Jetwing has a couple of Galle properties, like the Heritage Villa, Era Beach, and its most famous, Lighthouse. While these tend to overshadow Kurulubedda with sheer size and popularity, it's definitely worth a visit if you want a more secluded and nature-centric holiday.
Design & Ambience
The boutique hotel has just 6 rooms, 2 of which are hidden in a gorgeous little jungle clearing. We stayed in a second story villa by the pool, overlooking the paddy field. Seamlessly integrating with the existing natural elements and foliage, the villas are surrounded by bird calls and squirrels.
The pool itself is quite large for such a small hotel, and is attached to a small open dining area. A wooden pathway snakes around the back, leading from the dining area to the 2 chalets and a jetty in the backwaters. You can take little boat trips from here, which are supposed to lead to some exciting rural Galle views. The murky waters are also home to monitor lizards and possibly mugger crocs.
Despite the abundance of natural elements outdoors, the rooms themselves are chic and well-appointed. They employ an interesting play between polished wood and cement, along with black fittings. They came with all the usual amenities you'd expect, from a mini bar to toiletries, and even charming little handloom bathrobes, which I was incredibly inclined to steal (but didn't).
Again, much like Amaloh, Warwick Gardens, and a couple of other Jetwing properties I've visited, the bathrooms were spacious and lovely. Not focussing on their bathrooms is a mistake many other hotels unfortunately make. With open shutters and separate bathing areas, the bathroom was a lovely annexe to the room.
Our only problem with the accommodation was the mosquitoes, which are hugely prevalent in the Galle countryside. All you can really do is wear some citronella and hope for the best.
The lunch options were a streamlined 3 course meal. I chose a fresh prawn starter salad, a grilled modha main, and a chocolate mousse for dessert. The starter was just brilliant, and could have actually easily served as a light meal in itself. With an abundance of superbly fresh and lightly spiced prawns and salad tossed in vinaigrette, it was the perfect lunch time piece.
The main featured a lightly grilled slice of modha in garlic hollandaise with a few steamed vegetables. The fish itself wasn't overcooked or overspiced, with just a light sprinkling of lime and pepper that let the actual flavour of the fish come through. The dessert was fine, two little scoops of deep chocolate mousse that weren't overly sweet.
Breakfast was quite the feast, with options between Continental and Sri Lankan breakfasts. We tried both, which were proper spreads that could have satiated us through the day. The morning meal was almost as good as the lunch, well flavoured and with plenty of choice.
The service was a bit spotty, because it's a pretty large property and there were just two waiters that I could see. The chef wasn't there either, so my food was brought in from the neighbouring Lighthouse Hotel, which I didn't really mind since it arrived in about 30 minutes. I also did wish that there was a butler/concierge that showed us around the property, because I feel as though there was a lot more to explore on the premises (boating, the paddy fields etc).
I think this lack of staff might have been because I arrived on Independence Day so most of the regular staff was on holiday, because I've heard great things about the service otherwise.
All in all, this is the ultimate spot in Galle for fresh air and a secluded wind down. If you're into untouched jungle and wilderness, this is a good spot for romance.