“An elegant and tranquil retreat nestled in exotic tropical gardens, close to Colombo's airport”
All rooms are vast - our jaws dropped when we saw the size of our bathroom - and high ceilings and lots of windows mean they are light, cool and very comfortable. Add huge beds, super comfy mattresses and black-out shades and you're pretty much guaranteed a great night's sleep.
Decor is stylish and rooms are well equipped with flatscreen TVs, plenty of wardrobe space and window seats (which can be made into an extra bed for a child) as well as a small terrace. Relaxing and calm, they impart a definite sense of serenity.
Our only quibbles were to do with the bathroom. Sizewise things were amazing, but we found the water pressure and temperature in our shower to be somewhat erratic (we gather that the addition of thermostats has fixed this); and we were slightly disappointed by the lack of a tub (heaven knows, there's space for one!). On the upside we loved the bamboo towel rails and bathroom products (which you can use but not take away - environmentally sound).
Breakfast and dinner are taken at the small open veranda restaurant at the front of the hotel; lunch too, if you are around. When we asked about dining times, we were told "Any time, this is your home now." And we really felt that we could order as we wanted (there's 24-hour room service if you feel it's too cheeky to do so in the restaurant).
The food was amongst the best we had in any hotel in Sri Lanka. The head chef on our visit was a cheery chap named Lee, a Sri Lankan who previously worked in top hotels in Las Vegas. He has since moved on (we gather his replacement is equally talented- and cheerful), but his legacy is a mouth-watering global fusion menu, combining everything from Balinese tuna skewers to eggs Benedict and excellent, authentic curries.
The menu is kept small so you're guaranteed high quality, fresh produce, much of it from the hotel's own gardens. The egg hoppers with a fresh and spicy sambal, and the buffalo curd with treacle, were just the breakfast ticket to set us up for our journey. For dinner we opted for the Sri Lankan curry and were delighted with the array of steaming bowls that arrived.
If you want to dine out, Colombo has a vast array of restaurants to choose from, including Nibonyashi for Japanese food, Bay Leaf for Italian and Chesa Swiss for steaks.
A good option for families, with safe, lawned grounds (though the pool and pond are not protected in any way), and excellent, flexible service. The restaurant has a kids' menu and highchairs.
Teens (over 12)
Garden Suites have an extra bed for a child - actually a window seat made into a bed. 2 pairs of rooms are interconnecting (1 double Garden Suite and 1 twin Wallawwa Room, in each case). When booked together, there is a discount (ask for details).
Kids menu available
There are unfenced ponds and a pool so keep an eye on small children at all times.