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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Mango House, Galle Fort

Galle has some lovely places to stay, but one of the nicest things about the town is that  you can find great places to stay at every price point. There are plenty of beautiful but expensive options like the luxe Amangalla where we enjoyed a late afternoon drink, but it's also possible to find small boutique  hotels and guesthouses in converted colonial buildings which offer great value.

We stayed at the recently opened Mango House which I found on I find myself using the site more frequently because  the reviews are particularly reliable - you can only review a property on if you've stayed there, unlike Tripadvisor which is open to manipulation.

Mango House is  a lovely small guesthouse, a modern, stylish renovation of a traditional colonial home. Open, bright and charming it was an excellent value at $80 a night plus tax, including a superb breakfast. I appreciated the public spaces, their small environmental efforts, such as shampoo and soap in refillable pottery containers and the fact that they put us in a better room at no additional charge. The owners were extremely hospitable and could not have been nicer. They let us stay very late the next day (as we had an evening flight) and helped us sort out our onward plans. Here's the first room, before we moved to a larger room with a small patio. Apologies for the blur, as you can see I took the photo on my iPad!
As you can see the garden at the front of the house was charming too. If you are looking for a nice place at a reasonable price I can recommend the Mango House.