TRAVEL DIARIES . LONG HAUL |
After one hour drive from Kandy city, here it is perched on a remote hillside surrounded by hundreds of acres of wild grassland, tea fields and rainforests... The SANTANI WELLNESS & SPA RESORT. My favourite place so far and one of the TIME World's greatest places!
I stayed only two nights at the Santani and my only regret is that I didn't plan to stay much longer.
It is definitely one of the most unique places I ever stayed.
The resort is so secluded that my lovely driver didn't know where it was. Amazingly, one member of staff of the resort sent me a personal whatsapp message when we were on our way, just to make sure that we were not lost somewhere in the rainforest. How thoughtful!
When we arrived we were both amazingly surprised by the beauty of the place and we couldn't believe our eyes how special this place was.
Malinda told me with a big smile on his face and in his broken english: "M'am is going to have a great time here!"
My stay started with the warmest welcome from one of the hostess waiting there for me and offering some hot towels for refreshing and some tea!
These refreshing towels called Oshibori offered to clean my hands and face provided such a unique refreshment and relaxing feeling.
My luggages were being taken care of and after a brief wait in the in the incredible lounge, they brought me to my cabin.
At one with nature, the hotel’s glass walls and indoor-outdoor lounging spaces mean you can wake, dine and fall asleep to breathtaking views of emerald-green paddy fields and thick forests, the mountain view chalets are open to the elements, so you feel like you could step right out into the scenery…
The cabins are beautifully located and really allow you to dip into nature.
There are 16 Mountain View cabin that very much look like treehouses and I was staying in Cabin no.10
Waking up to a view like that is priceless!
What I really liked is the architecture and interior without all the fuzz and decor you would usually find at a 5 star hotel. These cabins are purposefully minimal with a modern architecture to set us free of unnecessary clutter.
It's all about inner focus. Simplicity is key and the cabins were furnished with the barest essentials: comfortable kingsize beds wrapped in mosquito netting, armchairs, cupboards (with drawers for your suitcases) and open plan bathrooms with walk-in rain showers.
With meals included and no distractions, a couple of days here made me feel refreshed, revitalised and ready for anything.
The mountain setting was very calming. It was peaceful without being overly quiet – For a city girl like me, there were a lot of weird sounds I had to get accustomed to. Falling asleep to chirruping crickets and frogs, and then waking up to vibrant birdsong and the first ray of light was a new experience for me but absolutely unforgettable
The only tiny problem in this paradisiac setting is that he rooms aren't soundproofed so you can hear your neighbours if they're chatty... or a little horny. However, because there is no television in rooms, it was all becoming quiet by 11pm or even earlier.
The restaurant sits on the first floor and is glass-framed which allows to breakfast and dine with amazing view on the valley and hills.
Santani follows the Ayurvedic principle of ‘six tastes’ (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent) and is ensuring a balanced nutrition in all meals. Ketonic dishes tend to be light on carbohydrates yet still very appealing, so even after a gourmet 4-course dinner you’re not left feeling bloated.
The resort has no menus. Instead, you have got your personal chef, and every morning at breakfast and lunch he shares with you the day’s lunch and dinner choices. All meals are flexible – and your can choose what you want and he personalises your meals accordingly.
Breakfasts include tropical fruit, vegetable and fruit juices, granola, and eggs cooked any way.
Lunch might be a vegetable soup followed by grilled tuna with couscous and greens, and a pudding of rhubarb crumble.
The food was incredible and every meal was outstanding. My personal chef was doing everything to accommodate my taste and the staff was brilliant always going out of their way to make me having a have a good time.
After two days of gourmet eating, I was getting so used to it that I could not imagine that once back home, I would have to go back to my average cooking.
The resort offers free sunrise and sunset group yoga, you can use of the sauna, steam room and thermal salt bath. All of these are included in your stay.
You can also take some meditative walk through the surrounding countryside or just have a swim in the free outdoor pool
Everything at Santani Wellness Resort & Spa is designed to achieve peace and harmony.
If you’re looking for the perfect sanctuary where you can escape the stresses of everyday life, Santani is the place to be.
Time itself seemed to hold its breath and it is in my opinion by far the most soul healing place I have ever been.
Sadly it is now the end of my stay at the resort, I feel so refreshed, peaceful and happy.
Ready to live my life to the fullest and have for some more incredible experiences on this unforgettable solo trip.
My next Srilankan destination is Dambulla.
The GIRL NEXT DOOR
Dedicated to Vickum Nawagamuwage, the owner of the resort, who made me feel like a VIP. Thank you Vickum, I will definitely come back...