This 200-year-old Moorish mansion in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, is an atmospheric, picturesque, hedonistic and highly-styled boutique hotel with a wedding-cake facade and quirky designer interiors including a pink pool area with chrome elephants wading in the shallows, candles by night and glass sun-loungers.
It is a dazzling tribute to the creative talents of its owner, Lalin Jinasena. Not only has he restored this colonial mansion to its former glory, he has also custom-designed everything inside it—furniture and fabrics, cutlery and ceramics, lamp shades and old-style telephones, the flamboyant pool shaded by mango trees, copper-lined bathtubs, a larger-than-life mural of Hindu goddesses covering an entire wall, and a host of other funky features—and he has done so with stunning innovation, using local craftsmen and materials from Sri Lanka.
The grand hall of the original mansion houses the restaurant, HVN, serving a fusion of local and international foods. A café on the lawn serves all-day light snacks and an atmospheric tea salon and bar serves refreshing drinks—including tea-inspired cocktails.
The 12 air-conditioned suites range from 45sq m to 90 sq m, with tall ceilings, vast beds, bold and confident décor, and all the technology you could want. Individually butler-serviced, they include an iPod filled with movies, a Nakamitchi flat-screen TV, DVD player and minibar. For relaxation, there is a menu of indulgent Ayurveda massages.
The hotel is in Colombo’s southern suburb of Bambalapitiya, just outside the town centre and tucked away from the main artery, Galle Road. It is good for business travel as well as leisure—and it is just a short taxi ride from the international airport, making it a good stop-over on your way to Sri Lanka’s elephant sanctuaries or the resorts on the south or west coast.
International Hotel: Our Club Members enjoy special rates at this five-star boutique hotel. For details and to check the best rates for your dates, please call Member Services on 020 7399 2960 or follow the link below.
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