Calamansi Cove by Jetwing is a villa-based boutique hotel in Balapitiya. They offer
spacious rooms in a serene, secluded setting overlooking the Balapitiya beach,
and one of the best restaurants we’ve come across down south.
Location & Ambience
When people think of down south the first places that come to mind are
Galle, Hikka, Bentota and Unawatuna, and while those places are great, they’re
fast becoming overcrowded. That’s why Calamansi Cove’s location in
Balapitiya is so refreshing.
While Balapitiya doesn’t have as many shops and eateries, it does offer a
similar ambience with a lot less people. The first thing I thought when
stepping on to the beach was that this is like Negombo beach, sans the
multitude of tourists. So if you’re looking for a private beach-side excursion,
Calamansi Cove fits the bill perfectly.
When it comes to ambience, Calamansi Cove sticks to a simple yet classy
approach with the entire villa complex being white-washed which is beautifully
offset by the ample greener of the cove and the garden space. Walking through
the pathway to our villa we did notice quite a few local flowers in the garden,
and was pleasantly surprised to see them being used in the cuisine.
For those unfamiliar, the hotel’s name is derived from the Calamansi fruit
which is an Asian citrus found in abundance in the Balapitiya area. Calamansi
Cove also comes with its own private beach front along the cove which
stretches for quite a distance.
The pool, while not too big, is also perfect to just lean back, relax and
catch a great view of the sunset.
Villas & Prices
Like we mentioned earlier, Calamansi Cove offers private villas as opposed to
standard rooms. Each villa is like a small, very stylish house complete with
its own landscaped garden, rooftop terrace and open lounge area which is
perfect for reading once the mid-day heat subsides.
Just like the rest of the hotel, the rooms stick with pure white linen and
hard wood floors accented by their green and yellow theme. Each villa comes
with its own TV, WiFi connectivity, indoor and outdoor showers and the usual
bells and whistles. One thing that’s neat is that when they hand you the keys
to the room they also assign a butler whom you can call for anything you
For the most part we found the villas to be great, especially in terms of
comfort with the bed being super soft and just basically making you want to lie
there and sleep all day. Another thing we liked was the soft lighting which
adds to the ambience while being bright enough for reading. The only setbacks
here was that WiFi connectivity was a bit weak inside the room and the picture
quality of the TV could have been better, but then again if you’re sitting
around watching TV, you’re doing something wrong.
The best part of it all though is the fact that unlike so many other hotels,
Calamansi Cove is actually quite affordable so kudos to Jetwing on that front. At the time of this writing,
they’ve got an introductory offer which starts at Rs. 11,000 (BnB), going up to
Rs. 14,500 (full board) which is impeccable value for money. However, our suggestion would be to go on a BnB basis and try out the
à la carte menu at their restaurant.
Since Calamansi Cove is still a pretty new operation we weren’t really
expecting the food to really blow us away, but were we ever wrong! Their
restaurant, The Tangerine, is arguably one of the best hotel restaurants in Sri
Lanka, with each meal being outstanding both in terms of flavour and
Since Calamansi Cove is a boutique hotel they don’t offer a
buffet, instead opting for a curated daily menu which usually comes with a Sri
Lankan and Western option, as well the choice of the going with their
à la carte menu, which we highly recommend.
In fact, we liked the food so much that we felt The Tangerine deserves its
own review, where we’ll go more into detail about the dishes we tried. Suffice
to say that the food here will not disappoint, granted
they can maintain their high standards.
The service at Calamansi Cove was also on point, despite being just a few
months past their opening stage. They’ve opted for a mostly young staff who
were friendly, attentive and very well trained. From what we
saw, they each handled diverse responsibilities, so you’ll see the
receptionists helping out during the dinner service and waiters tending to room
Calamansi Cove by Jetwing delivered everything we expected from them
and then some. While they do have a few minor kinks to work out, we’d say that
this is one of the best deals around with affordable rates, a great location
and some amazing food.