Jetwing's reign over Negombo has been unparalleled. With around 5 hotels there, each at differing price points and offerings, there's really not much reason to look anywhere else when you're on the search for Porutota strip accommodation. We spent a night at one of the oldest stalwarts there, Jetwing Beach, and had a lovely (and lazy) time.
A cool feature of this hotel is that every room boasts an ocean view. Rooms are spacious, earthy-toned, and employ plenty of natural light. It's understated old-world charm, lots of wood on whitewash, and sunset orange accents.
As usual, the bathroom's been given a lot of attention and space, which is a feature you'll find standard across Jetwing hotels. It's also very open (another standard feature), so you'll need to pull blinds down unless you want your roommate to watch you bathe. Or poop. No judgement here.
Our room view was beautiful, we looked out onto the pool. smatterings of palm trees, and the beach and ocean beyond. The salted wind and the sound of the waves just added to the beach vibe. There was also an annoyingly friendly squirrel who lurked about and just wanted to hang out (and eat our bananas).
The star of our dining experience was the high-end Black Coral, which is now arguably one of our favourite restaurants on the island. Fresh seafood, well-paired flavours, and solid quantities teamed with a serious dedication to service made for a stellar dining experience. We felt the Black Coral deserved a separate review, so we'll publish that soon.
As for the rest of the food, we attempted the breakfast buffet. Even though we were essentially the last guests to make it to the buffet, the staff was more than helpful, and the action stations were still in full swing. We tried a little bit of everything, both Continental and Lankan fare. The hoppers were a real delight, as were the crepes which we had with a savoury mushroom sauce they whipped up upon request.
Our room turned out to be a reflection of the hotel's open-plan reception decor. The warm, earthy tones were maintained, along with plenty of local artwork, wood, and open air space. The foyer also looks out onto the general pool and beach area.
There are two pools on the property, one that's out in the sun and more popular with families, and another slightly smaller plunge pool near the bar. While the sunnier pool is larger, it's also far too popular with flocks of feisty crows, so I preferred the inner section.
The key draw of the hotel is its vast beachfront property, an expanse of golden sand dotted with the occasional old wooden sail boat. The water isn't always swimmable, but the beach is a great spot to chill with a book and an ice cold drink.
We noticed, and were intrigued by the murals on the ceiling of the hotel entrance, which appeared to be an homage to ancient Sri Lankan art. It added a beautiful cultural touch to the hotel's aesthetic.
We indulged in a spa session for two, which they happily conducted in a couples' room. A 60 minute full body massage was the order of the day. A leisurely, slow, ayurvedic session involving herbal oils and long stroke pressue deep tissue treatments, the massage was intensely refreshing and therapeutic. It also opened with a foot scrub, and ended with a steam session, which were nice touches. At Rs 5,000 for a 60 minute Aromatherapy session, it seemed pretty reasonable to us.
The service was what we've come to expect from a Jetwing luxury experience. We encountered friendly and enthusiastic staff that were knowledgable about the hotel and their services, and were keen to anticipate our needs. We were also invited to a Sri Lankan cultural show at sunset, which we really enjoyed. It featured fire breathing, Kandyan drummers and dancers, and spinning. It was clearly a treat for the foreign guests and a nice local introduction.
An uncomplicated, leisurely beach holiday. With the Porutota beach strip barely 30-40 minutes away from Colombo, Jetwing Beach is a strong option for a family or couple getaway on a normal weekend. Get a massage, get a cocktail, and let the shore lull you into relaxation.