GOLDI SANDS .------ on first impression I was a bit aprehensive, but after a couple of days the character of this special "family run" hotel switches in!.
Negombo, the small town is littered with little shops and business ventures and contains a few more upmarket chain hotels, which didn't impress when explored and experienced drinks and entertainment.
It is very apparent that the rebuilding and regeneration programme is very slow, after the tsunami and the war, however the locals are resilient and friendly and improvements are slowly happening. Folks still do their washing in the streets, pavements are a rarity and at times there were unusal smells, this is to be expected when one strays from the tourist traps. It was good to have a local massage and manicure rather than a hotel spa one, buy some locally made tops and at the end of the stay, invest in some lovely gold necklaces.
Back to the hotel, the food was superb, the variety, the amount of local food, the presentation was out of this world. What a wonderful selection of interesting and delicate flavours. One of the many chefs invited us into his home for some local food. They are a warm and loving race and desperate for their children to have a better life.
The accomodation was adequate, but one hardly goes to that wonderful climate to sit around in the bedroom. It was well cleaned and the chambermaid/boys did wonderful sculptures with the towels and the room was awash with lovely flower heads.
The entertainment was excellent and the highlight of our stay was the invitation to an amazing traditional Hindu/Tamal wedding, how gracious and accomodating the Bride, Groom and wedding guests were and what an amazing fairy lit event it was.
The Owner of the hotel was very "hands on", he networked and saw everyone was content and happy.
The tours on offer were wonderful, the advised way to travel was with a private taxi and the driver acted as a guide, this was the sensible way to travel when visiting the capital. The longer tours with overnight stays were excellent and we stayed in some amazing 5 star hotels in the jungle. Another half day local tour was a trip down the historic Dutch built canal with a guide pointing out the wildlife and flora, this was lovely and arranged by some of the locals we had made friends with
Lots of Visitors are aware of the hardship post tsunami and it is so rewarding, when seeing the childrens' reaction when given some very basic things. Many folks take pencils, crayons and other school and creative materials for children and I was fortunate enough to be able to take the majority of my baggage allowance in English childrens' books which were gratefully received by the Nuns in the local Catholic School where English was a priority in the curriculum. That visit was most humbling, we travelled in a tiny local tutut, a motor bike with a covered mini truck which we bumped around in. Every class in the tiny very frugally equipped school,( without glass in the windows), put on a tiny performance of local dance, song and music for us, apart from the upper class who wanted to debate issues in the U.K..
We left in tears. What lovely, proud and resilient people.
Do go and visit and see for yourself whilst it is still natural, who knows in a few years time it could be wall to wall hotels and resorts!
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- Also Known As:
- Goldi Sands Hotel
- Goldi Sands Negombo
- Hotel Goldi Sands Sri Lanka/Negombo