Set inside a thick green wooded area with a view of the iconic Sigiriya Rock across the Kandalamalake on one side and an aerial view of a village on another, Lake Lodge boutique hotel is a rare find in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. This minimalistic structure welcomed us, adorned with cement sculptures and vessels giving it a very modern and chic feel. The fact that we were in one of the driest zones of the country was soon forgotten as lush green trees, monkeys and squirrels kept us entertained. The view of the lake birds in flight and the spectacular sun set custom ordered, or so it felt, were ideal for us.
Acquired and built over four acres of land under the inspiration of renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, the estate has since been acquired and lavishedwith the same love and attention to detail, afforded to the guests. The gift shop with a small but tasteful collection of hand made souvenirs, tea and condiments, the spa with its selection of rejuvenating treatments, the baskets of fruit and welcoming words spelled out with flowers and leaves in the rooms all demonstrate the time and effort spent to ensure the guests have a blissful experience.
With just ten rooms and two suites, Lake Lodge ensures total attention to each guest. Each room is privy to a view of the thick lush jungles and the suites having areal views over and above The sense of adventure and desire to explore will be on the top of mind at all times. Bicycle rides, boat rides, hot air balloon rides, jungle safaris, treks and hikes over heritage sites are available all around you while the swimming pool, spa and reading room awaits to relax your senses after a day of adventure. A simple yet authentic selection of food covering local and international flavors, fresh fruits and vegetables and flexible timing for meals left us satisfied after our excursions to have what we pleased as we pleased. Upon request we had a personal session with the chef, guiding us through some delicious Sri Lankan signature dishes..
Set within the cultural triangle, there is many a site not to be missed in the area:Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Cave Temples, Mihintale Rock are a few of the ‘must sees’. For the historian or archeologist enthusiasts, Anuradhapura and Pollonnaruwa ruins of kingdoms past are not too far away a drive. Equally, for those who are into nature, a safari to catch sight of the majestic Sri Lankan elephants and a variety of exotic birds can easily be arranged
Keeping it small and cozy, Lake Lodge has ten rooms and two suites to accommodate a maximum of twenty four guests at any given time. Wifi for internet access, TV’s with satellite channels, DVD/CD player, tea/coffee facilities and bottled water, mini-bar fridge, bedroom slippers, bath robes, hairdryers and safety deposit boxes are some of the common basic features offered to all guests no matter which room you choose. Fans, air conditioning and bed-nettingare available in all the rooms, and rain shower fittings and modern amenities for a traopicalandcomfortable stay. In their trademark minimalistic fashion, the rooms are all polished cement finish with with brightly colored linen giving life to the rooms via throws, rugs and cushions.
The NIPUN SUITE, with its bath tub in addition to the rain shower, very ‘sassy’ cane furnished living area, private balcony and welcome fruit basket and wine bottle, is the epitome of luxury.
The ANGELINA SUITE accommodates up to four people and is ideal for families and groups. With two rooms and a private balcony, we opted for this suite to bask in the luxuries the hotel offers. We were welcomed with a bottle of wine in the suite and the view from the balcony was breathtaking. It also had a living area with cushioned cane furniture giving us a comfortable private spot to plan our trip and just lounge about.
The DELUXE and SUPERIOR ROOMS are ideal for couples and groups of two. situated in the second and first floors, they overlook the jungles and have views of greenery surrounding them.
The restaurant is set outdoors around the pool with the view of the lake and view across it creating a calming ambiance. Each dish is prepared and presented masterfully with attention to detail and precise artistic talent. A choice of local and international dishes is available with a wine list to complement the choice in flavor. Fresh fruits, juices and vegetables adorn the table and leaves you refreshed. From a sandwich to a proper Sri Lankan rice and curry can be made to order with flexibility in meal times.
Meal time can be fun too and we had an enjoyable experience with cooking lessons from the chef, upon prior arrangement. How to prepare signature dishes was demonstrated with a chance given to us to chop the vegetables and prepare it over the stove.
Lake Lodge, situated in the heart of the dry zone of the island will offer you many an adventure.. Hikes, treks, bicycles rides, boat rides, hot air ballooning are some of the activities you can arrange by getting advice from the resort. Natural forests, rock climbing, bird watching and safaris are some main activities to indulge in.
Within driving distance, you get some of the country’s most important heritage sights, being situated in the cultural triangle of the country. From history to religion, one can cover the main milestones in Sri Lanka’s past by visiting these preserved ruins from kingdoms past.
Some of the highlights recommended are:
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Dambulla Cave Temples
Mihinthale Rock climb
Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa historic sights
Minneriya Elephant safari and bird watching
Sunrise hot air balloon ride
Day trips or longer overnight stays can be arranged through the hotel where they will recommend reputed travel companies and hotels to plan your trip.
A visit to the Lake Lodge will surely dissipate any negative feeling of being in tropical Sri Lanka’s dry zone. With the pampering within the hotel and the adventures outside, any visitor would leave fully satisfied and a heart full of pleasant memories and experience.