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Jungle clad Casa Heliconia is an intimate hideaway, set on a three-acre fruit and vegetable estate in the rural village of Kaleliya in Pasyala, Western Sri Lanka. Tucked away within easy reach of the international airport, and the main Colombo – Kandy highway, the hotel makes an ideal first stop in Sri Lanka, to relax and refresh after international arrivals.
This exclusive retreat offers just two guestrooms which sit within two pavilions: Temple Angkor and Pagoda Gold. Temple Angkor takes design inspiration from its namesake, the iconic Temples of Angkor in Cambodia, with beautiful carving details, and burnt orange silks. Pagoda Gold is the smaller of the two pavilions, but the more decadent in style, with glass chandeliers, a gold feature wall, and rich brocade fabrics.
Both guest pavilions are air-conditioned, with mosquito nets, fans, iPod docks and king size beds, whilst private bathrooms with copper fittings are slightly detached from the guest pavilions. Temple Angkor also features a large annexed kitchen, and outdoor barbeque area with private dining terrace, whilst Pagoda Gold offers a spacious terrace, complete with indulgent chaise lounge, chandelier and dining space.
The two guest pavilions share two further pavilions, nestled within the grounds: Pavilion Neapolitan and The Doll's House. Pavilion Neapolitan overlooks the small infinity pool and paddy fields, and offers a sheltered spot in which to read and relax. The air-conditioned Doll's House features a computer, free wifi, and a home theatre system, for guest's entertainment.
Sri Lankan cuisine is at the heart of the menu at Casa Heliconia, where guests will have both breakfast and dinner included in their stay. Breakfast offerings include fresh from the tree fruit juices and fruit platters, accompanied by a range of local teas and coffee. Dinner is typically Sri Lankan, from curries to grilled seafood and meats, with a selection of sugary treats for dessert. Lunch can also be served, in the form of light bites, or guests can opt to take a picnic to 'Dolpotha'; an isolated, shaded woodland surrounded by paddy fields which makes quite the picturesque lunching spot.
Relaxation at Casa Heliconia takes the form of leisurely afternoons by the pool, or curled up with a good book under a steady stream of cool, fanned air in Pavilion Neapolitan. Although there isn't a spa, guests can enjoy Ayurvedic massage treatments in the privacy of their pavilions.
For those guests staying longer, and who can bear to tear themselves away from their boutique retreat, being located between Kandy and Colombo, there is much to explore from Casa Heliconia. The temples of Uruwalla and Waruna are within easy reach, as are local villages and markets, including Cadjugama - the 'village of cashew nuts' - which is the ideal place to pick up some chilli roasted cadju, to be enjoyed back at Casa Heliconia with a chilled drink. Bliss.
With just two guest pavilions, Casa Heliconia offers the intimacy of a private home, with the service and facilities of a wonderful boutique hotel.
Frances, Original Traveller