“Inspired by architect Geoffrey Bawa, a modern minimalist hotel that lets the oceanside setting speak for itself”
The 9 lovely suites are spread across 3 villas, and you can fall asleep to the sound of the ocean in each. They're named after types of sea turtle and you may even see the species bobbing about in the waves, just steps from your front door.
Picture this: high ceilings, smooth polished concrete and white gauzy nets fluttering around the bed. Minimal furniture draws focus to the big bed and the cushioned lounge area covered in nautical stripes. Tech is limited to WiFi and iPod docks, so it’s easy to unplug completely if you wish. All suites have air-conditioning and are fitted with ceiling fan in case the Sri Lankan heat gets too much.
Most have open-air bathrooms which are great fun; the only exceptions are Olive Ridley 3 / 4 / 5. They compensate with the spacious rooms and incredible sea views - you can watch the world-famous stilt fishermen from your window. In contrast, Olive Ridley 1 / 2 are set back from the ocean and lack those ocean vistas.
The 2 Hawksbill suites have large four-poster beds, panoramic ocean views and outdoor living spaces with dining tables in their own gardens.
Our Leatherback suite’s open-air bathroom had a lovely egg-shaped tub sitting under a fragrant frangipani tree (what else?). Just mind out for those concrete floors though - slippery when wet.
Lunch and dinner include lots of fish and seafood, as well as traditional Sri Lankan curries, light salads and sandwiches. We feasted on delicious grilled calamari, fresh yellowfin tuna and a magnificent lobster curry. Those with a sweet tooth will find tempting desserts, such as a flourless chocolate cake served with real vanilla ice cream.
A simple breakfast can be served on your terrace at a time of your choosing. We were served tea and coffee, fresh fruit juices, a fruit platter and homemade bread with eggs cooked to order. Frittatas, pancakes drizzled in honey and Sri Lankan hoppers are also on offer.
A short and simple wine list is available but don't expect a huge choice - wine can be tricky to come by in Sri Lanka. Cold beers are plentiful and cheap though.
For larger groups, there is a big outdoor communal table, next to the pretty row of frangipani trees and decorative ponds.
If you fancy a change of scene, there are a number of good local eateries a short tuk-tuk ride away in Galle Fort.
Children are welcome though it is more of a couples' hideaway. The freshwater pool is a godsend in the heat, the tennis will keep older kids happy on cooler days.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Families wanting interconnecting rooms should request Hawksbill 1 and 2, or Olive Ridley 3 and 4. Olive Ridley 3 / 4 / 5 can hold the most extra beds. Do bear in mind that some of the rooms allocated to families do not have the best sea views.
Babysitting can be arranged with prior notice.
The sea here is quite rough so keep an eye on children of all ages.