Photo of Talpe

About Talpe

Conjuring images of golden beaches and salty sea spray, Talpe is a small town near Sri Lanka’s south-western tip. With historic Galle Fort to one side and popular surf spots on the other, this tranquil haven offers visitors an idyllic tropical escape. There is a broad range of accommodation options here, including family-run guesthouses and B&Bs to suit all budgets. Our pick of the best places to stay in Talpe are a collection of small characterful hotels and converted boutique villas ensuring plenty of privacy. Most overlook the Indian Ocean, and all have beautiful swimming pools. Whether you’re eager to sip cocktails at a lively bar within sight of the sea, to socialise in a gorgeous leafy garden or simply to amble from the infinity pool to the sand and back, there’s lots here to attract tropical travellers.

Part of Talpe’s appeal lies in its location: just over two hours from the airport on the expressway. This quiet stretch is also within easy reach of popular surf spots, with Kabalana and Ahangama a mere 6 miles away. Nearby Unawatuna brims with buzzing bars and cafés, whilst the Dutch-built fort in Galle, filled with boutiques and restaurants, is a quick 6 miles in the other direction. Cycle through villages and alongside paddy fields on a guided bike tour, try jungle yoga at a nearby shala, or stroll along the shore as the sun sets over the sea.

Most of the best places to stay in Talpe are set between the coast road and the ocean, whilst one of our favourite family hotels is hidden away just a few minutes from the beach. Make sure to book well in advance if you plan to travel during the high season, as these superb small hotels have limited rooms and book up swiftly!

The best places to stay in Talpe

For barefoot beachside bliss

  • The Frangipani Tree has nine elegant, contemporary rooms in a fabulous beachfront setting. Relax in big four-poster beds, lounge around in hammocks strung between coconut palms, and sink into outdoor bathtubs for romantic starlit nights. Smart, spacious and stylish.
  • Era Beach by Jetwing is an enormous beachside villa run by one of Sri Lanka’s leading local hotel groups. Unwind by the generous swimming pool or get chatting to fellow guests in the hotel bar — with just eight rooms, there’s a wonderfully convivial feel. Great for couples or solo travellers.
  • Apa Villa Thalpe is a charming tile-roofed bungalow offering lovely sea views. Each of the seven spacious suites boasts its own sitting area and polished concrete bathrooms are huge. Pick this spot for maximum privacy: the hotel’s delicious food is served to your terrace table for alfresco dining in seclusion.

For quirky chic

  • The Owl and the Pussycat is a bright, bold seaside spot offering striking views of crashing waves and traditional stilt fisherman at work. Individually decorated rooms and suites reflect the hotel’s funky feel, inspired by Edward Lear’s whimsical poem. Think laid-back days, sunset cocktails and terrific seafood.

For families

  • Why House lies inland in the village of Mihirpenna and boasts a superb sociable vibe, with lush gardens, a big swimming pool and wonderful chill out areas for the whole family. Attentive staff are very flexible if travelling with little ones. Ten beautifully appointed rooms are available in different configurations to suit couples, families and groups.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in a self-catering apartment or private villa we recommend that you visit our online partner booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Talpe is just over 2 hours’ drive on the modern expressway from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport. Most hotels will be able to arrange an airport pickup with a reliable driver.
  • If you are travelling from Colombo, regular trains run directly from Fort Station to Galle (20 minutes from Talpe) or to Talpe Station itself. The train is certainly slower than travelling by car, but tickets are cheap and the coastal route offers enchanting sea views. The journey takes 2 to 3 hours.
  • Time your trip to coincide with the south coast’s peak season (from November to March) for sunshine and the best of the year’s surf. Whilst the sea will be too rough to swim or surf during the off-season, hotels are likely to be quieter and offer off-peak rates. Bear in mind that places will book up quickly during the high season!
  • Strong currents mean that the sea is often too rough for children to swim. Do ask hotel staff for advice on safe spots for a dip.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Talpe

  • Era Beach by Jetwing Talpe (Talpe,) 8 rooms from £101

    City Style  -  A quintessentially colonial way to experience Galle
    Sights nearby  -  Galle Fort is a must visit
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    Elegant rooms feature capacious four posters and modern bathrooms. There is a huge infinity pool overlooking a private stretch of beach and surrounded by sun loungers and sofas. A tasty European and Sri Lanka menu is served and Ayurvedic treatments can be enjoyed at Ceylon spa. Great value. See More

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  • The Frangipani Tree Talpe 9 rooms from £139

    Beach Life  -  Located on a secluded stretch of golden sandy beach.
    Great walks  -  Take romantic strolls along the beach.
    Sights nearby  -  Explore the historic fort in Galle.
    Barefoot Luxury  -  For total relaxation.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Tablet

    A chic boutique property set on a quiet stretch of beach. Design is traditional throughout with high beamed ceilings and whirring fans set besides cool contemporary touches such as the luxurious open plan bathrooms. A place of rejuvenation to unwind with a drink and a good book. See More

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  • Why House Talpe (Mihiripenna) 10 rooms from £150

    Cooking classes  -  Cupcake decorating for the kids, cooking lessons for the adults
    Surfing  -  and Boogie Boarding on the nearby Wijaya beach
    Full of character
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    A verdant oasis of laid-back luxury, with a wonderfully warm welcome and superb sociable vibe — ideal for families and those looking to soak up a slice of paradise! Four poster beds, white linens and large windows that let in the breeze. See More

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  • Apa Villa Thalpe Talpe (Matara Road) 7 rooms from £167

    Families  -  A friendly family vibe plus babysitting facilities
    Diving  -  Unawatuna is great for scuba diving with plenty of wreck dives
    Sights nearby  -  Galle and its sights are just 8km away
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Family and couple friendly it is no surprise that this intimate villa gets booked up quickly! Located on its own stretch of private beach with stunning infinity pool this is the ultimate in well priced luxury. Delicious meals are arranged on request whilst massages can be enjoyed in room. Divine. See More

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  • The Owl and the Pussycat Talpe (Galle) 17 rooms from £175

    Beach Life  -  A cool and contemporary property set right on one of Sri Lanka's most scenic beaches
    Sights nearby  -  Explore gorgeous Galle Fort, filled with boutiques, cafés and plenty of history to soak up (20 minutes drive away)
    Diving  -  Discover Sri Lanka’s south coast — learn to surf or dive amongst terrific tropical fish
    Fishing  -  Watch the famed stilt fishermen nearby
    Recommended by  -  Small Luxury Hotels

    An electric paradise set directly on the beach, full of tantalising colour, quirky touches and fabulous food — luxurious living with an extra dollop of mischief! See More

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