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Sunday, June 5, 2011


A quick post about a quick trip down the southern coast for a weekend at a nifty little boutique hotel in Rathgama, a few km shy of Galle.

At the time of my stay there - in 2008 - Aditya ( was very much a hidden gem, relatively unknown to many locals and it was quite by chance that I happened to hear about it - thanks to a special offer for constituents of a particular credit card issuer, if memory serves correctly.

The offer was so enticing that we ended up booking the honeymoon suite (note to readers: this was not a road-trip with the boys - there is a point at which campness stops being funny and starts to become scary and I'm definitely very conscious of where that line is, popular opinion to the contrary notwithstanding...) which turned out to be a very good move as the suite was on a completely different plane to the others rooms in the hotel.

Quite an eclectic little boutique, Aditya. The main body of the hotel is a large open-plan space that serves as a lounge / dining area and gives out on to a stretch of coconut-treed garden that leads to the beach. Most of the rooms branch off either end of the rectangular space, with a decent-sized pool and a lovely covered antique day-bed off to one side.

This was off-season for the southern coast, so the sea wasn't swimmable in but that was fine, to be honest, because the honeymoon suite (I still cringe a bit at the word "honeymoon"...may I just refer to it as "the suite" from now on?) was so well-appointed that there was very little inclination to leave it.

The suite is effectively a stand-alone apartment on two floors. The ground floor features a sitting / dining area as well as a fantastic bathroom - all bare stone floors, gleaming white porcelain and a fabulous rainfall-shower with a view:

Yes I did run the shower just for the photo, but I hopped in immediately after (although I didn't want to distress my readership my taking a photo at that point...)
Up a flight of stairs to the bedroom built on a mezzanine overlooking the ground floor. By the way, that's not my Barbara Sansoni hold-all, it belongs to Mrs Robinson (confession: I am secretly a Simon & Garfunkel fan despite outward appearances but if you tell anyone that, I shall deny it). If it had been mine, that would have been not just a step but a hop and a skip as well over the camp borderline...

That was a very comfy bed, which was a good thing as I spent an entire night lying very still on it concentrating extremely hard on getting air into my lungs through the constricted passage of my throat, which had decided to throw a tantrum at being forced into anaphylactic shock as a result of some dodgy shellfish eaten at dinner... I will hasten to add that there was nothing wrong with the shellfish per se, as Mrs R had the same thing and was fine: this was entirely my own fault for not having swallowed a gob-full of antihistamines before dinner as I ought to have done given my tendency to have allergic reactions to just about any and every foodstuff (before anyone says anything, I do realise that it would be far more sensible to avoid eating foodstuffs I'm allergic to instead of necking antihistamines beforehand just so I can eat them, but I ask you, when did anyone ever have any fun by doing the sensible thing? And yes: near-death experiences can be fun too).

I'd also add that this did happen to me once before during a stay at Club Villa (which I will cover in a separate post). The significant difference between the two incidents was that on this occasion the person I was travelling with actually gave a f**k about my condition whereas at Club Villa, Jugs J and the Hyphenated-Welshman watched me stagger away from the dinner table, ostensibly to my asphyxiating death, with only a mild passing interest before blithely returning to their conversation, which was - rather ironically - on the "what's life all about" sort of theme...

The main feature of the suite, though, is its rather funky outdoor terrace leading off the bedroom. Complete with a plunge-pool, dining table and deck-chairs, it was the terrace that really hooked me in and made me a fan of Aditya. Designed to ensure absolute privacy, the terrace was one of those places that had a real zen-like quality to it: the moment you stepped out there, took in the stunning view out over the Indian Ocean and breathed in a big lungful (this was before the throat-constriction incident) of sea air, the stresses of daily life melted away, the gin-and-tins poured themselves, the body sank into a happy flop on a comfy deck-chair and a contented sigh just had to be sighed. Bliss. Heaven. Serenity. Serendipity. Aaaahhhhhhhh.

That was the weekend sorted then and there, the next two days passing in a happily gin-infused fugue of reading, eating, sleeping, and plunge-pooling, attended to by friendly, hospitable staff who seemed quite willing to bring breakfast, lunch and dinner to the terrace for us. The food was very good, with a menu understandably biased towards sea-food but also well rounded in other respects. Dinner was presented fine-dining style and was very tasty. Breakfast, though plentiful, was a tad disappointing in that the flavours were oriented more towards wussy western palates rather than the fire-breathing hotness that a Sri Lankan would expect to find in his or her (you guessed it) morning Pol Sambol. The kade-paan was superb, though...

Dinner (the fateful and near-fatal shellfish to the left of screen)
Overall, a pleasant weekend stay at a lovely boutique hotel, full of quirky little touches like the pot-bellied frog perched by the side of the plunge-pool (see photo above). Not cheap but, as ever, special rates for Sri Lankans and resident expats. If you do go, try and book the honeymoon suite just for the terrace alone - definitely worth shelling out a bit extra for.

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