Escape to Sri Lanka: Julianna Barnaby stays at The Cinnamon Bey Beruwala Hotel
The Cinnamon Bey Beruwala Hotel, is situated along Sri Lanka’s southern coastline. One of its largest resorts, the hotel offers modern luxury, relaxation and charm in a unique setting, says Julianna Barnaby.
Arriving at the Cinnamon Bey Beruwala is like stepping into Pandora’s Box. While the hotel entrance is grand, it doesn’t quite prepare you for the sheer scale of the hotel that unfolds as you step into the lobby. Grand stairs lead down to a dining and bar area, on to a pool, from which it’s a short hop to the sandy white beach beyond.
With 200 rooms, Beruwala is one of Sri Lanka’s largest hotels, and is certainly one of its most opulent. The hotel is decorated in a Turkish theme, further emphasising its position as a luxury escape away from it all.
Style and Substance
The hotel was designed by one of the island’s most renowned architects, Channa Daswatte. The interior commemorates the Arabian traders who first made contact with the Island. The Turkish aesthetic lends to vibrant tones and an eye catching colour palette that is present throughout the whole of the hotel.
It had been a long journey and I was keen for a quick refresh in my room before I set out to explore the property at large. Check in was effortless, and I was being shown to my deluxe room within a matter of moments of arrival.
As first impressions go, the room was spectacular: the use of colour and pattern set it apart from the minimalist style that tends to dominate the contemporary hotel scene. Lattice work along the walls, intricate mosaic detailing and bold tiles contrast nicely with pops of vibrant shades.
The 28 deluxe rooms are situated within an exclusive area of the hotel, and guests can access a designated bar and restaurant and are also at liberty to unwind by the Deluxe Wing swimming pool. My room had an open-plan bedroom and living area-come study, but the real highlight was the private balcony with stunning ocean views onto the picture-perfect Indian Ocean.
I also took a peek at the two suites. Both boast panoramic ocean views, private dining and living areas as well as their own private plunge pools on the balcony – they’re the perfect option for couples or families looking for that extra level of privacy during their stay.
De-stress and Chill
Of course, one of the big draws of Cinnamon Bey Beruwala is the fact that it’s located right on not one, but two of Bentota’s many beautiful sandy beaches. The beach is never busy, meaning you can catch a spot to soak up some rays or watch the change of the ocean’s hues at sunset. Reading my book on a lounger, it struck me that while the hotel is relatively large, it’s spread over such a large space that it’s rare any part of it is ever crowded.
If pools are more your style, you can either chill by the main pool or, if you’re staying in a deluxe room or a suite, the even quieter dedicated swimming pool. Service is attentive yet unobtrusive, and the water makes for a cool refreshing escape from the hot Sri Lankan sun.
Dining: Spoilt for Choice
Dining-wise, guests are spoilt for choice. There are seven restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from. The only difficulty can be choosing which one to go for.
Büfe, the hotel’s main restaurant, offers a delectable selection of Sri Lankan and international cuisine. Watching the chefs whip up treats at the show cooking stations is a welcome distraction from the delicious sights and smells as you wait for your food to be finished.
Alternatively, Mezz encompasses you in an atmosphere of soothing music, fabric tents and a lulling breeze from its open air terrace. The creative menu showcases a range of tapas and tantalising cocktails. There’s also Fire, creating dishes cooked on a parilla or a teppanyaki, 800° for poolside snacks, ice creams and sorbets from The Ice Cream Emporium and fresh sushi and sashimi from Raw.
Of all the restaurants, though, Rock Salt is perhaps the most memorable, if only for the experience. You’re presented with a chefs hat and a hot lava rock, plus an array of meats, vegetables and fish to cook at your table – all accompanied with and selection of marinades, spices, oils. It does get a bit smoky but the food is excellent and a real change from the norm.
Unwind in the Spa
Azmaara, the hotel’s award-winning spa, offers a wide range of treatments to pamper yourself and indulge in the hotels relaxing atmosphere. Stroll through the spa’s surrounding Balinese gardens before taking your pick from the treatment menu.
There are six treatment rooms, a sauna and a steam room, and before you enjoy all these spa services, you’ll be met with a warming, jaggery-based drink. You can choose from a range of treatments such as body scrubs and wraps, Balinese massages, manicures and pedicures, facials and spa packages that are tailored to meet your needs.
If relaxing on the beach and having spa treatments sounds a little bit too laid back, you can give Cinnamon Bey’s fitness facility a try. The gym is located in the middle of the gardens – something that goes some way to distracting you from the burn. Alternatively, the complex also features badminton and volleyball courts – just time your trips early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the midday sun. On the more tranquil side of the spectrum, there are yoga classes available to guests.
Experience and Explore
For any thrill seekers, the Bentota Beach Hotel, the sister hotel, offers a great variety of water sports. Windsurfing, jet-skiing and water-skiing are just a few of the options available. As I was only in the property for a few days, I was satisfied hopping between the beach, pool and my terrace. Soon enough it was time to leave, but not before I spent just that little bit more time out in the sun.
Address: Moragolla, Beruwala, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 34 2 297000