Nestled on a stretch of paradisaical Kosgoda beachfront, that plays host to exotic fish, marine turtles and choppy waves, The Habitat by Asia Leisure sets up the ideal environment for a blissful getaway at the charming southern coast.
They’ve got 28 rooms spread throughout 3 floors, including 26 deluxe rooms and 2 suites. At about 17k - 26k per night, they provide very spacious, exceptionally comfortable rooms, with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, flat screen TV, minibar, coffee maker and usually a garden or sea view.
(The prices are dependent on the season timings and what room or deal you get. Therefore, check booking.com for updated rates.)
We stayed in one of their suites, that had an incredibly plush and comfortable king-sized bed, a dressing table, wardrobe, and a couch which you can also use as another bed. The bathroom was well-appointed and had plenty of amenities, including a bathtub that opens to the breathtaking views of the beautiful Indian ocean.
Our suite had a balcony seating area, which is a great spot to enjoy the evening gazing at the glorious sunsets of Kosgoda skyline, and the turquoise waters.
We had a cozy lunch at their restaurant, Salt, a couple of drinks by the pool and breakfast (included in the room price).
Their breakfast menu had a vast spread of both local and continental favorites, such as waffles, pancakes, buns, pastries, roti, pittu, and even fresh fruit. All of them (except for fruit, which they actually purchase daily from the local market) were freshly made in their open kitchen, so you can observe how everything is being made.
You can get Waffles with either chocolate sauce or maple syrup, and we opted for the latter. The waffles were fluffy in the middle, and a little crispy around the edges, with the perfect density that prevented from getting soggy from the maple syrup.
Their pancakes were delicious as well. They were light, golden brown on both sides, making for a succulent dish.
From the Sri Lankan breakfast items, we tried the Classic Pol Roti, and Kurakkan Roti, accompanied with some dynamite lunu miris and seeni sambol.
While both of the rotis were well-prepared with a good dose of southern love, they were embedded with tiny pieces of green chilis and onions, which gave them a nice spicy kick.
You can also have a taste of Colombo's popular Hansa coffee at The Habitat.
From starters to desserts, the food menu at Salt was quite extensive and covered a wide range of cuisines that suited anyone.
We started off with the Corn and Shrimp Egg Drop Soup (Rs. 850), which was simply brilliant. It's essentially a thin soup that comes with an abundance of chewy shrimp, sweet corn, spring onion, and carrot. The broth tasted like chicken stock, with just the right amount of saltiness and had the perfect consistency.
The beef was prepared medium rare, just as we asked for it, and had an incredible flavor. Glazed generously with the spicy pepper sauce, the meat itself was tender, succulent, easily cut through and flowing with juice. The accompanying veggies were also slightly grilled, and it made very good combo with the extremely buttery mashed potatoes on the side.
The Southern Spicy Prawn Curry (Rs. 1450) had a lot to offer on the plate. While the prawns were fresh, chewy and adequately spiced, it came in a slightly grainy, creamy gravy that can satiate both Sri Lankan and Western palates. There was a proper balance between the milkiness and spiciness, as well as a subtle sweetness, and a lot of curry taste.
It was served with a portion of yellow rice, which had just the right amount of seasoning, along with some tempered karapincha. It smelled and tasted so good; I would have just eaten that on its own.
The polos curry was such a delight, with the significant hint of sourness that comes from the good old goraka and tamarind. We loved the dhal curry too. It was thick, well spiced and flavorsome.
One of my favorite things about their rice and curry items, is the large number of condiments they offer with it. This particular dish was accompanied with a brinjal moju, mango chutney, pol sambol, and seeni sambol, and coleslaw, which is truly impressive. Everything blended so well together, and we highly recommend this.
As for the dessert, we got a Blueberry Panna Cotta (Rs. 850) which had a slightly dense texture than what we are normally used to, but pretty good. Decorated with caramel shards and chocolate, it wasn't overly sweet, and the blueberry coulis on the side added a bit of tartness as well as a fruity kick to it.
The Crimson bar at The Habitat is on tap from 10 am in the morning. They've got a bunch of cocktails, mocktails and other spirits, including popular international beer brands like Paulaner. Aside from that, you can also enjoy some shisha here.
We tried the Habitat Iced Tea (Rs. 1200), an easily-drunk concoction of rum, vodka, triple sec, sour mix and pineapple juice. The acidic, sour and the fruity notes of the pineapple juice, mixed in with the generously added booze, hit our tastebuds, all in the right places.
The Perfect Lemonade (Rs. 1200) was perfect indeed! Involving the gin, triple sec, soda, sour mix, and garnished with a lime twist, it made for a very refreshing drink that we thoroughly enjoyed.
The service at The Habitat was impeccable. Their staff is trained to perfection, and with genuine friendliness and smiles all around, they made us feel welcome throughout our whole stay.
The waitstaff was attentive, polite, accommodating, and knows the menu like the back of their hand. They're more than happy to assist you to choose the food that goes with your mood.
The backyard of the hotel opens to their beautiful pool, which the guests can have a swim, chill, and sunbath. It also can be extended to the al fresco dining that they set up by the beachfront, where you can eat comfortably in your swimsuits, without having to go all the way back to your room and change.
If you're worried about staying in shape during this vacay time, The Habitat provides a pretty neat gym. In addition, you can get yourself pampared and relaxed at their in-house Balinese Ayu Spa, which offers up some good massage, body treatment, facial and hand/feet treatment packages at a convinient rate.
From good food and happy staff to the gorgeously appointed rooms and scenic views of the alluring Kosgoda seashores, we absolutely enjoyed every bit of our stay at The Habitat. It's an ideal call for a romantic getaway, or a family/friends outing, and even to spend a relaxing day or two while backpacking through down south.