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5/5

Solar Crab

No 229, St Anthony's Rd, St Anthonys Rd, Ja-Ela


A gorgeous villa by the pristine Negombo lagoon.



Hidden away from the bustling outskirts of Negombo, the Solar Crab is your idyllic lagoon getaway hemmed with picturesque views, good food, a splash of serenity and some phenomenal hospitality.

Accommodation

At Rs. 15 000 a night (BB basis, per double room), Solar Crab provides contemporary comforts to its local guests and the same is offered to foreign guests for Rs. 30 000 (per double room) and upwards. It's a three-bedroom villa which can accommodate six guests at a time, but even if you book one room, the entire villa is yours. Now that's a pretty solid deal! 

(The prices change depending on the season and timings, number of guests and deals available. Therefore, check booking.com for updated rates.)
Our room was very well equipped. Featuring a comfortable, plush, queen-sized bed, a chair, clothing racks, and plenty of cupboards to keep your belongings, it was stylish, neat and incredibly cosy. The brownish-red hue presented by the hardwood floors enhanced the look of the room even more; by adding a rich, natural and elegant touch to it. 

The room is covered with floor-to-ceiling, movable glass walls from three sides, allowing you to gaze at some magnificent views of the Negombo lagoon; from mangroves and blue waters to occasional Korawakkas (White-breasted Waterhen) and Kiri Kokas (Cattle Egret) flying by. 
Well-appointed, spacious and spotlessly clean, the bathroom was partially open and flooded with natural lights. 

At night, it opens you up to the view of the shimmering Negombo sky. 

Ambience & Service

The homely vibe at the Solar Crab is truly enchanting. It's like a home away from home, and would make sure that you're perfectly relaxed and heartened. 

The villa has a whole bunch of common areas for its guests to hang out. All of them are well-lit up with natural lights emanating through glass windows and aligned with comfy, cushy chairs. 

You might be on your vacation but if you still need to get some work done, they've got a dedicated spot for that on the upper floor. 

Overlooking the Negombo lagoon lies the verandah of the villa. Whether it be diving into a good book, sipping a cuppa, indulging in a good meal or just savouring the moment, this place suits, encourages and favours all that. 
Laced with all shades of green, this property also extends to a canopy of mangroves and other trees wreathed in vines, alongside the lagoon waters which you can actually set your foot in. The mellow rays of sunlight illuminate the ground with a crisp green-gold colour during the day and cast a vibrant orange hue upon the trees during the dusk.

You can enjoy all that as you take a dip in their pool, while listening to the mild rustling sounds of the brittly branches, and letting the gentle breeze caress your hair. 

The hosts at the Solar Crab were welcoming and happy to help in any way they can to make our stay even wonderful. 

Dining

The menu at The Solar Crab covers both Sri Lankan and Western aspects. They don't serve any alcoholic beverages at the moment but planning to get their liquor license (for beer) in the near future.

Dinner

Our dinner was kicked off with a Mushroom Soup. Perfectly creamy, slightly grainy, and thoroughly mushroomy, it was a bowlful of warmth and happiness, awakening your taste buds for the main course. There were subtle notes of garlic and onions popping through, shaping up its flavour even more. 

As for our mains, we got a serving of Garlic & Herb Chicken Pasta and a Mixed Grill. 

Cooked al dente, we enjoyed catching a whiff of garlic and herb in the fusilli. It certainly can use a bit more of both, but we're not complaining. They hadn't skimped out on the chicken, so every forkful was rich and flavourful. Coupled with the dusting of pepper, it was a simple dish, very filling, and had a very homemade taste to it.

The Mixed Grill was an assortment of chicken, pork, prawns, mullet and served with a side of potato salad.

Gently rubbed with sauces, the meats and seafood looked a bit burnt from the outside, but that didn't stop us from gorging on them. With a caramelised skin, they were positively juicy, smoky and delicious from the inside; especially with the sweet and tangy sauce they served with it.

Cubes of well-boiled potato and carrots seasoned with a drizzle of mayo, pepper and parsley, the potato salad was a good accompaniment for the meats. 

We loved the Hot Butter Calamari at Solar Crab. Packing a potent spicy punch drawn from chilli flakes, chunks of capsicum and red chillies, it also had a subtle swirl of sweetness pulling through. Golden brown in colour, the batter encasement was light, slightly crispy and well-seasoned, while the calamari itself was chewy, but not overly so, and cooked to perfection. This one would make a lovely combo with a glass of frothy beer. 

Breakfast

Our breakfast was comprised of String Hoppers, Dhal Curry, Kiri Maalu Hodi (Milky Fish Curry) and Pol Sambol. What a brilliant way to start the day, noh?

Every element in this spread was on point. With lots and lots of curry notes to boot, the dhal curry had just the right amount of milkiness, and its flavour and aroma were further improved by the sticks of cinnamon they had thrown in the fray. 

The Kiri Maalu Hodi was top-notch; definitely one of the best we've had in a while. Dunked in a gravy that's milky and light, the pieces of fish were quite flavoursome, thanks to having soaked up all the flavours in the gravy. The green chillies swimming about did a very nice job in adding a bit of spicy kick to the dish. Paired with the fluffy string hoppers, it's a match made in heaven. 

The breakfast ended with a plate of freshly cut fruits; pineapple, papaya, watermelon and banana. 

Conclusion

Solar Crab is the ideal pick in Negombo, if you're looking at a peaceful, quiet vacation in a secluded setting, along with a breath of sea-salted air and tranquillity to your heart's content. It provides an experience that's totally worth the money you pay for it. We absolutely recommend. 

*Photographs courtesy of: @raveen.re

Address

No 229, St Anthony's Rd, St Anthonys Rd, Ja-Ela

Contacts

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