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Villa Bentota

Opened very recently in December 2009



Villa Bentota will be one of hottest west-coast properties in 2010. This chic and stylish beachside boutique villa is set amidst extensive gardens scattered with coconut palms with the Indian Ocean a five-minute stroll away. The journey from Colombo’s international airport will take about three-and-a-quarter hours.

Originally known as the `Mohotti Walauwa’, this wonderful manor house with courtyards and verandas, was originally refurbished in 1970 by Sri Lanka’s iconic architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa. The property is now under the loving management of Shanth Fernando, a Sri Lankan lifestyle designer and entrepreneur whose other commitments include The Gallery Café, one of Colombo’s leading restaurants and Tintagel, an exquisite boutique hotel in Colombo 7. Shanth’s signature design and creativity has transformed Villa Bentota into an exquisite boutique hotel with 15 luxurious rooms and suites. Villa Bentota’s new restaurant – Villa Café -- is a wonderful addition that is open also to non-resident guests and serves sumptuous fusion cuisine. Villa Bentota’s extensive coconut grove estate stretches all the way upto the beach, but is divided into two sections as a railway line runs across the property. The villa itself is situated within walled gardens ensuring plenty of privacy. Villa Bentota is ideal for a romantic wedding or family gathering and can be booked in its entirety.


Accommodation

There are 15 a/c ensuite rooms of which seven are Standard Rooms and eight are Suites. Most rooms and suites have magnificent sea views. The Suites are more spacious and have a day bed that can convert into an additional bed. All suites have a private balcony or terrace with sea views, and some have private plunge pools. The very special `Mohotti Suite’ consists of two double rooms and private living room with surrounding glass windows that allow for beautiful views of the garden and sea beyond. All rooms and suites are stylishly furnished with king-sized beds dressed in fine linen and ensuite bathrooms have h/w rain showers. In-room facilities include LCD TV screens with cable channels, mini-bar, electronic safety locker and tea/coffee making facilities. Extra beds, cots and baby baths are provided upon request on complimentary basis.

Facilities

Villa Bentota has plenty of spaces to relax and unwind including an outdoor pavilion by the pool and an exquisitely designed bar lounge. The Villa café, which has the same stunning feel as the celebrated Gallery Café in Colombo, serves fusion cuisine prepared with fresh meats, seafood and vegetables purchased daily. There are several other dining options including in the privacy of your own suite, in the garden scattered with coconut palms, or by the poolside. The 75-foot swimming pool is a new addition. The original smaller swimming pool designed by Bawa for Mohotti Walawua still remains within one of the lounge areas and can be used as a plunge pool. Other facilities include The Villa Gallery, where contemporary Sri Lankan art can be bought on its meandering corridors, a quality gift shop; an array of books and board games and complimentary wireless internet access. Bentota’s beaches are broad and sandy and arguably the most family-friendly on the island.



Excursions

Numerous watersports are on offer at Bentota lagoon including surfing, snorkelling, and jet skiing. Go out to sea in a catamaran with the fisherman or take a boat ride along the tranquil Madu River past quaint rural villages, en route, visit the local markets, temples & craft and antique shops. Experience Ambalangoda’s cultural heritage with a visit to the Ariyapala Mask Museum where intricate masks used in various southern traditional dance forms are on display. Masked dancing is also performed here regularly. We also recommend a visit to Lunuganga –a garden retreat that was created by Geoffrey Bawa. The Lunuganga gardens were a life long project cherished by Bawa and designed with numerous varieties of foliage, many pavilions, and statues. Visit Galle’s 17C Dutch Fort, a UNESCO world heritage site with a maze of narrow streets lined with Dutch and British period buildings still in use, sturdy ramparts looking out to sea, and a growing collection of art galleries, antique shops, cafes and restaurants.







 

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Discussion Starter #22
The Legend Doorman





Sri Lanka's legendary doorman, Kottarapattu Chattu Kuttan, 89, walks through the corridors of the island's historic 146-year-old Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. Kuttan turned 90 on February 15. Hotel guests often pose for pictures with him and his pictures and life story has been frequently chronicled in world's top travel magazines. Kuttan has no plans to retire, despite serving the hotel for 68-years. Hotel officials say that he is among the world's oldest employees and one of the famous personalities in the global hospitality trade

In 70 years of greeting guests to Sri Lanka's venerable Galle Face Hotel, doorman K. Chattu Kuttan has hobnobbed with everyone from royal heads of state to Bond girls and Soviet cosmonauts.

Kuttan, who turned 90 on February 15 2010 , has watched the hotel change with the country, from colonial days, through independence and the dark decades of ethnic conflict.

And he has pretty much seen it all, from a Japanese Zero fighter plane crash-landing on the hotel grounds during World War II, to sultry film star Ursula Andress dancing in the ballroom on New Year's Eve 1976.

Born in India's Kerala province, Kuttan left his home and took the ferry to Sri Lanka's northern seaport town of Talaimannar and then made his way to Colombo in 1938.

He worked as a servant for one of Colombo's elite families before landing a job at the hotel in 1942, weeks after the Japanese bombed the capital. He started as a waiter, and took 50 years to gravitate to the front door.

"Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was known, was a different country then. Famous people like Emperor Hirohito, Richard Nixon, Sir Laurence Olivier and George Bernard Shaw came and stayed with us," Kuttan recalled.

In colonial days, the adjoining Galle Face promenade that overlooks the Indian Ocean used to host horse races on the green
 

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I stayed in Sapphire Hotel in Colombo's Wellawatte last month. Room rate is USD 45/night....... Hmm for the same rate, I must say that the standard is much higher in Kuala Lumpur hotels.

The television is quite ageing and the remote despite functioning, looks terribly smashed. Turned to Aljazeera but the visual and audio are bad with irritating noise. And the tile does not look nice. Bathroom has openings to outside air. There was welcome drink ( called "squash" ) , it's a pleasant welcome but it didn't taste nice, and the bellboy forgot to take it back from my room.

Bed is okay.

Well, as an adventurer I really didn't mind at all but just my concern is when luxury or even average tourists coming with families... I believe there must be loads of complaints from them.
 

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I stayed in Sapphire Hotel in Colombo's Wellawatte last month. Room rate is USD 45/night....... Hmm for the same rate, I must say that the standard is much higher in Kuala Lumpur hotels.

The television is quite ageing and the remote despite functioning, looks terribly smashed. Turned to Aljazeera but the visual and audio are bad with irritating noise. And the tile does not look nice. Bathroom has openings to outside air. There was welcome drink ( called "squash" ) , it's a pleasant welcome but it didn't taste nice, and the bellboy forgot to take it back from my room.

Bed is okay.

Well, as an adventurer I really didn't mind at all but just my concern is when luxury or even average tourists coming with families... I believe there must be loads of complaints from them.
Hi Sky Prince

Sapphire is an old rundown hotel and from what you say it looks like they have priced very high for the level of services offered..on the contrary..I was staying at Heritance Kandalama for 65USD (if i remember right) full board in 2008 and the service was fantastic(except for some disturbing monkeys stealing our suger at the room..lol)....here are some pics of

The Heritance - Kandalama

















 
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