An easy 10 minute drive from Weligama's funky W15, Escape is an elegant tropical retreat. The style and vibe are totally different, but the commitment to quality and style is maintained.
This used to be the Three by TPV hotel, so most of the tastefully chic decor, furniture, and design has been retained. The only downside to this gorgeous property is that it doesn't boast a beachfront spread.
It's nestled on a coconut estate, with low white-washed wooden structures dotting the undulating landscape, a colonial-era reception, and a long pool reminiscent of a posh Miami beach house.
The reception features quite a few of TPV's bric-a-brac for sale, including furniture, clothing, and jewellery.
It's a boutique hotel, so the accommodation is limited to 6 Garden Suites, a Standard Double Room, and a Family Suite. We didn't stay here, but we did use a day room for changing and showering. It was minimalist, decked out in stark white with silver and peacock feather accents, with high-end fittings and linen.
The bed deserves a special shout-out for being exceptionally comfortable, making us severely wish we'd stayed a night.
The bathroom preserved the aesthetic, all white-washed wood and clean lines. It opened out into a little courtyard garden, which we thought was a slick way to incorporate the lovely tropical surroundings.
We dropped in for lunch and a swim. If just one meal is anything to go by, their food is great.
Opening with a fresh salad, we settled in for a languid 3 course a la carte meal. With fresh fragrant bread and a pol sambol spread, we found it difficult to restrain ourselves till the mains arrived. The salad featured the usual lettuce and co, along with some innovative pomegranate and feta. Light and fresh, and boring, as all salads are.
We opted for a Sri Lankan Rice & Curry with Prawn (Rs. 1250+), as well as a Chicken Penne Alfredo (Rs. 1400+). The pasta dish was delicious - piping hot, creamy as all hell, and filled with succulent bits of chicken and pasta cooked through (not al dente, but not mushy).
The Lankan curry didn't disappoint either. A bit of rice came with 4 large curries, fried chilies, mallum, and papadam. I opted for the prawn option (fresh seafood on the coast, who can say no?), and was delighted by how fresh and well-made everything was. It seemed like a minimal addition of oil and salt too, which I appreciated.
If you're visiting Sri Lanka or don't eat curries every day, we'd strongly recommend the local meal. It was delicious (and not to spicy if you skip the crazy fried chillies hanging about).
The meal was fairly heavy, so it seemed prudent to split the dessert. A bit of chocolate brownie topped with praline chocolate ice cream and mint concluded our meal, a bit cold but otherwise well-executed.
The drinks were a tad less exciting. We opted for a gin concoction and a Mai Tai (Rs. 850). Both came served in rather lacklustre tumblers, with a fair amount of juice and alcohol, but kind of underwhelming flavours. The cocktails over at W15 were a lot more inspiring.
The mango daquiri, however, was perfection in the tropical heat. Creamy, frothy, filled to the brim with blended fresh mango and ice, it was lovely. And very Instagrammable.
The waitstaff were polite, efficient, and quick. The waiters also seemed to be genuinely smiley and friendly, which I liked. Seamless service doesn't really leave much to say.
This is an elegant weekend getaway, whether overnight or for a swanky day trip. The charmingly Sri Lankan natural landscape plays host to carefully curated decor and furnishing, a beautiful pool, and unimpeachable dining. You can also book out the entire place for special events or parties, if you're particularly fancy.