“A pair of relaxing bungalows for 2-4 beside a secluded fishing beach near Tangalle, with stylish interiors and staff to cook, clean and shop”
Although each has a unique footprint, the bungalows share the same simple yet chic décor and the same facilities - a sea-facing bedroom with a four-poster wrapped in mosquito netting, a big ensuite with a shower, and a living room with 2 oversized daybeds made from kithul wood. Multiple windows and doors open onto wraparound verandas, and black-and-white photographs of local life set the scene (we loved the portrait of a wizened old fisherman in Kahumba’s bathroom).
The bungalows sit either side of a private strip of grass (to the back lies housekeeper Puncha’s home), meaning they're independent yet close enough for groups who want to take both. Kotamba is a renovated fisherman’s house and the quirkier of the two. It enjoys the longest stretch of beachfront, with views of the whole bay; its kitchen is the largest, and its veranda (shaded by dried coconut leaves) is primed for outdoor dining. Kahumba was built from the ruins of an old house and features a lovely open-air shower, plus a guest bathroom and an alfresco table under its namesake tree; its living area is the most spacious.
The simple kitchens are equipped with fridges, stoves, kettles and toasters - however with a chef on hand, you’ve little need to lift a finger. Chat with him each morning about what you’d like and he’ll do the rest; you just pay for the ingredients, all sourced at cost price. A tick list of essentials is provided so that staff can shop on your behalf - useful if you want to order mixers for drinks, midnight snacks, or specific items such as cereal.
Meals emphasise local cuisine. For breakfast you might try string hoppers with creamy curries and sambols, or go continental with bread sourced from a musical tuk-tuk that visits every morning; we would highly recommend the delicious buffalo curd, too. Lunches are light affairs such as salade Niçoise (the fresh local tuna is fabulous), while dinner options include barbecues, grilled fish or a Sri Lankan curry spread. We dined by candlelight on Kotamba’s terrace and ate spicy chicken cooked in a clay pot, along with deliciously herby aubergines.
For more local tips, see our [tips:galle-south-coast:destination guide].
Although the bungalows have just one bedroom (with no special facilities for kids), the 2 daybeds in each living room can be made up for extra guests free of charge. A baby cot is also available if requested in advance.
Children of all ages will enjoy the beach, the bats and balls and the body boards, and the gardens are fenced. The proximity of the waves mean it's not best suited to toddlers, and you'll need to keep an eye on youngsters around the sea as there may be currents.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Both hideaways are great for families sleeping 4 apiece (in one double bed and two daybeds). Note that Kahumba has a guest bathroom and larger living area
With advance notice
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The chef can tailor meals (and spice levels) to young taste buds, and the kitchens are handy for whipping up kids' snacks.