Accommodation in Sri Lanka has been transformed in the recent decade. Initially, Sri Lanka’s beach resorts were aimed primarily at travel groups and at backpackers and were mainly found at the south-western coast of the island, between Negombo and Galle. But the past decade has brought major changes.
1. New resorts have been established north of Negombo and east of Galle. Marawila and Kalpitiya island at the western coast became favourite destinations for all-inclusive tourists and watersports and dolphin watching enthusiasts respectively. Mirissa near Weligama became one of the world’s most significant touristic whalewatching hot spots. Further east, the beaches near Tangalle became quite popular among families looking for small beaches with only few hotels but Ayurveda and modern facilities. Due to a new harbour and international airport, Hambantota is not any more an isolated part of the island.
2. After the end of the civil war in 2009, the east coast is safe again and its traditional resorts Nilaveli for relaxful beach holidays and Arugam Bay for surfers are steadily growing. The east coast has a much better dry climate for holiday makers travelling during the northern hemisphere summer months. This is why Passekudah (Passikuda) became a completely new resort for those looking for very comfortable beach holidays, with a wide range of very modern accommodations, now half a dozen hotels in Passekudah are among the best luxury beach resorts of Sri Lanka.
3. A new trend in the tradtional south-west coast beach resorts is the growth of villas, boutique hotels, and small independent hotels specialized on individual travellers expecting higher standards or something extraordinary. The most prominent example for this trend is the Saman Villas on a scenic outcrop surrounded by kilometres of sandy beaches. Located in the fishing village of Aturuwella near Bentota, this luxury hotel, started in 1995, has been selected as the “Best Boutique Hotel in Sri Lanka” for three consecutive years.
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