Your pictures have been fantastic.Love every one of them. Enjoy for all,xo Martha
Catherine – your pictures are great! This one reminds me a lot of the reclining Vishnu we saw last year.
Yeardley S. Williams
205-414-7173 Brownell Office
Travel Beyond Your Expectations
A Virtuoso Member – Specialists in the Art of Travel
A member of the Tzell Travel Group
The last 2days we stayed in Colombo at the Tintagel. It is a beautifully designed hotel. It was the home of 2 Presidents of Sri Lanka. I am sending pictures. Food was good. Bar does not have a liquor license- odd, it has been opened for 3 years. The individual staff members were warm and friendly, but I found overall service terrible. The have some work to do. Our room was black- black floors and walls. Very high style, but hard to see. It has 10 individually styled rooms. We had lunch at the Gallery Cafe-again very stylish, there the food was divine and the service sparkling. They are both part of the Paradise Road group of properties.
When a client says to me: we won’t spend anytime in the room so book an inexpensive one, I have to change their mind. Travel is about exploring, learning and experiencing the location. Enriching your life. Part of that experience is your hotel. If you are surrounded with a beautiful sense of place, excellent service, relaxing sleep, great food, your travel experience will be immensely enhanced. And that is before you see the sites! Dutch house in Galle is that kind of special place. It is a historic villa, built in 1712 by the head of Dutch East India Company-also known as VOC. It is one of the oldest and best preserved Dutch Mansions in Galle. In it’s time it was the only house on the hill overlooking the hill and dominated the fort and harbour, where it’s occupants could see ships coming and going. The best part is that the interior decoration is equal to the outside house. Beautifully furnished with art and Dutch local Antiques, I feel like I am staying in a Dutch museum! I am In Heaven! Sun House, it’s sister hotel is equally stunning. I feel like I am on the set of the movie Elephant Walk.
Today, on our way to Kandy, we stopped by Heritance Kandalama-a hotel designed by world famous architect Jeffrey Bawa. Brilliant! Reminds me of Howard Ruork’s philosophy in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. He built the hotel to blend in to the mountain side. Vines are growing over the rooms, it is built with a lake on the edge. A gigantic rock outcropping forms on one side of the main hallway in the lobby.
Next was a visit to the holy Dambulla cave Temple. The largest cave monastery in the country with a history going back to the 1st century BC. Each cave is lined with various sized Buddhas. The Temple has some spectacular wall and ceiling paintings. Only 300 steps straight up. Not for anyone with bad knees
Today, on our way to Kandy, we stopped by Heritance Kandalama-a hotel designed by world famous architect Jeffrey Bawa. Brilliant! Reminds me of Howard Roark’s philosophy in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. He built the hotel to blend in to the mountain side. Vines are growing over the rooms, it is built on a lake on the mountainside. A gigantic rock outcropping forms on one side of the main hallway in the lobby.
Next was a visit to the holy Dambulla cave Temple. The largest cave monastery in the country with a history going back to the 1st century BC. Each cave is lined with various sized Buddhas. The Temple has some spectacular wall and ceiling paintings. Only 300 steps straight up. Not for anyone with bad knees.
Said to be the original garden of Eden, Sri Lanka- formerly Ceylon- is lush and so green. I have seen many varieties of trees and flowers from coconut palms to rubber trees. I have never seen bigger and fuller Frangipani. Mangos are in season. Acres, and acres of rice fields. Our first stop was the hotel Vil Uyana, a Small Luxury Hotel, which means Lake garden. Only 4 years old, it was delightful. One can drive from Colombo- about 3 hours or one can take a helicopter- 30 minutes. They have a pad. We were there because nearby are the 8th wonder of the world, Sigiriya and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa – The ancient heart of Sri Lanka. An important royal capital with its well-preserved 12th century ruins & impressive stone culture recalls an inspired past. Although nearly 1000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura and generally in better repair. The monuments are arranged in a reasonably compact garden setting and their development is easier to follow.
We spent the morning climbing the spectacular Sigiriya rock fortress with its rocky abode & water gardens. 1200 steps, yikes! Sigiriya is famous for its toadstool of golden-hued granite, protruding into the searing blue sky from a hot, flat wilderness of scrubland, which is transformed in the rainy season to a water garden. In the 5th century King Kashyapa domesticated the Lions Rock, by building a palace atop its summit. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history.
Evening was massage time- divine! Then gin and tonics by the invisible edge pool watching multitudes of birds including eagles, bee eaters, kingfishers, storks, egrets-and those are only the names I know. They were everywhere. In the early morning we participated in a blessing ceremony for the beginning of the rice harvest. The whole hotel staff and some of the villagers were there. It was a privilege to attend this very moving ceremony.