We arrived at the hill-top Cantaloupe Levels hotel after an action-packed 10-day road trip across Sri Lanka to end our holiday with some much needed rest and relaxation. The hotel, now just four years old, was thoughtfully transformed from a private mansion into a small, luxury, boutique hotel in 2014. It has a superb location in the coastal town of Unawatuna, tucked away in lush green forest and just minutes from the small sandy beach.
We were whisked through a surprisingly unimpressive, small reception into the pool/lounge area, where we relaxed on large pool-side beds and were treated to skewers of fresh fruit and a refreshing drink. The check-in was done by the pool while the porters took the luggage to our room and guests meandered in and out of the pool area.
With just a handful of rooms and away from the bustle and nightlife of the city of Galle, Cantaloupe Levels is an intimate, romantic hotel, perfect for couples.
There are two Suite Dreams, two Superior Silhouette and five Deluxe Silhouette rooms, each either with a panoramic sea view or overlooking the pool.
We stayed in Deluxe Silhouette, a spacious 35m² room, with large tinted bay windows letting in lots of natural light and offering gorgeous views of the sea and the jungle.
The minimalist-styled room has a king-size bed with a gold coloured headboard, soft-to-the-touch bedding, white walls, a large 48″ widescreen TV with cable channels – a selection of DVDs available from the reception – and a sitting area with magazines, fresh fruit and flowers.
The bathroom has black granite floor which contrasts well with the bare concrete walls. It is equipped with a wide double sink, spacious rain shower (easily fitting two people), and a Jacuzzi bath.
Food & Drink
The excellent Levels restaurant serves a sophisticated menu with Asian-fusion cuisine mixing both Sri Lankan and western dishes.
Breakfast can be a full English breakfast or fresh local fruit. Or indulge in both.
At lunch, you can hide from the midday sun in the air-conditioned restaurant and try one of the light meal options, such as a club sandwich or the flat bread with toppings.
Dinner is best enjoyed al fresco on the terrace overlooking the ocean and the jungle. If you are feeling adventurous, try some of the chef’s Sri Lankan specialities such as Miris Rassathi Isso Viyanjana (fresh prawn cooked in spicy coconut) or Galle Harak Mas Viyanjana (Galle beef curry). Otherwise, there is a wide choice of western dishes with a Sri Lankan twist such as linguini with king prawns and Asian pumpkin sauce or the delicious seafood platter for two.
There is a large pool surrounded by deckchairs and double beds where guests relax to the sounds soothing jazz. Nearby staff ensure that the he citrus fruit-filled water jug is continuously replenished so you are never thirsty.
Click on the image to enlarge. All photos © Martino Matijevic.
The hotel does not have a spa, but you can book a massage which takes place on the outdoor terrace on the first floor.
Is there WiFi?
Yes. It is free throughout the hotel but very intermittent with frequent cutouts.
Prices range from around $250 to $350 per night, depending on the room. Price includes breakfast but excludes 30% tax.
Jungle Beach, a public sandy beach, is a 15 minute trek down a steep hill through the jungle which is served by a small beach restaurant.
On the way to Jungle Beach you will pass the Japanese Peace Pagoda, an imposing white Buddhist temple built by the Japanese monks in 2005. The platform surrounding the pagoda offers far reaching views over the jungle, the ocean and Galle city.
Galle, with it’s historic Dutch Fort, is a 20 minute drive from the hotel. You can get the hotel to hire a taxi or just hail one from the street below.
READ NEXT: When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka
READ NEXT: Sri Lanka Top 10