Sri Lanka has no end of beautiful boutique hotels. They are not cheap, and some say that standards of service for the price leaves a lot to be desired, but our experience at Aditya proved otherwise. A quaint little hotel with obvious attention to detail, it exceeded expectations on all counts.
The entire property has a lot of warmth, and beauty in every nook and cranny. Wispy trees provide shade to the courtyard adjoining the entrance, vintage puppets hang from the ceiling, and incense sticks are lit in a quiet corner atop the staircase. It’s a place full of character, small enough to be intimate, and large enough to offer privacy.
The hotel feels like someone’s really large home, with huge open halls lightly divided into a dining room that is open to the garden and beach, a cozy lobby with lots of couches and a small bar, the pool area, and discreet staircases in opposing directions that lead you to the rooms. That’s basically it, but the small crowds and limited staff make you forget that you are in a ‘hotel’- which is the best part of a boutique hotel offering. That and the fact that you can eat wherever and whenever you want to. What more could you want from a holiday?
The beach itself is fairly private, since there seem to be no other commercial properties sharing the coastline in the vicinity. Not having to share your beach is a rare occurrence on the typically crowded Southern coast, so this is a bonus.
They have a mini library of books and movies. Not the boring stack of foreign language books and leftover DVDs that usually passes off as a library, but a really great collection of interesting novels, and movies that aren’t the latest but are classics, from romantic flicks to live concerts. It’s something that had been done with care for the guests’ taste in mind, which was a big deal, and why it warrants an entire paragraph.
Spirituality seems to be a theme here, with the rooms named after hindu deities, and religious statues and symbols placed subtly around the place.
There are only 12 rooms here, divided between those on the upper floor with a view of the ocean, and those downstairs that come with a private garden area. The highlight is that each room has its own private plunge pool. The room we stayed in, the Surya Suite (free upgrade, whee!), is the penthouse and the site boldly claims that it is "the most spectacular accommodation on offer by any boutique hotel in Sri Lanka today". With two stories, the lower floor housing comfy couches, a big balcony and a humongous bathroom, and the upper loft like floor reserved just for a large bed, opening up to an outdoor terrace with a stunning view and a plunge pool, this room would be the perfect choice for a honeymoon.
Again, attention to detail is what makes this place special. The suite had two televisions, one in the bedroom area as well as one in the living room of the suite. A tad excessive you might think, but practically, really useful. You could watch the ocean from the bathroom. There was even a copy of the kama sutra kindly provided. And at night, the entire suite was lit up with candles. It was literally breathtaking.
Peeking into the other rooms while they were being cleaned, it was obvious that space is something Aditya has used generously. The rooms all seem beautiful and inviting.
Everything is a la carte. The chicken and fish dishes ordered for lunch were delicious, even though they were respectively cooked in Western and Eastern styles. Dinner was a set menu, which was also good, the highlight being the chocolate mousse- it had a crunchy nutty base, and melted in your mouth. Definitely worth a try.
Being a birthday celebration, they pulled out all the stops, by arranging a table on the beach, and the mousse being a surprise mini cake of sorts, which they brought to the table with a lit candle and a knife that was decorated with a bow- a cute touch. (It made me compare with the previous year’s celebration at Gallery café, where they forgot the candle on the paid-for dessert, even when specific instructions had been given beforehand).
Breakfast could have been better. We opted for hoppers and accompaniments, which lacked something, acutely felt perhaps because of our familiarity with the local fare. However, they do keep topping up the dishes, so atleast you can eat a lot.
At Aditya, you feel like they care as much as you do. The manager himself visits each table during breakfast to inquire if everything is okay, and makes it a point to bid you goodbye at checkout. The rest of the staff are really friendly too, smiling and polite. Everything you could want is already catered to, minimizing the dependence on staff. They truly had it all covered, service wise.
The place has a charm of its own, which is best discovered in person, as it’s hard to explain in words. Room rates are upwards of Rs.24,000 on BB basis depending on the season.
Don’t bother packing anything extra. From hairdryer and rubber slippers to books and movies, all amenities are provided.