2017 Feb 8
by Shanya Cooray
With the Airport going through strenuous renovations and with what’s being going on at the BIA as a result of it, it is likely that your travel plans have temporarily come to a halt despite all the holidays 2017 is offering us. Fortunately for us, we live on a little isle that is as diverse as it can get, and so we thought we’d do a round up on a few uncommon places you can vacation at right here in Sri Lanka, putting those long weekends into good use.
This all-suite boutique hotel is exactly what its name implies – a garden of boulders, making it one of the most unique places to stay in Sri Lanka. The entire hotel is built using the natural black boulders integrated into its architecture that is a treat for the eyes. The entrance to the hotel is through stone steps leading up into a cave-like area, which is the hotel’s reception. The star attractions of the place however, are the open air restaurant that takes refuge under a huge boulder, and the natural spring water pool that sits next to it. The rooms, too, are out of the ordinary and are built using caves and rock walls with blue doors and windows that are striking.
It sits within the lowland rainforests of Sri Lanka, and is only a 20 minute drive to the Sinharaja rainforest, making it ideal for those who would love a smooth transition from living in a concrete jungle to an actual jungle. Whether you are a honeymooning couple or a family, it is great for a secluded break.
Helga’s Folly in Kandy is a far cry from what the rest of the city exudes, and to quote their website, “if expecting a regular hotel experience, best look elsewhere.”
In a nutshell, it is something like a scene or setting from the imaginary world of Alice in Wonderland. This 35 room property has quite an interesting background to it, having been the home of a celebrity/artistic family of the by-gone era.
What makes the place different is the artistic and quirky manner in which its interior has been decorated, with haphazardly placed furniture, dark narrow corridors and candelabras overflowing with candle-wax. The walls take on exuberant colours and hardly any wall space has been left bare, without a painting, a wall hanging or any ornament for that matter.
This place is probably not for all, and is best stayed at if you would really love a change from the mundane and is only about 20 mins from the the City’s more traditional attractions.
If you are the kind that’s always loved the idea of camping, but was never the type to “rough it out”, then things are just about to take an interesting turn for you. Glamping is a term that is a mix of the words “glamorous” and “camping” that relates to a luxury camping experience. Simply put, glamping let’s you stay under a tent, minus the burden of putting it up, with all facilities as can be expected from a hotel stay, such as an actual bed and bathroom and even wi-fi! They even have their own restaurant under a tent.
It is located in the Kalpitiya peninsula, facing the lagoon, and is ideal for those would love to have a first hand wilderness experience in comfort as it is in a central location to attractions such as whale watching, kite surfing and wild life safaris.
In the South Western town of Bentota, further inland, away from the crowds and hubbub of the beach tourists, you will find the Lunuganga Estate that was once the house of the renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. It overlooks the breathtaking Deduwa Lake, and the 15 Acre property has sprawing gardens with ponds, walkways and gardens and being a tourist attraction in itself, is opened to the public daily, and a guided tour will be available on request.
The estate consists of a total of six suites, two of which are housed in a separate cottage on the same property, each taking on a theme of their own. Not only is it an architectural masterpiece, but is also tastefully decorated with well preserved antique furniture. It is ideal for anyone including families that want to stay in seclusion and yet be minutes away from the beach and water sports.
Bunkyard Hostels Colombo
Nestled in the plush neighbourhood of Colombo, you will find Bunkyard hostels, the newest addition to Colombo’s hostel scene. It captures the usual concept of hostel-type accommodation with an artistic twist to its interior, and thus rightfully boasts of being “more than just a bed” The property has been tastefully and cleverly decorated with several interesting installations to add a rustic feeling, in keeping with their up-cycled theme. It’s location is such, that it is only a stone’s throw away from some of Colombo’s best Cafes and Restaurants and provides easy access to places of interest such as the National Museum, The Colombo Racecourse and the Viharamahadevi park, to name a few.
Bunkyard Hostels has 8 rooms in total, with four dorm rooms with bunk beds and for those who would like a bit more privacy, four private rooms with ensuite bathrooms as well as semi-private rooms with shared bathrooms. It’s perfect if you want to get together with your pals but are too lazy to travel far!