a VirtualTourist member
I am getting married at the Mt Lavinia Hotel on the 2nd of March. On the 27th of Feb, myself and several of the guests would like to go on a surf trip down to Hikkaduwa.
We are looking for a relaxed, no frills hotel/guest house that is close to a good surfing spot. We only intend to stay for one night and leave midday on the 28th. Can you think of any places that would match our criteria? Should we book in advance or just head down the coast and look for a place to stay when we get there or will this open us up to disappointment?
Secondly, we wish to leave Mt Lavinia early on the 27th to make our way down to Hikkaduwa. What would be our best option for transport?
Any suggestions will be most appreciated
You'd as well leave the decision until you arrive in Hikkaduwa. Our choices would be Curry Bowl Guesthouse or nearby Coral Gardens hotel (which is slightly more upmarket), but plenty of rooms around that time.
Transport can be done by train but it would take more time than car. This is because, whilst there is a station nextdoor to the Hotel, only slow trains stop there; you'd have to transfer at Panadura (or sometimes nearer by Moratuwa) station to the express that goes to Hikkaduwa. Also no guarantee of a seat in the train...
Hope this helps,
My choice would be Cinnamon Gardens.....very cheap, great food, great bar, basic but right on the beach.
How should I go about getting someone to drive us down the coast Early on the 27th and drive us back midday on the 28th?
Simply inquire at Mt. Lavinia Travel Desk. It'll be a trade-off between
a) One-way and then another taxi arranged in Hikkaduwa for next day. Target price is Rs 50 per km, it's about 100 km, so Rs 5000. Times 2 for overall cost.
b) Return. Then target price is Rs 35 per km, altogether only Rs 7000. BUT, you are also responsible for meals and overnight stay of driver in Hikkaduwa. If you take a cheap guesthouse, extra cost to pay yourself (maybe Rs 1000?). If you take something like Coral Gardens, they should have a Drivers's quarter where he gets free dorm and food...
Travel Desk of course tends to have the more expensive taxi companies, but outside the hotel you'll find lots of 'beach boys' and some agencies that are even more open to bargaining than some of the formal companies.
Thanks for all your help.
Do any of the said taxi drivers drive mini vans that can 6-7 people?
Yep, for sure. But count for probably around Rs 5-10 extra per km, because the van drinks a bit more of the Arab Magic Drink than normal cars ;-) Better book the day before you plan to depart, usually these are available but not standby near the hotel.
Have surfing fun,
& [Sandya] - still content with their 120-person reception last fall at Mt. Lavinia
hi well I agree with the travel plans to get to Hikkaduva just a note about vans, see if you can get the hotel (Mt Lavinia) to book you a professional cab service Kangaroo cabs have a van service number +94 11 2501501, some ordinary joes who hire vans can sometimes be a bit unreliable, a good hotel we visited recently was http://www.coralsandshotel.com/ has a good beach and we got lot of clean breaks