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“Food only - best in Sri Lanka” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Bay Hotel

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Secret Bay Hotel
Ranked #15 of 17 Hotels in Matara
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Food only - best in Sri Lanka”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2014

We stayed at the Talalla Retreat and came after reading reviews of the food by Nisansala. We were not disappointed - amazing food and fantastic value for money.
The restaurant is located on a third floor verandah with fantastic views of the beach. Clean (we took our shoes off) and well designed chairs and tables. Only one other table both nights that we went, so a very cosy dinner with the sounds of the waves crashing by. Nisansala, the cook there is fantastic and so friendly and you can see that she runs a spotless kitchen.
Highlights were definitely the fresh prawns - have them grilled or in the amazing curry that Nisansala prepares. We also pre-ordered the lobster for our last night in Talalla. Definitely more expensive, but for about LKR7000 we stuffed ourselves silly with one kilo of freshly grilled goodness. The chips that come with the grilled items are surprisingly delicious too, and leave some room for the freshly fried banana 'flitters' (as it says on the menu).
Do make sure to head there earlier in the evening as it closes by 9pm - we tried going the second day at 8pm but it had already closed as there are only one or two patrons per evening!
On our last day, we bumped into Nisansala on the way to a quick lunch at the beach cafe, and she rustled up some grilled prawns and fish especially for us!
We did not stay at the hotel, but seems like a place to be avoided. I used the bathroom downstairs and was cut with a sharp nail that was sticking out of the door handle!

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank destistations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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82 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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  • English first
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English first
Island of Anglesey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2014

I could have stayed here for longer. we had the room on the second floor so had a view right down to the beach. Big, comfortable room and hot water, no power shower but considering its a small fishing village we weren't expecting all mod cons. Wifi worked great and on holiday is it so vital anyway?? The food by Nisansala was great, freshly cooked and tasty and served with a smile. The beach is amazing, hardly anyone there and many more locals going about their business than people on holiday. The beach café that is part of the hotel was great too, perfect for a cup of tea or coffee after dinner, feet in the sand and lights in the trees.
Yes it is more expensive than most places in sri lanka, but cheaper than the other two main places to stay and you are paying for the peace and privacy.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sally J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2014

We stayed here for three nights. At the time there was building work going on but we didn't care because the food was totally amazing - definitely the best we had in sri Lanka, and the beach was deserted and beautiful. We had such a lovely time just eating and hanging out on the beach with the kids. It was one of our highlights from a six wk trip to Sri Lanka.

We stayed a night longer than planned and then headed off to Mirissa. Wished we had stayed longer as Mirissa is pretty much ruined now. So stay here now before the crowds and the hotels arrive.

Overall fantastic. We loved it.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank janinecharlotte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barcelona
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2014

Together with my girlfriend and another friend we stayed at this hotel for 3 nights. The location is just perfect as it's 20 meters away from a pristine beach but the rest was just not good considering the price thye charge for their basic rooms. No hot water, rooms were not clean, Wi-fi was not working, we could not enter into the room before 8pm, the service at the restaurant is just slow and sometimes you cannot even sit at the table as they only have a few ones.

We could not leave from the hotel as they request to pay the whole amount in advance and they refused to give the money back in case on cancellatoin but I reckon we would have left on the first day. This hotel is the worst place where we stayed in Sri Lanka, worse than any other guest house and by far the most expensive. For the same price you can find lots of places in the area, I would not recommend this one.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Linusbcn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Matara hotels

Lindfield, United Kingdom
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

If you do only one thing whilst in Talalla then make it the Pumpkin Curry as cooked by Nisansala, wonderful. Our family had a great time at this hotel and on the beach in Talalla. Wonderfully quiet but don't share the secret with too many people otherwise it'll be spoilt.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank peacurry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2014

Staying at the Talalla Retreat across the road where the food wasn't great but a saving grace was Secret Bay guest house. Local lady Nisansala cooks at the beach bar in the day and the roof top restaurant in the evening. Small prawns, Jumbo prawns, squid curry and her pumpkin curry is the stuff of legends, brown rice, good chips, lime dressed salads. Preordering lobster is an option; we did this on xmas day and fr a birthday celebration and it was truly amazing, finish the meal with a coconut & honey pancake if you can manage - Delicious!

Written by two foodies

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PerryPerry2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2013

We had a really pleasant stay at Secret Bay - the location on Talalla beach was great. The food that Madhu cooks is simply superb, right up there with the best we had in Sri Lanka. She even took the time to show my girlfriend how to cook one of dishes (looking forward to that when I get home!) The beach bar they have down in the sand is another real plus. Service is friendly though at times not overly attentive. We did have issues with our A/C unfortunately, it wasn't working for the whole 3 nights we were there - we got a token discount ($40 total) and a fan on the last night but it was a bit of a let down. The rooms are also on the expensive side - we opted for the premium "seaview" room at $125 a night, however it is pretty basic and I would call it sea "glimpes" rather than proper frontage and only from the balcony. Garden view room below would be better value.

There is construction going on at the moment, it didn't really impact as it is off to the side of the main building but the sound of power tools made us head to the beach rather than chill on our balcony. Some of the new rooms should have great views...

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Luke S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Bay Hotel

Property: Secret Bay Hotel
Address: | Tallala, Matara, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Matara
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 17 Hotels in Matara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Secret Bay Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Secret Bay Hotel Sri Lanka/Matara

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