Romantic getaways in Southern Sri Lanka ~ Jetwing

We first visited Sri Lanka 3 years ago, and from our very first trip to the Southern coast of Sri Lanka, we were surprised by the plethora of beautiful properties, colonial mansions and boutique hotels that this region offers.

Global travellers are increasingly looking at Sri Lanka as an exotic island destination, and we are receiving many requests from travelers wanting to use our house for “home exchange”. (Home Exchange is a website we belong to where travelers organize exchanges with different members of the home exchange network and we have done over 50 exchanges all over the world.)

In addition, we are getting feedback that travelers are using Green Global Trek for inspiration and as a travel guide for their trips to Sri Lanka. What a compliment!

Because we do live here, we are constantly discovering more and more about our host country and we do enjoy sharing what we find and writing about it. Our “brand”, if you will, for the hotels we write about and share with you, lies in the intersection of authentic architectural buildings, unique settings, noteworthy cuisine and a commitment to sound environmental practices.

To date, we have written over a dozen posts about carefully chosen properties to share with you. Some have been in Europe (Spain and Turkey, others in India and Indonesia, but predominantly we have featured inspiring properties in Sri Lanka.)

And now, we add two more to our list of recommended destinations.

We received extremely positive feedback and lots of inquiries on our post about Yala Jetwing Hotel  and with good reason. Therefore we were excited to stay at two Jetwing hotels which are close to where we live.

Jetwing Kurulubedda

Most people who travel to the Southern Coast head for the beach.  Yet there is another dimension to the Galle area where we live.  There is a hinterland that is rich with forest and paddy fields.  A stone’s throw away from the bustling coastal road is a well hidden boutique hotel that redefines the concept of bucolic splendor.

A jungle-like habitat hosts a rich ecosystem where exotic birds abound.  The manager of the hotel who welcomes us, is a walking encyclopedia and proudly introduces us to the plants, trees and other vegetation on the hotel’s grounds, much of which yield fruits, herbs and veggies that are expertly handled by the chef to prepare local delicacies.

Along the way before the entrance to Jetwing’s hotel we pass the shining white dome of a Buddhist stupa and temple.

The grounds are lush and tranquil with a variety of places to sit, relax and absorb the surrounding environment.

A boardwalk goes across the small river which runs through the property and leads to a larger hidden lake.

The hotel is designed with many welcoming spots which are nestled in nature.

The boardwalk crosses over bright lime green rice paddies (remindful of Bali). In the background two of the duplex structures are barely visible as a result of thoughtful planning.

The swimming pool is at the edge of the rice paddy. Patches of green and turquoise make up the landscape.

Pretty spectacular. Love the design and romantic setting!

There are 8 bedrooms. The design is simple and elegant. A really nice design feature are the sliding screen doors between the bedroom and the bathroom.

A huge wooden deck outside the bedroom. Perfect for working, reading, bird watching or just chilling.

Ben catching up on his emails. Not a bad work setting.

Each meal we ate was a symphony of local flavors and spices. Here a traditional rice and curry with condiments in an outdoor setting. Many of the ingredients are grown right on the property.

Era Beach by Jetwing

Era Beach is the other Jetwing property we wanted to experience. Here colonial architectural beauty meets the natural beauty of the Indian ocean coastline.

Bright red flowers greet us as the pool and ocean beckon beyond….

Quite a magnificent setting. The buildings form a U shape with a courtyard and large pool in between.

Taking a walk on the wide upstairs balcony is a step back in time to colonial days.

The swimming pool fills the courtyard, framed by the dining room and living room on either side.

Made for relaxing the hours away…. under the Sri Lankan tropical sun.

The front of the property leads right onto the beach which stretches for miles in both directions. Palm trees, umbrellas, chaise lounge… all the requisite ingredients for tropical bliss.

Looking back towards Jetwing Era, from the beachfront. Traditional white columns support a red tiled roof ~ elements of a typical colonial villa in Sri Lanka.

A sitting area which has the feel of a private living room. Modern art, comfy couches and a sea breeze drifting through.

Huge volume make the rooms memorable for their feeling of spaciousness and luxury. Polished concrete floors ~ cool to the touch with a modern flair. Teak furniture gives the room a traditional touch.

As the sun goes down, the soft lights create a romantic setting.

So… two very different properties ~ would you be more likely to choose a stay inland atop the rice fields, or beachfront with the sounds of the waves crashing?



Thank you to Jetwing for hosting Green Global Trek:


26 thoughts on “Romantic getaways in Southern Sri Lanka ~ Jetwing

  1. Darlene Foster

    They both look amazing. I guess because I grew up on the prairies with no water anywhere, I tend to prefer being near the beach. Wishing both of you a marvellous Christmas, wherever you will be and however you celebrate.

  2. Suzanne

    The property on the beach is perfect, but the retreat among the rice patties is intriguing as well. I would love to design a home in Florida with features borrowed from both places – those sliding doors between the bed and bath could be used in a variety of ways.And the pool…..ah…The bedroom floor looks like poured concrete with a resin finish of some sort which would be very cool to the touch, I imagine. Is it that, or something else? Lovely!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Suzanne thanks for your comments. The concrete floor is what is known here as polished concrete and is used frequently for not only floors but kitchen and bathroom counter tops. They can be a natural concrete color or have colored pigment which looks really nice. It is relatively soft to the touch and has the benefit of being easy to clean… important in a tropical climate.


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Peggy yes I imagine that in the late 80’s tourism here was not nearly as developed as it is now. Sri Lanka is now a more desirable destination, in fact it has been voted Asia’s most sought after destination for the past two years! Thankfully so far the bulk of the new hospitality infrastructure investments has been in mid size boutique hotels, save for a handful of international hotel groups building larger more typical hotels.


  3. Liesbet

    Wow, you guys! These properties are amazing. While both look and sound alluring, I’d go for the one on the beach. My love of the ocean will never fade. 🙂 The breeze might keep the mozzies at bay. It is so nice you get to experience all these different locales and properties attempting to fit into nature and do their best to be environmentally friendly.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Liesbet, it was definitely fun to stay at both of these properties which are so close to our neighborhood. There is a coastal road that has one gorgeous property after another. Some are villas and some are hotels, but from the road one would never know what loveliness lies behind as you just see high walls for the most part. But taking a walk on beach front gives one the opportunity to see some of these beautiful properties. We definitely like the ones that are environmentally friendly and fit well into nature without sticking out too much.


  4. Gabe

    I’m going to have to have a serious discussion with my wife about the Home Exchange program you mention. I don’t know how attractive an extended visit to Romania would be, but you’ve made Sri Lanka an irresistible destination.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Gabe, you would be surprised…there are already 24 homes listed in for Romania. The way the system now works is that you do not need to do a direct exchange, you get a credit (known as a balloon) when someone stays at your home for about a week and then you can use that balloon credit to get a home any where in the world!

      We cannot imagine having a home and not having it on home exchange, because we have been using home exchange now for ten years or so and have done about 50 exchanges with our places first in Nicaragua, then Chicago and now Sri Lanka. We should write a blog post about them at some point….

      Glad to hear we have made Sri Lanka an “irresistible destination” for you.

      Peta & Ben

  5. Shari Pratt

    I’m awestruck by the beauty and design of each Jetwing property. They offer versions of luxury and tranquility like something out of a story. You’re a perfect model, Peta. Did you wait till the areas were empty, or are they always empty of people? It’s enchanting to see water in many of the photos and the gorgeous sky loaded with thick clouds. No wonder you chose to highlight these two properties.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Shari. You are right, Jetwing definitely knows how to do luxury but in an understated way. We stayed at both these properties out of season which is why there were very few people around and we pretty much had the pool to ourselves in both places. Glad you enjoyed these properties.


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      So glad you enjoyed this post Dahlia. Jetwing definitely does a great job at design and environmental consideration.

      Incidentally, for those “business minded” amongst our readers, the Jetwing hotel group just went public for the first time in Sri Lanka and the first share offering on the Colombo stock exchange was massively oversubscribed. Meaning a lot of investors recognize that Jetwing’s brand has a lot of growth potential.


  6. Johanna Bradley

    Normally I’d be shouting beach! beach! Peta, but in this instance those first properties do look very enticing. I’m sure they must come equipped with an army of insects, which is always a deterrent to us in tropical settings.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      The rice paddy property is definitely the more unusual of the two, especially with the bird sounds and sightings from the balcony.

      Actually, we saw no insects at either place… most of these boutique hotels are quite insular in the bedrooms due to A.C. (which we do not have in our house, as we are more open to the elements). This and frequent cleaning keep the rooms insect free. Of course at dusk after the rains, there are almost always mosquitoes. But if you are armed with your mosquito spray and a wrap, that takes care of that.


    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Well, I have to say that I do not miss the cold winters, but I do love snow. Perhaps because growing up in South Africa I only saw it once and it was about a mm “thick”. Nothing quite as beautiful as a fresh snowfall. Bringing up my sons in Chicago I had plenty of snow of course but I never got tired of watching it fall and going outside to enjoy it.


  7. Anita @ No Particular Place to Go

    Until I started reading your blog, Peta, I’d never thought about Sri Lanka as a travel destination. What an oversight that I need to remedy soon. Both of the Jetwing properties are divine and I love the simplicity which only enhances the true luxury of the surroundings. And thanks for your tip about home exchanges. I’d heard about the website but have never taken the time to check it out. That too, needs to be remedied!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Anita that is definitely a high compliment. A wonderful oversight because now you have Sri Lanka to look forward to discovering.

      We have had a plethora of home exchanges all over the globe and at some point we will get to writing a post about our experiences with home exchange. Definitely recommend it. (


  8. Sylvia

    Two beautiful places to rest a while. I think the sound of the ocean waves would be lovely. I do miss that after moving from the coast of South Africa.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Sylvia. It is lovely to be in a room close enough to hear the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore at night. Both these Jetwing hotels were spectacular.


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