We recently spent a lazy weekend at one of Jetwing’s properties, Saffron & Blue. It’s a lovely boutique hotel, impeccably furnished and right on Kosgoda beach (famous for its turtle hatcheries).
Décor & Ambience
The villa is essentially a beautifully designed house with a compact 40 foot pool and tranquil garden area. It’s spacious and tastefully done, with feathered cement floors, wrought iron fittings and brightly coloured handloom upholstery.
When we went there was a wall separating the property from the sea, but apparently it used to be a proper beachfront property with a few uninterrupted meters of sand between the garden/pool and the beach. Unfortunately there seems to be some construction happening right in between so the wall is necessary. The construction already slightly hinders the sea view from the first floor rooms, and I can imagine it’s only going to get worse when the building is full up. A real pity because the aesthetic of the villa itself is just lovely. Luckily the beach is still accessible, just not as viewable from the pool/ lounge.
Apart from the rooms, the villa has a ground floor dining room enough for at least 10 settings at a lovely antique wooden table facing the garden. There is also a lounge area above that with comfy sofas and a TV and a whole bunch of cocktail equipment and board games.
I can’t emphasise enough how much I enjoyed the art and design. Every painting, sketch and sculpture was delightfully complementary to tones of the room it was in, and had a fresh quirky feel to it. Our room had a great little Nelum Harasgama painting, and the dining room had a vibrant 5 foot unframed canvas depicting some breed of airborne 6 footed elephant which made my meal that much more exciting.
With 4 suites to choose from, the hotel is great for couples but I’d say even better for extended families or a bunch of friends to book out the whole place. We stayed in the beach-facing champagne suite, probably once the master bedroom. The light, crisp white & gold tones of the room were refreshing and neat, and the surrounding greenery was lovely. However, the best bit was the boudoir-esque bathroom, complete with massive wooden cupboards, his and her sinks, separate bathing areas, and a charming large circular seating cushion in the middle.
There was an outdoors bathtub which I loved the second I saw it and it was great in theory and visual but I didn’t end up using it. Partially because it was raining and partially because it overlooked a cemetery so I felt a bit awkward about that. Also I suspect the villa’s water runs on solar heat which is fine most of the time but ended up a bit cold whilst it was gloomy outside.
Luckily, the morning we arrived the other guests hadn’t arrived yet so we had a chance to poke around the other rooms too. The green room is slightly smaller than the champagne room but still has a lovely view and ambience. The red room is pretty tiny so would make sense to allocate to a bratty third cousin on a family trip. The blue room was very nice, with a mezzanine floor perfect for a chic loft feel.
The meals were all made to order, which was brilliant as we stuck to proper Sri Lankan dishes for our stay. The lunch was a nice rice and curry with lots of fresh vegetables and chicken gravy, so we requested a bit of seafood for dinner. I was travelling with a self-proclaimed curry connoisseur who recommends:
Ask for their passion fruit leaf mallum…not something you’d find at your everyday pol athu bath kadey.
They made us a delicious fresh prawn dish with fried rice, which we absolutely whacked in glee. The breakfast was the most elegant of all the meals, with a course of fruits followed by string hoppers and parippu. We probably should have asked for some continental food for the review’s sake but were too glad we tapped into the cook’s forte – curry!
On a sad note, they didn’t seem eager to furnish us with dessert which hurt my sweet tooth and my feelings. We did get some banana fritters for lunch but they weren’t as brilliant as the food.
The service was just perfect. They were attentive and anticipated most of our needs whilst being friendly and efficient. We didn’t have to ask twice or wait too long for anything, and it all felt welcoming and laid back. As you’d expect in a villa as opposed to a chain hotel, the service was more discreet than obsequious, which is perfect for couples who want some privacy or families trying to bond.
It’s a testament to the villa’s design and the general ambience/service that we managed to have a lovely time despite the constant pouring rain and gloom in an area known for its sunny beaches. The hotel is also a 2 min drive away from the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project which is a must-do during sunset. Definitely a place to visit for a beautiful, lazy weekend with family.
The rates currently run at about Rs. 20,000 for bed & breakfast in a suite, but Jetwing generally has quite a few great discounts on.