Eco-friendly and luxury are not usually two words that I use together to describe anything let alone a hotel, but this is Waterland. Nestled between the Maha Oya River and the Negombo Dutch Canal sits Waterland. Recently, I was a guest of Waterland; however, all opinions are my own.
Waterland is a four villa hotel located about 40 minutes from the Colombo Airport. However, Waterland is much more than a place to stay on the way to and from the airport. It is a destination.
Birds and Plunge Pools
Another two words not often associated with each other. However, you will find both at Waterland. Due to its location on the river, birds of all kinds flock to the river to fish and eat the mosquitos. While I was there, I saw a Kingfisher, White Herons, a Purple Heron and at least one Brahminy Kite. Waterland had provided a picture guide to the local wildlife, which helped me identify what I was seeing.
All this was spotted from my villa pool deck! Each villa has its own private plunge pool. The Deluxe Villa has a larger pool and is more like a small plunge pool! There are lounge chairs as well. This way you can sit in the pool and watch the birds. The first night I sat there for an hour watching the sunset and the birds.
There is one Deluxe Villa, which offers two bedrooms and three Studio Villas, which is one room. The Deluxe Villa is great for two couples or a family with older children. There are two bedrooms of equal size over two floors. The downstairs contains a living are with television, one bedroom and bath plus the pantry. The upstairs has a large deck with the bedroom off of that. The bathroom is huge; there is just no other way to describe it!
The Studio Villa is not small by any means, and if you are lucky enough to get Villa #3, then you have the best view of the river. The bathroom is smaller, but by no means small. All the bathrooms are open plan and feature rainfall showers. There is not a bathtub, so you will have to do your relaxing in the pool. The bathrooms are well equipped with hairdryers, lotion, soaps and hair care products. What I really like is they were all in dispensers and not in small travel containers. The staff refills them as needed, which reduces waste.
The villas themselves are decorated in a modern fashion with slate floors and concrete walls in the bathrooms. The beds are set on a concrete platform. There are two international plugs next to the bed! Usually on of my chief complaints is a lack of plugs, but not at Waterland. Due to the floor to ceiling windows, there is plenty of light during the day. The lights at night are a bit harsh, though, and the only soft lighting is the reading lamps by the bed. Since I am not a morning person, I could have done with more shades to draw to block out the morning light. Bring some earplugs if you want to sleep late as the local rooster is up very early!
All the villas are equipped with solar panels and energy-saving features, such as power is only on when you key is inserted in the slot. Outside the lights are controlled by motion sensors.
Breakfast was included during my stay and you are offered fruit, curd, juice, coffee or tea, a choice of eggs and toast. I opted to have Sri Lankan scrambled eggs most of the mornings. The eggs were great and had the added spice of curry leaves. One morning I was brought a more tradition Sri Lankan breakfast of coconut noodles, curry, and a coconut mixture. It was quite good, but not a breakfast for me. Lunch is light fare, and I indulged with vegetable spring rolls two days in a row! The dinner selection is not large, but the food was excellent. All meals were served outside. There is an indoor area in case of rain.
Overall, I would highly recommend Waterland on a visit to Sri Lanka. It is a great place to unwind and enjoy nature. All this within a short drive to Negombo if you want to see more or visit the beach.