Other Red Dot Sites: Maldives
The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Time Magazine, no less, suggested that Ice Bear was "a hotel where time stands still" and called it "a Merchant Ivory confection of tea and linen." Well, "hotel" might be stretching the point, because stock hotel facilities are irrelevant when considering the success of this charming guest house, where relaxation comes easily. The imaginative budget traveller will love Ice Bear’s simple sense of difference, its little antique flourishes, and its legendary breakfasts on the patio – influenced by Gerry, its Swiss owner – which should guard against any outbreak of lunchtime peckishness. A recent addition to Ice Bear is the Century Café, housed in a refurbished colonial bungalow in the heart of Negombo town. The two bedroom apartment on the upper floor of the café offers an added accommodation option for guests at Ice Bear.
There are eight bedrooms located in the Bungalow, Villa and Garden Cottage. In-room facilities include overhead ceiling fans (some bedrooms have a/c); single or double beds fitted with mosquito netting, and attached bathrooms with h/w showers.
Bungalow: Located close to the sea, the bungalow has two double Deluxe Rooms. One is more spacious and can be made a triple, and is designed studio style, with a separate dressing room and a kitchenette.
Villa: The villa has four bedrooms: two double rooms which share a bathroom; one ensuite double room that can be tripled, and a single room.
Garden Cottage: One double and one single room. Neither room has a/c.
Nangi Apartment: Next door is the Ice Bear Nangi (`sister’ in Sinhalese). This is a holiday apartments for longer stays. There are three bedrooms, given out for a minimum of three nights.
Century Apartment: Situated on Main Street just five minutes away, this self-catering apartment is housed in a refurbished, century-old colonial bungalow and occupies the top floor of Ice Bear’s new Century Café. The apartment has a spacious living and dining area, fully-equipped kitchen and two bedrooms (one double and a twin) with a shared bathroom. Interiors are furnished with antiques. Food can be ordered from the café downstairs.
Both apartments have a fully equipped kitchen, terrace and separate garage. Services include weekly cleaning, free butler service, TV, CD player, Wi-Fi and laundry service, Guests at the Nangi and Century Apartments are welcome to use all facilities at Ice Bear.
Simple open-air restaurant that serves huge breakfasts, snacks, afternoon tea in peak season, and the daily Captain’s Dinner, which Ice Bear claims is a ‘cult’. Set in a confined tropical garden with direct access to a broad, sandy beach, Ice Bear also houses a rudimentary yoga and Ayurvedic massage centre as well as endless sculptures and carvings. Little extras include CD player and hair dryers, minibar, TV, a small library stocked with magazines and complimentary cycle hire.
Negombo, one hour north of Colombo, is one of the most youthful beach resorts in Sri Lanka. Throughout bad times and good, the Ice Bear has laid claim to be the best guesthouse in town: welcoming, artistic, ever so eccentric and with a prized beachfront location. The journey from the international airport is just 30 minutes.
Red Dot Average Score - 19 Reviews
Ratings based on real traveller reviews in the past 4 years
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