Aditya

Rathgama, Galle & South Coast, Sri Lanka Book from

Reviewed by Philip Worman
A contemporary boutique hotel with excellent food and service on a secluded palm-fringed beach, midway between Galle and Hikkaduwa
Aditya is an impressive addition to the growing number of boutique hotels along Sri Lanka's southern coast. Tucked off the main road into Galle, 2 hours drive from Colombo, it is one of the those true 'secret gems', hidden up an easily-missed private lane.

Its chic modern design brings together airy spaces and a bold use of colour, and the main atrium, the spa and the dining room have a Conranesque feel - contemporary wicker sofas, brightly coloured cushions, polished concrete floors and subtle lighting. All rooms are suites, each with Balinese antiques and a Jacuzzi tub-for-2. Some have private gardens, others have spectacular ocean views, and there's even a stunning penthouse spread over 2 levels. If you're looking for a small, modern beachfront hotel with all the trimmings and fine service, Aditya is in a prime position - just 15 minutes from the old colonial town of Galle, with its historic Dutch fort, boutiques and restaurants, and 5 minutes from the popular surf resort of Hikkaduwa.

Highs

  • Huge suites, all with open-air Jacuzzi tubs and meticulously designed bathrooms
  • Delicious food with menus covering several countries (we particularly enjoyed the Thai and Sri Lankan options), plus excellent service that goes the extra mile
  • Sunbathing on your ocean-front balcony or in your private garden
  • Lounging by the pool as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean
  • A quiet location on a secluded stretch of sandy beach, yet handy for Sri Lanka's most popular coastal attractions

Lows

  • The hotel can be quite empty off season, which can make the service excessively attentive
  • Expect some insect life in the bathrooms (particularly after bad weather)
  • The air-conditioning is noisy and can make the rooms overly chilly
  • The sea is more suited to surfing than swimming, but there's a decent-sized pool
  • The restaurant is pared-back in terms of décor, and some guests feel it's a little soulless as a result

Best time to go

November to April are the best months for sunshine. The rest of the year is the rainy season in this part of Sri Lanka, with May, June and October bringing the wettest weather. Book well in advance for the busy Christmas period. Note that, as per Sri Lankan regulations, the hotel does not serve liquor at the bar or restaurant on Poya days (approx once a month during the full moon).

Our top tips

Ask for your dinner to be set up at a private table on the beach and dine to the sound of waves crashing on the sand.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 16
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Jacuzzi
Room: Sky Suite

Rooms

Named after Hindu sun gods, all suites are large, with cool white walls, tasteful Sri Lankan art, Balinese antiques and big comfy beds dressed in crisp linen. The 6 Shanthi Suites open out to small and private enclosed gardens, but we recommend spending the extra for one of the 5 Sagara Suites, which offer ocean views and balconies. The huge 2-storey Surya Suite, with its mezzanine sleeping area and large sun terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean, is an indulgent choice for honeymooners.

We loved our big, immaculately designed bathroom with its monsoon shower, double sinks and open wall leading to our cement Jacuzzi and decked balcony. The angles made it discreet enough not to bother with clothes (we checked!), and the balcony was a suntrap from afternoon onwards; it also made a great spot for sundowners as the sun sank behind the palms.

All suites come with the same mod cons: minibar, wide-screen TV, WiFi, safe, hairdryer, and tea- and coffee-making equipment; the Sagara and Surya Suites also have iPod docks. Two of the Shanthi Suites even have a funky UV lighting feature which allows an artificial night sky to be created on the ceiling (these suites do not have ceiling fans).

Since our visit, the Pool Suites and Sky Suites have also been added. We're yet to personally view them, but they sound every bit as tempting as their predecessors.

As with most modern hotels in Sri Lanka, the air conditioning can make the rooms chilly - we preferred to swing open the wide balcony doors at night, close the louvred shutters, and be lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean (mosquito nets are available on request).

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Jacuzzi
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel's restaurant, with its high ceilings, cool cement floor and one side open to the ocean-facing, palm-pocked garden, is a pleasant spot for dining and is particularly atmospheric when lit up at night. Special anniversary meals can also be set up by the pool surrounded by tea lights, or even at a private table on the beach.

Breakfast, served throughout the day, is good - eggs any style, fresh fruit, juices and homemade bread come as standard, and the coffee was the best we tasted in Sri Lanka. There are also a few local options - string hoppers with fish and dhal, perhaps, or egg hoppers with chicken curry and kata sambol.

Lunch is similarly tasty. We particularly enjoyed the enormous seafood platters - steamed fish, grilled tiger prawns and squid - accompanied by freshly baked bread. Sandwiches, soups and salads are available, too, including a chicken Caesar salad served in a huge bowl and laced with lovely salty anchovies. There are hammocks strung between the coconut trees in the garden for a post-lunch siesta.

Aditya’s international dinner menu covers quite a few world cuisines, including a scattering of Japanese and Indian dishes. We felt it excelled at Thai food and indulged in a delicious green papaya salad and Thai green chicken curry. There was also a selection of well-prepared Sri Lankan food (try the Batticaloa beef curry), along with a few familiar Western options such as Australian steak, coq au vin and lamb chops. The staff will go off menu if you ask them to. By Sri Lankan standards, the bar offers a decent selection of spirits, wines and champagne.

If you want to eat out, staff can recommend some fine dining options in Galle Fort (a 15-minute drive). For more lively bars and cheaper beachside eateries, head north to the nearby surf resort of Hikkaduwa (a 5-minute drive).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Aditya offers a pleasant setting for sunbathing, swimming and strolling along the beach. Fabulous sunsets will keep your camera clicking, and there is a large collection of games, books and DVDs to choose from
  • Try out the popular spa with its Jacuzzi, massage beds and private room for bath treatments. Choose from a range of pampering treats with a female or male therapist. Treatments can be carried out in your room, too
  • Up-and-coming Galle, with its historic Dutch fort, boutiques and fine restaurants, is 15 minutes by car. The hotel can arrange transport for you
  • Guided bicycle rides take you on serene peddles through the villages, paddy fields and back lanes of the hotel’s emerald hinterland, with a picnic included - just ask staff for details
  • Boat rides up the nearby Rathgama river offer similarly scenic panoramas, as well as the chance to spot colourful birdlife and other creatures
  • For watersports, head to nearby Hikkaduwa (5 minutes by tuk-tuk or taxi) - one of Sri Lanka's most popular resorts for surfing and diving
  • For calmer beaches where you can swim, head south past Galle to Weligama and Mirissa. We also took the hotel Mini Moke to Unawatuna, where backpacker-style cafés along the beach make a pleasant lunch stop
  • Ambalangoda, a 20-minute drive north from Aditya, is a centre for arts and crafts. Renowned for its distinctive devil masks, it's one of the best places in Sri Lanka to shop for antiques
  • If you can’t get enough of Sri Lanka’s delicious cuisine, join a cookery class. Aditya’s chef will take you on a culinary journey, which begins at the local market and ends with a hands-on demonstration in the kitchen

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome at Aditya and staff will go the extra mile to help parents.

Children under 3 stay free of charge and those aged 3 to 12 will be charged 25% of the room rate per child, with a maximum number of 2 children per room.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Highchairs
  • Baby monitors

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The chefs can prepare tailored dishes on request, and there are some useful Western options on the menu. Meals can be served at a time to suit you, which is very handy for families.

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Tuk-tuk rides to Galle
  • Watersports at Hikkaduwa
  • Cycling
  • Boat trips on the Rathgama river

Families Should Know:

The beaches around the hotel have rough seas which are not suitable for children

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

{{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

Rates for Aditya