Perched on the stretch of pristine Negombo lagoon, Arie Lagoon offers some luxurious accommodation, glorious sunsets, quite a bit of celestial breeze, and tranquillity to your heart's content.
Arie Lagoon is nestled over 5 acres of landscape, and throughout this space, they've got 55 rooms that belong to 4 categories – Deluxe, Super Deluxe With Plunge Pool, Garden View Suite and Lagoon View Suite, along with two swimming pools, four restaurants, a gym, a banquet hall, a crèche and a spa that extends to a sauna and a steam bath spa by the end of this month.
Ranging from Rs. 20k – 30k per night, the whole place is like a private residential town of its own, beautifully tucked away from all the hustle and bustle, and boasts a home-like vibe where you can unwind and relax.
(The prices depend on the season timings and what room or deal you get. Therefore, check Booking.com for updated rates.)
We stayed in one of their Lagoon View Suites, which gives some of the best views of the serene Negombo lagoon that one can wake up for.
I mean, just look at this! With a couple of pool lounge chairs sitting under the shade and the ample greenery, it's the perfect place to alternate your gaze between the sky and the turquoise waters of the lagoon. And trust me, it's much, much prettier in the evening.
Our room was spacious and absolutely comfortable. A cosy king-sized bed, wardrobe with ironing and safety box facilities, couch, working table and a tea table, they had paid attention to every tiny detail in the room. It comes with a small verandah overlooking the backyard, which opens to the lagoon.
The bathroom deserves a special shoutout too. Well-equipped with plenty of amenities, it had a massive bathtub flooded with natural lights. Draw your own bath here, get a glass of wine, and a book – it's ideal to get your vacay mode on.
We dined at their Banana And Prawns Restaurant, which offers a solid lunch buffet (Rs. 2900 [L], Rs. 3000 [D]). However, the accessibility of the buffet depends on the day you visit. They make it available only if they have 25 or more reservations (guests and non-guests). So guess it was our lucky day!
Let me start with this dope salad station. Holy moly it was a lot of salads! One of the biggest, and well-executed ones I've encountered. We barely managed to squeeze its majority to a single picture like this.
From straightforward tossed salads, steamed meats and veggies to a variety of dressings and dippings, the starters section also extended to a bubbling bowl of Chicken and Vegetable Soup, alongside an assortment of buns.
We started off with the soup. A thin soup, tasted like chicken stock with plenty of veggies and bits of chicken swimming about, it went really nicely with the baked goodies.
Next up, the salads. The Couscous paired with Steamed Chicken, combined with the Pasta Salad had us drooling. With quite a bit of pineapple and apple pieces, a Hawaiian touch was given to the Shrimp Salad, making for a delightful sweet and sour treat. If these won't awake your tastebuds before the mains, we don't know what will.
The mains were impressive too. Fried rice, basmati, and pasta as carbs, the curries here mainly represented Sri Lankan fare, alongside the bits and bobs of Western and Indian. We spotted trays full of delicious smelling Roast Pork, Fish Tikka, Sweet & Sour Prawns, Buttered Veggies, and Chicken 65 while the infamous Negombo Lagoon Crab Curry is in the spotlight.
Now, this station right here is just for those of you who love a good, full-on Lankan food experience with an army of rice-pullers – achcharu, mutton curry and papadam-likes. They also have a few action stations where you can observe how certain dishes are made, and get served some of them too – fresh out of the pan. We tried a little bit of almost everything.
All the elements on this plate get our resounding approval. The fried rice was well-seasoned with a sprinkle of chilli flakes, spring onions and carrots, while the pasta was soaked adequately in a tangy sauce, and cooked al dante. Slightly crispy to the bite, but deliciously chewy from the inside, the sweet & sour prawns were wrapped in a thin coating, while the pineapple works its magic.
A little tough on the outside, but flowing with juice from the inside, the roast pork slices were succulent, and well-executed. They had gone really easy on the seasoning, leaving that smokey aroma of the meat to be all yours.
With the simple touch of pepper, but well-marinated in other spices, the fish tikka was absolutely delish, while the paprika-kissed roast potatoes and the butter sauteed veggies were good accompaniments of the whole meal.
Oh! I'm really going to enjoy talking about this plate! Especially about the Negombo Lagoon Crab Curry. Harvested from the farms of the neighbouring Negombo lagoon, these crabs had a decent amount of flesh in it, instead of just shells. Immersed in a cocktail of spices, it's flavour profile was on point – a little bit of heat from pepper and chilli flakes with subtle sweet and sour kicks swirling through. You don't have to dance with your fork and knife, the waitstaff will kindly crack up these bad boys for you.
On the other side of the plate, you can see the chicken 65. Wrapped in a chock-full of spices, the meaty goodness of the chicken perfectly came through, but we wish if the exterior was a bit crispier than this.
The desserts station was comprised of cakes, mousses, puddings and fruits, which they actually cut on request.
Everything here was spot on, in terms of flavour and texture. My favourites out of the lot were the caramel pudding, biscuit pudding, sago pudding and the mango mousse.
*Pictured above – Martini (left), Lagoon Breeze (right)
While indulging in this amazing spread, we decided to order up a couple of drinks from the bar by the pool.
Involving the usual gin – vermouth blend and nursed with three olives, the Martini was a classic. However, we'd prefer if the punch of the gin was a bit less dominating.
I'm a sucker for vodka – cranberry juice combo, so the Lagoon breeze was like a dream come true for me. It's also incorporated with apple juice, which contributed a teensy bit of sourness to it, while the Marciano cherry added for the extra flavour.
Both of these drinks were refreshing and eased up the process of cooling us down with a nice boozy kick during this wave of blistering heat.
The waitstaff at Arie Lagoon is well-versed, friendly, very inviting, and quite accommodating. Super helpful with guiding us around, they made us feel welcome, which improved our experience even further.
Priced at Rs. 2900, Arie Lagoon offers day-outing packages, paired with water sports by Jet Water Sports which are entitled to a separate fee. As for the regular day-outing package, they provide you with a welcome drink, unlimited access to pool, lunch buffet, and an evening snack. Considering the beauty of the place and the number of components at play, we'd say that it's a pretty sweet deal!
From what we gathered, the crèche always gets reserved for kiddies' birthday parties. Imagine all the fun you can have in this ball pit. I wish I was a kid now.
On the other hand, this place is also popular for destination weddings. An aisle overlooking the shimmering waters of the lagoon, the stunning sunsets, and a garden lit with string lights, you can walk hand in hand with your partner for the wedding of your dreams. Their banquet hall can easily fit about 300 – 400 people at a time, if you prefer to have your reception indoors.
And this was one of the best and the favourite parts of my experience – the dune buggy ride from the lobby to our room!
Offering contemporary comforts to foreign and local guests, families and couples, groups and solo travellers, Arie Lagoon is like an oasis of solitude that cloaks you away from all chatter and noise in the busy city life. With the sheer beauty of the lagoon, water-based adventures, wonderful accommodation paired with excellent service and food, this is just where you should be if you are on the lookout for a peaceful getaway.