by Greca Durant,
Luxury Spa Hotel in Aturuwella Bentota by the Indian Ocean
Sri Lanka, though reeling from terrorist attacks, has never faltered in giving her ultimate welcome to travelers, offering the likes of Saman Villas to the discerning.
Saman Villas, on the southwest coast of the island nation Sri Lanka, a three-hour drive from the Bandaranaike International Airport, accords guests its own brand of luxury spa hotel hospitality. From the warm greeting of Ayubowan (May You Have Long Life) to the complimentary bottle of chilled white wine, to its magnificent surroundings, the guest feels an instant sense of wellness, an affirmation that his coming to Saman Villas is really worth his while.
Luxury Accommodations and Amenities
Saman Villas’ discriminating patron is spoiled for comfort. He is assured of utmost privacy and tranquility, the main reason why children below 12 are not allowed in the premises. He may take his pick among 26 tastefully decorated, air-conditioned suites and one two-story villa. From his suite terrace or balcony, he gets stunning views of the blue-green Indian Ocean and golden sand beaches bordered by groves of coconut and screw pine.
Furnishings include a king-size bed, dining set, lounging chairs, bureau, walk-in closet/dressing area with safe, LCD panel TV, CD player, mini-bar stocked with wine, soft drinks, and chocolates. The open-air toilet, bath, and rain shower not only lends an extra touch of elegance to the setting, it also adds roominess to the sleeping area, since these said facilities don’t invade this space.
State of the Art Facilities and Hotel Services
One of the hotel’s exquisite elements is its infinity swimming pool. It is where residents converge to chill out, sipping drinks from the Lounge Bar. The Terrace Restaurant springs delicious surprises. It changes its set menu nightly based on what’s available in the market that day, complemented by fine wines. It is built in open-plan Kandyan style, but considering Sri Lanka’s monsoon climate, it has been fitted with detachable wooden panels and glass windows to protect diners from harsh rain and winds.
The Sunset Bar is situated above the restaurant. It is a favorite hangout for cocktails. The Library/Snooker Room is also on this floor. It contains one of the most organized book, magazine, and music CD collections, with acquisitions categorized according to subject. Its staff performs a host of services like arranging excursions to Galle town, Sinharaja Forest, temples; reserving/confirming tickets and hotels; mailing.
It has a fitness center, a day-use suite for non-house guests who wish access to the swimming pool, Wi-Fi- connections, and the Sahana Spa. Its destination-wedding package (from US$1,350++) includes pre-wedding spa treatment to bride/groom outfits to reception.
Signature Treatments at the Sahana Spa
It treats clients using different methods including Elixir (US$199/200mins — aromatic flower baths, herbal body cocoons), Dark Chocolate Mixture (US$130/130mins — chocolate aroma massage and facials), Detox (US$185/180mins — exfoliating scrubs, neem baths), and Aromatherapy Massages (varying rates — ayurvedic traditions, hot stone and deep tissue massages). It has special dining and relaxation pavilions manned by trained therapists.
A Note to Parents with Babies and Young Children
TripAdvisor.com traveler reviews are unanimous in not recommending this hotel to “people with disabilities, older travelers, pet owners, families with young children, families with teenagers.” Its cliff-top location poses real dangers to active little ones.
Best Points of Saman Villas Luxury Spa Hotel
This same group of travel reviewers has extolled Saman Villas as their “top choice for Beach, Sun, Great Food, Wine, Spa.” Saman Villas gets fully booked fast, since it is popular with local and foreign holidaymakers. The southwest monsoon hits from May till July, when rough seas are experienced. It is advisable to travel to this area from December to January, at its driest spell, when the ocean is not agitated.
Reservations T +94 34 2275435/Suites US$460-872/day excl meals. All rates quoted may change without prior notice.