The second day in Sri Lanka saw us head central north with our driver and vehicle to an area known as the Cultural Triangle. The hotel we were heading for is a unique boutique we had wanted to visit for a while and as soon as we arrived it didn’t disappoint. We were warmly greeted with cool spiced tea and given a lovely introduction to the luxury hotel by the guest relation officer who explained that at the hotel’s core is a 150 year old mansion, with just 20 private eco chalets positioned throughout the grounds that stretch an impressive 58 acres. The sheer size of the land means that you feel like you’re the only guests in residence, even if it’s fully booked. There are almost 100 staff so you never want for anything as someone always seems to be on hand.
Before being taken to our room we were invited to formally announce our arrival at the hotel by lighting a candle together and then ringing a glorious wall of vintage bells. This is not an ordinary check-in, but then it’s by no means an ordinary hotel. It’s so special. With huge grins on our faces we were then driven to our room on a buggy, which is very exciting. As we wound through the immaculately kept grounds we even had the most gorgeous peacocks running alongside our buggy, as if they were excited by our arrival. When you see your room for the first time you can’t quite believe the whole villa is just for you, it’s absolutely huge at over 850 square feet. It’s high up too, built on stilts for extra privacy. You notice two bikes underneath the room and you realise these are for exploring the grounds. As you approach the room you see the sparkle of your own private turquoise plunge pool and secluded decking with sun loungers.
When you walk in to the room the size and quality of the place stretches your grin even wider. There’s top to bottom glass for panoramic views of the surrounding unspoilt natural paradise of trees, wildlife and wild flowers. There’s a stylishly draped king size four poster bed, classic Sri Lankan chairs, an oversized bathroom with rain shower and even your own living room with romantic dining table, high end bluetooth ipod speakers, 42 inch LED TV and wifi. You realise the chalet is a complete destination in itself and you wonder how you’re ever going to drag yourself away from it. Then you remember back to the glimpse of the 150 year old mansion and the pool. The anticipation that even more surprises are in store gives you an overwhelming sense of comfort and luxury. You know you’ve arrived somewhere that you’ll never ever forget.