Why you’ll love the Beach Hut
The Beach Hut is far more stylish than its name might suggest. Located close to beautiful Unawatuna Beach, just 10 minutes from historic Galle Fort, is this two-bedroom beachside villa that’s perfect for small families.
The airy ground floor is open plan with polished cement floors and lively local artwork on the walls. Here you’ll find handmade sofas covered in colourful cushions, vases of fresh flowers standing on large wooden chests and wicker armchairs. Doors lead onto a shaded veranda dotted with red-cushioned rattan chairs and the garden and slate-lined swimming pool beyond. A gate at the end of the garden opens onto a sandy strip of beach.
Upstairs is an enormous Master Bedroom that houses a kingsize four-poster bed and a separate sitting area with comfy sofas where you can watch movies. French doors open onto a shaded, wraparound balcony and provide the perfect setting for watching the Technicolor Sri Lankan sunsets. Next door to the master bedroom is a small, twin-bedded room (more of a box room) that works perfectly for young kids.
The family-friendly Beach Hut is ideal for families wanting their own privacy and the flexibility that comes with staying in a home rather than a hotel. A cook lives on the premises and a housekeeper arrives every morning. There’s also a night watchman to help ward off inquisitive monkeys and mongooses – although your kids might quite like these!
Why the kids will love the Beach Hut
This is a wonderful place for families, particularly little kids and big kids who are young (and small) enough to share the cosy second bedroom. Children can have the run of the place without you having to worry about them disturbing other guests and the open-plan layout downstairs means it’s easy to keep an eye on younger kids as they run around the garden and splash in the pool.
A gate at the end of the garden opens onto the beach and while it can be too rough for swimming, it’s great for beachcombing and building sandcastles. There’s plenty nearby to entertain children of all ages from the hatcheries where kids can help release baby turtles back in the ocean and surfing lessons at Weligama Beach to snorkelling at Unawatuna and whale watching trips from Mirissa.
The Beach Hut has just two bedrooms; the enormous master bedroom that occupies most of the second floor and a smaller twin room. Both rooms are located upstairs and the master bedroom comes with an ensuite bathroom.
The twin bedroom, really a box room (it fits two beds and nothing more), is the only room in the house to have AC. The master bedroom has a ceiling fan and also enjoys the sea breeze courtesy of five sets of French windows opening onto a shaded veranda.
The master bedroom is furnished with a kingsize four-poster bed and has a small sitting area where you can sit and watch DVDs. The ensuite bathroom has a rain shower and corner tub. There is a second bathroom downstairs.
Best Rooms for Families: There are only two rooms here; the large Master Bedroom that can easily accommodate a baby cot and the small children’s room with two single beds.
Staff are on hand at the Beach Hut to prepare whatever meals you may require. All you have to do is choose what you would like from the menu and the housekeeper will do all the necessary shopping and cooking (you simply pay for the ingredients and the housekeeper’s return transport to the market).
The menu is perfect for easy holiday dining although not terribly extensive. If you would like a more elaborate meal, for example to celebrate a special occasion, then professional chefs can be hired. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés nearby at Unawatuna and Wijaya, and Galle Fort is just a short tuk tuk ride away. The Beach Hut has a list of recommended restaurants.
Guests are welcome to dine wherever they like, inside the open-plan living room, on the veranda or by the swimming pool.
For breakfast you can choose from English (bacon and eggs), continental (toast and jam) or Sri Lankan breakfasts of plain or egg hoppers (a type of pancake made with rice flour, coconut milk and an egg). Fresh fruit is also served.
The lunch and dinner menus are the same and include soups, salads, grilled prawns, fried calamari and spring rolls for starters. Main courses include baked or grilled fish, chicken or fish pie, grilled brochettes (calamari, beef or chicken) and of course Sri Lankan curries. The curries are very good and you can choose from fish, prawn, beef, chicken or vegetable. Desert options range from grilled pineapple with honey and pancakes to banana fritters and apple crumble.
For Kids: There is no dedicated kids menu but the staff can create kid-friendly meals or you can use the kitchen to make something of your own. Many of the nearby restaurants and cafés have plenty of kid-friendly fare.
Spend the day on beautiful Unawatuna beach.
Go snorkelling or scuba diving and then take a glass bottom boat ride to look for fish.
Jump in a tuk-tuk and head to the historical coastal town of Galle. Wander the colourful streets, visit the Dutch churches, and go shopping.
Head to Galle Stadium and watch a game of international cricket.
Relax by the pool with a good book.
Marvel over the coastline on a dawn hot air balloon ride or hire a bicycle and explore the area at your own pace.
Make an appointment with author and Galle resident Juliet Coombe for a family-friendly tour around the fort.
Run around the gardens and play around in the pool (there’s a stepped area for younger swimmers).
Play in the surf at Unawatuna beach or swim in the protected coral bay at Wijaya Beach. Wijaya is also great for surfing.
Head to Galle Fort and watch the locals dive off the fort ramparts into the ocean below.
Head to Mirissa and set sail on a whale-watching trip; this corner of Sri Lanka is home to Blue whales, Sperm whales and more.
October is when the annual Children’s Festival is held over two days in Galle Fort. The event includes pottery and book making, treasure hunts and rock pooling adventures.
Visit the turtle hatcheries in Bentota and help release baby turtles back into the ocean.
A/C, babysitting (for an additional charge), common areas, cots, doctor on call, extra beds, laundry service, pushchair-friendly, swimming pool, travel desk, WiFi.
When to go:
The most popular time of year to visit Sri Lanka is from December to April. During these months the days are sunny and the sea serene. From May onwards the humidity rises and the rain begins to fall in stormy bursts until June. A second monsoon passes through from October to November, although the rainfall is unpredictable and showers never last for long. Visit at this time of year and make the most of discounted hotel rates!
Book well in advance if you plan to visit over the Christmas period. This corner of tropical Sri Lanka enjoys an average temperature of 27C. The best months for whale watching are December to April.
Location & Travel:
The Beach Hut is located near Unawatuna Beach, near Galle, on the South West coast of Sri Lanka.
1) Don’t forget to bring swimming nappies for your kids (if applicable!). They are very difficult to find here.
2) We enjoyed swimming at Wijaya Beach. There is a good pizza restaurant there as well.
3) Make sure you visit Barefoot in Galle – my favourite shop in Sri Lanka!