I was looking for a week break during Easter for my family – 3 children under 5 years and wanted a resort which would keep the kids entertained, we could relax and not to far away from Dubai.  I found The Shangri La Resort via social media and researched what entertainment they had for children.

Overlooking the pristine southern coast of beautiful Sri Lanka, Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort & Spa is located along the ancient Spice Route in a city steeped in rich history. Hambantota is known for its natural beauty and wildlife and allows visitors to explore Asia’s most fascinating nature sanctuaries, including the Yala, Udawalawe, Lunugamvehera and Bundala National Parks.

The luxury resort spans 58.8 hectares, making it the largest resort in Sri Lanka, and boasts 300 spacious rooms, including 21 suites, all surrounded by stunning tropical gardens. It is home to an 18-hole golf course, an expansive spa and an artisan village that celebrates local arts and crafts.

Once we arrived at the resort the children were blown away by the vast amount of activities, and as parents, we were impressed with the resort's beautifully manicured grounds. The spacious setting made the property feel endless. The large swimming pool, waterfall and two large water slides offered kids fun activities throughout the day. The beauty of this pool was the water was shallow enough for my smallest child (replace with age of the child) to be able to stand! There's also a baby water park area for the toddlers of the group. With sun beds placed around the pool, parents can enjoy their space and privacy while keeping an eye out for the little ones. 

Twice daily there was a circus school where children could climb a 7m high trapeze. The staff were very cautious of safety and were extremely hands on and supportive while assisting the children up and down the ladder, putting them in a harness and encouraging them to swing on the trapeze bar.

The Cool Zone Kids Club - kept my kids entertained every afternoon which was a perfect way to take a few hours out of the sun. The staff was very patient, kind and friendly. They were daily activities, arts and crafts, sports and a great soft play area. As the hotel is less than a year old all the facilities and equipment were new.

On the opposite side of the kids' area was CHI, Ayurveda Spa with great therapists and a wonderful outdoor relaxing area. If you book the family package, the hotels offers free 90 minute massages which was ideal for a little R&R time.

Also on this side of the hotel – which was the quiet side of the resort was a 30-meter sun set pool where most guests without children relaxed and enjoyed the stunning views of the beach. I personally loved the food tuk tuks which offered drinks and desserts.

For golf lovers, the resort is home to Sri Lanka's premier 18-hole* golf course which is set amid a vast coconut palm plantation, offering spectacular views. The beautifully landscaped par-70 course takes you on a memorable golf experience through three landscaped zones, each with its own unique character.

There was a selection of restaurants from the golf club restaurant to Bojunhala which offered traditional Sri Lankan food. My children loved the all day dining and I have to high five the hotel as every day they offered a kids buffet on children's character plates and at a level where the children could serve themselves. My children took great pride in choosing their own food and serving themselves with a selection of dishes.

 An hours drive from the hotel was a wonderful Elephant Safari tour which took a total of 5 hours either in the morning or the afternoon. Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka. The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir. The reserve covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land area. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country. I would highly recommend this tour, the kids thoroughly enjoyed seeing the elephants and trying to spot the crocodiles in the lakes. You don’t get out of the 4x4 but the sides are open so the children can see perfectly.

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Shangri La Hambantota it was a perfect family destination,  we managed to relax and the children were constantly entertained. This was exactly what we wanted as this was a trip, especially for the children. We were extremely happy with the friendly staff and the great service we received.

Hotel Rates:

They were offering a great “Family Package”  on minimum 4 nights stay which included: breakfast, All facilities, complimentary green fees (golf course) Chi, the Spa journey with one daily 90-minutes signature treatment of your choice for both parents and unlimited wifi.

Premier Golf suite (96 sqm, garden view) – USD526++ per room nightly.

Deluxe Garden room (48 sqm, garden view- on the ground floor) – USD286++ per room nightly.


Udawalawe National Park:

5.00Hrs - 5.30am - 10.30am OR  2.00pm - 7.00pm 

$150.37 USD Child (6-12Yrs) $32.43USD 


How to get there from Dubai

A direct flight on Fly Dubai takes 4 hours and flies into Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, which is 35km away from the resort.

Emirates flies direct to Bandaranaike Intl Airport in Colombo and is about a 3-hour drive to the resort.

The transfer rate from Colombo International Airport to our resort is at LKR 18,630 net per car per way via Dual AC Van.

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