Caroline Clements

Talalla Retreat
  • Where:Talalla, Sri Lanka
  • Why:A tour of Sri Lanka.
  • When:April 2017
  • Who:Me and @helloscruffalo.
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Walking down to Talalla Beach from some panoramic views of the bay.

Villas at Talalla, some with open-air bedrooms and outdoor showers.

It’s open air luxury in these indoor-outdoor style bedrooms.

The outdoor shower.

The communal pool, at the centre of it all.

Incredible Sri Lanka breakfast of pancakes with a fried egg, sweet onion relish and coconut sambal.

Simple, private freestanding bungalows.

Looking out towards Talalla Bay. These giant palm trees also serve at monkey freeways. You’ll see monkeys jumping from one to the next.

Fishing boats parked on the beach out front leave at dawn and return before dusk with a fresh catch for dinner.

Talalla has a vegetable garden and uses their own veggies and herbs in dishes at the restaurant.

Highs & Lows

  • The food here is delicious and organic – start your day with a Sri Lankan buffet breakfast.

  • The surf school at Talalla is known far and wide, taking all level of surfers to local surf breaks at surrounding beaches (you can’t surf at the beach directly out front). The hotel also offers other adventurous day trips for whale watching, to other nearby beaches, tea plantations and local Hindu shrines.

  • An eco thread runs through this place. The hotel shop sells ayurvedic toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, mosquito repellent) and locally made clothing. They are environmentally conscious with solar panels and a waste water system in the works. It all fits in with the very natural environment at Talalla.

  • There is a luxurious spa treatment hut on site offering pampering facials and massages.

  • Talalla has a slightly resort-like feel and is not especially boutique, but all rooms are quite private and remote, tucked into tropical rainforest surrounds.

  • Monkeys can get into your room easily so you need to pack your belongings away.

  • The service is friendly and sweet but not especially helpful.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 38/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Eco, wellness, yoga and surf retreat.

  • Vibe

    Simple, open-air luxury.

  • Location

    Located in a picturesque bay on the south coast of Sri Lanka, about 4 hours by train from Colombo.

  • Rooms

    70 rooms and bungalows.

  • Music

    Nothing but the birds singing and monkeys fighting in the trees.

  • Year Opened


  • Designed By

    Not sure...

  • Pool/Gym

    A lush, central pool but no gym, though they have yoga classes twice a day held in three different shalas around the property.

  • Restaurant

    Yes, a communal open-air dining area serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. All meals are made with organic local produce.

  • Bar

    No, but you can order drinks at the restaurant.

  • Minibar


  • Children

    Very children friendly. They even offered kids yoga while we were staying.

  • Price

    Affordable for a few days at a blissed-out beach escape.

Have a drink there, swim in their pool and soak up the epic views of the bay below.

Walk to the other end of the beach and up the point to Panorama Hotel

Hotel Panorama, Talalla, Sri Lanka

Have a drink there, swim in their pool and soak up the epic views of the bay below.

Such as Dickwella / Hiriketiya Beach.

Rent a scooter and drive to surrounding beaches

Dickwella Beach Hotel, Dikwella, Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Such as Dickwella / Hiriketiya Beach.

Talalla Retreat

Talalla Retreat, Talalla, Sri Lanka

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