How to spend a day in Negombo, Sri Lanka

Stay at Jetwing Blue and you’ll be able to combine the Sri Lankan city’s urban attractions with seaside relaxation.

Published 6 Oct 2019, 19:46 BST
Jetwing Blue hotel
Jetwing Blue
Photograph by Jetwing Hotels

Start the day with a dip in the infinity pool before a breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries and egg hoppers. Then, hop on a bike to cycle along the Hamilton Canal — a Dutch-built waterway that weaves around the city and stop off for a juice and samosa at one of the villages along its banks. Next up, hail a tuk-tuk to Angurukaramulla Temple — a striking fortress with a Buddha at its centre and an ornate shrine room in its interior.

The sun’s beating down and there’s only one place you’ll want to be — Negombo’s beautiful beach; this sedate stretch of sand runs north from the town. The golden curve has rightfully gained a reputation for some of the town’s best people-watching — of ice cream-licking locals, of guitar-strumming travellers, and excitable tots running in the shallows and scooping sand into palms.

If you’re feeling lazy, pull up a chair at Black Coral for relaxed fine dining — a popular place that pulls in a fun crowd of food enthusiasts. Sri Lankan ingredients are at its core and the place buzzes until late. For something with a less-is-more ethos in a space that focuses on exceptional food and drink, head to Centre Point Grill and Bar at Jetwing Blue — the atmosphere is unpretentious and the food is delicious.

Four more hotels in the city

Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions: Close to the Negombo shoreline, this Ayurvedic resort is spread across a pretty patchwork of courtyards and lush gardens.
Jetwing Beach: This beachfront pad has a superb spa as its centrepiece and toes-in-the-sand dining.
Jetwing Sea: Situated right on Negombo Beach, this contemporary space is crowned with a rooftop spa and has a restaurant with a reputation for serving up top-notch, delicious seafood.
Jetwing Lagoon: The 100-metre pool at this lagoon-side hotel is its ace card.

Average flight time: 13h.
Jetwing Blue is just a 30-minute taxi ride from Colombo Airport.

Published in the September 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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