From the editors of Lonely Planet
Pssst…! Want a tip off on the next big name on the Sri Lankan beach scene? If Unawatuna is too hectic for you, Mirissa past it’s best, and Tangalla just so yesterday, then may we suggest Talalla? Just a few short kilometers east of Dondra and squirreled away down muddy dirt tracks, this is one of those near-pristine beaches that really do define all tropical beach postcard cliches. This 2km-long curve of sand is almost totally untouched by tourism development. Only two hotels hide away under the palms at its western edge along with a handful of brightly painted fishing boats pulled on its soft sand. To tell the truth this place is still so undiscovered that we faced a dilemma of whether or not to tell you about it! Sounds good? Well you’ve only heard half of it, because not only is the beach breathtaking but it’s also home to what we rate as one of the best beach hotels in Sri Lanka.
Talalla Retreat (041-225-9171; www.talallaretreat.com; Gandara; s/d incl breakfast US$118/142) really couldn’t be better named. Everything about a stay here is designed to lull you into a state of utter bliss. It’s set in large grounds filled with bird song, frolicking squirrels, and playful monkeys. Half the rooms here are completely open plan, allowing you to live an alfresco life of outdoor showers and nights peering at the starts from your four-post bed. The other rooms are just as romantic, but offer slightly more privacy! Excellent yoga courses are available, the restaurant serves totally organic food, there’s a beautiful pool and, should you feel the need to be more energetic, surf lessons are also available. Book Now!
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