am not aiming to do an extensive cover-all tutorial here. I will try to be descriptive so you know what to expect cause tastes and expectations are different.

We have been to Sri Lanka twice and these two trips were a bit different. First time was in December-January for 2 weeks and that was our honeymoon. This was a trip I prepared for a long time, made research for hotels, read reviews- the whole lot. We chose more expensive boutique or designy hotels or drove around a lot. The best way to travel on a trip like this is to hire a driver for the whole time. We had our awesome driver Thilak with us and I would suggest him to anyone planning a trip. Just let me know and I can pass on the details.
The second trip last week was purely for lounging on the beach. We didnt care for a fancy hotel but just wanted it to be clean and on the beach. It was all sleep, eat and tan.repeat.

Lets start with the hotels in the south where the beautiful beaches are:

The Three by TPV- a fantastic mix of Scandinavian design and jungle feel. We booked one of the garden suites. This means you have your own little house with the coolest outdoor shower. Food was great, service was lovely. You cant walk to the beach but everything is a short tuk tuk ride away. There is a pool with stunning sunset views.

Another great hotel if you want something with a spa is the Fortress Resort and Spa. We just visited for a dinner and a spa day but it has a stunning beach. The Three is much more private and quiet and Fortress is a bigger hotel nevertheless it is really beautiful!

Now we come to the gem I found on website and that was kind of a highlight of our honeymoon. Its a real life Tarzan tree-house and its totally amazing. Silva Tree-house is in a secluded and private location but very close to the beach. I unfortunately have only one crappy iPhone picture that shows the outside so go check out the photos on airbnb as well.

I have to mention a few things about this place. If you are searching for luxury and you are scared of bugs/geckos/flies etc..this is not your scene. If you are one that appreciates funky design and adventure and want a very special experience with a living room among the treetops- make your booking right away! It is a huge house with 3 bedrooms and its all glass, meaning the views are ridiculous. It also means you cant leave stuff laying around cause squirrels run in and out of the living room and will chew through anything. We loved the Silva Tree-house and I would like to go back with a group of friends sooner rather than later.

Now there are two hotel I like a lot inside Galle city as well. One of them is a colonial style boutique hotel called The Galle Fort. If your thing however is big hotels with the perks of ordering fruity cocktails while laying in a plush sun lounger, having multiple pools and food options on the grounds head to Jetwing Lighthouse. We never stayed there but on both trips we bought their day pass to the pool and just chilled for a day. Its a beautiful poolside and great place. Day pass is not expensive so a good option if you want to stay in a more private hotel but take advantage of those cocktails.

This time around we stayed at Rockside Cabanas which is more B&B style place. Its clean and basic and smack on the beach. Food was not fantastic but the view from our balcony made up for it.

Out of activities we did in southern Sri Lanka the whale watching in Mirissa really stands out. We saw whales and wild dolphins and even thou I get seasick stupidly easy and the sea at 6am was anything but calm, it was amazing. Other than that I would say the south is more for beach holiday. Next post I will tell you about our hiking,climbing, tea plantations and safari which were all fantastic as well.

Hope this is helpful. Please let me know what else interests you and I will try to add it to the next post.


  1. Oh wow! That view from the last place totally makes up for a lackluster breakfast. (I also kind of adore that squirrels popped into the other location!)

  2. Love this post-thank you Laura!! We really want to go maybe end of this year. Can you snorkel anywhere in Sri Lanka? Would love to hear any other activity or restaurant reccs. I am petrified of squirrels lol!!

    Stacey Expat Make-Up Addict xx

    1. Hi Stacey,

      Only now realized I never answered to your comment. Yeah you can snorkel. We didnt go but apparently it is amazing.

      I will try to get myself together and put down the part 2 in next few weeks.


  3. very tempted to head to Sri Lanka now instead of the Maldives for my birthday!! Looks stunning! :-)

  4. Hi, I am going to Sri Lanka in August for two weeks and really enjoyed this post. Will you be posting any more tips? Can I please have the contact details of your driver?

    Many Thanks, Faye.

    1. Hi Faye!
      So exciting that you will be going to Sri Lanka!

      I was gonna do a part 2 of the tips but somehow haven't managed to put it together. I will do it this month for sure so check back if you want to find some more tips and places I liked.

      The driver is named Thilak and you can reach him via text message or call on 0094776248999. He is great! Let me know if you have any more questions.


    2. Thank you so much!! Looking forward to part 2! xx