Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Villa Saffron Hikkaduwa: Be Entranced!

What comes to mind when you think of Hikkaduwa? The sand and the beaches, obviously. You think of the waves lapping on the shore, the people adorning the coastline, and the sense of being a Sri Lankan – even when you hail from outside.

There’s a charm to the South that virtually no other part of this country can hope to improve on, for the simple reason that when it comes to colour, vibrance, tradition, and culture, there’s no place like here. That is why people come and people stay, and why when they choose to stay, they mean to live in this most quaint and decorative regions of all of Sri Lanka.

Private villas aren’t exactly a new concept to this country. On the other hand, the amount of newcomers entering the market makes it impossible to standardise them in terms of quality, comfort, and hospitality. We have it all – the quintessential Sri Lankan sense of hominess and sense of being welcome at a place you’ll never hesitate to call your home – but what’s lacking is the right blend of comfort, cuisine, and quality to make your stay one which you will never forget.

Villa Saffron is located in Hikkaduwa, about two and a half kilometres to the south of the town. Set against the south-west shores of Sri Lanka, it’s touted as THE destination for travellers and guests (from here and elsewhere) who seek a local experience with all the perks and benefits available in this country.

The minute you set foot inside, you are virtually transported to paradise. What you see is what you get, not only with regard to the superficial cosmetics of the hospitality industry but also the natural bounty that only the South could offer: the palm trees swaying gently with the wind, the sound of the waves of the deep blue ocean, and the breath of the sea, entrancing you wherever you may be.

Villa Saffron was the brainchild of two furnishing enthusiasts, who began their journey in the mid-nineties by fusing old and new furnishings and restoring antiques. Eventually they moved into building and managing beautiful villas. One thing led to another, and more than two decades after they began their journey, they opened their first private villa along some beach property that they’d acquired before the tsunami.

That was then. Since that time they have not been idle. Villa Saffron currently boasts of five rooms and suites – the Garden Room and the Cinnamon, Tamarind, Vanilla, and Saffron Suites. Of these, a personal favourite may well be the characteristically labelled Saffron Suite, with its enviable combination of cosiness, luxury, and unparalleled views of the pristine blue sea. There are facilities and perks and these the Villa has in plenty, from WiFi to transport packages to and from the Airport to play facilities for kids. The rooms are all air-conditioned and fitted with king-sized beds, not to mention the usual amenities: en-suite bathrooms, hot and cold water, and a mini-bar. To top it all, the entire place was designed by the renowned architect C. Anjalendran.

And that’s not all. What strikes you about Villa Saffron is how deeply it’s engaged with the local culture: how, for instance, it ensures that its staff are well versed in the nuances of Sri Lankan hospitality. It’s all “localised”, so to speak, not just the feeling of warmth of elegance but even the food and other amenities provided by the hotel staff. As for the food, suffice it to say that there’s a combination of à la carte and preset menus, with choices ranging from the local to the foreign and including certain healthy items: for breakfast you will be served a customary glass of kola kenda along with fresh juice, while for lunch and dinner you will be enchanted by the aroma and taste of local seafood, ordered straight and fresh from the market in Dodanduwa.

Since January this year, Villa Saffron has been frequented by guests who’ve had nothing but praise and commendation for the entire site. “The staff are fabulous and go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable,” says one happy customer. “A wonderful hotel, with wonderful staff, amazing view, delicious food... Need I say more?” queries another. “Do NOT stay at this 5 room boutique hotel if you want to have the normal 5 star hotel offering that could be anywhere in the world,” describes yet another, who goes on to observe that “if you want a chilled experience of the highest quality,” Villa Saffron is THE place to go.

In fact what comes out of all these reviews is that the Villa isn’t your ordinary getaway spot. It’s not a hotel in that it’s not rigidly conceived as most hotels are: there’s fun, there’s elegance, and there’s freedom, all balanced out to provide comfort in the best possible way. And it’s not inbred and shutout either: you can venture out to see the usual sights prevalent in the South of Sri Lanka, with the Galle Fort just 20 minutes away and the Dodanduwa and Kothduwa Island Temples almost around the corner. The Kailash Yoga Studio, the famous Turtle Hatchery, and of course those countless surfing sites along the beach in Hikkaduwa (including the coast by the Villa itself) are some of the other tentative attractions you can look forward to.

Words, however, can only describe that much. The eyes were meant to see beyond frill and adjectives. One believes that Villa Saffron is no exception to this truth, which makes it almost compulsory that if you are curious, and if you wish to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of modern life, you must venture into a getaway spot that’s more than just a getaway spot. You must seek the best of both worlds: calm and peace, and adventure and decor. The South is the place for that, in particular Hikkaduwa, which boasts of those little, little amenities that you may specifically need.

Look no further, then. Look to Villa Saffron Hikkaduwa. The new kid in town, with just the right combination of looks, charm, and peace.

For more details, please visit its website at www.villasaffron.com or contact it through the following number (0777772744) and/or email address (info@villasaffron.com)

Written for: ESTEEM Magazine, September issue