W15 Weligama

Weligama, Galle & South Coast, Sri Lanka Book from US$124

Reviewed by Emma Boyle
Small, sociable hotel with lovely rooms and a buzzy bar-restaurant, right on the beach of surfing mecca, Weligama
If you love surfing, there are few hotels better located than W15. Set in the middle of Weligama Bay, this personable hotel promises surf and turf aplenty. Its lively bar-restaurant, casual lounge areas and upbeat music attract plenty of outside guests, too, and the convivial vibe makes this a hotspot for a young and active outdoorsy crowd.

The 10 individually styled bedrooms feature deep-pile rugs, plush sofas, hip furnishings and mod cons, and feel far removed from the hotel’s minimalistic architectural design. The pool overflows like a waterhole at the head of a sun-kissed lawn, there's a timber deck sprinkled with sunloungers, and the long bar serves delicious cocktails and sundowner specials.

Most come to Weligama for the surf (the gentle offshore waves are ideal for beginners, with more advanced breaks nearby), and the hotel offers board hire and instructors. Surfing aside, Weligama’s long sandy beach, safe swimming and proximity to Mirissa for whale watching offer further allure.

Highs

  • Glorious Indian Ocean views and just steps from the beach, in the heart of Weligama's action
  • Just 10 attractive rooms, furnished to a very high standard
  • Nothing is too much trouble for the friendly front-of-house team
  • The price suits younger travellers and families
  • Lots of outside space for relaxing and socialising

Lows

  • A big tower hotel is being built next door so construction noise may be a problem, and the beach will soon get busier...
  • Service can be slow when the restaurant is busy
  • The garden, restaurant, bar and pool can get busy with outside guests
  • Music plays in the bar until midnight; you may hear it from some rooms
  • You have to wake up early to grab a sun lounger

Best time to go

December to April are the driest months on the south coast, but bear in mind that December to March is the height of the tourist season so you'll need to book rooms well in advance. May and June are often a little wet; July and August are pleasant but the Indian Ocean can be rough. September, October and November can be sunny, but heavy rain and humidity are typical. Weligama is excellent for beginners’ surfing throughout the year.

Our top tips

Experienced surfers might not find Weligama’s gentle waves much of a challenge, but the more difficult breaks at Midigama, Kabalana and Madiha are will satisfy even the most daring surfers.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 10
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Surfboards to hire
Room:

Rooms

The 10 rooms are spread across 2 floors of an H-shaped building. Each flaunts individual furnishings, colour schemes and local art alongside deep-pile rugs, button-back sofas and wood-panelled bathrooms. Wireless speakers, flat-screen TVs and individual WiFi routers complement the cosy yet contemporary design. Generally, the upper-floor rooms are lighter and a little more private (they also have balconies).

We enjoyed our stay in a Superior Double Room on the first floor, which had a cream colour palette and cool polished terrazzo floors. A little side balcony gave narrow glimpses of the sea - the same category rooms on the ground floor use this area as additional indoor living space, which you may prefer. The Ocean View Deluxe Rooms are a little more spacious, with direct sea views.

The piece de resistance is the decadent Executive Suite with its tall sea-facing four-poster bed; one for a special occasion.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Aura, the sand-floored restaurant, sits to one side of a rectangular lawn and spills tables and benches onto the beach in front. By late afternoon, sundowner deals and upbeat music entice a cheery crowd. The all-day menu has a range of international dishes (burgers, paninis, stone-baked pizzas) as well as various pastas and Sri Lankan rice and curry.

There were plenty of options for breakfast; we tried the spinach and ham omelette, which came with a basket of homemade bread. For lunch we tucked into steak sandwiches and for dinner we opted for the (breaded) fish and chips. Overall, we found the food to be good rather than outstanding. That said, although there are plenty of places to eat in Weligama, most are not up to par. W15’s food and imaginative drinks concoctions (they have some cracking cocktails and delicious mocktails) are definitely the best around.

Features include:

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

Activities

  • Rent a board from the hotel (or anywhere along the beach) and surf. The hotel can arrange surfing lessons, as well as guides to take experienced riders to more challenging local breaks
  • Reception can arrange fitness sessions with a private instructor, night-time yoga classes and alfresco massages on the timber deck
  • Stroll or jog along Weligama’s long bay, pausing along the western end to admire the offshore house atop tropical Taprobane Island and the colourful catamarans bobbing in the shallows
  • Go sailing on a luxury catamaran (equipped with stand-up paddleboards and kayaks) from Mirissa Harbour for a sunset coastal voyage, or to see blue and sperm whales in the deep seas beyond
  • Head west to Tittigala where you can wander through a lowland tea plantation, take a tour of the factory and sample a cuppa or two

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Private guided tours
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Stand-up paddle boarding
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Whalewatching
  • Yoga

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, and many families come to enjoy the sand, surf and relaxed vibe.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and highchairs

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

Children's meals:

Kids' menu in the restaurant

Families Should Know:

The garden (open to the beach) and the pool are both unfenced. Between the main building is a shallow pond that could be a hazard for small children.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
8/
Food
8/
Service
10/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for W15 Weligama