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“Best place to relax!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Talalla Retreat

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Talalla Retreat
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Talalla South | Gandara, Matara, Sri Lanka   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 15 hotels in Matara
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Best place to relax!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

Nice location, beautiful beach, good fresh swimming pool. Wow!
There's 6 bungalows with 4 rooms each. The rooms on the first floor are very open. You have more privacy in the ground floor rooms. Every room has a private terrace. Nice to enjoy the evenings, watching the fireflies. We didn't really miss an AC in the rooms. Just a small fridge and a safe would be use-full. The open air shower is very romantic.
I really cannot understand the negative reviews I read here. This place is the place to be in this area. Lot's of privacy, nice tropical garden, very friendly staff, ok food. The only thing we missed were fresh juices in the morning.
We went snorkeling on a close-by beach but because of the tsunami in 2004, all of the corals are dead. BUT we were able to swim with a huge sea-turtle!
On our last evening, we went to the beach and were able to help the fishing man pulling the nets. Such a wonderful experience!!!
FYI: we went with our two children of 6 and 8 years old, they enjoyed every second!

Room Tip: We stayed in rooms nr 8 and 9, they were close to the pool. Great with kids!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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255 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
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English first
Brackley, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

We spent the last 5 days of our honeymoon at this wonderful retreat!

Don't be fooled by the drive up to the hotel because when the gates open they reveal beautiful lush tropical gardens and a lovely pool!

The Retreat is a wonderfully laid back place, where you can do as much or as little as you like. We had spent 5 days travelling around Sri Lanka and had plenty of early morning safaris and whale watching. On reaching Talalla we were ready to switch into honeymoon mode and just relax!

Talalla really is a lovely, restful place. The open rooms are amazing! We really enjoyed our evening showers looking up at the night sky, listening to the geckos and watching the firefly's floating by! It felt quite magical! One morning we were awoken by a troop of monkey's right outside our room! My husband got to take some great photos!

We loved Talalla! The food was great, the rooms wonderful, the beach amazing and we also enjoyed evening table visits from the gorgeous hotel dog!

This is a wonderful place and really made for an amazing honeymoon!

Room Tip: Go for an open air room, they're amazing!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delhi
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Small little hotel, 32 rooms, located about 100 mtrs from the beach (you walk through a green empty lot of land). The hotel is packed packed packed. Budget travellers (though this place has seen the rates hit the roof) but quality people. The place has a great sense of style, the rooms are non air conditioned. You get beers. Food is excellent, very tasty, mostly vegetarian, buffet style. Beer is cheap. Rooms are built in blocks of four (2 on the ground floor and 2 above). Book in advance because this hotel is really in demand. The hotel has in-house Yoga instructors and a Surfing guide and both the options are of VERY GOOD quality. The yoga instructors tend to change every 6 months and are expats, as is the surfing guide. The beach is awesome because it has a beautiful cove with clean deep blue water and gentle waves. The surfing is at a slight walking distance and this place is counted as one the best in Sri Lanka for surfing.

Room Tip: You may like the upper floor rooms which have better views. Also the Sri Lankan Monitor Lizards come...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

My wife and I booked 3 nights at the Tallala Retreat over Xmas as we wanted to stay somewhere special over Xmas - the Lonely Planet review and the hotel website certainly offered this. After travelling around Sri Lanka for the previous 10 days and stopping in other hotels around a similar price bracket (£105-130 pn) our excitement at stopping at the TR was unfortunately met by utter disappointment.

The rooms were very basic and furniture extremely tatty. There was one chair in the room but it did not include a cushion over the slats so was not usable. The rooms are open air with shutters for windows and a high wall to conceal the bathroom. It is a nice concept but the accommodation is in blocks of 4 rooms and so there is nothing hiding the noises (including bathroom noises) of your neighbours and other general chit chat. Upon arrival we were informed our bathroom towels were damp due to rain but that we needed to hang them outside to dry!

The restaurant again was very basic with no separate bar area and no where to relax other than sitting at a table. The food was okay but certainly not memorable. Rather strangely all food/ drink is listed in dollars - this annoyed us as not only was everything more expensive than anywhere else we had stayed but we were also in sri lanka, not the US! (it works well for expensive excursions etc but not food items) . The pool area consisted of too few sun loungers which had seen better days with many needing repairing and a good hose down. The pool was also overly chlorinated. There is also a 'second yoga studio' which reminded me of a sixth form common room with torn magazines strewn across the floor and old second hand sofas.

The 'nail in the coffin' was that we chose the hotel also on the basis that there was no additional surcharge for Xmas day, however upon arrival we were informed that there was a $50 pp surcharge as they had arranged for extra seafood and entertainment but they admitted this should have been communicated better before.

I also got messed around by the surf school a bit and did not get to do a surf session I had wanted to do. I can say that the yoga sessions were good
as was the local beach (but the hotel does not front directly onto the beach as given the impression the website- it is a few minutes walk along a muddy track).

Unfortunately our stay also coincided with the anniversary of the Tsunami and loud speakers had been set up to play religious chanting (very very loudly) for about 36 hours continuously - although this was obviously not the hotels fault, it just added to an already unpleasant stay with a sleepless night.

We definitely consider that their website and the LP review are very misleading. All in all we had a very disappointing experience and would warn other travellers to only stay there if they want a very expensive backpacker experience (they should really be charging half of what they currently charge).

Room Tip: Stay elsewhere -far too overpriced for what you get
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

The rooms and grounds are lovely and the open air bathrooms are wonderful. So easy to get to a nice beach and the pool is great. The massage and spa is very good too. We were there during a time when they only had a buffet, which was probably the least good thing (not the bad thing) about the trip. As vegetarians, my mom and I felt like the selections were a little boring and often ordered off the menu at additional cost, but the only thing to complain about. Really enjoyed it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

My family and I stayed at Talalla Retreat for the second year running this April, having discovered it in 2012 almost by accident. Last time, we could only stay one night, but promised ourselves that if we ever returned to Sri Lanka we would spend more time at the Retreat. And so it was with very high expectations that we returned this year, but also with some trepidation as we had recommended it to our friends who were travelling with us.
No fear; Talalla Reatreat 2013 exceeded our expectations and provided the three best days of our holiday. Our friends instantly fell in love with the place.
The retreat was as calm and restorative as we remembered and the quality of food and services even better,
Whether being pampered in the Spa, losing oneself in the yoga classes, being thrilled by the surfing or just chilling on the glorious beach or by the beautiful pool, every part of the Talalla Retreat experience is a beautifully judged pleasure.
I am struggling to find a flaw or even constructive criticism to make. I guess the on-line booking system could be a little slicker, but that's about it.
The Retreat is, in our experience, exactly as described on the website, so if you like what you read I can wholeheartedly recommend you go ahead and book. As part of a perfect Sri Lankan holiday or more intense adventure it has now proved itself twice.
Indeed, part of me wants to keep it a secret, but in the spirit of sharing life's rare pleasures, i feel compelled to submit this review.
Personal highlights for me; helping the local fisherman pull in their nets with my son by my side and managing to stand on a surf board for a whole 1/10th of a second after just 30 minutes of coaching. Unexpected and unplanned pleasures that sum up why Talalla Retreat is so special.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

I spent a week at Talalla and I enjoyed every single minute. It was the perfect, chilled out introduction to Sri Lanka. The rooms are open (i.e. no windows), spacious and clean. I loved the jungle sounds at night! The food was good (fresh grilled fish, lots of veggie curries, salads, hoppers etc) and there's lots of it. The staff were helpful and friendly. It's a short walk to a quiet, unspoilt beach where the sea can get lively but I was able to swim safely. The yoga and meditation was a lovely start and end to each day and such a delightful way to relax body and mind. The yoga studio is modern and open plan and has all the necessary equipment. There's an onsite spa offering a range of treatments. The deep tissue massage I had was average, perhaps because I booked the last session of the day and I'm sure her hands were due a rest!

Room Tip: I had a first floor room overlooking the pool and yoga studio, which was fine.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Talalla Retreat

Address: Talalla South | Gandara, Matara, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Matara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Matara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Talalla Retreat 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A rare island treasure hidden on the island’s untouched southern tip, Sri Lanka’s chic new boutique hotel, Talalla Retreat, has been designed as a private world of barefoot luxury, and the ultimate environment to totally chill out. Nestled metres from exquisite Talalla Beach, villa style rooms are elegantly appointed with open-sky marble bathrooms, private patios and lush views. Enjoy the open-air restaurant, custom-built yoga pavilion, sparkling freshwater pool and signature spa treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Talalla Retreat Sri Lanka/Matara

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