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Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise. Expect an array of greens in every direction, ample palm trees filled with coconuts, amazing surfing beaches, delicious food and friendly locals.
For my first trip to Sri Lanka, I wanted to see it all, the history, the culture, the surfing beaches, the tea plantations and the high country. But I also really wanted a peaceful escape for a few days.
Turtle Bay in the South of Sri Lanka was exactly that.
Turtle Bay Hotel Sri Lanka
Turtle Bay Hotel is a boutique hotel made up of 7 traditional hotel rooms. Turtle Bay is a mix of luxury, comfort and relaxation. I loved the unique atmosphere the hotel offers and the amazing service from the friendly staff. Because the hotel is so small you will be personally greeted and looked after. The little touches from the staff are what made the hotel so special. We were delivered flowers at breakfast and came back to our room to find elephant origami on our bed.
Upon arrival to the hotel, we were greeted at the gate and our bags were collected by the friendly hotel staff. We made our way to the entrance, a walkway that leads you through reception and to the pools and ocean beyond. Fresh juice was handed to us, just what you need on a hot day.
The rooms are traditional Sri Lankan style, made of hardwood timber floors and furnishings. Our room had a balcony and large window, the perfect place to relax and admire the views of the pool beneath and long stretch of essentially private beach.
Location of Turtle Bay
Turtle Bay resort is located on the south coast of Sri Lanka near Kalametiya. There isn’t a lot around Turtle Bay, which is what makes it such a perfect place the relax for a couple of days on your trip around Sri Lanka.
Facilities at Turtle Bay
You will find everything you need at Turtle Bay Hotel.
You will most likely spend most of your time relaxing by the stunning infinity pool overlooking the ocean and long stretch of untouched beach. There are plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks for you to relax in.
Restaurant – The onsite restaurant has a wide range of options. From traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, fresh seafood, pasta and a large selection of vegetarian options. Everything I tried was delicious, might I specifically recommend the spinach and cheese ravioli.
Spa – there is an onsite spa where you can enjoy full body massages, foot reflexology, herbal steam bath, Shirodhara treatment and Ayurveda facials. Could you think of a better way to end a relaxing day?
Wifi – there is free wifi for all hotel guests. It isn’t perfect but you can’t expect it to be when you’re in paradise.
You will find complimentary water, tea and coffee in your room.
Things to do near Turtle Bay
Bird watching in Kalematiya Bird Sanctuary
Perhaps the most popular activity in the region is bird watching at Kalematiya Bird Sanctuary. Kalametiya bird sanctuary spans across 2,500 acres of lagoons and water clogged swamps and is home to a diversity of bird species and other wildlife such as crocodiles and monkeys. Turtle Bay can arrange a tour for you at around 5000 rupees ($30 USD).
From the harbour, you will see many fishermen pulling in their catch of the day. If fishing floats your boat (pun intended) why not take a fishing tour and experience Sri Lankan style fishing at its best.
We spent the afternoon walking along the beach with not a person in sight. To one direction (left) you can explore the rock formations along the beach. If you walk far enough you will reach Kalametiya Harbour. To the other direction (right) you will find a long stretch of untouched coastline. The perfect place to enjoy a long walk on the beach at sunset. From Turtle Bay, you can see the sunset and the sunrise, bliss.
Hire a bike and explore the region of Kalametiya
We rented a scooter from U Point for 1200 Rupees ($8 USD). In one day we explored Tangalle, the Blow Hole and Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara.
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
I loved visiting Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara, also known as small Sigiriya. This ancient Buddhist temple comprises an impressive series of cave temples dating from the third century. From Turtle Bay, Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara is a 35 minutes motorbike ride.
Yala National Park
Yala is a tourist hot spot, well known for its abundance of elephants, leopards, crocodiles and hundreds of bird species.
Uduwalawe National Park
Uduwalawe National Parks is best known for elephants. You are guaranteed to see elephants on a safari through Uduwalawe. Uduwalawe National Park is known to be slightly less touristy than Yala.
Bundala National Park
A less popular national park, so if you like to escape the crowds like I do, Bundala National Park (and Turtle Bay Hotel) are for you. In Bundala National Park you will find hundreds of bird species, including flamingos, plus monkeys and crocodiles.
All national park day trips can be arranged by the friendly staff at Turtle Bay Hotel.
Day trip to Tangalle
The nearby town of Tangalle is a great place to explore by bike from Turtle Bay. In Tangalle you will find beautiful coastlines, shopping and dining options and places to enjoy a spa. I also recommend continuing South on the coast, down to the Blow Hole, a popular tourist attraction.
As you can see, you can easily spend a few days relaxing by the pool and enjoying a spa at Turtle Bay, but you also have many things to do in the region to keep you occupied.
I loved staying at Turtle Bay Sri Lanka, if you want the same experience as me, book your stay here.