Rupert Parker enjoys Cinnamon Bentota Beach a 5-star resort on Sri Lanka’s West Coast
Overlooking palm-fringed beaches and beside a river lagoon, this luxury resort was designed and built in the 1960’s by one of Asia’s most influential architects, Geoffrey Manning Bawa. It’s recently been extensively refurbished, with new additions and the resort hosts the best water sports facility in the area.
159 rooms fuse traditional design with contemporary interiors, and each has its own unique view of the ocean, river or vast gardens. We stayed in a Junior Suite, overlooking the river with two private balconies. As well as lounge and bedroom, covered in specially commissioned artwork, the open plan bathroom had two basins, walk-in shower and toilet. A Nespresso machine and tea kettle as well as large flat screen TV’s in both rooms completed the setup.
Cinnamon Bentota Beach is a holiday resort, ideal both for families and honeymooners – you can even get married here. There’s a Kids Club and a Play Hub, featuring an array of games, activities, sports and more, along with a jungle gym. There’s also a space for teens, so guests of all ages feel right at home. An Artisan Village offers, pottery, mask carving, puppet making and drumming lessons.
Two pools and a sandy beach cater for all swimming and paddling needs at Cinnamon Bentota Beach. The water sports area on the shores of the lagoon offers water ski, Jet Ski, disco donut rides, windsurfing, stand-up paddling and even river fishing. There’s a spa and gym, fully fitted with a range of cardio equipment and weights. A huge banquet hall is designed for weddings or business meetings.
The spacious main dining area, Nossa,at Cinnamon Bentota Beach has breakfast and lunch buffets with a wide choice of Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese and International cuisine. In the evening this becomes two restaurants – Zest with an Asian theme and Ottimo with Italian food. Nearer the beach is Sea Meats Spice with waiter service and an a-la-carte menu featuring fusion seafood with Sri Lankan spices. Cooking lessons with the chef are also on offer.
Refreshments are available both in the restaurants and bars. Drench is the pool bar where you paddle up and order your drinks from the water. It offers signature cocktails and snacks. Indoors is Fuze, a long lounge bar, serving drinks and snacks. And of course, there’s always room service, or the mini bar when you don’t want to go out.
As well as having one of the finest beaches in Sri Lanka, the hotel is close to a variety of attractions, historical landmarks and cultural sites. Nearby is the Lunuganga Estate, the country home of the hotel’s architect, Geoffrey Bawa, and the grounds are a tropical version of a European Renaissance garden. Slightly further is the Madu River where boats take you through the mangroves with sightings of monkeys, monitor lizards and exotic birdlife. The UNESCO listed Galle Fort is a one-hour drive away.
Of course, you probably won’t be venturing too far from the pool or beach. The hotel hasn’t just been refurbished, it’s been completely rebuilt, retaining the original features, but bringing it bang up to date. Service is excellent, the variety and quality of the food impressive and wherever you look, you’re surrounded by water.
Tell Me More About Cinnamon Bentota Beach
Cinnamon Bentota Beach Galle Rd, Bentota 80500
T:: +9411342275176 E: email@example.com
Bed and Breakfast starts from £193. Half Board from £260.
Sri Lankan Airlines has direct flights from London Heathrow to Colombo from £691