October 23, 2017
 

The Anantara Kalutara Resort, stands adjacent to its sister property the Avani Kalutara Resort, with stunning views of both the lagoon and the sea in the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. I spent a short while at the property while on a visit to the country in August, but the brevity of my stay was outweighed by the stateliness of the property and the warmth of the staff who spared no efforts to ensure a comfortable stay.

The property is about an hour and a half drive from the Colombo Airport which makes it very viable for the discerning Indian outbound market, both leisure and meeting groups. There are 141 rooms in the Anantara Kalutara Resort under different categories like One bedroom ocean view suite, one bedroom Anantara suite, one bedroom Presidential pool suite, one bedroom pool villa and two bedroom pool villa. I stayed in a one bedroom pool villa which is 170 sq m in size, offering an azure private plunge ppl with sundeck and loungers, a master bedroom with king size bed which opens onto the pool deck and a separate lounge. The bathroom is fully replete with luxury essentials. The other amenities included free Wi-Fi, mini bar, LED TV, coffee maker, bluetooth speaker for music and wine humidor.

Norman Zweyer, the property's Cluster Director of PR, took me on a site inspection, highlighting the various meeting spaces, the spa, rooms, the restaurants and the beachfront space. "The architecture of Anantara Kalutara Resort was one of the final projects of renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa," Norman informs. Bawa had been commissioned in 1995 to design a luxury resort on a site between the estuary of the Kalu Ganga and the Indian Ocean. The project which was shelved following his death, was revived recently; the property's designs in the main building, the arrival hall, lobby lounge and upstairs bar retain Bawa's signature style. The resort has a library which is a model of his personal study and the furnishings are either designed by him or were owned by him.

There are five dining options in the resort - the Olu, Spice Traders, Acquolina, Upper Deck and Dining by Design. The chef at the Spice Traders prepared a sumptuous Indian fare for dinner, something that would meet the requirements of Indian groups.
The capacity of the ballroom is up to 400 for a reception and 350 for banquets and it can be partitioned into two spaces. The other meeting spaces include Nelum, a flexible meeting room for 20-50 pax; Pichcha, a meeting room for up to 50 pax and the Araliya which is a small boardroom for 12 pax.

One can choose to spend the entire time within the property during the course of his stay or experience the Kalu Ganga on a cruise, take a train journey from the nearby Kalutara South Railway Station or experience the area's heritage of forts and quaint bungalows.

Although a short stay, it was a special one for me. The property, ambience and the hospitality extended would be cherished always. I would definitely recommend the place as one-of-a-kind with the location and amenities suiting leisure lovers and also those wanting to do business amidst serenity.

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