Boutique family beach hotel, Gurubebila, nr Weligama
A family-friendly retreat overlooking Coconuts reef break and an easy stroll to a range of surf spots – from easy-going Plantations to the challenging Rams. Enjoy surfing lessons with a private instructor, family yoga sessions and Ayurvedic massages, in a stunning location just 2km from popular Weligama.
Book from £150 per night for a family room sleeping 4.
- BE THERE
- SURF & BEACHES
- EAT & DRINK
- THINGS TO DO
Make yourself at home in a peaceful oasis overlooking Coconuts reef break. Surf from dusk ‘til dawn, take lessons with an excellent local instructor and take part in yoga for adults and children. Relax in the hammocks, take a dip in the pool and enjoy Sri Lankan cuisine.
Location: Coconuts, Gurubebila, nr Weligama (equidistant from Galle and Matara).
Transfer: 175km (2.5-3 hours drive) from Colombo international airport
Climate: Nov–Apr (offshore winds/ dry season); av. air temp 30C; av. water temp 27C. (April-Oct is monsoon season, with onshore winds and more unpredictable waves in the Southern Province.)
Surf level: Beginners to expert.
- Eight simple, stylish bedrooms (sleeping 2-6 guests), in a palm-shrouded retreat beside the beach.
- Rooms on the upper level share a balcony and sitting area overlooking the waves.
- Lower level rooms open out onto the pool and grounds.
- Room are decked out with teak four-poster, king or queen-sized teak beds (some can be made into twin beds) with 8-inch sprung mattresses and mosquito nets.
- Two family rooms, sleeps up to 5/6 guests. One on the upper level has two king-size four posters and a mezzanine level with two mattresses. One on the lower level has two king-size four posters and a single bed.
- All rooms have air conditioning and powerful overhead fans.
- Twice daily yoga – Slow Flow, Vinyasa and Hatha yoga ($9 per class)
- One-to-one yoga and kids’ yoga also available.
- Movie nights on the al fresco projector screen.
- Kickback by the pool or in a hammock with a cocktail.
- Indulge yourself with an Ayurvedic massage.
- Wind down with a sunset yoga session on the deck.
- Swimming pool.
- Surfboard racks.
- In-house yoga.
- Two chillout areas with hammocks and beanbags – one by the pool and one on the upper level boasting ocean views.
- Food served all day.
- Free wifi.
- Tuk-tuks to take you to the surf breaks.
- Lion’s Rest is situated directly opposite the fun reef break of Coconuts, and a few sandy footprints from the mellower Plantations.
- The hotel has its own qualified surf coach, Lucky, a local surfer who can run group lessons or 1-1 sessions. Your qualified surf coach can also take you to some secret spots and offer surf guiding for more experienced surfers.
- Longboards, shortboards and beginner boards are available for hire.
- Experts can take on the more challenging and hollow waves at nearby Rams.
- While the reef breaks aren’t great for younger children and inexperienced surfers, it’s only 2km in a tuk-tuk to the mellow, sandy-bottomed waves of Weligama. Nearby Kabalana is also a great spot for beginners.
- Many other surf spots between Matara and Galle are just a short tuk-tuk ride away, including the popular longboard spots of Lazy Left and Lazy Right. Lion’s Rest has two tuk-tuks to take you around and share some quieter, secret spots too.
When you’re not surfing, kick back and enjoy tropical beach life:
- Buy a fresh coconut, find a spot under a palm tree on the sand and watch the surfers at Coconuts and Plantations.
- Lion’s Rest is in the perfect location to yo-yo between the village green, the beach and the air-con comfort of your boutique hotel.
- A short stroll in the direction of Weligama will take you to a secluded cove perfect for swimming and sunbathing (be careful of the shorebreak if you have young children).
- One of our favourite beaches to hang out as a family is the sandy stretch of Kabalana, a ten-minute tuk-tuk ride away, where the kids can play in the breakers and there are plenty of cafés, too.
- It’s a 20-minute tuk-tuk ride to Wijaya beach, where you can snorkel with turtles, get high on the rope swing and enjoy a line-up of beachside cafés and restaurants.
- Start the day with a pre- or post-surf Sri Lankan breakfast.
- Authentic Sri Lankan cuisine and a range of Western dishes served all day.
- Weekly seafood barbecue buffet evenings.
- Vegan and vegetarian options available.
- Mouth-watering curries on the menu, as well as dedicated curry nights.
- Daily-sourced ingredients from the local markets and fishermen.
- Lion’s Rest is just 5km from the popular beach resort of Mirissa where you can visit the early morning fish market and head off on a whale-watching trip (go with The Whale Watching Club – run by experts who keep a safe distance from incredible species you will encounter).
- It’s a 40-minute tuk-tuk ride to the heritage, walled city of Galle.
- For a guaranteed, up-close experience with elephants and a low-key family safari head to the Uda Walewe National Park.
“Coconuts is one our favourite surf breaks in Sri Lanka and place to return to year-on-year. As a family who loves surfing and culture, Lion’s Rest ticks all the boxes as the perfect place to stay. We can hangout on the green or by the pool, hop in the surf when it’s looking good and off in a tuk-tuk for an adventure whenever we want. If you want to learn to surf or need some guiding, Lucky is one of the best instructors in the region and he’ll take you off to some amazing secret spots away from the crowds.”
Elaine Uff, Cornwall