LOCATION - ideally situated just 20 mins from airport so no horrid long transfer, which believe me you dont want after an 11 hour flight. roads are bad and slow and a bit hairy with the way they drive.
BEACH - sea can get a bit choppy but even with red flag we were able to safely wade out to our chests and bob about. Sand is pretty clean and staff rake the beach every morning. there are plenty of sun loungers and parasols for use and pool attendants very quick to set you up with cushions and towels. Its not by any means one of the best beaches on the island but we stayed for 10 nights here and found it to be lovely (having experienced caribbean and thailand and gambia previously, it rated pretty high up there)
HOTEL GENERALLY - Wifi internet great - my Blackberry automatically picked it up without having to do anything.
We were a bit miffed at the building work which is still going on as the hotel is obviously stiff unfinished (waiters told us the owners rushed to have it reopened but wouldnt change date even when builders said it wouldnt be ready. Laying by pool listening to drilling, sawing and banging as they fitted wood stair sills was someone annoying. Our air con broke twice and we had to change rooms twice but when we moaned we were offered a free lunch to say sorry which was nice.
HOTEL RESTAURANTS - the fresh fish bar for lunch on the beach is wonderful and very cheap - I practically lived on HUMUNGOUS prawns.
ROOMS - modern, bright and contemporary. try and get the Deluxe rooms in the new block - much nicer if you can afford that little bit extra. Avoid rooms near the air con water tank - flipping noisy. make sure you ask for mozzy plug (supplied free) and get them to spray in your room each evening.
STAFF - utterly lovely, especially all the restaurant and bar waiters - genuine lovely people who are not on the scrounge for tips.
MONEY - we took USD travellers cheques and GBP notes. both changed ok in reception although exchange rate not brill - try to go to a bank to get better rate.
AIPORT - if you can manage your cases dont be bullied to take help from porters who will charge you to push a trolley about 50 yards out of the terminal to bus transfer !!!
NEGOMBO RESTAURANTS - REAL traditional Sri Lankan food is not that easy to come by as most restaurants cater for German, Swiss, English tourists but if you want to taste good spicy authentic sri lankan food then you MUST eat at King Coconut and Serendib (both about a mile down the road - 150 rupees by tuktuk)
CLIMATE IN MARCH - very hot (probably about 34 degrees) but with a nice sea breeze. Monsoon rains not due to start til end of April but we saw a change in the weather on our last two days - bit of rain and getting cloudier. Locals believe Monsoon season is getting earlier each year so AVOID 10TH APRIL ONWARDS til July
RETURN JOURNEY - you cant buy duty free with Rupees so change back to USD before you get there - some smaller shops and cafes take Rupees in the airport but everywhere takes USD. Make sure EACH suitcase weighs no more than 30kg - we thought one case between us could be 60kg - WRONG.
AIRLINE SEATS - if going economy - try and get seats 50A and 50C or 50H and 50K - these are sets of two by the window with a huge amount of leg room as next to emergency exit. Otherwise upgrade to premium economy is good value with 4" extra seat pitch (£50pp per flight). You can check in online 48 hours before (with Sri Lankan) return but make sure you get the flight booking ref from your travel agent - not the holiday booking ref.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- With the beach at your doorstep, Jetwing Sea offers an idyllic coastal retreat along the soft golden sands of Negombo and makes for an enchanting holiday home where one can work, play and fall in love. Enjoy exotic seafood, plan a sunset wedding or unwind at the rooftop spa, serenaded by the sounds of the Indian Ocean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jetwing Sea Hotel Negombo
- Sea Shells Negombo
- Negombo Sea Shells Hotel