One and a half hours south of Colombo lies Bentota, a relatively quiet beach destination that offers a clutch of package resorts, but to the southern end a selection of fine boutique hotels and villas. These are situated at discreet intervals from one another and some are the creation of revered architect, Geoffrey Bawa. The beaches around Bentota are golden, sandy and look out to the inimitable Indian Ocean. Nearby is Aluthgama, home to a raucous fish market and local eateries. It’s worth noting that a railway line backs some of the hotels in Bentota, but we feel this doesn’t cause too much disruption, as the trains are fairly infrequent. Many people feel this actually adds to the colonial ambience and they enjoy waving the passers by. Bentota offers a wonderful opportunity to relax at either the beginning or at the end of a trip, and due to its variety of accommodation it suits most budgets and tastes as well.