The Salty Pelican
''The Salty Pelican Yoga & Surf Retreat in Sri Lanka, offers safe and secure, social luxury accommodation at a price that won't break your travel budget''
In March 2020 I packed my bikini, with my sister in tow, and jetted off to experience what Sri Lanka had to offer. We were booked into The Salty Pelican Yoga & Surf retreat. Admittedly we were there for some pamper and relaxation and no surfing was undertaken!
Our expectations were somewhat low given that the retreat was in fact a hostel which offered both shared and private accommodation.
We took the plunge to go for the shared accommodation, this being my second experience at a hostel, and we did not look back once.
The shared accommodation dorms hold 8 females, 4 ‘bunk’ style beds which were incredibly comfortable and minimal noise due to their concrete fixture (not the traditional squeaky metal bunk beds!).
The rooms are extremely spacious and includes a large locker which fits your suitcase in with ample storage and hanging space.
The shared rooms also have a sizeable balcony which overlooks the infinity pool. Perfect for hanging out those wet bikini's to dry!
The Salty Pelican is by far the most luxurious hostel I have stayed at or even looked at online. The attention to detail throughout the hostel was impeccable. Expect tropical view shower rooms and not a shower curtain in sight!
Grabbing ice cold filtered water from the water stations was an added touch we greatly appreciated in 30c+ temperatures.
The Salty Pelican is situated in Sri Lanka’s slice of heaven, Hiriketiya. It is within walking distance of one of the most beautiful surfing hot spots, Hiriketiya Beach, where you can either jump into your wetsuit to ride those waves or sling on your salty swimwear and take a paddle shoreline.
The drive from Colombo Airport does take 3 hours but it is well worth the trek. The hostel can arrange transport on your behalf (Return price: €180 1-4 person sharing) so you could buddy up with your favourite gal pals to make this journey even more enjoyable and not to mention saving a sweet buck or two!
An important part to any trip is the food right?
I didn’t know what to expect from Sri Lanka other than spice. The food I experienced was the freshest food I have ever eaten and felt truly detoxed and revitalised after a week of Sri Lankan food.
The hostel provides a true healthy a la carte style breakfast which included memorable pink scrummy pancakes and the most amazing eggs in a variety of styles. There was something for everyone!
You can opt to eat at the hostel for lunch/dinner, at an additional price if it isn’t included in your package and I can tell you, you will not be disappointed. A different ‘theme’ is provided each night from traditional Sri Lankan food to Seafood BBQ nights accompanied by acoustic live music or Tropical House music which is played throughout the hostel. A real addictive vibe! (Veggie/vegans fully catered for)
We ate down the road in local food huts a couple of nights during the week to help support the locals and the food was just as delicious! So take a wonder and see where you end up!
Amenities & Trips
Within the hostel itself there are a number of amenities on offer. Get booked in with one of their incredible massages or grab a surf board and head out with the group to catch those waves.
If you are after a more chilled vibe slip into your favourite cheeky bikini and lounge around the pool beanbags and take a swim in the infinity pool.
Yoga classes run twice daily and the equipment is all provided for so you do not need to worry about taking up bikini space in your suitcase!
External trips can also be arranged hassle free with the hostel. The safari is highly recommended. It was the highlight of our trip. We got to see many elephants roaming wild and monkeys with a very funny hair do!
Leave your bikini behind and visit the local temple for a true cultural experience to remember. Please be aware that covering up is essential and you will be expected to walk around the temple and grounds completely barefoot out of respect. Take some change with you as donations are expected. You can either grab a tuktuk yourself to get there or the hostel can arrange the trip for you.
If you are looking for a day trip take a long tuktuk ride (roughly an hour) to Mirissa and visit Coconut Tree Hill at sunset. This place is what dreams are made of! Browse the cute nick-nack shops for gifts and local tea!
- Walk down to Hiriketiya Beach and get your hands on a fresh coconut and roti from the side street vans and take in the beachside views. Pure bliss!
- Get a little tipsy down at Dots Bay House (walking distance) whilst enjoying live music and meet other like minded travellers
Jess - Founder / Head Beach Babe @ Salty Bottom.
The Salty Pelican offers three types of packages with their stays. Choose from Short Surf & Yoga package, Short & Sweet Package or Balance & Restore Package. These packages are taken from Salty Pelican's website for guidance only and you can stay as long as you like at the hostel. For more info visit their website https://www.saltypelicanretreats.com/sri-lanka-homepage
Short Surf & Yoga package (3 or 7 nights)
WHATS INCLUDED..... * Unlimited yoga classes (3+ classes per day) * Sunrise Meditation * Sunrise Yoga * Afternoon relaxing Yin Yoga & meditation classes * 1 x Surf lesson per person * 1 x 50 minute Full body massage per person * 1 x Seafood/Vegetarian BBQ or Sri Lankan Rice & Curry dinner per person * Unlimited premium surfboard rental * Free unlimited purified cold drinking water available all day * Free time to explore National Parks * All yoga mats & surf equipment provided * Delicious healthy a la carte breakfast daily *1 x Poolside cocktail drink per person.
Short & Sweet Package. (3 nights)
WHAT'S INCLUDED..... * Unlimited yoga classes (3+ classes per day) * Sunrise Meditation * Sunrise Yoga * Afternoon relaxing Yin Yoga & meditation classes * 1 x 20 minute Wellness treatments of choice per person * 1 x 50 minute Full body massage per person * 1 x BBQ or Sri Lankan rice & curry dinner per person * Unlimited premium surfboard rental * Free unlimited purified cold water available all day * Free time to explore National Parks * All yoga mats & surf equipment provided * Delicious healthy a la carte breakfast daily * 1 x Poolside cocktail drink per person
Balance & Restore Package (7 nights)
WHAT'S INCLUDED..... * Unlimited yoga classes (3+ classes per day) * Sunrise meditation * Sunrise Yoga * Afternoon relaxing Yin Yoga & meditation classes * 1 x 50 minute Full body oil massage per person * 1 x 50 minute Deep tissue massage per person * 1 x Body salt scrub per person * 1 x 20 minute Intensive head massage per person * 1 x seafood/vegetarian BBQ dinner per person * 1 x Sri Lanka Curry & Rice dinner per person * Unlimited surfboard rental * Free unlimited purified cold water available all day * Free time to explore National Parks * All yoga mats & surf equipment provided * Delicious healthy a la carte breakfast daily * 7 nights accommodation * 1 x Sunday night cocktail