“Colombo's funkiest hotel - for the in-crowd and anyone who likes to have fun”
Each of the 12 suites is different, with its own distinct colour scheme, layout and character. But there are some common features: polished concrete walls, hand-woven silver and black bed linen, red mood lighting, black and white photography spanning entire walls, and playful phones shaped like pouting lips.
All are decked out with the latest mod cons, including WiFi, 29-inch LCD TVs, high-fidelity sound systems, iPods loaded with an eclectic selection of movies and loungey tunes, and an intelligent panel that allows you to control the lighting from either side of your bed. Bathrooms are similarly well kitted out, with double sinks, waterfall showers, cascade taps, his and hers vanity kits, bathrobes and custom-made toiletries.
On our last visit in 2012 we stayed in one of the Corporate Suites. The name is deceptive: there’s nothing bland or business-like about these vast spaces, which have super-kingsize beds, high stuccoed ceilings, and double-ended copper bathtubs on terraces enclosed by stained-glass windows. Oversized wooden doors swing open from the bedroom to reveal a lounge with boxy sofas, plus a desk with a MacBook and printer.
Even larger and more luxurious is the Royal Suite, which has a couple of added extras in the form of a Jacuzzi and a private balcony. The 3 Traveller Suites are the smallest, with queensize beds, shower-only bathrooms and no laptops, but they retain the same eye-popping style and excellent attention to detail as the others.
The hotel's 3 restaurants attract a trendy Colombo crowd, thanks to their quirky food and funky décor.
The grand hall of the mansion forms the main restaurant, HVN, with a carved gold ceiling, an 18ft antique fan and a fresco of rishis (sages) meditating in the clouds. Expect fine cuisine with Asian ingredients and flavours. We got our taste buds going with orange-spiced yellowfin tuna and ‘Dragon Roll’ jumbo prawns on coriander remoulade, before tucking into perfectly spiced and succulent kottu roti beef with braised bok choi and a Sri Lankan prawn curry served with 5 separate vegetable dishes.
Lighter bites and Asian-inspired tapas - perhaps tuna and coconut tortilla, grilled octopus with salsa verde or mushroom and artichoke empanadas - are available in T Republic, set on the hotel's front lawn. It’s also a wonderful place to sample some excellent Sri Lankan loose-leaf teas, along with scrumptious cakes and desserts.
Set in a glass cube-like building surrounded by water is the ZAZA Bar, a relaxing tea salon by day and a cosmopolitan bar with neon lighting and lounge music by night. There’s a long list of wines and liquors to choose from, as well as a few signature cocktails.
Just as extensive is breakfast, included in the nightly rate and served wherever you like - in your room, outside by the pool, in the garden, or in HVN. There’s a huge selection of fresh fruit, pastries, local jams, freshly squeezed juices, coffees and teas, along with local and international cooked options such as Sri Lankan hoppers, French toast and salmon eggs Benedict. It was by far the best breakfast of our trip, and a great way to satisfy hungry stomachs after a long overnight flight.
Children are welcome and cots are provided free of charge. Kids under 6 can share their parents' room for free and get a 50% discount on meals. Those aged over 6 are charged 50% of the room rate when sharing their parents' room and receive a 25% discount on meal rates.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking