Turtle Bay is a beachside boutique hotel perched on a hillock with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, reached through the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary just half an hour from Tangalle. Named after the endangered marine turtles that come to nest on the shores nearby, Turtle Bay plays a vital role in their conservation as well as that of the surrounding Kalametiya wilderness. Go on an early-morning birdwatching excursion by boat into the Kalametiya sanctuary, relax by the poolside or unwind with a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage. By night, head off to Rekuwa beach to observe the marine turtles nesting. Turtle Bay supports the government wildlife department in its effort at nature conservation in the area.
There are seven ensuite a/c bedrooms – two located on the ground floor and five on the second floor, named after the seven species of marine turtle. Rooms open out to a private balcony or veranda with magnificent sea views and have ensuite bathrooms with h/w rain showers and natural Ayurvedic toiletries. Rooms have king-sized beds dressed in white linen. Other in-room facilities include: a/c, overhead fan, minibar, coffee/tea facilities, safety locker, telephone with IDD, bathrobe, slippers and hair dryer. There is also the option of in-room dining as well as room and laundry service.
The ground floor has a lounge and dining area overlooking the swimming pool and the sea beyond. The roof terrace is perfect for dining under the stars, taking in the sunset, or bird watching. Sri Lankan rice and curries and western dishes are served here, with an emphasis on fresh seafood including prawns, crab and lobster, purchased directly from the local fisherman and prepared to your liking. The in-house Ayurvedic wellness centre has a range of relaxing massages on offer, supervised by an Ayurvedic doctor. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. As well as the main pool there is a separate small children’s pool. The gardens at Turtle Bay slope downhill, leading to the Indian Ocean waters, and attract plenty of birds. The secluded stretch of beach by the hotel is perfect for early morning walks and swimming is safe here during the season from November to March. The hotel owns a trishaw and boat that can be used by guests for bird watching excursions within the Lunama Lagoon (inside the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary).
Why we like it
Turtle Bay has an excellent location on a largely untouched part of the south coast, close to Kalametiya bird sanctuary
The journey to Turtle Bay from Colombo’s international airport will take about four hours via the southern highway. There is also the option of taking a 30 minute connecting Sri Lankan Airlines flight from Colombo’s International Airport to Mattala Airport in Hambantota: the drive from Mattala Airport to Turtle Bay is only about one and a half hours.