We were lucky enough to get a booking at the popular W15 this weekend, just as Down South season started. We can't tell what we enjoyed more - the pristine beach or the funky hotel.
Sitting right on the serene Weligama beach strip, W15 boasts a perfect sleepy surfing spot in season, teamed with lush lawns and a buzzing bar. It somehow manages to be fun and yet not tacky. For example, there's music piped through the speakers - but it's sleek tropical bar music, there's a beach bar - but it's dimly lit, with quality cocktails.
The stone pathways, red accents, and sexy night lighting come together for a chic beach vibe. We also loved the large lawn toys strewn about, like giant jenga and pétanque.
The long bar and the beachfront dining are great too. Everything's in good repair, and the symmetry is impeccably neat.
We stayed in one of their 4 Ocean View Deluxe Rooms, which generally retails at about Rs. 25,000 with breakfast (totally variable depending on season prices, booking discounts, etc). Their standard rooms, which are a bit smaller and don't boast a full ocean view, are much less expensive.
Our room was ground floor, and opened out directly onto their infinity pool and lawns. It sported a little seating area, an incredibly plush and comfortable king-sized bed, and a luxurious wooden bathroom. The little trappings here, like the funky steel light switches, the quirky wooden art and lamps, Geneva bluetooth speaker, and zebra blinds really impressed us.
The bathroom was well-appointed too, complete with a rainwater shower, wooden panelling, and plenty of amenities.
We had a cosy beach dinner here, as well as breakfast (included in the room price). The menu is extensive, which actually makes it difficult to choose something. It isn't cheap, you're basically paying Colombo prices here. We decided to opt for a baked crab (Rs. 1700) and a Sri Lankan curry leaf, lemongrass and chicken soup (Rs. 600) - one decadent seafood option, and one simple healthy broth.
The breakfast choices were also extensive, and we settled on a frittata and good old pancakes. Both portions were massive, and came with a nice serving of juice, warm fresh bread, and homemade jam. Perfect.
My frittata was made well, but could have been cheesier (disclaimer : in my opinion, everything in the world would be better if it had more cheese). We also noticed that they serve chicken/beef bacon rather than normal pork bacon, which was a slight let down.
The pancakes were more American-style than my beloved crêpes, but were good. Squashy, soft, and topped with powdered sugar and a side of maple syrup, it was a legit Sunday morning treat.
The staff here manage a commendable balance between being inobtrusive but also attentive. We didn't have any issues, and found them to be genuinely happy and engaged, always smiling and keen to help. They also made sure there were electronic mosquito repellents in the room, and gave us citronella spray when we dined outdoors, which I highly appreciated.
W15 was a great experience for us. Good food, happy staff, gorgeously appointed rooms, and an ace position on the lovely Weligama beach. It's a fun, buzzing place to stay whether you're a group of friends, a young couple, or even a young family (we saw all 3 types there!).
They currently appear to have hefty discounts on too, so snap them up. In case the name sounds familiar, it's because they also have the serviced apartments AV15 in Colombo, which we also stayed at a couple of months ago.