We found the most perfect Air BnB for families and large groups in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka and want to share it with you!
We spent three weeks traveling around Sri Lanka, and used a few different types of accommodation, including hotels, home stays, and Air BnBs where we rented either part of a house or the whole thing. Finding accommodation for a family of 6 where you don’t want to be split into separate hotel rooms and don’t have a huge budget can be tricky, so when we find gems I want to share them so everyone can enjoy them. The very first house we stayed in in the coastal town of Hikkaduwa was our favourite of the whole trip, here is why.
We arrived in Sri Lanka late at night, and knew we didn’t really want to stay in Negombo or near the airport as I had heard it was pretty dirty and didn’t offer much. Previously we have found the first few mornings after a long haul flight can be really tricky with jet lag, especially if our boys want to get up early but other guests are still sleeping. So this time we knew we wanted our own space with our own pool so we could just relax for a few days, get used to the heat and get over the jet lag. We wanted something close to the airport, but still somewhere that offered clean beaches, a nice town and an easy introduction into our first experience of Asia. We also wanted every accommodation to offer something about Sri Lanka for us to experience. Possibly too much to ask?
Apparently not – as I found the most perfect air BnB that fulfilled everything we needed and more. Coconut Orchard is in Hikkaduwa , a small town on the coast between Columbo and Galle. The host arranged a taxi transfer for us, so we didn’t need to worry about finding our way there which was great as it was tucked out the way down a little track which may have been hard to find at night. It cost around £50 for an air conditioned large mini van and the driver met us at the gate, took our bags and spoke great English, telling us all about Sri Lanka. He even stopped at a supermarket so we could grab some essentials. The reassurance of knowing we had a driver who was reliable and safe, and to just jump straight into the taxi when we arrived was worth every penny.
The house itself is a traditional 3 bed bungalow, with air conditioned bedrooms and large living space plus a fully equipped modern kitchen. But best of all there’s a gorgeous outdoor uncover area offering shade and a pool that’s plenty big enough for swimming, jumping and playing. We had our first experience of tropical rain whilst we were staying here and there was plenty of room to sit undercover and watch the garden fill up with water ( whilst the staff looked on delighted with the much needed rain). There were books and local guides, board games and cards to while away a few hours, and there was a tv too although we didn’t even get a chance to switch it on as the pool was too appealing and there was too much to miss in the garden – we saw mongoose, iguana and the most amazing birds all on the lawn.
As with many of the houses in Sri Lanka, the house has several members of staff who were around during the day, a housekeeper who helped us find our feet, a cleaner who appeared as if by magic to wash up when needed, a gardener and a night watch man. It meant that the house and garden was always pristine, we were safe at night and didn’t need to feel responsible for the house. We’d read the reviews from previous guests and heard about the food from the housekeeper, Gamini and asked him to cook us a meal. Homemade pizzas for the boys that they declared best pizza ever, and a selection of vegetable curries, string hoppers and red rice for adults ( in an ideal world yes we’d all eat the same but the lure of the pizza oven was just too much to tempt the boys over into curry… and I was happy not to share!) It was quite simply the best curry I’ve ever had. Vegetarian, gluten free, cooked fresh in front of our eyes and for just a few pounds. It’s worth staying at this place just for the food.
Reluctantly we tore ourselves away from the pool and garden and called a Tuk Tuk using the phone that comes with the house ( such a useful addition – when we wanted to go home, we just called the same driver, so easy and so safe and no need to navigate! We didn’t realise just how much of a blessing this was until later in our trip when we had all kinds of adventures with Tuk Tuk drivers, who rarely speak English and don’t always know where they are going) . Andrea, the owner, had given us some great recommendations for places to go and a secret cove where we could swim with turtles. We explored the town, bought some cotton trousers from the huge selection of shops on the beach front, ate some great food, sheltered in a cafe from the sudden rain and paddled at the beach. After the rain the water seemed much dirtier, but there are natural pools created by the reef that you can explore too that seemed to look cleaner.
We spent three nights at the Coconut Orchard, and everyone left wishing we had booked longer. It was such an easy house to relax in, every little thing we might need had been thought about and our stay was so easy – and that always scores highly for me! We fitted easily into the three bedrooms, with one large king bed and two doubles, so as well as working for family this would be great house for a group of friends too as there is so much living space to all relax in. Its just the right balance of modern comfortable without feeling too sterile, we still felt like we were in Sri Lanka, but with some western comforts. We knew when we left it was a great place to stay but as we travelled around other places we realised just how much thought had gone into making this the nicest place we stayed in our whole trip!
We booked the Coconut Orchard through Air BnB. This isn’t an ad, we paid to stay there and we just want to share our great accommodation finds with other families looking for brilliant accommodation in Sri Lanka. We love using Air BnB for the security it offers and the opportunity to stay somewhere really special. If you haven’t discovered Air BnB yet, you can get £25 off your first booking using this link . If you want to read more about our trip around Sri Lanka, you can see all the posts here.