I am a freelance journalist and an author living in Sydney. Writing is a passion and I enjoy everyday indulging in the talent that I am gifted with. You can find me on au.linkedin.com/pub/sharmila-jayasinghe-niriella/21/182/467/
Published August 15th 2014
A holiday in paradise
Waking up to the soothing tunes of a flute, soaking in sun drenched crystal clear water, sipping a cocktail and watching the sun set, strolling down the sandy beaches, indulging in sumptuous feasts; Sounds like a dream? It was not a dream but was the agenda of our blissfully relaxing vacation spent last year in the southern coastal town of Ahungalla in Sri Lanka at the Hotel Heritance.
Five Star luxury at a glance. Photo courtesy of Dasmin Niriella
After a hectic run in the city we were yearning for a quiet place to unwind and rejuvenate. Hotel Heritance in Ahungalla was our first choice and indeed proved to be the perfect choice for just for that. Getting there was easy via the newly built Southern freeway. Within forty five minutes from the hustle bustle of the capital Colombo, we were at the long winding road lined with coconut trees leading to our intended destination; Heritance Hotel, Ahungalla. The five star hotel is the epitome of beauty, a marriage between nature and modern architecture. We held our breath at the stunning scenery which greeted us with the clear blue water of the horizon pool creating the illusion of seamlessly merging into the deep blue ocean beyond. The cold breeze gently blowing in from the Indian ocean yonder managed to refresh us as did the freshly squeezed variety of juices which were offered to us by the welcoming staff.
The lobby opens to the horizon pool. Photo courtesy of Dasmin Niriella.
After a quick and easy check in we were shown to our rooms. The room was much larger than we expected with enough space to house all five of us ,(2 adults and 3 children) comfortably. The crispy white bed linen with the added touch of frangipani flowers gently lying on our pillows assured us luxury and style. The room was clean with the sea breeze bringing that tinge of saltiness that one would expect at a beachfront hotel. Our room opened to a breath taking views of the vast Indian ocean inviting me to spend many hours in the spacious balcony on one of the comfortable deck chairs.
Spacious, comfortable, clean rooms. Photo courtesy of Dasmin Niriella.
Once settled in the room we explored the spaces of the stunning abode that would be our home for the next couple of days. There was that library space with quite a selection of fiction as well as a few non fiction novels and enough choices of magazines to while away with. The discovery of the games room was certainly a delight as much for adults as it was for the kids. Then there was that bar beside the main pool, a sure place to relax and enjoy a cocktail or two while watching the kids frolicking in the pool. The tennis court and the gymnasium assured us that we did not have to leave the premises at all for the length of our stay. The hotel management has thought of everything with the ones like us in mind, the ones who come in search of a true relaxing holiday.
During our stay we were constantly refreshed by the warmth and friendliness of the people working at the hotel. A five star hotel requires five star treatment by the staff and this is exactly what they thrive to achieve. As this hotel caters for mostly tourists almost every one working at the hotel is capable of carrying out a conversation in English. They quickly become friends so much so that they take an extra effort to make you feel special. The staff at the restaurant were quite observant. By the end of the first day they had observed that I was an ardent drinker of English breakfast tea. From then on I did not have to tell them my preference of a drink as my tea was brought to me without request. Each and everyone of the staff we came into contact at the hotel were more than willing to go out of their way to make us feel at home and to make the stay at their hotel a an extremely pleasant and a comfortable one for us.
Feeling very much at home we idled our days strolling down the sandy beaches, playing in one and then the other of the two extra large swimming pools, reading books, playing games or just falling asleep on pool deck chairs. At night, dressed in our tropical elegance we soaked in the upmarket feeling of the place sipping a cocktail down by the pool bar listening to the live music played by local bands. It was blissful and peaceful at the same time.
Meal times at the Heritance for us were undoubtedly the highlights of each day. The well stocked buffet at every meal never failed to surprise and delight us. It was evident that the chefs at the hotel were trying to cater for every palette. There were plenty of those local delights at every meal as well as the varieties that cater to the western pallet. We could not help but savour almost everything on offer fully aware we would end up couple of kilos heavier at the end of our holiday at the five star hotel.
Love is in the air! Set for a romantic dinner. Photo courtesy of Dasmin Niriella of Photo-N galleries.
Heritance is also an ideal location for a tropical wedding or a honeymoon as there are special packages tailored for such events. During our stay we witnessed the stretch of the beach just adjoining the hotel transformed to a magical private setting with white lanterns illuminating the scene for a couple honeymooning in the hotel to indulge in a romantic intimate dinner.
Though there were only good things that we experience in the hotel itself, a word of warning to those who venture down the beach for walks; there are vendors who try to talk you up to buying anything from garments to beverages. I for one did purchase a locally made sarong for pool side use for just $6.00 but it is entirely up to you if you want to purchase anything or not. These local vendors are quite persistent but they do not disturb those who are in and around the hotel premises.
All in all every member of my family enjoyed their stay at Hotel Heritance so much that they all expressed their desire to stay there again on their next visit to the southern coast of Sri Lanka.