|Entrance to the Spice Grove|
You'll come across The Island Spice Grove at Uthuwankanda--your driver should know of it. The spice garden deals primarily in making medicines out of spices--they'll give you a pamphlet, and explain everything about the garden and give you a complimentary cup of tea with vanilla instead of sugar. They have a shop where you can buy all that. Pricey, though.
At Kalutara, where you turn for Bentota (Galle Rd), you'll see a huge white-domed temple.
|Domed temple at Kalutara|
Bentota is a beach town--with lovely beaches everywhere. Apart, there is less to see, though. But, in the river , many companies set out boats with guides to show several sights around.
We took a boat--paid around Rs 4000 for 4 people for 1.5 hrs. There were many islands around with a few hundred families living. But, we went to an island, where only 1 family lives. They grow cinnamon there, and they show you how to powder cinnamon, and there's an aura of cinnamon in the air! They also sell the cinnamon to you--a packet of a few sticks will cost Rs 300 or so.
|Buddha idol at the temple|
|The beautiful temple surrounds|
Vivanta by Taj- link
|Building of Vivanta|
|Gardens and beach at Vivanta|
|Sea at Vivanta|
Back to the good side...The rooms were impressive, and great if you had sea views. One tip is that try to avoid the first two floors. I don't know how the views from those rooms are, but when you step out, in the corridor, there is rock all around, and it feels dingy and claustrophobic.
The beach was great, and clean. There were many small rocks around and there were good views from them.
Food in the resort was of a high quality. There would be good variety usually.
Other hotels where we had lunch
The ambiance was good here. The resort was small, but quite intimate. No private beach though. A train track separated the resort from the beach. This part was also unfenced, so anyone could enter the resort. Food was OK, service was poor. It took over an hour for the food to arrive--which wasn't too worth waiting for.