Colombo has a fairly extensive selection of private clubs that cater to families and uncles alike. Apart from the usual favourites like the Swimming Club and Golf Club, you also get SSC, NCC, CR&FC, Ch&FC and Otter’s. They strike this delightful yet confusing mix between being simultaneously family-friendly and being a good place for chaps after work to put a manly arrack session.
The club’s apparently been around since 1933 although it’s switched to a more central location since then. It’s fairly spacious, and the Colombo 7 address is pretty convenient and central.
Otter’s has been a standard choice for most international school swimming practices, but it has a heap of other facilities too. Sports-wise, these include indoor stuff like badminton, table tennis, squash, billiards and snooker as well as outdoors like tennis and basketball. They also have a fully-equipped gym with sauna and a variety of coaching and trainers available for weekly classes (swimming, tennis, etc).
While we were there we also saw a rather lively zumba class happening which was pretty packed with enthusiastic ladies sweating it out. On the entertainment angle, they have a conference hall, restaurant, a couple of bars, and a play park for children. The bar overlooks the children’s play area for those parents interested in multi-tasking.
Food & Drinks
As per usual club form, the prices are incredibly cheap. Our total bill between 3 people for 9 drinks and two plates of hot butter mushrooms came to under Rs. 2000. The mushrooms were also incredibly delicious – they tasted like a great beachside HBC minus the slight rubbery aspect.
They apparently also do a delicious lunch buffet at Rs. 250 a pop, which sounds superbly cheap for unlimited portions of good Lankan fare.