While the year 2020 doesn’t seem to be a great one for most of us so far and travelling certainly seems like a far-fetched dream at this point of time. We sisters were lucky enough to do a short but memorable trip to Sri Lanka with our mom and Baby Hansh at the beginning of the year. As we stay in different cities, a short relaxing holiday was an ideal choice to spend time together far away from the routine hectic lives. So, when our mom requested for a more laid-back holiday midst the hills instead of beaches of Sri Lanka, Aarunya Nature Resort fit perfectly into our plan.
Aarunya Nature Resort and Spa
Aarunya Nature Resort and Spa is a luxury boutique resort located in Kandy tucked in the middle of lush greenery on a mountain top. The Resort guarantees gorgeous views of the famous Knuckles Mountain Range which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aarunya is spread over 7 acres of spice and fruit plantations and tea estates making it an idyllic location for all the nature lovers. Aarunya, which means “First Rays of Sun” in ancient Sanskrit does indeed stand by its name as one will be blessed with golden rays of the rising sun with the breath-taking view of the mountains.
We drove from Colombo city to the resort, which is about 4-hour drive, passing through most beautiful scenery of the Sri Lankan hills. Upon reaching Aarunya it certainly felt like entering a whole different world surrounded by natural beauty, instantly feeling a sense of calm and relaxed even after the long drive from Colombo. The first thing we encountered as we entered the resort was the infinity pool glistening stunningly with the Knuckles forming a picture-perfect background. Right opposite to the pool is the central bungalow, reception cum dining area, where we were greeted with delicious Wood Apple juice. We had booked 2-night stay at Aarunya Resort and within minutes of getting here, we knew it was going to be one of those blissful weekend getaways.
All the villas at Aarunya are standalone structures, ensuring that the guests enjoy their time in a beautiful property like this to the fullest with their privacy in place. We had booked a Superior room during our stay, which is a spacious luxury villa with a private outdoor Jacuzzi. While making the reservations, we had requested for an extra bed and a crib for Baby Hansh, everything was already set up for us while we got to our villa.
The villa otherwise has a large four poster bed, and is equipped with all the modern amenities like air conditioner, TV, Wi-Fi connectivity, expresso machine, a complimentary mini bar, which was well stacked with snacks and beverages. Keeping in mind the no plastic Green policy, the resort provides Natural mineral water in sterilized glass bottles which is very thoughtful! (we hope other hotels do try and follow the same policy for mineral water bottles)
The room is designed with keeping the aesthetic value of the surroundings in mind with a touch of modernity. One gets to appreciate the outdoors whilst sitting in the comfort of the room through the large windows on all three sides of the room. There is a sitting area outside the room with coffee tables and lounge chairs laid out, this was our favourite part of the villa apart from the jacuzzi.
The jacuzzi was Baby Hansh’s favourite part of the Resort as he couldn’t get enough of dipping his tiny toes into the water. It was really relaxing to sit outdoors, surrounded by lush greenery, sipping teas and breathing the fresh mountain air. The villa is surrounded by banana and pepper plantations which makes the villa all the more perfect and cosier. The attached bathroom is also spacious with ambient natural light and well stacked toiletry products.
Since we being lazy was on our itinerary, we made the most of in room dining service, the menu has a mix of continental and local delicacies. The resort focuses on growing its own vegetables, herbs and fruits organically, making the food extra delicious and special for its guests. The breakfast is served at the Verendah restaurant and there is option of traditional Sri Lankan or continental breakfast. The traditional Sri Lankan breakfast comprised of Gotu kola drink (herbal concoction), Hoppers, Coconut Pol Roti, Potato curry, Coconut Sambol, Dahl, Kiribath (milk rice), Buffalo Curd and freshly brewed Ceylon Tea; all in all, mouth-watering spread to start your day with.
Apart from Verendah restaurant, there is “Aahaara”, a restaurant which offers unique local village meal experience, a 9-course meal taking you through the traditional Sri Lankan delicacies with live music and traditional performances.
Although our request for vegetarian meals were very well curated, we do wish there were more options available in the menu for vegetarians.
The resort has limited staff but they are extremely attentive and competent, ensuring that the guests are comfortable during their stay. Be it setting up the crib for our little one or cooking some infant friendly food, they were happy to be of any help to us. The efficiency of the staff certainly made our stay the most relaxed and memorable one.
Activities in the Resort:
The Resort is surrounded by tea and spice plantations and the staff will be happy to give you a tour of the property, whilst also giving you a peak into natures best kept secrets in the mountains. The infinity pool at Aarunya is definitely a highlight of the visit to every guest, take a dip in the pool while enjoying the uninterrupted view of the mountains. If your agenda is total relaxation during your stay, do visit the Resort spa for a blissful massage or attend a yoga session.
Places to visit around the Resort:
From our personal experience, it is highly unlikely one would want to get out of the resort to explore, however if you are really wish to check places around the resort, you won’t be left disappointed. You can plan a trip to Kandy City which is about 20 km from Aarunya and visit the Kandy or the Temple of in Sacred Tooth Relic. For a more up-close experience in the nature, go hiking in the Knuckles mountain to enjoy the spectacular waterfalls and viewpoints.
If you are staying for a longer period than 2 nights, then plan a day trip to the Lion Rock in Sigiriya, which is about 2-hour drive from Aarunya.
Aarunya is one of the best resorts we have been to so far, and it is no surprise they were won the 2019 World Luxury Hotel Award. The perfect location, amazing food, relaxing atmosphere and the super attentive staff made our short vacation all the more worthwhile. The property stole our hearts at first glimpse and we certainly left a piece of our heart while bidding goodbyes to this gorgeous property.
Aarunya Nature Resort and Spa
100 Malgamandeniya Road,
Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Contact: +94 663 127 040 | +94 777 297 861