Now that the world has opened up again for travel, we’ll be sharing some guides from our favourite earth conscious stays. Top of our list is The Kip in Sri Lanka, a beautiful guesthouse curated by inspiring couple Phoebe and Seddy, who fell in love with the Islands slow pace and simple way of life before setting up their lives there. We chat to Phoebe to find out what Island life is like and she shares her insider guide to Sri Lanka, from the best surf spots, day trips and local dishes to try.
Could you share a little bit about how The Kip got started and how it has evolved over time?
Essentially, The Kip began as a natural extension of our life & home on the island. After moving here in 2015, in pursuit of a slower lifestyle, we wanted to invite others to share the magic that comes with disconnecting and re-aligning with nature. We wanted to create a space for those who seek a more meaningful travel experience. A travel experience which centres around the ocean, community, connection, art and everything in between The Kip has (and will always will be) an evolving space. It was never meant to be static. Our rooms tell our story.
Since opening, The Kip has become so much more than a hotel. It has become a gathering place, a place for workshops, a place to celebrate the beauty and craftsmanship behind the handmade…oh, and most importantly, a place to grab an epic post surf coffee (hahah) as we now have a little cafè (and shop) onsite.
What was it that drew you too Sri Lanka?
Definitely the slow rhythm of island life, It’s beauty and storybook beaches. To wander on this humble island is an experience like no other. For us, it was love at first sight. We were drawn in so easily, as days can be spent beneath the palms, somewhere between the jungle and the surf. Life is simple here.
What does a day in your life look like at The Kip?
First of all, no two days are the same at The Kip. We definitely don’t live a monotonous life (that’s for sure) and we LOVE that. A typical day also looks very different since having our daughter, Opheila (who is now a very very busy toddler).
In saying that, we always wake up early and head down to our favourite little beach to enjoy the quietness of an early morning swim as a family. We then head back to The Kip for breakfast & a coffee (or two) before dividing and conquering the day. While one of us spends the morning with our daughter (they also get the added benefit of a little midday siesta), the other attends to all things Kip related. We then usually swap for the afternoon before meeting up for some more family beach time. In between all this, we are usually lucky enough to catch up with whichever friends and/or amazing guests pass through the doors of The Kip that day.
We are truly blessed for the life we live at The Kip…and never more so than now (post covid)
What are your favourite:
Ahangama is home to some of the best and most consistent surf on the South Coast. Devils Rock is a local favourite and has great lefts and rights that can hold up to 4-6ft of swell, and provide long rides. There is also Marshmallows, Lazy Left and Sticks. You can’t really go wrong! There are waves for all levels of surfers here in our little village.
Mr Sunil’s. A small roadside shack that not only serves up the best local food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) but also the most amazing ocean views. If you go, make sure you try his super scrumptious "full package" dinner!
The rooftop bar at LightHouse (Ahangama) - This neighbourhood gem is our absolute favourite spot to end the day (with G&T in hand). The sunset view from here is quite possibly the best on the island. Watch the waves roll in from the Indian Ocean as the sun sets over the palm fringed coastline. It is magic. Time stands still.
Ceylon Sliders (Weligama) - Another epic rooftop bar (just a hop, skip and a jump from The Kip.) We love nothing more than heading here for a few cocktails with friends (overlooking Taprobane Island) followed by dinner. You always know vibes are going to be high and tunes on point.
Activities other than surfing?
Bicycle rides inland through the rice paddies, watching village/jungle life unfold in front of you, doing nothing but sip on tamballis (king coconuts) beachside... Or for a more holistic experience, booking in for a bodywork session with Franco from You are The Sea.
Sri Lankan towns to day trip to?
Hiriketiya - the most gorgeous little surfing bay about 45 mins from The Kip. If you go, make sure you also stop by for lunch or sundowner at our friends over at Mond. Madiha - great waves, great turtle spotting and great live music (at The Doctors House)
What are some must-try Sri Lankan dishes?
My absolute favourite is Batu Moju (a sweet/sour eggplant pickle dish with a hint of chilli). Insanely tasty... followed closely by Coconut Roti, Kiribath (milk rice) & dhal.
What part of Sri Lankan culture do you love the most?
Poya Day - a day dedicated to celebrating the full moon (in line with the Buddhist lunar calendar and moon-phase marking system). It is a public holiday, shops are closed and days are slow. It’s a beautiful tradition.
Prepare for your next surf trip to Sri Lanka with one of our sustainable surf suits here >