Could anyone offer suggestions for accommodation from mid-February to mid-March 2008 for 2 older women (60 and 50) travelling together to Sri Lanka for the first time. We are looking for a base, preferably on or near a beach, south of Colombo. We would prefer to self-cater if facilities are clean, but this is optional as long as we find accommodation that is quiet, friendly and away from the in-your-face tourist traps but still with access to local transport so that we can explore other areas. Need to relax and unwind after stressful 6 months dealing with illness of my elderly parents and are not looking for the 'high life'. Just somewhere to chill out.
Any suggestions or links to information would be much appreciated.
The following could be options you may want to consider:
(1) Global Towers: This is an apartment hotel offering self catering facilities in all rooms and is located in Wellawatte/ Colombo 6. Quite popular among NGO workers based out of Colombo to stay during their visits to Colombo, priced around USD 100 per night. However, the beach by the hotel is spoiled by the railway tracks and beach huts.
(2) Ranjit's Ambalama: An interesting option I found when I was searching for self catering apartments some months back for a holiday but have not had the opportunity to stay at yet, so can't provide opinion on the actual facilities. However, their webpage is interesting and they have guesthouses in several parts of Colombo, Kandy and the Southern beaches, which are very cheap at around USD 25 per night.
(3) Easy Beach Ahangama: This is located very close to Galle and thus gives close access to cultural sites as well as the famed southern beaches. Photos on website seem to show spartan rooms so you may want to contact the owner first (contact details are provided on the webpage), if considering this option.
(4) Dickwella Resort: A beautiful hotel in a beautiful area. My favourite beach in Sri Lanka are the beaches around Weligama, Dickwella and Tangalle and this hotel is located right in that area. Nice rooms, especially the suites facing the pool and the restaurant. However, more than half the rooms in the hotel was still closed when I stayed there in July 2007, as renovations from the tsunami had not been still completed in these rooms. Probably because tourist visits had gone down after 2004, though it had been a hotspot prior to the tsunami. If you like privacy and don't mind being the only visitor at the place at times and enjoy having the beautiful terrace overlooking the sea all to yourself and the restaurant as well, besides the squirrels and crows, I would recommend this place. Rooms are affordable though dining in the restaurant is very expensive, if you don't take a full board or half board package.
(5) Il Camino : This was a place that I wanted to try out during my visits to Matara but somehow I always ended up at Dickwella Resort. If you like the idea of living in mud huts or stone cottages, with open air bathrooms, this place would be fun.
Hope you have a relaxing holiday in Sri Lanka! My advice is to go for the hotels or guesthouses in the Southern Coast, rather than staying in South Colombo, not such a safe and relaxing place these days.
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 3, 2008, at 6:52 PM by Ahila ]