• WE SAY
Contemporary, self-catering jungle retreat Location: Hiriketiya, Dickwella, Sri Lanka Family friendly: All ages catered for, but really it’s best for 5+ Transfer: About 3 hours from Colombo International Airport Climate: Av. 30C / Av. water temp 27C Best time to go: Nov–April (dry season with offshore winds). Surf level: Beginner to intermediate Other activities: Yoga, snorkelling and wellness centre. Time Zone: GMT +5.5
Serene Villa offers the ultimate privacy and jungle hideaway in its luxury family apartments. Relax in your air conditioned sanctuary with a private balcony. Choose from a double, triple or family apartment sleeping 4-6 guests. All rooms have a kitchenette, offering the flexibility to self cater for your family. A large storage space for clothes and travel items creates a beautifully-designed, uncluttered space.
  • Hiriketiya boasts waves for 10 months of the year, and its horseshoe shape means it’s protected from the prevailing winds.
  • It’s the perfect destination for beginner and intermediate surfers.
  • ‘Hiri’ is home to a long, mellow left-hand point break. There’s only a small take off area and it gets shallow on the inside, but you can hangout on the shoulder and spot turtles while you’re waiting your turn.
  • Smaller swells from the west (Dec-Feb) create a perfect beginners’ beach break wave – we’ve even surfed it with toddlers on the nose of a longboard. It’s also perfect for kids who are getting their independence in the surf, as you can watch them from the shore.
  • On bigger swells there’s a less crowded right-hand peak.
  • You can hire longboards on the beach from 250Rp (less than £2).
  • Surf instruction can be organised at Serene Villa's sister property Salt House.
  • When you’re not on a surfboard, don a mask and snorkel and spot fish and sea turtles as you explore the reef hemming the bay.
  • Buy a fresh coconut, find a spot under a palm tree on the sand and watch the world go by.
  • Head to the beach at night and gaze up to the incredible star constellations twinkling over the bay.
  • In the bay there’s a line up of beach bars and restaurants where you can dine with your toes in the sand. Choose from coconuts and cocktails to seafood, wood-fired pizzas and Sri Lankan dishes. Take a pack of cards, as nothing happens too quickly around here.
  • One of our favourites for smoothie bowls and healthy foods to stoke you up for surfing is Malu Poke.
  • Dots Bay House Restaurant also serves up some tasty dishes focusing on locally-sourced ingredients.
  • Listen out for the whistle of the bread man in who visits the bay in his tuk-tuk filled with delicious treats in the early hours, and also about 4pm.
  • Stretch out with twice daily yoga classes – Vinyasa Flow in the morning, then Slow Flow, Restorative or Yin Yoga in the afternoon (75 minutes, 1,500LKR/ 4 classes 4,000LKR) at Serene Villa's sister property, Salt House, just a few minutes' away.
  • Go snorkelling, surfing and fishing.
  • Stroll along the coastline to Blue Beach paradise bay.
  • Go on an elephant safari at Udawalawe National Park.
  • Go on a Whale Watching from Mirissa.
"This is my favourite beach in Sri Lanka because it has mellow waves for me and my big brother. The snorkelling is awesome, too, and you see loads of fish and turtles." Ginny aged 6
"The rooms are amazing, and the location is like being in the middle of the jungle, even though you're just few minutes walk from the beach. " Olga Maskaykina
  • Table tennis
  • Swimming pool
  • Gym
  • Yoga sessions at the sister property Salt House
  • Wellness centre for spa treatments nearby