Search the best hotels in Tangalle
Conjuring up images of golden sands studded with rocky promontories and towering palm trees, Tangalle is one of southern Sri Lanka’s most popular coastal destinations. Accommodation options are wide-ranging, with everything from simple beach cabanas to exquisite luxury resorts, fit for a whole host of tastes and budgets. There’s plenty for families, couples or groups of friends to explore both on the beach and beyond, too. Many of the best places to stay in Tangalle boast superb ocean views, but a couple of our favourites overlook the paddy fields and lush jungles of the interior, which are also very special.
Southern Sri Lanka’s big draw is undoubtedly its sandy shores, and the enormous stretch of Tangalle Beach does not disappoint. Tranquil Mawella Beach, just nearby, is also beautiful — the waters are calm enough for swimming, and brightly-painted fishing boats sit high on the edge of the sea. Speak to your hotel or guesthouse about the best surf spots, take a boat trip to spot whales, try fishing, or play a game of beach volleyball.
History buffs will find Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara, an ancient Buddhist temple built on a 205-metre hill, particularly fascinating. Aim for a volunteer-guided tour for a real sense of the site’s past, and expect spell-binding views. If you’re keen to marvel at the island’s wildlife, the wetlands of Bundala National Park are brilliant for a day trip — as is Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary. Finally, Mirijjawila Botanic Gardens showcases myriad dry zone plants, sure to intrigue nature lovers.
Tangalle town itself is very quiet, but the markets and heritage buildings are worth a wander. Hip Hiriketiya, just 9 miles away and easily accessed by three-wheeler, is a wonderful spot for a lively lunch, evening sundowners or great surf. The best places to stay in Tangalle fill up fast during the high season, so book your trip well in advance!
The Best Places to Stay in Tangalle
- Taru Villas promises a chic boutique stay on picturesque Mawella Beach. Spacious suites feature Sri Lankan antiques and artwork with a monochrome palette and a grown-up feel. The Tangalle Social is a top spot for some superb seafood, and the Taru group has a reputation for exquisite attention to detail. Restful and romantic.
- Villa don Hendrick is a collection of three elegant bungalows in lush gardens overlooking verdant paddy fields and a big infinity pool. Pick this place for a real sense of seclusion and tranquility. Perfect for honeymooners or friends on holiday, the heritage property is adults-only unless you book all three villas for a large group. Very stylish.
For Families or Groups
- The Last House is a bright beachfront hotel with antique furnishings, handloom fabrics, exposed beams and flexible, family-friendly rooms. Book the whole villa if travelling as a bigger group, and enjoy yoga classes, Ayurvedic massages or strolls along the beach after exploring the area by bicycle. Architecture buffs will adore the Geoffrey Bawa connection. A classic choice on Mawella Beach.
- Anantara Tangalle has three restaurants, an extensive wellness centre and a popular kids club. Contemporary rooms and private villas are swish and well-appointed, and there's an enormous ocean-facing pool. A brilliant resort for fun family trips, large group stays or for travellers eager to feel restored and rejuvenated.
- Buckingham Place gets its name from the owner's surname, and features 16 rooms and suites, many of which have space for families or small groups. Think excellent views over jungle-fringed Rekawa Beach, two swimming pools and fun activities including table tennis, snooker and volleyball. An off-the-beaten-track choice.
For Great Value
- Mangrove Beach Cabanas are simple wooden or polished-concrete bungalows on a quiet stretch of beach. Some cabanas have space for families, there's great Sri Lankan cuisine at the restaurant, and the beach bar is buzzing during the season. Laid-back and great value.
For Barefoot Luxury
- Amanwella takes minimalist luxury to the next level, with thirty serene suites — each boasting its own plunge pool — gazing across golden sands to the Indian Ocean from between swaying palm trees. Treat yourself to marvellous afteroons at the spa after days spent bird watching, snorkelling, windsurfing or perfecting your Sri Lankan cooking skills. The sundowners are terrific. Understated indulgence for couples or friends.
FOR AN APARTMENT OR VILLA
- If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.
- Tangalle is three hours’ drive along the expressway from Bandaranaike International Airport. Most hotels will be happy to arrange an airport pick up with a reliable driver.
- Alternatively, regular trains and air-conditioned highway buses run from Fort Station (and the nearby bus stand) in Colombo to Matara, the nearest large town (25 miles from Tangalle). It’s easy to hop aboard a local coastal bus or negotiate a three-wheeler for the remainder of the journey. Trains and buses are the most affordable way to travel, and the train is especially scenic — though it risks being a sticky ride!
- For car hire prices, we recommend contacting our online partner Rentalcars. Driving in Sri Lanka, however, is not for the faint-hearted. We'd suggest choosing another form of transport unless you have experience of driving somewhere similar.
- Sri Lanka's south coast is in season between November and March, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures of around 26 - 32°C. This is also the best time to surf. Expect temperatures to reach their peak in April, and for the monsoon rains to fall in June/July and October. Travel in late October or early November for quieter beaches and great hotel deals.
Still not sure?
- Expand your search to explore the best places to stay in Hiriketiya.
- Alternatively, see our pick of all the best places to stay in Sri Lanka.
- Or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.
Monthly Weather in Tangalle
Best Hotels in Tangalle
Mangrove Beach Cabanas Tangalle 9 rooms from £42Value chic - Private cottage accommodation at an excellent priceFishing - Tangalle is a sleepy fishing village - trips can be arranged in townKayaking - Get on the waters in your very own kayakOn the beach - Located on Tangalle Beach
Simple yet chic this unassuming little cluster of wooden cottages has been welcoming guests for years. Ideal for travellers or couples on a budget, seeking some relaxation. There is a popular bar where guests congregate plus a beach restaurant serving tasty Sri Lankan dishes. Great value. See More
Halcyon Mawella Tangalle (Moraketiara) 10 rooms from £85Kayaking - Spot bats and nibble lotus seeds on a guided kayaking tour of Mawella Lagoon, or try sea kayaking right in front of the hotelBirdwatching - Drift through Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary on a guided raft excursion, spotting a fantastic array of birdlifeRomantic Break - Couples can hide away in beautifully designed rooms, relax on private terraces & sip cocktails at the barFamilies - Families will adore the relaxed, friendly feel, the swimming pool & the flexible room options
Villa don Hendrick Tangalle 3 rooms from £103Romantic Break - An adults only resort offering seculded private villas, beautiful paddy fields, romantic in room dining and an infinity poolHotel Entertainment - The hotels food is out of the this world, a magical fusion of western and Sri Lankan dishesLocal markets - The nearby coastal market town of Tangalle is an interesting spot to pick up souvenirsBirdwatching - The jungle is filled with birds and their songs will be the sound track to your stayRecommended by - I Escape
A stunning historic building, turned luxury adults only resort in the jungles and paddy fields near Tangalle. The three private villas offer a romantic and luxurious retreat, while the main house oozes colonial charm from its seating and dining areas littered with antiques and leather-bound books. See More
Taru Villas Tangalle (Moraketiara) 5 rooms from £165Beach Life - Just steps from a gorgeous stretch of uncrowded beach.Sights nearby - Visit the Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara where the Buddha himself was said to have meditated.Swimming Pool - Outdoor poolSecluded setting - For escaping.
A boutique villa tucked away on one of the quietest, yet prettiest, of Sri Lanka's southern beaches. Five individually styled rooms are simply designed with soft hues, four posters and large windows overlooking the tropical gardens. Fabulous service lends that perfect mix of homely luxury. See More
The Last House Tangalle 4 rooms from £140Families - Children are well looked after and there is a three bedroom suite ideal for familiesArchitectural - Famed architect Geoffrey Bawa’s final creation - an iconic stayLocal markets - A tuk-tuk tour of the sleepy fishing town of TangalleSwimming Pool - Outdoor poolRecommended by - I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa's final creation The Last House provides an iconic and stylish stay. Think colourful interiors, plenty of antiques, exposed beams and roll-top baths: a perfect mix of old and new. Meals are served al fresco and (bar breakfast) are arranged on request. Superb. See More
Anantara Tangalle Tangalle 152 rooms from £185Families - Baby sitting services, two-bed villa accommodation and a kids club they won't want to leaveSpa breaks - Providing ancient, trusted Ayurvedic therapies the wellness centre has a lot to offerRestaurant - There are various dining options from international to traditional Sri Lankan or ItalianCooking classes - Take home some local flavours from Spice Spoons
Recently opened this modern wellness resort is ideal for individuals, families or couples seeking relaxation. Private villas allow for ultimate privacy, whilst a popular kids club means grown ups can leave the little ones behind. Dine on Italian dishes at Il Mare or fusion cuisine on the beach. See More
Buckingham Place Tangalle (Nettolpitiya) 15 rooms from £227Romantic Break - A place of tranquility and privacy with gorgeous airy rooms overlooking the surrounding nature.Back to Nature - An abundance of biodiversity with architecture designed to merge living and nature.Sights nearby - Visit the magnificent Mulkirigala Rock Temples in Tangalle.Sailing - Spot sperm whales and dolphins on a boat trip.
Amanwella Tangalle 30 rooms from £488Beach Life - Sitting on a beautiful private 800m crescent beach- enjoy turtle watching, 'fresh-off-the boat' seafood and golden sands.Back to Nature - Submerge yourself in the lush green environment and observe sea turtles, monkys, birds, lizards and mongooses.Cooking classes - Accompany the hotel's chefs to the early morning fish and spice market, and learn to cook your favourite curry.Sailing - Take a trip on a restored Indonesian fishing boats out to sea to try your luck at whale watching.Recommended by - I Escape, Kiwi Collection, Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet