Thambapanni Retreat clings to the edge of the wooded retreat of Mount Rumassala, a few minutes stroll from Unawatuna Beach, Galle's budget beach hangout It is a good choice for those hankering for secluded, affordable surroundings, yet only a short stroll from a lively and youthful beach. Wander 300 metres and you can loll on the much-loved sandy bay of Unawatuna, yet Thambapanni itself clings to a steeply-sloping hillside and is part hidden in tropical foliage, giving it an eco feel more attuned to the hill country. Legend has it that Mount Rumassala was formed when the God Hanuman accidentally dropped a patch of land, replete with medicinal herbs, on Unawatuna. Thambapanni perches in this wooded retreat like a large, luxurious tree house. This is a shady and secluded place, guarded by bamboo, mango and kitul trees, sounding only to resplendent birdsong and the occasional gambolling of monkeys and squirrels.
Superior Rooms are 640 sq. ft with wooden floors, a spacious balcony to hang a hammock and have Dutch period antique furniture. En-suite bathrooms, hot / cold running water, mini bar, satellite t/v and air conditioning come standard. Comprises Cave House: incorporated into a boulder and decorated with traditional Sri Lankan furniture; Gama Gedara: Inspired by a traditional village headman’s cottage, open roof bathroom, along with traditional southern interior décor; Sea View Superior: Views of Unawatuna bay with antique furniture, hammock and authentic Dutch era bath tub.
Deluxe Rooms have colonial era furniture en-suite bathrooms, hot / cold running water, mini bar, satellite t/v and a/c. Options are Villa: Set into the surrounding, combining the green woods and the boulders; Tower Suite: Enjoy the view from a vantage point overlooking the surrounding greenery; Suite: Adjacent to the swimming pool.
Standard Rooms: Standard doubles have four poster, traditional beds and en-suite bathrooms, hot / cold running water, mini bar, satellite t/v and a/c, fans.
A tiny, tiled swimming pool enhances the natural surroundings. A terrace restaurant offers a choice of Sri Lankan, Chinese and Western dishes. From the highest bungalow, about 75 feet above reception, Unawatuna Bay glistens invitingly. A small wellness centre offers yoga, meditation, Reiki, massages and a herbal steam sauna.
Why We Like It
Beautiful gardens around a nice pool make it very cool in the tropical heat and you might even be watched by a troupe of monkeys.
Thambapanni is a short walk to Unawatuna's beach bars and restaurants. About 2.5 hours from the international airport by the Southern Highway – or take the air taxi to Koggala.