Bentota is a relatively short train ride from Hikkaduwa, just 37km north. It was here that we splashed out on accommodation, Bentota and the surrounding areas are an expensive part of Sri Lanka. There are many all-inclusive resorts but we opted to stay bed and breakfast, as we wanted to try different restaurants in the area.
We stayed at the Whispering Palms hotel in Induruwa, just outside Bentota. The hotel is situated on a stretch of beautiful golden sand, with an impressive swimming pool overlooking the beach. We opted for a superior room on the top floor and were not disappointed- a clean, modern, high ceilinged room with a balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean. From the room you could hear the waves and it was so relaxing.
The hotel was quite small with just 16 rooms and so did not feel crowded. The food and staff were excellent. We had a really relaxing stay and after so much sightseeing and travelling around, we were happy to chill out a bit.
Pool @ Whispering Palms Hotel
Beach view from Whispering Palms
The weather was not great for a lot of our 4 night stay in Bentota- it was pleasant during the morning but then very stormy and rainy later on in the day. We had one really beautiful day with bright blue skies and it was just lovely.
Whilst in Bentota, we did make sure that we saw the local area and did our bits as tourists, as well as relaxing. We wandered around Aluthgama, a town north of Bentota and enjoyed the hustle and bustle. We visited a lovely temple and walked by Bentota lake. We were offered a”boat ride” by a local but we said no thank you after seeing his “boat”- what looked like old planks of wood tied together with rope!
The highlight of our time in Bentota was visiting a turtle sanctuary in Kosgoda. There are many projects and centres along the coast near Bentota and it was so lovely to visit one. Turtle eggs are often crushed by people on beaches and some even poach them as food, so sanctuaries such as the one we visited help to hatch the eggs safely. They also rehabilitate injured turtles before releasing them back in to the wild. The turtles were so cute and it was really nice to see the great work being done to help these wonderful creatures.
Me at Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery
We had some lovely walks along the beach and I drank more King coconuts than is probably recommended, as well got really rather sunburnt (see photo above!), but we loved Bentota as a place to relax.
Next it was on to our final destination of the trip- Negombo, a fishing town nearby Colombo airport. We stayed two nights as we had wanted to limit travelling around just before our long flight back.
We stayed at Blue Water Boutique Hotel, a relatively inexpensive option compared to other hotels in the area. The rooms are very small but clean and modern, fine for an airport hotel. You also get to use the pool of the hotel next door, which is pretty nice and they service an array of refreshing drinks and tasty food at the pool bar.
Roof terrace @ Blue Water Boutique Hotel
There isn’t a great deal to see or do in Negombo. We spent our time relaxing in the sunshine and wandering around the shops picking up last minute presents and souvenirs. Luv SL is a great place to pick up cute presents and has a great clothing selection too.
The highlight of our stay in Negombo has to be Lords Restaurant, where we ate dinner on both evenings. Having consulted Trip Advisor and seen that this was the #1 place in Sri Lanka, we had to give it a go. It did not disappoint- we had some of the best Sri Lankan food of the entire trip! The jackfruit curry was to die for. The restaurant is not cheap by Sri Lankan standards- the meal was a similar price to what we would pay in the UK. However, it is well worth it and I cannot recommend it enough. It is run by a British guy who also does a lot of charity work with stray dogs; he personally came around to ask us about our food on the first night, which was a great touch. The trip definitely ended on a high and we were really sad to leave for cold, rainy London..
Jackfruit curry @ Lords restaurant