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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
This former spice warehouse has been transformed into a fabulous small hotel. Although there are only four rooms, each exudes relaxed luxury, with furnishings that have a colonial feel, without the pomp. The bathrooms are large and nicely kitted out...
Kirinda Beach Resort
Located 1km west of town, this quirky compound is right on a dramatic stretch of beach...
This family-run beachfront hotel is a real find. Rooms have a certain vintage charm but are basic. However, everything is clean and well-run...
New Old Dutch House
This place with the timeless name might well be the most immaculate guesthouse in all of southern Sri Lanka. The eight spacious rooms have creaky, polished wooden floors and lovely soft beds. Breakfast can be enjoyed under the courtyard’s pawpaw trees...
From the outside this vast place, with its high walls, looks exactly like a prison and a formidable one at that. But inside you'll find it's all wide open in the one direction it should be: the sea...
Numerous wooden Buddhas greet you on entering this guesthouse and his calming influence seems to permeate everything here. The rooms are smart and spacious and there’s a large lawn shaded by, you guessed it, mango trees.
The Safari Hotel
Run by the same group as Colombo's Galle Face Hotel, this large hotel is Tissa's most mainstream option. The 50 rooms are large and comfortable, albeit slightly bland. Most have unbeatable views over Tissa Wewa (especially at sunset)...
This unassuming resort is about a 100m walk from the beach. Half the rooms are open-plan, allowing you to live an alfresco life of outdoor showers and nights peering at the stars. The other rooms are more enclosed...
Secret Bay Hotel
Set well back from the beach, this guesthouse has rooms split between humble bungalows (best) and a rather looming three-story main building. Decor is simple but accented with vivid blues to reflect the bay. The top-floor restaurant has sweeping views.
This gated compound holds an excellent resort set back from the beach on a small knoll. The grounds are as spacious as the rooms. Service is tops as is the bar and restaurant. It's close to the turtle-viewing area...
Banana Garden Hotel
If you’re tall then it won’t have taken you long to realise that Sri Lankan beds aren’t built with you in mind...
This 19th-century former British Admiral’s mansion has been converted into a small boutique hotel with 10 luxurious rooms, fine service and a jungle-fringed pool. Rooms are set in long colonnaded wings, with remarkably thick walls...
Peacock Reach Hotel
This new place, a short way off the main road to the east, looks like one of those palace-like houses you see on Spanish and South American soap operas (and we suspect it’s just as flimsily built as a film set!)...
Hotel Elephant Reach
The stylish communal areas at this small resort have a free-form style that fits the rustic setting. Rooms include huge showers, stone floors, hemp curtains and TVs. Outside, the large pool curls like a water snake around the gardens...
The eight rooms here are divided between the main building and quieter block out back. All have air-con, while more deluxe units have fridges and hot water. Overall it's very basic, but it does offer a popular pool table.
The number of bronzing backpackers lounging around here indicates that this is a popular choice – and with good reason. There’s a huge variety of well-tended rooms and all manner of traveller-related services. More expensive rooms have hot water.
Amarasinghe Guest House
This delightful place, adrift in a web of rural lanes five minutes inland from the beach, is ideal. A range of 10 agreeably ramshackle rooms and cottages lie scattered throughout gardens...
Built as a 19th-century P&O captain’s residence in the heyday of British mercantile supremacy, this rambling hotel sits on a promontory with views over Galle harbour and the Fort (five minutes west by three-wheeler)...
Light House View Inn
The name aptly describes the view of the Galle's landmark as the lighthouse is right in front. Views of it and the ocean are highlights of the very nice and breezy terrace. The cheapest of the five rooms share a toilet; all have simple decor...
Azure Beach Villa
Somewhat faded from it's once more ambitious self, this small guesthouse has two large rooms, one of which has good views of the pounding waves...
This very modern hotel is very popular with tour groups and is a fine option with 40 comfortable rooms set around a palm-lined courtyard and good pool. A newer wing of rooms have added style...
Peacock Beach Hotel
A kilometre east of town on a pristine patch of beach, Peacock Beach Hotel isn’t quite as impressive as its pompous and showy namesake...