When the trip came to its end, we were in the south and just longing for a special and calm space where we could basically do nothing after the various sightseeing and beautiful impressions of the weeks before. While travelling, many people told us that they were heading to Mirissa and also the travel guide and some blogs wrote positive things about this place so we booked a hotel for two nights and went there. And although it has some nice things to offer it just wasn’t what we were looking for. Too touristic, too crowded, too much noise. Thankfully, we met a friend on our way to Mirissa who told us about this beautiful hotel right next to the surfcamp he was staying at: Vanina Villas. I took a short look and after the first night at our hotel in Mirissa we just packed our bags and left for Meddawatta, which is close to Matara. Within two minutes it was clear that this has been the best decision of our holidays. This hotel is honestly close to perfection. The decoration of the common areas and each villa is composed by the italian architect & designer Piero Trionfera. The hotel is RIGHT next to the beach and what a beach that is. Many of the beaches we saw before were either unsafe for swimming because of currents or quite packed and touristy. But this one was just plain perfect. Almost deserted for most time of the day except early mornings and evenings, when some surfers appeared to catch some waves. The break there is perfect for beginners and we had so much fun to give it our first try. Also, there are no rocks or reef where you could hurt yourself. There has been very light and fine sand which mixed with sparkling black sand here and there. There is almost no infrastructure and tourism except some shacks where you can rent a board and buy some drinks. There are sunbeds and umbrellas provided by the hotel for their guests but no commercial rentals. This is how Mirissa must have been years ago I imagine. I was able to visit each Villa and all of them are incredibly beautiful. But our beach Villa was my favourite by far. From the terrace you could watch the sea and surfers and there is a small garden right in front of it where you’ll find additional sunbeds and even hammocks. Also, it has the most beautiful outdoor bathroom. The french owners of the place Myriam and Jean-Hervé have been incredibly sweet and helpful. You can really tel that they’ve put all their heart and spirit into that place to make it as awesome as it is. Damn, I could go on and on about how much I loved the stay but I’ll try to make it short: there is a fantastic pool which has been one of the two most clean and clear ones we saw during our travels, the staff has been very lovely, you can attend yoga and surf lessons and there is a nice restaurant with breakfast, lunch and dinner options. The vegetarian and vegan options are limited but just go ahead and ask Jean or Myriam and the will be happy to make some suggestions. To wrap it up: Vanina Villas was truly the highlight of a three weeks trip. I rarely say that as there is so much on my list I wish to discover but I really hope to come back one day sooner than later.
Elysium has been the last hotel on our round trip through Sri Lanka. Therefore, we were searching for something really cozy and remote. When we found Elysium in Talpe near Galle we instantly knew that this was the place. A rather small and luxury boutique hotel with just a few villas, stunning pool area, close to the beach and a great restaurant. The garden villa has this sophisticated english bungalow feel to it. Large windows, tasteful decoration, indoor and outdoor shower (which is actually rather a small garden on its own) and probably the most comfortable bed of the whole trip. On the first evening we have been so lucky to be invited to a private dinner the owner Vinan organized for some friends of him. At the terrace right by the sea he set up a cocktail bar, a beautifully decorated table and a lounge area. The food buffet which followed the cocktails was just perfect. The quality of the restaurant in general has been so good and we enjoyed the best breakfast of our trip there. I almost lost it when they served authentic pain au chocolat the other morning! Also, you can choose between european breakfast classics and a singhalese breakfast with hoppers (mus try!), curry, dhal, spicy coconut etc. For me, that has been pure heaven. You’ll find plenty vegetarian and even vegan options on the menue and it was never a problem at all to exchange ingredients like eggs etc to make dishes vegetarian or vegan which was super convenient. Besides that, the lovely staff will go out of their ways to make sure that your every need is met. For us, that has just been to lay by the pool, read some books, go for a swim and have some nice food and drinks in between. The whole surrounding is just so beautiful that we didn’t even want to leave the premises. Even when it started raining one day we just crawled to the bed and watched the rain in “our” garden through the panoramic doors. Vinan and Christina gave us the tips for surrounding restaurants, bars and beaches and made our stay even more memorable. Thank you so much for the great time we had at Elysium!
776/2 Galle-Matara Coastal Road, Galle
Talpe 80300, Sri Lanka
Wedding season is coming to an end and as I’ve been craving for waffels AND for some time out in another city I quickly came to a solution: a short trip to Brussels it is! I did some research on extraordinary boutique hotels and soon enough found The Dominican right at the very center of Brussels. It was the perfect destination for the trip. Everything was within walking distance (including waffles!) and the hotel room including the facilities have been fantastic. The Grand-Place Suite is extremely spacious, bright and offers all the amenities you could wish for: a separate living room, dining room and luxury walk-in dressing room, Bose Sound system and even a fireplace! Furnishing and colours of Lobby, Bar and Restaurant are very tasteful and the comprehensive breakfast is extraordinary. And after loooong walks in search for the best waffles, sights and restaurants it was such a treat to come back to the hotel and relax at one of the two saunas. And if I would have been up for some punches or sports there would have been the possibility to do so. The whole stay was a real treat and the perfect choice for a city trip to beautiful Brussels.
Rue Léopold 9
1000 Bruxelles, Belgien