Painting the town red at Cinnamon Red

Colombo was our last stop and we did paint the town red on our last days in Sri Lanka at Cinnamon Red.

High 5s

1. Lean Luxury:  this is how they describe their hotel and they did a terrific job bridging luxury and the essentials of modern technology from the time you set foot ’til the time you check out.

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2. Awesome rooms: The ‘I Feel Good Today’ wall art is what will catch your eye as soon as you get into your room. It’s up to the traveler to get that same vibe and disposition, which naturally flows with Team Sunstoppable. I love the simple, clean and edgy design of the room and fixings dubbed in red, black and white.

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3. Interesting corners: You won’t get bored with a number of restaurants and facilities you can enjoy from the roof-top bar at Cloud Red, to the 24/7 restaurant at StirRed and a vast selection of international buffet at FlavouRed buffet. But wait, there’s more at Power Red with the state of art gym and the infinity pool with a view of the city and Indian Ocean.

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4. At the center of Colombo: This hotel pretty much sits at the centre of everything. It’s near the commercial hubs and sights like the Galle Face.

5. That cinnamon scent: They’re named after ‘cinnamon’ and I guess they really lived up to it by welcoming guests with the refreshing and sweet scent of cinnamon in the entire premise.

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This hotel will surely surprise you in more ways than one.


Cinnamon Red | 59 Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka | +94112145145 | infored@cinnamonhotels.com | Rates start at USD80

Fun Under the Bentota Sun: Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa Sri Lanka

We didn’t have a second thought booking this resort coming from an overwhelming experience at Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa in Maldives a year ago. And we say again, Centara didn’t fail us!

High 5s

1. Location set between the Indian Ocean and Bentota River: You’ll have the best of both worlds wether you’re a beach or a river person.

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We’re greeted by Russel in the 1st lobby with cold lemongrass -scented towels, cold water on hand and comfy lounge area after a gruelling 9-Hr land trip from Sigiriya-Kandy-Bentota, while checking our reservations and preparing our boat ride to the main resort which is across the lagoon.

As self-proclaimed children of the Sun and the Sea, we usually wake up early, and step into the golden sand of the Bentota shores and vastness of the Indian ocean. We didn’t hesitate to stay out in the sun during our 3 day stay – sunbathing, swimming and taking an afternoon long walk to the end of the island and watched the sun set.

2. All-Inclusive Offerings:  One tip is for you to upgrade to All-Inclusive dining and wining to make the most of your experience at the resort. My travel buddies and I love to eat and drink at our hearts content and this is the best way to eat and drink all you can from the select menus in Cafe Bem, In-Between, Ceylon or the pool bars and even in your room minibars with an addition of $50/person/day.

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3. Spacious Rooms: In our Family Residence corner rooms, fruits and pastries await us in the room and again in awe, we can’t help but jump for joy while going from the living, to the bedroom, the bathroom and balcony view of the sea and swimming pool on both sides of the room.

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4. Accommodating and Friendly Staff: Even when we reached almost midnight at the resort, Chaminda and his helpful staff, easily prepared and checked us in. Aside from the wide selection of food, our dining experience was even made special by Sumeera and Sunjith.

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5. Less crowd: Privacy is one factor that we’re looking for in a resort where you’ll have the chance to do your thing without or less distraction.

Lows:

1. Neighboring insects: Our travel mate had a hard time sleeping with the lingering presence of insects in our room. With a location between 2 bodies of waters, insects might be rampant and must be addressed seriously be fumigated in a regular basis.

2. Minor reservation glitch: We’re in the zone when we’re able to book the Royal Suite that will accommodate all 5 of us in this 2-BR suite , only to be advised a week before our trip that it’s scheduled for renovation.

3. Non-motorized water-sports facilities not included in All-Inclusive Package: We can’t help but compare and wonder why these facilities would cause extra while it’s included in their other partner resorts.

Overall, it’s one beach destination to tick of your list!

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Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa | Aluthgama, Mathugama Rd, Bentota 00500, Sri Lanka | +94 34 2 275073 | Rates start at USD120

Calming Kambukgas Mankada Lodge


Literally our hotel ‘in the middle of nowhere’. Away from the main hi-way, passing through a thin, rough road and lush greens, we’re greeted by this quaint and quiet lodge.

High 5s

1. Personal and Intimate Service:  You’ll surely be well-attended by Sampath and Lionel with a true Sri Lankan hospitality which is the advantage of this 3-bedroom private holiday villa that’s owned by a Sri Lankan family which was now extended to visitors and tourists.

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2. Sumptuous Food: We had our first real meal over dinner in the lodge after a long trip from the Philippines to Colombo and first tour at Dambulla. Lucky we coz their kitchen only cooked for us since we’re just 1 of the 2 groups of guests in the lodge. We ordered every meal in their menu from choices of inter-continental, chinese and local which was prepared by Chef Saranapal that filled our empty stomaches to the brim. Breakfast was another story and like our meal last night, they haven’t failed us with the breakfast of the champions – bread toasts with butter and marmalade, coffee, tea or papaya juice, sausages and eggs, a platter of banana and pineapple.

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3. Back to Basic Amenities:  As we’re brought to our rooms, you’d notice a distinct cinnamon scent and its furniture were at its simplest. Rooms were naturally ventilated with a  comfortable queen and single beds with mosquito nets. The open air bathrooms add to the character of this humble abode. The hot & cold rain shower head with the soothing and organic bath gel, shampoo & conditioner, were just what we needed while looking up in the endless sky which washed away the sore in our bodies.

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4. Serene & Peaceful Ambiance: Peace… peace if the one word that comes to mind when we spent that one night in Kambukgas. All you can hear were the chirping of the birds, crickets, and unfamiliar sounds of animals from afar… must be the herds of elephants passing nearby. We grab a chair outside our rooms and just stared into the stary-stary night and wished that we could have spent one more night in this unsuspecting lodge.

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5. Found my favourite dessert: Sampath introduced to my ‘now’ favorite dessert – a homemade yogurt with honey, which I literally look for every time we had our meals during our stay in Sri Lanka.

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In as much as we wanted to stay a little longer, we said our goodbyes to our hosts Sampath and Lionel. As they greet in their native tongue: AYUBOWAN – we wish you a long life and hope to see you again soon!


Kumbukgas Mankada Lodge | Audangawa, Kimbissa, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka | +94 77 730 5009 | Rates start at USD69