Collage by Monica Brand
"It was New Year’s Eve 2010 and we spent the day aimlessly cruising around on rented motorcycles. Lunch at the Amangalla, endless shopping for colorful sarongs at Barefoot, photos at the fort, beers on the beach, sunset drinks at the Jetwing Galle, and a seaside dinner in Unawatuna. It was meant to be an easy night, but who can resist an unexpected beach party with great music, dangerous fireworks, massive bonfires and floating in the sea under a partial lunar eclipse? I love spontaneous and unplanned trips because my expectations are nonexistent and my experiences are always full of pleasant surprises.

For hotel recommendations I’d recommend any one of several small resorts on the beach in Unawatuna for ‘backpackers’. Jetwing Lighthouse is a 5-star, beachside, family friendly, Geoffrey Bawa designed resort. Amangalla is for the luxury traveler  it isn’t on the beach but it’s in the middle of Galle Fort where there are great galleries and boutiques. Barefoot is an awesome place to shop. For families and groups of friends a villa rental on the beach complete with surfboards and private chefs is perfect."

-Yvette Jong
Yvette Jong is a New York born hotelier and the founder and director of Craft House LLC.

January 2013