One and a half hours south of Colombo lie Bentota, Balapitiya and Kosgoda – relatively quiet beach destinations offering a mixture of larger resorts, fine boutique hotels and villas. These are situated at discreet intervals from one another and some are the creation of revered architect, Geoffrey Bawa. The beaches on the west coast are golden and the sea is calmer than the south coast, making it a great option for families and couples alike. It’s worth noting that a railway line backs some of the hotels in Bentota, but we feel this doesn’t cause too much disruption, as the trains are fairly infrequent. Many people feel this actually adds to the colonial ambience and they enjoy waving to the passers by.
There’s plenty to do on the west coast of Sri Lanka: visit a nearby turtle hatchery, the Tsunami Community Museum and memorials, try your hand at some water sports, check out Bevis Bawa’s Brief Gardens (designed by Geoffrey’s brother), or the Madu Ganga River safari is a must-do for nature lovers! This area is also well known for the ancient tradition of mask making. Finished masks are used to decorate homes, in dance performances and festivals. Alternatively, you can simply relax by the pool, wander along the long sandy beach, or explore the local towns.