Bentota combines a number of package resorts plus an excellent selection of upmarket hotels and the National Tourist Resort, which comprises a shopping centre, post office and a market. The town has long been a tourist haven, for in the 19th century, when Galle was the island’s main port, those proceeding to Colombo in stagecoaches stopped here at the rest-house (long gone) and indulged in local oysters!
Bentota is Sri Lanka’s water-sports centre. The sea here is calm and an excellent diving location. The beach divides into two, the north end comprising a spit of land – dubbed “Paradise Island” - dividing the waves of the Indian Ocean from the still waters of the Bentota Lagoon, while the more pleasing southern end comprises an attractive swathe of wide sandy beach where some of the island’s best upmarket hotels are located. Surprisingly, although Bentota is one of the island’s most popular resorts, the beach is relatively quiet.
The Bentota Lagoon offers a wide range of water-sports such as wind-surfing, water-skiing, canoeing, banana-boating and deep-sea fishing. In addition, the Bentota Ganga (river) has been an important tourist attraction since the 19th century. Boat safaris up the beautiful river provide an ideal opportunity to observe a variety of fauna – from herons to crocodiles - associated with a wetland environment.
You can also explore the remains of the Galapata Vihara, built in the 12th century, which has interesting wall paintings, Buddha statues, and a large rock that has an extract from the chronicle, the Mahavamsa, carved on it.
About 3km south of Bentota is a turtle hatchery, where eggs bought from fishermen are buried. When they hatch the baby turtles are kept in tanks for a few days before being released into the sea...
Formerly known as the Bentota Beach Hotel, the soon to be renovated Cinnamon Beach is amongst one of the more friendly 5 star hotels on the Bentota coast and boasts the best coastal views, beaches and the river for watersports.
Located between Bentota's stunning white beach and the tranquil river, Bentota Beach Hotel's design was inspired by the Dutch Fort architecture and nestled within 30 acres of coconut plantation. It has an unrivalled position facing the Indian Ocean on one side and the calm waters of the river lagoon on the other. Expansive golden sandy beaches allow you to soak up the sun, entertain children, take romantic beach strolls or enjoy a stunning sunset, all in one day.
Hotel Serendib is located in Bentota; one of the finest beaches along the South Coat of Sri Lanka, 99 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport and 66 km from Colombo. It is themed on an 18th century Dutch village by Sri Lanka’s world-famous architect, Geoffrey Bawa.
Its main restaurant serves both Sri Lankan and continental cuisine while mid-morning, mid-afternoon and mid-night snacks can be enjoyed at its coffee shop and its lounge area. Hotel Serendib offers a resident bar, a beach bar and other facilities such as satellite TV and internet kiosk.
Taj Exotica is one of the most luxurious five star beach resorts in South Asia. The 162 deluxe room hotel is located on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka along the golden mile beach at Bentota. Taj Exotica is uniquely located on a large headland overlooking the Indian Ocean. Taj Exotica, Sri Lanka is the perfect sanctuary for a luxurious holiday on Asia's most exotic island, known for thousands of years as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.