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“Best local food and nice staff” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Secret Bay Hotel

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Secret Bay Hotel
| Tallala, Matara, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 16 Hotels in Matara
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Berlin, Germany
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best local food and nice staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014 via mobile

We stayed opposite at Talalla Retreat Resort and came to Secret Bay Restaurant every night for dinner. We were looking for something authentic (Talalla Retreat has beautiful rooms but doesn't feel very Sri Lankan and food is overpriced) and were happy to find it there.

The location is a little hidden as it is on the roof top terrace but once you are there it has a nice view and atmosphere. The food is great. Mostly local dishes like different curries, dhal, seafood, noodles but also espresso which was perfect. Everything we tried was very tasteful, freshly made and came in big portions. On top, the service was really good (we had different experiences during our travel through Sri Lanka...). Especially Nisanthala, the girl who manages the restaurant, is really friendly and attentive. It was a pleasure for us to be served there and the money we spend for the delicious food was absolutely worth it! We felt very comfortable and recommended the place also to other people, because there is not much choice as it is a bit remote area.

They also run a little restaurant at the beach, where we had drinks during the day. The staff there was not always friendly and not so professional though.

The Secret Bay restaurant is definitely a must when you want to have great local food in Talalla!

Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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46 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 stars
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Treviso
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

We had dinner there and it was the best food we've had in Sri Lanka.
We had the two different versions of the rice and curry, which were original and tasty.
Be warned if you are sensitive to garlic and onion, though, because they use a lot of them and for us it proved quite difficult to digest!

We reserved a Sri Lankan breakfast in advance but we were disappointed to see almost nothing of what we had ordered being brought to the table (e.g. We ordered hoppers, string hoppers, chicken curry and fish curry, but only got rotis and egg curry).
When inquired, the manager explained that unfortunately they hadn't had the time to buy/prepare everything. Fair enough, but it would have been nicer to at least tell us when we sat down and asked us if we were still OK with it.
We were also charged full price for the breakfast, which was pretty expensive.

Overall, though, we still liked the place. Extra points for the nice view and atmosphere and for being able to pay with credit card.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Dusseldorf, Germany
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2014

You should definitely check out the Parata and the Southern Spicy. We came 4 nights in a row as the food is just too good to be true. We stayed at Talalla retreat next door. So if you're staying there check out Secret Bay for dinner! It's better food for even less money.

Needless to say it is run by a lovely and friendly family! Lookout from the terrace is superb as well.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

We stayed at the Talalla Retreat and came after reading reviews of the food by Nisansala. We were not disappointed - amazing food and fantastic value for money.
The restaurant is located on a third floor verandah with fantastic views of the beach. Clean (we took our shoes off) and well designed chairs and tables. Only one other table both nights that we went, so a very cosy dinner with the sounds of the waves crashing by. Nisansala, the cook there is fantastic and so friendly and you can see that she runs a spotless kitchen.
Highlights were definitely the fresh prawns - have them grilled or in the amazing curry that Nisansala prepares. We also pre-ordered the lobster for our last night in Talalla. Definitely more expensive, but for about LKR7000 we stuffed ourselves silly with one kilo of freshly grilled goodness. The chips that come with the grilled items are surprisingly delicious too, and leave some room for the freshly fried banana 'flitters' (as it says on the menu).
Do make sure to head there earlier in the evening as it closes by 9pm - we tried going the second day at 8pm but it had already closed as there are only one or two patrons per evening!
On our last day, we bumped into Nisansala on the way to a quick lunch at the beach cafe, and she rustled up some grilled prawns and fish especially for us!
We did not stay at the hotel, but seems like a place to be avoided. I used the bathroom downstairs and was cut with a sharp nail that was sticking out of the door handle!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Island of Anglesey, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

I could have stayed here for longer. we had the room on the second floor so had a view right down to the beach. Big, comfortable room and hot water, no power shower but considering its a small fishing village we weren't expecting all mod cons. Wifi worked great and on holiday is it so vital anyway?? The food by Nisansala was great, freshly cooked and tasty and served with a smile. The beach is amazing, hardly anyone there and many more locals going about their business than people on holiday. The beach café that is part of the hotel was great too, perfect for a cup of tea or coffee after dinner, feet in the sand and lights in the trees.
Yes it is more expensive than most places in sri lanka, but cheaper than the other two main places to stay and you are paying for the peace and privacy.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

We stayed here for three nights. At the time there was building work going on but we didn't care because the food was totally amazing - definitely the best we had in sri Lanka, and the beach was deserted and beautiful. We had such a lovely time just eating and hanging out on the beach with the kids. It was one of our highlights from a six wk trip to Sri Lanka.

We stayed a night longer than planned and then headed off to Mirissa. Wished we had stayed longer as Mirissa is pretty much ruined now. So stay here now before the crowds and the hotels arrive.

Overall fantastic. We loved it.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Barcelona
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

Together with my girlfriend and another friend we stayed at this hotel for 3 nights. The location is just perfect as it's 20 meters away from a pristine beach but the rest was just not good considering the price thye charge for their basic rooms. No hot water, rooms were not clean, Wi-fi was not working, we could not enter into the room before 8pm, the service at the restaurant is just slow and sometimes you cannot even sit at the table as they only have a few ones.

We could not leave from the hotel as they request to pay the whole amount in advance and they refused to give the money back in case on cancellatoin but I reckon we would have left on the first day. This hotel is the worst place where we stayed in Sri Lanka, worse than any other guest house and by far the most expensive. For the same price you can find lots of places in the area, I would not recommend this one.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Additional Information about Secret Bay Hotel

Address: | Tallala, Matara, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Matara
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 16 Hotels in Matara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Secret Bay Hotel Sri Lanka/Matara

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