This is a beautiful hotel situated in a unique position nestled between the shores of the Indian Ocean on one side and the waters of the Bentota River on the other. The hotel itself exudes character, heritage and charm in abundance. It was designed in the 60s by one of Asia’s most influential architects Geoffrey Bawa, and his mark of brilliance remains to this day – following a recent multi-million-dollar renovation his work was painstakingly preserved and is still at the heart of the property. Noticeable features include the stunning batik ceiling in the lobby, the works of art adorning the walls of the lounge bar, and the in house museum and gallery.
The hotel has everything you need for a relaxing beach stay – a gorgeous pool area, access to the golden sand beach, watersports on the river (I highly recommend a relaxing kayak trip along the banks), and if you want to keep active a decent gym and yoga programme.
One of the highlights of staying at this hotel has got to be the food. The all-day dining buffet restaurant, Nossa, really is a fusion of worldwide flavours with Sri Lankan, Chinese, Indian, Italian and British stations. The signature restaurant – Sea Meets Spice – is a special experience with indoor and outdoor seating, and a menu adorned with dishes such as tempered coconut stuffed chicken and curry leaves enriched baked lagoon prawns – all simply delicious! And if you can squeeze it in I’d recommend the Sri Lankan High Tea – selection of small dishes served to perfection.
You can’t help but feel at home here, and that’s thanks to the attentive service from all the staff. No matter where you are or what you need the staff really couldn’t be more helpful. We were all on first name terms by the time the holiday was over!
The hotel is close to many local attractions – including the Geoffrey Bawa Estate where you can visit to learn more about the hotel’s architect and influence. Or you could opt for the mangroves of the Madu Ganga River, or a little further afield a trip to the city of Galle.