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I hope you all had a fantastic week and ready to enjoy the long weekend! As you know I've worked with two hotels that belong to Asia Leisure and the first one was the river house in Balapitiya. It's very easy to find and is located amongst so much greenery that you feel at peace as soon as you enter the property. The river house is a luxury boutique hotel and you can truly say that by how hospitable the staff are and how spacious the rooms are as well. We stayed in the gin room which had it's own private jacuzzi and garden with the river view. It couldn't get better than that for our weekend at the river house. Our bedroom had a little living room area, a little dinning table for three and a large bed enough to fit four people! My favorite part of the room was our bathroom which directly lead out to the jacuzzi. The bathroom looks like it's out of a magazine which was almost the size of the room. I've mentioned this on my instagram before that I sometimes prefer boutique hotels compared to the standard hotel because of the limited crowd and privacy you have. On both days we had the pool all to our selves and because it's a few feet away from the property you really have a lot of privacy. The pool area is surrounded by tall trees with a calm breeze, I just wanted to have a nap on the sun bed by the pool and wake up in time for dinner.
Another thing what I love about the river house is that they are so flexible in where you eat. Whether you want the meals served in your room, restaurant or by the pool they are more than happy to spoil their guests with the comforts that they need. I had the BBQ prawns for lunch and they were absolutely delicious! definitely recommend the prawns from everything we tried from the menu. There is a great menu to chose from and there's something on it for everyones liking. Dinner was a three corse meal with a delicious soup to start off with. Nayan went for the chicken and mash potato and I ordered the fish with garlic rice. Dessert was my favorite part of the dinner because they had banana fritters! I know some of you may not like this dessert much, Nayan isn't a big fan either. My grandmother use to make this for us when we were kids so it always reminds me of her. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the banana fritters at the river house, It's one of the best ones I've tried! They do sprinkle sugar on top of the syrup so I advice you to ask them not to add the extra sugar on top as it can get bit to sweet. For breakfast they have the western or Sri Lankan option to chose from. We decided to go with western as it's our favorite kind of breakfast. We started off our Sunday with a fresh juice,fruit platter and bread basket, followed by the omelettes, hash browns, bacon and sausages. A great way to start off your Sunday with the breakfast at the river house.
Before we left the property they insisted that we went on the boat ride around the river. They also have kayaks which is a fun activity to do together. I'm so glad we did the boat ride because we saw a crocodile, monkeys, flying fish, eagles and crabs on the way to the mangrove. The mangrove is a short journey but it's so peaceful and a wonderful experience. The boat ride is about 30-40 minutes and they take you around to even a temple that's in the middle of the river. There's also cold water and drinks on board incase you get thirsty on the way. We had such a great weekend at the river house Balapitiya and I truly think that it's a great place for couples, friends and family to visit because it caters to everyone. I hope you guys enjoyed another one of my reviews, stay tuned for my second review for Asia Leisure! I hope you all have an amazing weekend.
Ceilao Villas Colombo is perfect for a weekend getaway but still be in Colombo. When I was first invited to their Colombo hotel I was thrilled as it was super convenient for me to get there and if I left anything behind I didn't have to worry. Within Colombo apart from all the five star hotels in the Galle face area, I have stayed in Colombo courtyard and another smaller villa. I would have to say that Ceilao Villas Colombo is my favorite hotel in Colombo. It's down Jawatta road, passing java lounge a few meters ahead on to the right. Once you're in the hotel you forget that you are in Colombo as it's peaceful, quiet and not a sound of vehicles passing by.
They were kind enough to give us on of their best rooms with the main pool right outside our doors, which gave us super easy access to the pool. The area of the hotel is quite small with one restaurant, a little library corner a main pool and a smaller jacuzzi space upstairs. The interior has a slight retro vibe to it with curved walls and different shades of purple everywhere. Also our room had one of the most comfortable beds ever!
I would say the only problem was the food... whether it's room service or the restaurant, it's one menu for both which was a snack menu. Since I am a pescatarian I requested for the fish club clubsandwiches but fish was not available even though it was on the menu. Later on I requested for the prawns which was again not available, following that I asked for the cuttlefish which was also not available, limiting my choices to two dishes on the snack menu. My friend ordered the spring rolls and we got Chinese rolls which I thought was bit strange. However the food was quite delicious and I enjoyed the deviled fish a lot! For breakfast we were served an omlette and scrambled eggs with a fruit platter and toast which was quite nice as well. They do not have a buffet for those of you who inquired on Instagram.
However the place itself has quite a charm to it that you tend to adjust with whatever there is on the menu. Loved the ambience and vibe at Ceilao villas Colombo, definitely visiting again soon!
I hope you've had an amazing week so far! It's been a couple of days since I visited Saraii and I want to tell you guys about all my experiences. Saraii village not only invited me but also asked me to bring along five of my friends to spend the weekend with me. I got to do so many thing for the first time at Saraii Village and it was quite the experience!
We left Colombo at around 5am and it took us about 5hrs to reach Saraii. On our first day we arrived in time for breakfast where we were offered a bowl of fruits followed by a Sri Lankan meal with milk rice, rotti, string hoppers with curries and we were also given two dishes from their western menu which was an omelette and fried eggs with sausages. I would have to say the food is Saraii is one of the best things about visiting. Whether it was an English breakfast or a traditional Sri Lankan meal it was absolutely delicious.
After breakfast we were escorted to our tree house and mud chalet to freshen up. During our visit we were also apart of a little shoot for Saraii village which was organized by their team, hence why we could not spend our weekend at Saraii Village leisurely. After we finished our location shoot we had a couple of minutes to freshen up again for lunch as we unfortunately caught one of the warmest days of the week. The lunch was a beautiful spread of different varieties of Sri Lankan curries and vegetables which I'm sure you would have seen in my video. All of us enjoyed the food prepared as it was full of flavor and as some like to call it proper "gamey" food.
After we had all had lunch we were then taken on our weaving excursion. All of us split up and we travelled in tuks to our weaving location which was about 10 minutes away. Once we arrived they had chairs placed for all of us to sit and a lady from the village taught us how to weave a table mat. It's quite challenging to even get two steps right and I honestly gained so much respect for all the weavers out there. So much work goes in to dyeing and carefully weaving bags, table mats and hats that are sold on the side of the road. Weaving was one of the things I did for the first time.
After the weaving excursion we had a couple of minutes to ride bicycles and drink thambili (king coconut) closer to the weaving shop. We then headed back to Saraii and got back to taking more photos before we freshened up for dinner. A beautiful pool side BBQ was organized for us during our stay and it was such a nice experience to share with my friends, as we sat on mats sipping on wine and indulging in a nice bbq. This meal was a little more special as we got to sit down with the owner of Saraii Village and his family.
After a long day of traveling and being out and about the one thing we were looking forward to heading back to our tree house and mud chalets and getting a good nights sleep as we had to wake up the next day at 5am. Despite being tired I was looking forward to our fishing and boat ride the next morning, so we all rushed to bed as soon as possible after taking a few more shots after dinner.
If you are staying in a tree house I strongly recommend you sleep with the net down as we woke up to so many bugs stuck to our net. We were also faced with giant black bugs that were flying around our tree house which was quite noisy and they were attracted to the lights so we had the trouble of keeping the lights on as we tried to get ready at 5am. Once we were all ready we were taken in tractors to the lake which was such a nice experience as you get to see all the peacocks on the way to the lake. The tractor ride was another thing I did for the first time.
Once we got to the lake we had to split in to pairs in order to go by a Fishermans boat to our breakfast location which was beside the lake. On the way we literally had to fish for our breakfast and the fisherman prepared a fresh catch for us to have with roast paan and polsambol. Being a pescatarian I could not eat the fish after I saw it being caught and chopped in front of my own eyes, I'm considering being a vegetarian after this experience even though it is a nice gesture organized by the fisherman. This excursion is $25 which I think is a brilliant way to help our local fisherman and also experience a beautiful scenery while picnicking beside the lake. I think this was one of my favorite things we got to do at Saraii Village.
After our picnic we posed with some fishing rods and had a tiny go at rod fishing. Theres plenty of excursions to chose from at Saraii village for your weekend adventure away. After our breakfast by the beautiful lake we headed back in the tractor. After we took more photos at Saraii we were then taken around to another lake in the safari jeep. That was a nice little ride that we all enjoyed for a couple of minutes.
For lunch Saraii Village had organized for us to be apart of a traditional Sri Lankan lunch in a local farmers backyard. They had prepared such an amazing meal for us the way farmers usually cook their day to day meals. I was so thankful for this experience that they had gone all out just to host us. I shared a picture of it on my Instagram and it's rare that I share a picture like that but that's how much I enjoyed that meal.
And for my favorite part of my entire weekend, pottery! I've always wanted to give pottery a go and I'm very much in to art and crafts so I was super excited for this excursion! This would be another thing I tried for the first time during my weekend. Each one of us had a go to make anything of our choice and it's something I can definitely see myself doing as a hobby. It truly is sad that pottery has become a dying craft today. I enjoyed it so much!
After the pottery excursion we had to take more photos in Saraii village before we freshened up again in different tree houses and once we were done we were then taught how to do lotus art by Ana. This activity took me back to being in foundation and it made me realize how much I missed painting. This is a fun activity for kids to do as well. After our lotus painting we were suppose to have dinner at Saraii but finished a few minutes early and we headed back to Colombo. I recommend visiting Saraii for two nights minimum as it can be very exhausting traveling and trying to get in an excursion or two in one night.
I hope you guys do visit Saraii village and try out some of their cool excursions. I would love to hear about your experiences too and what was your favorite thing about visiting Saraii. Another thing that I really loved was that we got to stay over in a tree house rather than the usual hotel rooms. It made us feel like kids again and we absolutely loved it! They also have yoga and other fun activities. I'll link their website down below so that you can have a look for yourself!