Reef Villa & Spa Features in The Telegraph - Travel Destinations .November 2016

on Sunday, 11 December 2016.

Reef Villa & Spa Features in The Telegraph - Travel Destinations .November 2016

As reviewed by Emma Boyle, Travel writer for The Telegraph
 

'A terrific array of antiques, artefacts and colonial furnishings set the scene for this plantation house-style beach hotel with eight huge rooms infused with a mod-colonial vibe.


Location
The hotel sits before Wadduwa Beach, a salmon-hued, sunset-facing stretch of sand 25 miles (40 km) south of Colombo. The sea is quite shallow and can be swam in year-round though is safest during November to April

Style and Character
The owners designed this eight-bedroomed hotel from scratch, and it’s an expansive tropical plantation villa flanked by hidden pavilions and luscious koi ponds. The interiors are richly Raj-redolent and carry original colonial furnishings from India, including Keralan heritage floor tiles inlaid into the ceilings, four-poster 19th-century beds from Calcutta and reclaimed ceiling fans


Service and Facilities
The owners are very involved in the running of the hotel and one or both are usually present. The pool attendants and restaurant staff stood out for being warm, engaging and accommodating, and there was some flexibility in dining locations (on the pool deck at night, for instance). The hotel has a medium-sized turquoise pool, two spas – one specifically for Ayurvedic treatments – a boutique, a tennis court, a yoga pavilion, table tennis and a spacious lounge/dining area in the main house with newspapers and old fashioned games (such as marbles, dice and dominoes). They also have two SUVs for trips and tours.

Rooms
Rooms are super-sized.

Each is kitted out with Raj-themed artefacts and chunky colonial furnishings including 1840s timber beds, punkah fans, rattan lounge chairs and louvered doors. They offer lounge areas, writing desks, ample cupboard space and air-conditioning, and their private bathrooms have rain showers, twin sinks, orange-scented toiletries and hand c'arved Indian granite bathtubs (though the energy saving timer switch means you might find yourself in darkness soon after getting into the bath). Nelum and Manel on the upper floor of the main house offer sea-view balconies while ground-floor Ocean Suites merely peep out at the sea through a tunnel of towering foliage.