Bali Destinations Indonesia

7 unique and affordable Bali Airbnbs

19. January 2017

7 unique and affordable Bali airbnbs - UbudAll photos are borrowed from Airbnb // Contains affiliate links

Last February I wrote a post about Old Man’s and how if I were to live anywhere in the world at this point in my life, it would have to be Canggu, Bali. Mostly because it’s super cheap but also because I love the Balinese people, their culture and of course all the awesome restaurants and bars the little village has to offer. And now, almost a year later, it’s finally happening!

Come February 10th I’ll be leaving cold Norway yet again, for some hot, humid and hopefully productive months in Indonesia. For the first couple of weeks, I’ll be traveling around Bali and the surrounding islands, before settling in Canggu at the end of February.

So as you can probably imagine, I have done a lot of research on cool places to stay over the last few days, in addition to the huge folder of Bali Airbnbs I had already saved on my computer. As the post about Sri Lanka Airbnbs was so popular, I thought I would make it into a series and do one for Bali as well. So here you go; 7 unique and affordable Bali Airbnbs!

 

Are you new to Airbnb? Get a $35 / 300kr gift voucher here!

Hideout Bali7 unique and affordable Bali airbnbs7 unique & affordable Bali AirbnbsIf you follow a lot of travel bloggers on Instagram, you’ve probably seen this little eco bamboo home many times before. You’ll find this unique and super cute structure hidden in the mountains surrounding Gunung Agung volcano. At $120 a night I would say this place is affordable as it sleeps up to four persons, which only comes out to $30 per person per night. Not a bad deal if you ask me! This is your chance to get off the grid, fall asleep to rippling river sounds and experience the real Bali!

 

Ubud Eco Cottage7 unique and affordable Bali Aorbnbs7 unique and affordable Bali AirbnbsThis bamboo cottage is a secluded eco retreat down a quiet footpath nestled in the rice fields of Ubud. It’s the best of both worlds as you get to stay in this lush and serene location, while central Ubud is only a 5-minute stroll away. The cottage features a basket weave bedroom with a mini loft, a modern bathroom and an outdoor living area where breakfast is served every morning. They also have a complete menu and full service to the cottage is just a phone call away with the complimentary cell phone they provide. All this can be yours for only $70 dollars a night.

 

Sunrise House7 unique and affordable Bali airbnbs7 unique and affordable Bali airbnbsPerched on the edge of the sacred Ayung river valley, 30 minutes south of central Ubud, you’ll find this incredible open-air mansion. Yes, it’s yet another bamboo structure you might have seen mentioned on social media and in different travel publications from time to time. The villa comprises four floors, 3 double bed bedrooms each with ensuite bathrooms, kitchen, lounge and dining space with fabulous views, plunge pool, a work space on the top floor and fantastic pristine panoramic views. At just over $360 a night for up to 6 people, this place comes out to around $60 per person. Extra beds can be arranged if needed.

 

Passiflora House7 unique & affordable Bali Airbnbs7 unique & affordable Bali AirbnbsNestled in some of the last preserved rice paddies of Penestanan, this fully renovated one bedroom joglo is the perfect choice if you want some peace and quiet. A joglo is a traditional Javanese style of house that’s carefully designed to fit in with it’s surrounding nature. My favorite part of this place is the whitewashed and turquoise wood and all the wood carvings. So beautifully done. The house has no direct car access, so you won’t be kept awake by motor noises like you would closer to town. But still, you are only a 20-minute walk away from central Ubud. There is also a shared saltwater pool on the property, that you’ll probably have to yourselves most of the time. At a little over $160 a night for 2 persons (extra bed available), this is the most expensive of all the options in this post. But it’s just so gorgeous, so I couldn’t help myself.

 

Related post: A first timer’s guide to Ubud

 

The Duck Canggu7 unique and affordable Bali Airbnbs - Canggu7 unique and affordable Bali AirbnbsOkey, this might sound weird, but I saved this place because of the gorgeous open-air bathroom. When it comes to interior design I absolutely love wood, patterns, shades of mint green/turquoise and natural elements like stones and seashells. So basically this bathroom is a mix of everything I love and that would be enough for me to book this place. Set in the middle of a rice field next to a river in Canggu, you’ll find this colorful little wooden structure. The Duck is a self-contained 80-year-old gladak, which is another traditional Javanese house. A gladak has the same style as a joglo, but refers to a building that houses a bedroom. The pool and outdoor kitchen/dining area are shared with the guests of the main house. For $60 a night you get to stay in this beautifully decorated room, located only a short walk from Echo beach and many of Canggu’s trendy restaurants and cafés.

 

Bennu House Ubud7 unique and affordable Bali airbnbs - Ubud7 unique and affordable Bali Airbnbs - UbudHere’s yet another traditional Joglo brought piece by piece from java, set in the midsts of a rice field surrounded by tropical jungle. Even though you are only a 5-minute drive away from the center of Ubud, you can enjoy your time here in total peace and quiet with a stunning view of Mount Agung. This place really gives you that indoor outdoor living experience. At around $100 a night for 3 persons, this gorgeous place is a steel in my eyes. But keep in mind that this price is only a promotion running from January through May. So get in quick!

 

Remember to get your $35 / 300kr gift voucher here!

Funky Glass House7 unique and affordable Bali Airbnbs7 unique and affordable Bali Airbnbs
I’m finishing this post off with the most affordable and quirky house I found. The Funky Glass House is made of glass bottles and driftwood the owner found on the beach. Set in a lush green garden with a bean-shaped pool, this house is a tropical oasis on a budget. For only $60 a night you can stay here with two of your friends. One of Bali’s top surf spots, Balian beach, is only a short motorbike ride away. It’s the perfect place for those looking to escape busy south Bali but still have a gorgeous beach and laid back cafes close by.

Which one would you want to stay at?

 

Some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you. This helps me cover the costs of running my site – so thank you in advance! I only ever link to products and services I use and love myself!



Destinations Indonesia Poland Spain Sri Lanka

My 10 favorite travel photos of 2016

4. January 2017

Favorite travel photos of 2016 - Whales & Waves Resort, Sumbawa, Indonesia2016 turned out to be one of my greatest travel years to date, I got to explore a total of 8 countries and 30 cities. It’s not the most destinations I’ve ever visited in a year, but for a change I spent a lot of time in many of the places getting to know them really well.

I started the year with a month-long trip to Indonesia where we explored 5 islands; Sumbawa, Bali, Lombok, Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan. You can see our first ever travel video from this adventure here. Some other highlights of 2016 are the road trip I took with my parents and sister from Andalucia to Murcia in Spain, a week in Malta (even though we mostly had bad weather) and as you might have guessed if you follow me on Instagram, my recent trip to Sri Lanka.

Throughout the year I also went back and forth between my home in Norway and my boyfriend’s place in Kraków, Poland. We did a lot of small trips around the country and ended up visiting 6 different cities, five castles and eating way too much delicious cheap food.

Even though I’m terrified of flying I somehow managed to get on 28 flights this year. It took a lot of tears and freak outs during turbulence, but it was so worth it in the end. Now I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for me, but first, here are my 10 favorite travel photos from 2016!

1. Whales & Waves Resort on Sumbawa, Indonesia.Favorite travel photos of 2016 - Sumbawa, Indonesia

2. Tanjung Aan Beach, Lombok, Indonesia.Favorite travel photos of 2016 - Tanjung Aan, Lombok, Indonesia

3. Warung Agung Beach Cafe, Mangrove Forest Road, Nusa Lembongan, IndonesiaFavorite travel photos of 2016 - Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

4. Puente Nuevo Bridge & El Tajo Gorge, Ronda, SpainFavorite travel photos of 2016 - Ronda, Spain

5. The Citadel, Victoria, Gozo, Malta Favorite travel photos of 2016 - Gozo, Malta

6. Ogrodzieniec Castle, PolandFavorite travel photos of 2016 - Ogrodzieniec Castle, Poland

7. Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, Kandy, Sri LankaFavorite travel photos of 2016 - Kandy, Sri Lanka

8. “The world’s most scenic train ride” from Kandy to Ella, Sri LankaFavorite travel photos of 2016 - train Kandy to Ellan, Sri Lanka

9. Talalla Beach, Sri LankaFavorite travel photos of 2016 - Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka

10. On my way to Morskie Oko Lake, High Tatra Mountains, Poland. This photo looks especially serene, but what you don’t see is the family with the screaming kid on the rock next to me, some large horses being washed behind me and a group of tourists competing for one selfie-stick to my left. It’s all about finding that right angle 😉Favorite travel photos of 2016 - High Tatra Mountains, Poland

I have to say thank you thank you to my boyfriend for most of these photos. He’s always patient and willing to do a lot to get the perfect shot. And thanks to my dad for the photo from Ronda, Spain. And yes I do realize that me with my back to the camera is a reoccurring theme in these photos, so one of my New Year resolutions is definitely to get more creative in that department.

 

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Destinations Sri Lanka

Why you should visit Tangalle beach Sri Lanka

19. December 2016

Tangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandSo I’ve already spoken very highly about Talalla and the beaches around Arugam Bay. But I have to say that Tangalle is my favorite of all the beaches we checked out during our two weeks in Sri Lanka. The beach stretches for miles on both sides of Tangalle town, so you’ll most certainly find a little part you can have all to yourself.

The two sides, however, couldn’t be more different. On the west side, secluded coves make for calmer water, which today caters to luxury villas and a more upmarket clientele. So to no surprise, we decided to stay on the east side.

Related post: The ultimate two-week Sri Lanka Itinerary

There the beach is dotted with small homestays and quaint seafood restaurants. The only downside has to be the quite rough water and large waves crashing onto shore. So it goes without saying that not all parts of the east side are swimmable.

We ended up liking the area around Serena Beach Hotel the best, where you have the picturesque mangroves to one side and the beach and ocean to the other. Rent a canoe and explore the mangroves or lounge at one of the many restaurants/bars along the beach.

I spent the two days in Tangalle collecting seashells, playing with puppies, drinking iced tea and of course taking photos of all the different palm trees.🌴🌴🌴 Our time there was super relaxing, I only wish we had stayed longer. Two days was not nearly enough time.

The stunning beach isn’t the only thing the area has to offer. Close by you’ll also find Rekawa turtle-watching beach, Hummanaya blowhole and the colorful Buddhist rock monastery, Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara.

It seemed to me like tourism hasn’t taken off in Tangalle yet, at least not on the east side. But keep in mind that we visited outside of high season, so I can’t tell you how crowded the beach is during the months of December – March (high season).

Here are some photos that I hope and think will inspire you to visit Tangalle beach, Sri Lanka.

Tangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandThe ultimate two week Sri Lanka itinerary - Tangalle BeachTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the islandTangalle beach, Sri Lanka - One of the most beautiful beaches on the island

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Destinations Sri Lanka

The ultimate 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary

7. December 2016

The ultimate two week Sri Lanka itinerary - Unawatuna// Contains affiliate links

This itinerary is mainly based around the beach, but I think I still managed to cover most of the must-see attractions the island has to offer. When I visit a country for the first time, I like to see and do as much as possible. So this is somewhat of a fast pace itinerary. That also means this itinerary is largely based around hiring drivers as opposed to relying on public transport. But the time saved was well worth the extra money in my mind. Tip: If you are more of a nature/hiking person, then maybe skip Talalla beach and stay a couple of extra days in Ella.

Here is my ultimate 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary:

Day 1 – Kandy
Start the day off with a walk into the town center and find a tuk-tuk driver that can be with you the whole day. Remember to ask around for prices, we got quoted from 2500 to 5000 Rs. We ended up with a driver that charged 3000Rs / $20, as he seemed super passionate about the city and eager to show it to us.

First stop is the Royal Botanical Gardens. Try to get there as early as possible to be able to enjoy the beautiful grounds in peace and quiet. They open 7.30 AM. After a couple of hours surrounded by nature, find your driver and head for the Ceylon Tea Museum. There you’ll get a tour of one of the island’s earliest tea factories and of course a cup of tea.

Now it’s time for lunch. Ask your driver to recommend a restaurant, jump on Tripadvisor and find one yourself or do as we did, enjoy some delicious fried goodies from the street vendors. The best samosa and roti we had during our whole trip were in Kandy! Finish the day off at the large Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue for some stunning city views.

Ask your hotel to arrange a driver for the next day, we got a great deal at 12000 Rs / $80.

Day 2 – Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya Rock
Wake up early at about 6 in the morning and head for Polonnaruwa. The drive is three hours each way, so remember to bring water and snacks, and wear comfy clothes. Because the ancient city is located in a desert area it gets super hot inside, so wear a hat of some sort and be sure to bring sunscreen. For more tips and recommendations, read my Polonnaruwa guide here!Sri Lanka Itinerary - The incredible ancient city of Polonnaruwa - A must visit while in Sri LankaAfter two/three hours in the city, you’re probably getting quite hungry. Stop at a restaurant on your way to Sigiriya Rock or enjoy some local dishes in the parking lot of Gal Vihara like we did.

The drive from Polonnaruwa to Sigiriya Rock is about one hour 10 minutes, which means you’ll spend the hottest part of the day in an air-conditioned car. Relax and recharge before starting the 45 min hike up the rock. Take your time, I don’t want you to sweat to death!

The last mission of the day is to buy a ticket for tomorrow’s train ride to Ella. When arriving back in Kandy, ask your driver to stop at the train station before he drops you off at your hotel.

Day 3 – Kandy to Ella
If you didn’t get a ticket last night, arrive at the station a couple of hours early to secure a spot on the train. Choose between first, second and third class. I would suggest second class, a lot cheaper than first and you’ll be able to hang out the window to get those great shots.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the journey from Kandy to Ella. The journey is said to be “the world’s most beautiful train ride”. I haven’t been on that many trains in my life, so I can’t say for sure. But the experience was pretty spectacular, even when it was raining.The ultimate two week Sri Lanka itinerary - Kandy to Ella trainAfter about six hours you’ll arrive in Ella. Like I said, you need to decide if you want to stay here or head straight to Arugam Bay like we did. If you, like us, want to spend your time at the beach, find a driver at the train station. We found two other travelers looking for transportation, so we ended up sharing a van. The little over three-hour drive only set us back 3000Rs /  each.

Day 4 – Arugam Bay
First of all be sure to read my guide to the top 10 things to do in Arugam Bay. After a lot of sightseeing and traveling so far this trip, spend this day exploring A-Bay and relax on the beach. There are also a lot of great restaurants in Arugam Bay, some of which I talk about in this post. And if you want to do some shopping, A-Bay is a great spot to do so. I got a tailor-made bikini, so fun! The ultimate Sri Lanka itinerary - Arugam Bay

Day 5 – Arugam Bay
Ask your hotel to help you arrange a safari in Kumana National Park, about 50 minutes south of A-Bay. There are many different companies offering different kinds of packages, some short and some whole day adventures. So if you want to spend a bit more time researching, ask around for prices. Our hotel manager set the whole thing up for us and arranged for the car to pick us up at the hotel. We paid 12.500Rs, which included entry to the park, a guide and the car all to ourselves.The ultimate two week Sri Lanka itinerary - Arugam Bay safari

Day 6 – Arugam Bay
Get up early and find a tuk-tuk driver that will take you to Kudumbigala Monastery, located on the outskirts of Kumana National Park, about 30km south of A-Bay. It was built all the way back in 246 BC as a refuge for Buddhist monks that wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. The view from the top alone is worth the hike, just be aware of the wild animals.

After lunch back in town, it’s time for some water activities. A-Bay is a great place for surfers at every level. Peanut Farm, about 15 minutes south, has a great beginner wave in addition to a more advanced one. It seemed to be the spot of choice for the surf schools, at least there were a lot of soft boards in the water. If you are a more seasoned surfer you should also check out Pottuvil Point, Whiskey Point and Light House, all north of the bay. Further south you’ll find Elephant Rock and Okanda. If you haven’t booked a school in advance I would walk down the main street and ask around for prices. Safa Surf Camp is supposed to be awesome! If you don’t want to learn to surf, all these beaches are great just for sunbathing, Peanut Parm is my favorite.

Day 7 – Tangalle
It’s now time to move on to the next beach. The drive from Arugam Bay to Tangalle takes about 4 hours.The ultimate two week Sri Lanka itinerary - Tangalle BeachSpend the rest of the day exploring the incredibly beautiful beach. Remember to arrange for a driver to pick you up at about 7AM tomorrow.

Day 8 – Tangalle
Wake up early and head for the colorful Buddhist rock monastery, Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara. The guides in the temple charge about 1000Rs / $6.

Back in town enjoy lunch at one of the many great seafood restaurants and spend a couple of hours soaking up some sun at the beach.

Finish the day off with a sunset boat ride through the mangroves on Tangalle Lagoon. Some hotels in the area offer free canoes, but I would suggest supporting the local fishermen that will happily take you out in their boats for about 1000-2000Rs / $6-13.

Day 9 – Talalla
If you feel like it, allow yourself to sleep in and enjoy a slow morning. Then drive to Talalla, another gorgeous beach only 40 minutes west of Tangalle. Go for a swim in the crystal clear turquoise water and have fish and chips for lunch at Sun Bay Lanka seafood restaurant (pictured below).

Treat yourself to an Ayurveda massage at Talalla Beach Bungalows before dinner.

The ultimate two week Sri Lanka itinerary - Talalla Beach

Day 10 – Talalla
Ask your hotel to call for a tuk-tuk driver or go out to the main road and hail one yourself. Head for the picturesque Dondra Lighthouse, located on the southernmost tip of the island. If you want to save some money you can take your chances on a local bus instead of a tuk-tuk. Brig your swimwear as there are several small beaches in the area.

Finish the day off with dinner and drinks at Hotel Panorama while enjoying the most stunning view of the sunset.

Day 11 – Unawatuna
Arrange for a driver to take you to Unawatuna, only one hour west of Talalla. We stayed at a place called Nature Villa, which I highly recommend. Like the name suggests, it felt like we were in the middle of a jungle, but in reality only a three-minute walk from the beach. Monkeys jumped from tree to tree above us, chipmunks played on our roof and monitor lizards chilled in the sun just across the creek.

After settling into your hotel, spend some time at the main beach and enjoy an early lunch. I can recommend the tuna filet and chicken wrap at Catamaran restaurant right on the sand.The top 5 best Unawatuna restaurants - Catamaran

Find a tuk-tuk and drive down the coast. Stop at beaches like Weligama (where you can see the traditional stilt fishermen) and Midigama, before spending the rest of the day at Mirissa Beach. Many of the beaches in this area are also great for surfing.

Back in Unawatuna have dinner at Jina’s Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant, one of my favorites in Sri Lanka. If you want one of the Indian main courses you should order it earlier in the day. We, however, liked the Mexican dishes the best.

Day 12 – Unawatuna
Spend the morning at Jungle Beach, just five minutes from Unawatuna. After some hours in the sun and exploring the jungle, find a tuk-tuk and head to Galle Fort.

The 400-year-old Dutch fort is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Inside the walls you’ll find a maze of narrow streets, dotted with colonial villas, quaint cafes, galleries and boutiques.

Have a juicy burger and some iced tea at “The Original Rocket Burger”, a cool retro restaurant just a couple of streets over from the lighthouse. Sit down at the table out on their balcony and do some people watching. The ultimate two week Sri Lanka itinerary - Galle Fort

Day 13 – Unawatuna
Spend the day at Dalawella Beach, one of my favorite places in Sri Lanka. Sit down for a relaxing lunch at Wijaya, a cool beach restaurant that specializes in pizza. Yum! Be sure to also check out the fun palm tree swing, a little further up the beach.

In the afternoon find a tuk-tuk and go visit the Dog Care Clinic. The work they do on the island is incredible and desperately needed. If you are able to make a donation, it will be greatly appreciated.

Depending on when your flight leaves, this might be your last dinner on the island for now. Mati Gedara is the perfect place to round off your trip. Their traditional Sri Lankan buffet is both extremely delicious and cheap. Right across the street you’ll find mmmh Surcé & Salé, where you should finish the night off with a Nutella Crépe.

Dalawella beach right next to Unawatuna, Sri Lanka - Palm Tree Swing

Day 14
Spend the last day of your trip at the beach you liked best, as you can see there are many to choose from. If you have the time, stop by the Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery. If you’re lucky you’ll get to set a small turtle free on the beach.

I hope you can put this Sri Lanka itinerary to good use. Be sure to pin it for later!

 

Sunshine Seeker is finally on Facebook! Click on the blue button to follow along on my journey!

 

Some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you. This helps me cover the costs of running my site – so thank you in advance ! I only ever link to products and services I use and love myself!



Destinations Sri Lanka

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka – Tropical Paradise

29. November 2016

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Tropical Paradise// Contains affiliate links

Sri Lanka’s south coast is lined with picturesque white sand beaches, some more popular than others. For some reason, most people flock to the more touristy towns like Unawatuna and Mirissa. I however, really enjoyed my time in Talalla. The mostly untouched beach is lined with a lush green palm tree jungle and the water sparkle in 50 shades of blue. A true tropical paradise, just how I like it!

Although undeniably beautiful, it seemed like most people missed out on this little gem of a place. We spent three whole days here and met four other travelers. Talalla Beach is the perfect place to unwind and relax, as there isn’t much else to do, at least not during low season. So after one and a half week of non-stop sightseeing, it was exactly what we wanted.

As usual, we had a hard time choosing accommodation. To be right on the beach or on top of the hill with incredible views? I know, a tough decision to make. The prices in Sri Lanka are a bit higher than what I’m used to when traveling in Asia. And what you get, isn’t always what you think you paid for. But then again that’s just a result of low demand, so I shouldn’t really complain. Pay up and enjoy the deserted places, like the gorgeous Talalla Beach.

Related post: Dalawella Beach – Unawatuna

 

We had heard so many great things about Talalla Retreat, but in the end I wasn’t brave enough to stay in the open-air room (which was the only available option at the time of our stay). All I could think about was creepy crawlies coming into my bed at night. But if you’re not a sissy like me, the retreat looks incredible and is probably worth checking out. Their rooms range from a dormitory at $35 a night up to a large sea view room for a little under $120 a night. They also offer yoga and surf packages which include all meals.

The incredible view was what made us decide to stay at Hotel Panorama. We booked ahead and paid about $55 a night for the fan room including breakfast. However, after two minutes in the hot and humid room, we decided to spend $20 on an upgrade to one with AC. Much more than what we would normally spend, but this time it was worth it.

Though quite outdated, the deluxe rooms are large, clean and have unobstructed sea views. The only complaint I have is the bad internet connection, it only worked in the restaurant and reception area. Other than that we truly loved our stay. The people that own it are lovely and will help you with anything you need. And just a tip: Even if you choose not to stay at Hotel Panorama, you should go up there for a beer at sunset.

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Hotel Panorama viewView from the restaurant at Hotel Panorama.

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Tropical Paradise

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Tropical Paradise DogOur cute friend I talked about in the dog clinic post. He came sprinting down the beach as soon as he spotted us, every day. So happy even though he was covered in scratches and tics. To burst the tropical paradise bubble, the state of the stray dogs at Talalla Beach was the worst we saw during our entire trip. Some without any fur, some with huge open wounds, some with limbs hanging on by a thread and some completely blind.

Related post: Unawatuna Dog Care Clinic

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Fish restaurantSome delicious fish & chips at the Sun Bay Lanka seafood restaurant, in the middle of the beach. The owner is super nice and helpful, so you’ll probably end up here at least once a day. Most of the hotels along the beach also have restaurants, the one at Talalla Beach Bungalows is great. In addition to whipping up some tasty seafood they also offer Ayurveda massages, which Sri Lanka is famous for.

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Tropical Paradise

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Tropical ParadiseNo, holding on to my hat is not my go-to pose, but rather a necessity as it was so incredibly windy while we were there. But that’s what we get for visiting outside of high season. The climate in Sri Lanka can be a bit tricky to understand, due to the two monsoons that affect the small island. Temperatures remain fairly constant year round, it’s the rain and wind that’s the real pain in the butt. So the best time to visit the south coast is from December to March.

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Hotel PanoramaHotel Panorama on top of the hill.
Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Hotel Panorama breakfast

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Hotel Panorama hibiscusTalalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Bohemian girlTalalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Hotel Panorama viewThe view from our awesome balcony. I love being surrounded by green and turquoise!

Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Jungle girlTalalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Local ladies workingTalalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Tuk-TukTalalla Beach, Sri Lanka - HibiscusTalalla Beach, Sri Lanka - Hotel Panorama sunset viewTalalla sunsets are gorgeous. Hotel Panorama was the perfect place to sit down and relax with a drink in hand at the end of each day.

 

What’s your favorite beach in Sri Lanka?

Some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them, at no extra cost to you. This helps me cover the costs of running my site – so thank you in advance ! I only ever link to products and services I use and love myself!



Destinations Sri Lanka

My favorite Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels

16. November 2016

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Sri Lanka// Contains affiliate links

I’ve already talked about how much I loved Arugam Bay and the top 10 things to do in town, so now let’s take a look at where you should stay and eat. We had 5 days in the bay so we only tested one hotel ourselves, but I tried to sneak a peak wherever I could to get you some great options. When it comes to restaurants however, I of course tried as many as possible. I have chosen my favorites in terms of price, taste and atmosphere, which you can read about further down.

The best Arugam Bay hotelsThe best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Stay Golden Sri Lanka

Stay Golden 

There are so many great accommodation options to choose from in Arugam Bay, which made it hard to settle on one. After a lot of back and forth, we finally decided on Stay Golden. Much thanks to the treehouse look of the cabana and the location right on the beach. The large cabana comes with a double bed, a two story porch with a hammock, a generously sized ensuite bathroom and pretty good wifi. We paid about $60 a night, which is a bit more than we normally would spend, but we just liked the look of the place so much that we couldn’t help ourselves.

Stay golden is definitely picture perfect, but it got pretty hot and humid inside with no AC. So if you’re a wandering sauna like me, you might want to think twice about staying here during the hottest months.

Get $35 off your first stay with Airbnb here!

We stayed in Cabana 9, which I can’t find the link to at the moment, but here’s the link to cabana 8. As you can see we could literally walk off the porch into the sand. The swimmable part of the beach, however, is about a five-minute walk south. If you get hungry just order from the great selection of the onsite restaurant or walk across the road To Food Nest (more on that further down).

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Hideaway Resort Sri LankaThe best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Stay Golden Sri LankaThe best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Stay Golden Sri LankaWe had breakfast on the porch every morning, though it was not included in the room price.

The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Surfer Sri LankaIf you think Stay Golden is too expensive, check out Beach View Hotel, close to the swimmable part of the beach and Main Point surf spot. Their wooden cabanas start at only $30 a night.

If you are on an even tighter budget, The Long Hostel might be for you. I heard people rave about this place, and after doing some research online I found even more glowing recommendations. It’s not often you see a hostel score a 9.6 out of 10 overall and a 10 on cleanliness! For only $23 a night you get a double room with fan and bathroom.

Upali Beach Surf Resort was one of the other places we considered. It’s an eco-resort located right in front of Main Point surf break, so you can roll out of bed, walk 20 steps and jump in the water. Or watch the surf from the shade while enjoying some delicious treats from the bar. The rooms are actually tents ranging from very basic to a super cool cabana/tent hybrid with lots of space. Price was the main reason why we didn’t choose to stay at Upali, as the basic tent with shared bathroom is $35 a night and the junior suite cabana is $160 a night. If money wasn’t an issue I would have loved to stay in the suite for a couple of nights, the basic tent didn’t really speak to me.The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Upali Sri Lanka

Hideaway Resort is a green oasis right in the middle of town. I talked a bit about their restaurant in this post, so I thought I should also touch on their accommodations options. Hideaway comprises 14 gorgeously decorated rooms in total, ranging in price from $53 to $155. Inside the compound you’ll also find a bar, a cafe and on Sundays a market where local artisans showcase their products. Somehow they’ve managed to create such a calming, spiritual and health conscious atmosphere within those yellow walls. I like it!The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Hideaway Resort Sri LankaThe best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Hideaway Resort Sri LankaThe first photo you saw in this post is of a place called Paradise Sand Beach Hotel. I can’t find a link to any booking sites, but it looked so good and well maintained from the road that I had to include it. They also get great reviews on Tripadvisor.

 

My favorite Arugam Bay restaurants

Food Nest, right across the street from Stay Golden, ended up being one of our go-to restaurants. Not just because of the convenient location, but also because they have a wood fired pizza oven and you get free garlic bread with your dinner! Mmm carbs… To top it all off they made the best pineapple mojito I’ve ever had, and I’m not even that into mojitos. The restaurant itself is kind of a makeshift shed-like structure with a sand floor and beautiful fairy lights in all the trees. Unfortunately is seemed liked most people missed out on this little gem, as they walked straight past probably allured by the lights of the main restaurant hub a little further down the street. But please give it a try, you won’t regret it, I think. And did I mention free wifi?!The best Arugam restaurants and hotels - Food Nest pizza restaurantWARNING: this post contains some crappy mobile photos, I didn’t bother bringing my camera to dinner most nights. I know…. bad blogger!

We spotted Beach Side Restaurant, part of the Arugam Bay Surf Resort, as we walked home along the beach. I saw the colorful Mexican sign and suddenly felt quite hungry. Some parts of the restaurant could do with a little sprucing up, but the new small tiki bar was cool and looked like something out of the Caribbean. We didn’t like the beef taco, as there were a bit too much fat and chewy bits in it. But the hard shell chicken taco you see below tasted really good, and so did the chips and guacamole. A perfect afternoon snack after a long and hot day at the beach.The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Mexican food Sri Lanka

There are so many great local places to choose from in A-Bay, just don’t get discouraged by a shabby exterior. In my experience, the shabbier the restaurant the more authentic and tasty food. With some exceptions of course. I’m so bad at remembering names of the local spots we try, and quite often they don’t have an internet presence so they’re hard to track down. But the one I do remember is Blue Ocean, where we had a mixed plate of vegetable curries. One plate was more than enough for two and only set us back 400Rs / $3. For me that was the best local dish I had during our whole trip. The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Blue Ocean restaurant Sri Lanka

Zephyr is one of the top restaurants on Tripadvisor, and for good reason. The beachside location makes it the perfect place to bring your partner for a romantic candlelight dinner overlooking the rolling waves. We shared vegetable tempura as a starter, then I had the pesto pasta and for dessert we shared a brownie with ice cream. Yum, is all I have to say. The main course was quite small though, so keep that in mind when ordering. After Hideaway Resort, this was the most expensive place we had dinner in Arugam Bay. But both the food and the atmosphere made it worth it. And of course the cocktails, this was one of the only places we found in Sri Lanka that offered a good selection of cocktails.The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Zephyr Sri Lanka

Break point is another one of the top eateries in the area on Tripadvisor. We had a hard time finding this small, narrow restaurant, as it is squeezed in between to other stalls. And when my boyfriend finally spotted it, it was packed full of people. So we had to come back the next day, and I’m so happy we did. The breaded chicken sandwich, hummus and falafel were all super yummy. Their fresh food, cakes and delicious iced tea, make Breakpoint a must while in A-Bay. The best Arugam restaurants and hotels - Breakpoint restaurant

Love beach bar is the perfect spot to cool down in the shade or get your tan on at one of the huge sun loungers, with a cold drink in hand. As you can see below the little establishment is quite easy on the eyes and what I would call Instagram friendly. But the best part is that they serve cocktails, smoothies, lemonade and ICED TEA! If you have read my blog for a while, you probably know that I’m an iced tea addict, so any place with the words homemade iced tea on the sign is a winner in my book. Anyway, Love Beach Bar is a great place to relax away from the crowds.The best Arugam Bay restaurants & hotels - Love Beach Bar Sri Lanka

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