Adventure Awaits at Avani Kalutara Resort
By Shafiya Nawzer
I find travelling therapeutic and I am hooked. However, I am not a fan of travelling long hours, driving more than five hours to reach a destination can be exhausting. Recently I decided to get away on a relaxing holiday. I wanted somewhere quite close by and with ample of activities. I came across, Avani Kalutara Resort and I immediately knew that this was the spot. The property has gone through some refurbishment and ticked all the boxes in terms of relaxation and adventure.
The day of the trip arrived and we reached our location in one and half hours from the heart of Colombo, the drive from Colombo to Kalutsra was a breeze. Avani Kalutara Resort is located by the Kalu Ganga where the river meets the Indian Ocean in the coastal town of Kalutara. The staffs were well prepared and greeted me with warm smiles and a welcome drink. Observing the property, I instantly noticed the open courtyard overlooking the Indian Ocean and the contemporary interior; the wooden trinkets and decorations add an elegant touch and charm to the place.
The property is designed by the legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa. The luxury resort is a perfect hideout from the hustle and bustle of the city life, surrounded by the heaven of nature featuring lush greenery and a rich ecosystem. The interior is adorned with light colours that make it alluring to the eyes; the ceilings are pretty high which leaves the place airy.
I booked myself the Deluxe Lagoon View Room; it has a spacious area, large windows overlooking the lagoon and garden, a private terrace and an opening to the garden. The room was neatly arranged and well furnished, the environment and ambience has a homely appeal and complements the surroundings well. Each room is equipped with a minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and a TV with satellite channels. The large balconies of each room offer the perfect opportunity to relax and watch nature put on a beautiful performance with the birds aplenty while trees sway to the hypnotic rhythms of the breezes.
The rooms are tastefully furnished with interiors that complement the design echo’s of the hotel. Earthy colours have been used throughout, which reflect the hotel’s closeness to its natural habitat. The rooms are of generous proportions with equally spacious bathrooms. They have refurbished two new Avani Ocean View Pool Suites, four Avani Ocean View Suites, and 12 Avani Ocean Deluxe Rooms. Suitable for travellers in large groups, as well as rooms suitable for solo travellers and couples; the 105-room resort reflects a modern and stylish ambience, whilst offering light, airy and open spaces.
There are seven different room categories, from spacious stylish suites with private plunge pools to deluxe rooms with private balconies or terraces. They have 72 Avani Superior Rooms, 27 Deluxe Rooms, four Ocean View Suites or two Ocean View Pool Suites – each with a private balcony or patio.
The tranquillity of the resort blends with the pristine beauty of the surroundings; it felt relaxing to wind down from my hectic lifestyle and let nature rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. The newly updated Mangrove Restaurant offers à la carte, set menu and buffet on weekends. The cuisine ranges from local to international fare. Local produce is used in abundance and the flavours are fresh and exciting. Focusing on international and Sri Lankan fresh seasonal produces, where the traditional meets the contemporary West. The restaurant opens out to the large garden and pool area, overlooking the sea.
There’s a great deal of history that lies within these walls. Whilst the current style and aesthetic is contemporary, there are traditional flourishes as mentioned that give it a combined homey and intimate air. The atmosphere is relaxed, warm and comfortable. I was more than excited about the activities; they have ample of activities to pick from. The dedicated Glider activity tower is hands down the best part about my trip. I got to try abseiling, rock climbing and zip-lining. The zip line spans across the lagoon and it was such a delightful adrenaline rush.
The property stands tall on 9 arches of the vast garden; with pockets of cool shade from the frangipani, palm trees and coconut trees lay in neat lines. We were informed that the public areas and Ganga Ballrooom has undergone a makeover. The pool area is well furnished with some attractive seating chairs and swings. They also have a separate swimming pool for adults and children, which is perfect for families. As the dusk settles in and the sky turns orange and purple; its serene and blissful sight to stare across the deep horizon.
Avani Kalutara Resort also has a spa which brings guests total peace, harmony, balance and wellbeing. There are well-qualified spa therapists to provide guests with the most appropriate therapy required. One of the most interesting parts about my trip was my visit to the luxury manicure and pedicure Studio by Bastian Gonzalez with French-trained podiatrist Bendrand Li. I indulged in an ultimate pedicure ritual. For a weekend retreat, a midweek getaway or a special celebratory treat, the resort has all the essentials and more to ensure you have a memorable time at this retreat ensconced by nature.
With a heavy heart, I packed my bag; it was time for me to head back to Colombo. It was undoubtedly a perfectly relaxed and adventurous stay.