Bentota is one of the oldest and most established tourist resorts on the west coast. For some it will be perfect for others a long way removed from their images of Sri Lanka.

Big all-inclusive package hotels are the staple diet of Bentota. Generally they are all of a decent quality, with clean and large pools, access to Bentota’s goodish beach and friendly staff serving blandish but perfectly tasty food. Great for young families and those who want to sit by a pool and soak up the sun without having to deal with the day to day problems of the subcontinent.

Bentota is also a top destination for water sports enthusiastsk, with a lagoon and the ocean. Water skiing, jet skiing, wind surfing and deep sea fishing are all abundant. Perversely for a village which has one of Sri Lanka’s more welcoming train station, those with a back pack and adventure in their hearts should give Bentota a miss. There are some hidden gems off the main stretch of coast, Nisala Arana for example is a stunning boutique hotel in the ‘old’ village where dependent on the bank balance an overnight stay or a lazy afternoon are thoroughly recommended.

However there is little of interest culturally and the shops are all geared for the tourist market. At peak season it can feel a bit like the Costa de Sol has moved to the tropics.