The Hotel Deephani, Negombo

Location - On the beach in Negombo, just a 20 minute tuk tuk taxi ride to or from the airport. The hotel is well signed from Lewis Place, the main road leading along the Negombo beach area. The hotel can arrange a tuk tuk to the airport, or a pick up for a cheap price, about £3 each way for a tuk tuk or double that for a car. Or, to pay an even cheaper price, just walk onto Lewis place and engage any of the tuk tuk drivers you’ll find there.

Check In/Reception - Quick and easy, no problems.

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The Room - My room was cheap and fine, and functional, nothing more. It cost about £9 a night, and I had a balcony overlooking the garden/sea, a bed that was clean and a mattress that wasn’t too hard. The mosquito net and fan made it cool at night, and the bathroom was clean enough and had hot water.

All in all this is a budget hotel and you get what you pay for but having stayed in many places like this I think it’s a little overpriced for what you get. It’s about as cheap as it gets in Negombo though, so a good choice for the night you arrive or leave the country (Negombo isn’t really worth staying in for long, there are far better beaches a few hours by road south), as it’s so close to the airport and not at all bad.

A big plus point too is that it’s very quiet – no bars or any other source of noise nearby at all except for the roaring sea. Perhaps the best bit about this room was being able to lay in bed at night listening to the waves.

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The Restaurant - The hotel menu was extensive and well priced, the prawn curry came with a large rice, the curry itself plus 3 other dishes (2 other veg curry and one sambol), and it was all very tasty. It costs about £2. Beer was £1 a 625ml bottle, it was cold and an ok 4.8 per cent proof. Just beware of the resident cat, very fast with its claws (it’ll get your hand whilst it’s reaching for the food you put down for it). I’d eat at this restaurant even if I wasn’t staying at the hotel, it was very good value and both dinner and breakfast tasted great.

In Summary - If you are staying in Negombo for a few days and are just moving here for a night before you go to the airport, then visit them in person and reserve a room, because if you don’t then when you walk off the main road and down to the hotel a tout will run in front of you and claim that he is leading you there, and thus the room rent will go up as they’ll give him commission. A lad did this to me but I had already visited them so they turned him away.

The garden is a bit scrappy and this is not a great hotel to hang out in if you want a beach holiday, as there are only 4 or so sun loungers and the view from them is not the beach but a palm leaf fence, but you can walk out the gate and the beach is there. Although if your stay does not lie between December and April then the sea will be too rough for swimming, although of a warm temperature so ok for paddling.

Don’t rush to stay here, but if you are after a decent, cheap option for Negombo, it’ll do fine. And the restaurant is very, very good.

The Deephani has no website as of now, so all you can do is turn up and hope.

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