Design is contemporary, and interiors are simplistic yet practical. Local artisans were engaged to beautify interior and exterior spaces, and your eyes are drawn to Batik-work cushions, vast globe-like garden sculptures, honey-coloured furnishings, and a brass fish suspended above the staircase. Cuisine is modern, too: Kumu is a sister hotel of Fort Bazaar and The Wallawwa and shares similarly polished butler-style service. Watersports haven Bentota is 30 minutes' drive away, as is Lunuganga, the enviable tropical garden of the late architect, Geoffrey Bawa. Galle is an hour's train ride away, a scenic coastal chug.
- A very relaxing spot, thanks to its quiet end-of-beach setting
- The smiling staff really heighten the experience – nothing is too much trouble
- We loved the inventive modern cuisine, with sharing platters and alfresco dining opportunities
- Perfect for a chilled romantic break - starlit dining, massages, four-poster beds, dreamy sunsets, direct beach access
- Wild turtles often nest on the beach
- Sea swimming is seasonal (November to April) - but the 23-metre pool compensates
- There isn’t a huge amount nearby; Bentota (30 minutes’ drive) is the closest place to shop and dine
- We found the WiFi a little patchy on our most recent visit
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 10 rooms
- Restaurant open daily
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Bedrooms are elegant, stylish and practical. Caramel-hued teak furnishings, including slim-framed four-poster beds and big wardrobes kitted out with safes, bathrobes and slippers, are custom designed and we loved their contemporary style. The brass lights, the modernist art and the Batik cushions in shades of ocean and sunset were all customised for the hotel, too, and are set against a simplistic backdrop of white walls and terrazzo floors.
Oceanview Bedrooms sit on either the ground or first floor, and offer private sit-outs and strong rain showers in their bathrooms. They are chic and comfortable, though the Oceanview Suites are worth the splurge for their additional lounge and more private locations at each end of the hotel. Kumu Bedrooms are compact upper-floor twin rooms with partial sea views; ideal for solo or budget travellers looking for an affordable room, or for families-of-4 when booked in conjunction with an upper-floor Oceanview Bedroom.
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
Menus complement the hotel’s coastal setting and infuse local ingredients and flavours. You dine in a sea-facing pavilion or an air-conditioned café set just behind, and the long poolside dining deck is a super spot for an atmospheric evening meal.
During the day, guests graze from a snack menu, with both light and substantial options: zesty fresh salads, wraps and dips, and a signature beef burger. We tucked into an ‘ocean sharing board' of fish fingers, black pepper prawns, kingfish carpaccio and seared tuna steak – it was light and delicious.
For dinner, we tried the pork croquettes, which came with coconut dhal puree, spicy caramalised onions and crispy curry leaves. The fillet of round island barramundi was excellent, and there's a popular 'rice and curries' spread. Kumu beach now also has a fully licensed bar.
Breakfast - included in the rate - is a generous tropical spread. We particularly enjoyed their spicy chicken curry egg hoppers, the selection of homemade jams and the blueberry and chia seed smoothie.
- Room service
- Swing on a hammock in the garden, read by the pool, swim in the ocean, and have a massage in the spa room
- Take a cookery lesson and learn to create authentic curries and sides
- Head to Ambalangoda’s mask museum for an insight into local craftsmanship. Then visit one of the region’s turtle hatcheries
- Boat through the Madu Ganga wetlands, past crocodiles, tiny islands and mangrove forests
- Bentota, a 30-minute taxi away, is a hub for watersports. Or head down to Hikkaduwa for a surfing lesson
- Hire a bike and take a gentle ride along the coast
- Hop on a train from Balapitiya to Galle (1 hour) and explore the town’s 17th-century colonial-era fort and thriving cultural scene
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Turtle hatching
Families are welcome though the tranquil atmosphere is probably best suited to tiny babies or older children and teens.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Oceanview Suites can sleep 2 adults, a child on an extra bed and a baby in a cot. Families with children over 10 could opt for an upper-floor double Oceanview Bedroom and a twin-bedded Kumu Bedroom. The rooms are both on the first floor but do not adjoin.
Kids Activities on site:
Pool, gardens with hammocks
Families Should Know:
The pool is not fenced, but there is a lifeguard. There are no baths in any of the suites.
- Airport: 2 hours' drive (Colombo)
- Shops: 1km
- Medical facility: 1km
The hotel sits above a beach near Balapitiya, a sleepy west coast fishing hamlet, 30 minutes south of Bentota and an hour north of Galle.
Colombo Bandaranaike is a 2-hour drive from the hotel. Kumu Beach can organise airport transfers.
If you want to hire a car and driver for your whole holiday, enquire through our Tailormade Tour Operator; they can collect you at Colombo airport when you land, drive you to the hotel, then drive you to your onward destination(s) after your stay, as well as taking you on all day trips etc.
Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.
- Colombo Bandaranaike International 133.0 km CMB
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 5.0 km