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All reviewsfree kayaksnatural poolbeach cabanasri lankapolished concretesafe areaswimming areamosquito netrestaurant area istwo nightsstrong currentstuk tukgreat cabanasparadise on earthhigh wavescold beerno hot water
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Reviewed 21 December 2011

Called and booked a cabana (simple hut) for two nights at 5000 rupees, about 50 dollar. When we got there, we were told wthe price actually was 5000 plus tax, and that we would need to move to the even more expensive chalets at the other side if the river. And not an excuse from the unfriendly manager.
Cabana on the beach was very basic but had a nice view. Strange design of bathroom, that you open through a latch door in the floor. Not ideal for getting up in the night. Only cold water.
Breakfast was 500-650 rupees extra, nothing special. Food overall on the expensive side due to lack om competition.
Enough said, after the first night we moved out and went to a better room 100 meters down the beach, on the Lonely Beach Resort. Almost half price - with great breakfast, warm water and friendly hosts.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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3  Thank mb10000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2011

When we arrived at sunset from a long and tiring drive from Colombo, we felt like we had slipped into a secret paradise. It is remote, secluded, romantic.

The cabanas are delightfully rustic, with bathrooms below a trap door and bedrooms open to the elements. Unfortunately, that means you have to share with lots of critters! Yes, there are lizards. Insects. Occasional roaches even. And we DID wake up with some huge, mysterious, disturbing insect bites. We realized that the mosquito netting actually fell behind the headboard , so wee beasties could get in! After that, we sprayed down the netting and made sure it was tucked in on all sides. I suggest you do the same.

Our cabana opened right to the front with a beach view, and it was also the last in the row, so we felt secluded. Perfect!

The restaurant is excellent and the atmosphere is sublime. We ate there for all of our meals and were never disappointed. Try the Sri Lankan breakfast instead of the western breakfast... it is strangely addictive. You can sink your toes in the sand and listen to the waves and ocean breeze while you eat. One word of caution: it gets very buggy at night, so you must use insect repellent.

The beach is long, clean, and almost completely empty. Perfect for wandering aimlessly. Be advised that you can not swim there, however. The riptides are dangerous. We did see a little protected area about a 10-minute walk up the beach where you can get into the water, but it's not really for swimming.

We took several trips arranged for us by Mangrove. They did seem a bit pricy, but they were very enjoyable. We took a trip to a jungle temple and a trip to see sea turtle laying eggs on the beach. Both were great, but the latter was kind of magical. You walk down the beach at night, and every step is lit up by phosphorescent micro-organisms! It was fascinating to watch a turtle lay her eggs, bury them, and return to the sea.

In summary, this is a great place if you really want to get away from it all (which we did!). The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is the insect issue and lack of a place to swim. But the whole experience was tremendously peaceful, and I would love to go back again someday.

Room Tip: Choose a cabana in the front, and if you can get the one furthest away, so much the better!
  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Laurel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2011

not that close to tangalle... i think that is a selling point. AMAZING cabanas! they were straight off the set of swiss family robinson... wooden, slatted, rustic charm, trap door that leads to the enormous bathroom. ugh! brilliant, cute, quiet, secluded, peaceful... need i go on?
only downside was that in the night it gets really clammy. uncomfortably so- not sure if it was the time of year we went, the weather, the beach but nighttimes here equal clammy. yuck. better to sleep in the day!
beach is beautiful. waves are big! but you can go in- just time it right- not for the weak swimmers or scaredy cats! food is great- go with what they suggest; fish off the day is best. devilled cashew nuts are a must!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank llw28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2011

We called in to Mangrove Cabanas and looked at the available accomadation. We instantly loved the sea front wooden bungalows. The row at the front have the basement bathroom... Which was fun!

Ok.... It's not for everyone as the rooms are quite basic really. Beautifully designed, but open to the elements and bugs ect. We had a fan, double bed with efficient mosquito net. To access the bathroom you need to lift the hatch back and go down the stairs. It's spacious with great shower, toilet and washbasin, cold showers only... Which was fine (even though are backpacking days ended years ago!). We enjoyed sitting on our little balcony and they serve a decent Gin and Tonic.

The beach, just steps away was empty for as far as the eye could see. It is a wild sea in Oct, I imagine the rock pool area 5 mins walk away in front of the Mangrove Chalets Beach restaurant could be calm enough for a dip in the high season. It feels quite remote, but we felt it was a wonderful place to chill out. Their are a few places to shade from the sun and sun beds, great place to star gaze at night too!

The restaurant menu is simple but serves nice food, the tables and chairs are a piece of joinery excellence (according to my husband). It was low season, but busier on our last night, so curry and rice was available - it was really tasty and plentiful. Breakfast was pleasant, the setting lovely.

The staff are genuinely nice, some are quite shy, but as you get to know them they are helpful and friendly. We didn't meet Preethi the owner, we only met Laxman who we assumed was the owner until minutes before we departed (hence we failed to tip him!! Sorry Laxman). Thank you to Laxman, the chef and the twin boys who served us.

Laxman arranged a really nice young tuk tuk driver who was helpful and reliable. He also arranged a really good driver to take us to Thalpe.

If you wish to spend an extra few pounds the chalets 10 mins walk away over a wooden bridge or 5 mins walk along the beach offer a sealed stone bungalow with en suite bathroom. I think this is where Preethi is based.

We had only planned to stay one night... But ended up staying three, we really enjoyed it and would happily return. It costs about £20 for room only, we realise it differs from the highly expensive boutique hotels, but the the price and if its the kind of location you favour, no crowds, peaceful, long beach walks, the sound of waves crashing on the beach......Its excellent! If anyone wants any further information on the rooms, area ect, please send me a message.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Mintymoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2011

We stayed 2 nights in Beach Cabanas and it was amazing. The wooden cabanas are really nice decorated, comfortable and very clean. Negative point : in October when it's rainy season you expect a hot shower, the food was a bit expensive compare other places.
The place is really nice and quiet, the sea is dangerous but you can swim safely behind the rocks further on the beach.

Room Tip: Cabanas in front of the sea are really nice
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank MilouToug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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