Reluctant to write this review as do not want people to go in case there is no room for us to re-visit. This is a "corker". When it says 'beachside' it is just that. All the rooms look onto the lawned garden with the super swimming pool, the palms and the beach. No walls or fences between. They are not needed as this is the most laid back, safest and quiet place we have visited in the Indian ocean. No touts, no hawkers, pure tranquility.
We stayed 10 days and were picked up by Hari, the hotel driver, from the airport. Checking in at midnight we were offered a choice of rooms, double or twin. They were both of good size on the ground floor with that super view. On our first morning breakfast was "served", a very good juice, fruit, omelette, toast, bread, jam, coffee and tea as the day before was a public holiday. We were greeted by the manager, Mr. De La Cruz, and his front of house staff, probably the most pleasant hotel staff we have ever encountered. The old addage of "nothing too much trouble" was definitely applicable here.
Throughout our 10 day stay the buffet at breakfast and dinner was excellent, a choice of Sri Lankan and western food, and always good service in the open airy dining area. On one of the days a wedding party of 200 was catered for, and this did not affect the service for the hotel guests.
After 3 days we were offered the room above ours, as the view was better. We gladly accepted but the only difference was more ocean and a built-in fridge, proving the claim "all rooms with sea view".
The loungers and shades on the beach were welcome, with just a brief request and a man with mattress and towel was at hand, and when it was too hot the table and chairs in the breeze room was a nice change.
This area of Sri Lanka is mostly made up of fishing villages and it is worth a walk along the beach towards Marawila, passing various small fishing communities and a couple of not so well appointed hotels and guest houses. Being only a 40 minute drive north of Colombo airport it is away from all the hustle and bustle of the bigger resorts to the south, but if you want a taste of this a 40 minute tuc-tuc ride will bring you to Negombo with its noisy markets and many hotels.
We all say the yardstick of a good hotel is "would you go back?". Our answer is a resounding YES. In fact wishing we had stayed longer. So go, enjoy the peace and quiet, but please leave a room for us in the months of January and February.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sanmali Beach Hotel is a quaint 20 room hotel with a boutique- like atmosphere. All rooms have private balconies and full ocean views. The hotel is on a stretch of natural, palm-lined sandy beach. We have a well manicured spacious garden and a swimmng pool, an open restaurant overlooking the ocean, beach pavilion and a beach-hut are present.Relax and rejuvenate at our full service Ayurveda Spa. Our staff is very friendly and attentive. Enjoy beach volleyball, fishing and boating. Fresh seafood and local and international cuisine is always available. We help guests with transportation and tour arrangement. ... more less
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