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Turtle Beach Cabanas
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Reviews (34)
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7 - 12 of 34 reviews
Reviewed April 10, 2012

This has got to be one of the most beautiful beach scenes out there! Very isolated -- 4 km up a dirt road from the small town of Rekawa, and about 10 km from Tangalle.Hardly any other tourists, though properties nearby are developing rapidly.

Only two cabanas in the property, which is owned by a non-resident Russian, and miles of clean sandy beaches with primeval landscape all around,. Beautiful lagoons, marshes with wild birds, all spectacularly pristine and beautiful. The sea is quite rough here, which makes for nice waves and a lovely roar throughout the day and night. Swimming is not advisable as there's a strong undertow.

Cabanas are roomy, well-furnished, with stone walls. Bathrooms are good.

There is a fishing village nearby, and in the mornings you can watch them bringing in their nets. They are very friendly. Lots of chameleons, monitor lizards, and some friendly dogs, and even the odd crocodile.

Breakfast is served at 8:30, and all meals (including breakfast!) take roughly an hour to prepare. But the chef is superb! And the staff (three or so) are generally extremely helpful, though a bit shy. There's nothing much for them to do between meals, so most of them sit around reading or playing cards.

Between 10 pm and 7 am, though, I didn't see any staff around, so I think you're on your own then. As luck would have it there was a spectacular storm one night, but nobody came. I liked it that way, but not everyone would. Some people find it too lonely and pack up after a few days. Others would want to stay forever

Getting anywhere requires a tuktuk -- the staff will promptly provide one, with a driver.(Not advisable to go walking out to Rekawa on one's own -- it's hot and there's a good chance of getting lost or stepping on or being bitten by something..) We went on a night trip to see turtles, to the Dondra lighthouse (closest point to Antarctica), and Yala national park.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank travelnovelist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

We spent a week at Turtle Bay end of January~ Beginning of February.
It is a good thing the food was fabulous because there was no other food on the beach. We tried to eat other places on the beach but they serviced only their own guests.
The young man,Yomal who cooks there used to work on ships. He is an excellent cook. We ate fish and veggies and Sri Lankan breakfast for a week.
They young men that work there are very helpful and Gayan let us us his laptop right on the beach. One day we even had a crocodile who strayed into the ocean. The restaurant is right on the beach and reminded me of restaurants on the islands off of Bali , 30 years ago.
We did the beaches in Sri Lanka no question but this was the prettiest restaurant of our 5&1/2 weeks in SL. The buffet and Nilaveli Beach was pretty spectacular. I would stay here and eat here and never tire of it.
Say hi to the boys from Alison&Stan We miss the beach walks

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1  Thank freespirittraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2012

Thank you Gayan. We somehow made a silly mistake with our itinerary and arrived a day early. The manager Gayan, after getting over the confusion, worked hard to get us a cabana at a nearby location fort the night. We returned the next day and the place is on a lovely beach which we had to ourselves alot. The cabanas were clean and Gayan arranged a trip at reasonable price to Yalla Reserve which we managed in a day. We travelled in a nice a/c Toyota people carrier which was comfortable and then transferred to a 4 wd jeep for the "very rough" trip around the reserve. The guys at the cabanas were friendly with us and the young fellow in the kitchen was a good cook. We had hoped to see turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. We understand from a girl that we met,who is a volunteer helping with turtle conservation, that this is a frequent,night time occurence. Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to see this. We were returning along the coast to Unawatuna after our stay at Turtle Beach and Gayan drove us himself in the comfortable people carrier. We felt the service was good and to have a tropical beach in the morning 50 yards from your accomodation, with just two sets of footprints on, (ours) is an experience we would not have missed.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ecadventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2012

To be honest I'm mystified as to how the people in the review below could have such a different experience to us!

We found the place incredible; where else in the world can you stay in one of two cabanas with basically a gorgeous beach to yourself, for only $35 a night?! You also pretty much have staff at your disposal – you have to order off the menu (which offers the usual beachside standards to be found in Sri Lanka) but you can eat when you like, within reason, so it is almost like having your own dedicated staff! We were the only people the first night, so had the place to ourselves. We also managed to see a turtle nesting our first night. The lodge arranged transport for us to go and see her as soon as the call went out that she'd laid her eggs, for only Rs500, and this included Yomal waiting two hours for us in order to drive us back.

The breakfast is a little high at Rs750 (the usual would be Rs500 or Rs550) but the tropical fruit was the most delicious I tasted during the whole trip – and that is saying something! – and you got a very generous amount. The staff don't speak great English to it pays to be very clear when you're ordering, but that isn't really a problem.

I recommend visiting Mulkirigala rock temple when you're there – they will arrange a tuktuk for you. When you get there try to find Vijay and ask him to guide you around – he's been a guide there for 16 years (his knees are buggered from climbing up and down all these years) and he speaks good English and is a real character. He added so much to the experience, filling us in on the history and what the various icons and paintings signified. Of course, tip him afterwards!

Room Tip: One cabana has an unobstructed view of the sea
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Claire B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2012

We turned up to Turtle Beach Cabanas and our jaw dropped, 2 cabanas and a little outdoor restaurant right on a beach with miles of sand, palm trees, and not another person in sight. It was a complete dream, almost honeymoon worthy. The Cabanas themselves were simple but great, large 4 poster beds, hot water in the bathroom, and it was clean and airy. Actually everything was pretty much perfect apart from the staff! We ordered lunch, 4 men appeared to be in the kitchen, they said it would be ready in 30 mins, 1.5 hours later we were begging for our simple lunch of some grilled fish and chips and no one else was eating! Even asking for a drink seemed to be a pain the ar*e for them, im sure one guy actually sighed when I asked if I could have a ginger beer. We stayed away from the slightly odd group of men that seemed to run this place and spent our day on the dreamy beach. Dinner was the same affair as lunch. At 8pm we got peckish again and asked if we could have a snack, something simple like chips. They said no as the kitchen was closed, it seemed a little ridiculous as they were all sitting in the kitchen smoking and chatting and could have easily make a buck or two off us by preparing a snack. Instead they offered to sell my boyfriend marijuana! We almost couldnt believe they were trying to make some money out off us this way, so we went along with it and said yes we would buy some, 2 minutes later a guy turned up at our cabana terrace with a really large bag and handed over some dried out sticks which smelt exactly like tea! By this point we had completely given up with this place and its staff and did see the funny side.
Breakfast was another affair, we sat down and asked for a Sri Lankan breakfast and they told us we should have ordered it the night before. Fair enough but when we questioned why no one had told us this the night before, they all looked really shifty, went away for a bit and then came back and announced they had....so then the lies started! We ordered a western breakfast, after the guy repeatedly getting our order wrong and bringing us out scrambled eggs instead of boiled (which took a painstaking hour), we had to ask 3 times for some tea. we spent another hour on the beautiful beach and then packed up our bags and left, never again! Its strange because everyone else has given this place such great reviews, and although the cabanas are wonderful the staff end up making you feel downright miserable...

Completely forgot to mention that we woke up the next day with about 50 tiny rashes all over our bodies, thinking nothing more of it we carried on with our day. 2 days later the rashes raised and our bodies felt like they were on fire! We had a horrendous case of bedbugs, and it was so painful it at times nearly ruined our holiday. A month later we still have signs of the bites and they still itch! Just a warning....

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ch11111122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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