We recently re-visited the Lantern Boutique Hotel in Mirissa, after seeing their many signs along the same strip of coast down South. Turns out, they've expanded massively and now also have a spa, and stand-alone boutique villas in addition to their hotel.
With just about half a dozen rooms, the hotel is tiny, well-appointed, and cosy. You can look forward to full staff, a large and varied menu, and an absolutely gorgeous strip of beachfront property.
We stayed in a deluxe suite, a lovely and large room featuring a king size bed and bedroom and a living room/flat screen TV area, separated by a movable frame.
We were particularly appreciative of how inclusive and family friendly this place is, as they've made sure that the downstairs area is wheelchair accessible, especially the downstairs suite. They've also ensured that all the rooms come equipped with an extra pull out bed and mattress in order to accommodate families with children.
A generally minimalist vibe of brushed cement and locally sourced jackwood is complemented by flashes of colour from the beautiful antique pieces in the room.
As pretty as the bathroom was with its multicoloured mosaic tiling and wooden panels, we were a little disappointed that the hot water didn't really work. Apart from that, we had no complaints about the room at all. We opened up the large sliding doors onto the beach path, popped a couple of episodes of Narcos onto the large flat screen TV, and had a serious wind down session.
While the hotel itself is thoughtfully decorated and furnished, it's also helped massively by the beautiful beachfront area. The beach is clear, pristine, and totally empty. We had a nice thambili there and soaked in the view (even off season). The pool is big enough for a few laps or a good soak in the sun too, and you'll generally have it to yourself unless the hotel is totally packed.
The open kitchen is a great touch. There's also a cool antique tea filter and an open bar area for extra aesthetic points. We ordered in a couple of soups, a Wild Mushroom (US $ 6) and a Lemongrass & Lobster Seafood Bisque (also $6).
Frankly, neither quantity or flavour here blew my socks off. Barely about 5 large spoonfulls each, the soups came to about Rs. 1000 with taxes. While the ingredients used appeared to be fresh, somehow the flavours just weren't compelling and we didn't particularly enjoy them.
We also tried a Hot Butter Calamari ($7) as a sneaky night time snack, but were left somewhat disappointed. The dish was mostly large deep fried bits of greens, and a few small bits of very fried, very oily, and not flavourful calamari. Again, the portion was miniscule (the slice of lime in there provides scale).
A Decadent Chocolate Biscuit Pudding ($5) served as our dessert, and salvaged the meal for us. At around Rs. 800 it was decadent alright, but the preparation was perfect. We loved the textures, ingredients, and tastes going on here. The cinnamon ice cream on the side and the almond flakes on top were superb too.
In case the fresh sea breeze makes you thirsty, drinks are relatively cheap. A Carslberg comes to around $4.5, but a shot of alcohol (local and foreign) otherwise is generally around $3.
Breakfast the next morning was good. We opted for simple, straightforward Lankan fare and the staff served up in style. A lovely sweet seeni sambol, fresh egg hoppers, paripu, and chicken curry, all cooked to local perfection. A good daybreak feast.
Overall, the service was effective and polite. the waitstaff were knowledgable, polite, and quick. We also liked that every guest at the hotel is offered a complementary 15 min head or foot massage. The massages are administered by Balinese therapists from the Lantern Spa on the other side of the road, and they're dedicated and friendly. I also opted for a 60 minute full body Balinese massage after that, which was a much needed relaxation session. At $35, I thought it was definitely worth it.
It was actually so soothing that I fell asleep and when my therapist woke me up I realised that she'd done a Dutch braid in my hair, which was slightly peculiar but a very cool and unique touch.
Lantern gets a strong recommendation from us, especially for their beachfront property and Southern hospitality. We look forward to returning when Mirissa season is in full swing, and spending hours in the sparkling azure water.
A lovely little beachfront boutique hotel in Mirissa.
Lantern's proximity to the highway, really comfy rooms and the lovely Mirissa Beach make this boutique hotel a great getaway for Colambars or tourists winding down their vacation. You can just chill here. The food on our visit was so-so, but everything else is top notch, and there's enough options in Mirissa.
The Expressway goes all the way to Matara, you can double-back along the A2 there. You can also take the Weligama exit. From the Weligama side, the hotel is after the main Mirissa strip, before the Casa Colombo collection.
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