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Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa review | spa resort, Sri Lanka

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Retreat

Sri Lanka’s largest family-friendly beachside spa & golf resort

The quick read: The largest resort in Sri Lanka, this vast beachside hotel has 300 rooms, an 18 hole golf course, oodles of kids facilities, three pools and a relaxing ayurveda spa. Sri Lankan staff are uber-friendly and if you don’t mind large hotels it’s a great place to come as a stressed parent – book into a ground floor room by the kids activities and let them run wild while you relax.

Looking out from our room at Shangri La

Looking out from our room at Shangri-La

How was it for us: I came here with my family for two nights at the end of an adventurous two weeks travelling around Southern Sri Lanka. The hotel is large and rather functional in feel, and not the kind of hotel we would usually choose, but our six year old daughter loved it. There were plenty of kids from around the world to meet and play with in the Cool Zone Kids Club, she could do (supervised) outdoor trampolining whenever she wanted, and there was a special children’s pool complete with water park and slides to use too. We also enjoyed making pottery together the Sri Lankan way in the artisan village. With Annoushka occupied, my husband and I had perfectly decent 90 minute massages in the spa, followed by ginger tea on a courtyard swing, and enjoyed swimming in the adult pool and dipping our toes into the ocean.

shangri-la-hambantota-new-found-friends-at-the-artisan-village-copyright-qor

Making new friends

Queen of Retreats crownWhat’s queenly: The highlight of our stay was a morning safari trip to Udawalawe National Park (one hour away), where we saw elephants close up and watched splendid peacocks call from the top of high bare trees. (Be aware though that the park’s government-run toilet facilities at the entrance are a disgrace).

What’s lowly: The hotel is set on an unswimmable beach, like many on this southern stretch of Sri Lankan coast, and its vastness and rather functional design can make it feel impersonal.

Insider tip: For peaceful eating and the most efficient service, book a table outside at Ulpatha, the golf club bar and restaurant, where a happy hour each day from 5.30-6.30 pm make the wine prices (which are inflated by huge government taxes) easier to swallow.

Price: From US$293 (approx. £237) per room per night.

Travel tip: If you’re flying from the UK to Sri Lanka, Holiday Extras offers trusted Meet and Greet services at all major UK airports. To book a week’s Meet and Greet parking at Heathrow Airport from £47.92 , visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 1313 777.

shangri-la.com Other relaxing hotels

Reviewed by Caroline Sylger Jones

© Queen of Retreats

on-safari-in-sri-lanka-at-udawalawe-national-park-elephants

Shangri-La Hambantota is the perfect base for a trip to Udawalawe National Park where you can see elephants up close