Talalla Retreat is a laid back holiday escape and yoga retreat situated in the village of Gandara in Sri Lanka's deep south, close to Matara. Talalla provides a quiet and peaceful setting, a focus on yoga and Ayurvedic wellness and has a placid, almost ethereal feel, tempting the thought that Kiera Knightley or Gwynneth Paltrow might slip peacefully by at any moment. The 30-bedroom property is themed as a wellness retreat offering Yoga and spa treatments at affordable prices, but those just looking for some simple sun worshipping on the beach or around the central swimming pool are also welcome here. Spread across a two acre coconut estate abundant with wildlife, Talalla offers simple yet comfortable accommodation in individual chalets, food prepared with fresh home grown vegetables and herbs and a relaxing atmosphere. Talalla Retreat’s founder, Laurie Rose, has been a yoga practitioner for more than 24 years and Louisa Sear of Yoga Arts is also a partner. Talalla welcomes those interested in Yoga, Tai Chi, martial arts, dance and detox to use their facilities for group retreats and intense workshops.
Talalla Retreat offers accommodation in 66 rooms, categorised into Sea View Villas, Bamboo Hut, Deluxe Rooms, Big House Room, Bungalow Rooms and the Dorm. In-room facilities include: double or twin beds with mosquito netting; a/c or ceiling fan; open-air bathrooms with h/w; writing desk, and a lounge area with a sofa.
Sea View Villas: Occupying the ground and first floors of the retreat, these a/c rooms boast expansive views of the beach and are well-appointed with Sri Lankan furniture and fabrics. All villas feature open-air bathrooms and an open-air pavilion on the top floor has a private balcony, reading desk and ceiling.
Bamboo Hut: These beautifully designed eco-friendly huts are ideal for those who like outdoor living. Bamboo blinds offer a degree of privacy which will delight many, but some will feel this does not allow them to ‘retreat’ quite as much as they would like.
Deluxe Rooms: These feature four-poster beds, open-air bathrooms and a balcony or veranda, giving guests privacy and peace.
Big House Rooms: These partially open-air ensuite rooms are ideal for guests on a tight budget.
Bungalow Rooms: Set in a traditional Sri Lankan-style bungalow, these rooms provide easy access to Talalla’s tropical garden. The bungalow has a common living area, front balcony and shared bathrooms, ideal for those who want to enjoy the comforts of a private room on a budget.
The Dorm: Providing direct access to the beautiful gardens and swimming pool, this accommodation is ideal for guests who will be spending much of their time between yoga and surfing sessions.
Talalla Retreat has a large open sided Yoga pavilion set in tranquil surroundings. Groups of up to 50 can be accommodated here for Yoga sessions. Talalla offers yoga, Tai Chi and guided meditation. There is a resident yoga teacher all year round that conducts morning and afternoon yoga classes as well as monthly intensive yoga retreats. The spa offers relaxing Ayurvedic and aromatherapy massages, body scrubs and beauty treatments. A 20 metre fresh water swimming pool is located in the centre of the garden by the yoga pavilion. The roofed, open-air a la carte restaurant serves Sri Lankan and western cuisine prepared with home grown vegetables and spices. A pathway nearby the restaurant leads to the magnificent Talalla beach – a one mile cove like bay which is safe for swimming year around. The south coast beaches from November to April, is also good for surfing and Talalla Retreat is located right close to many beach breaks and shallow reef breaks. Surfing lessons and surf camps are arranged at Talalla with prior notice.
Why we like it
Yoga on a beautiful beach, meditation, pilates and boxilates - just what a tired mind and body needs
Talalla Retreat is set amidst swaying palms by the secluded crescent-shaped Talalla beach. Gandara is about 3 hours from Colombo by car, or take an Air Taxi from the international airport to Dickwella, which is just a few minutes away.