Udekki is located in Kalpitiya on the West Coast of Sri Lanka and is completely different to most other guest houses across the island. Over the past 4 years Glen and Carolyn, the owners, have poured a lot of love into what they affectionately refer to as their ‘home,’ which, it soon becomes apparent, it indeed is. This is what sets Udekki apart, what makes it special. Yet one cannot simply refer to it as a “guesthouse” (like I have done above for comparison’s sake), home stay or hotel because it is all of them at once and more.
When they began Udekki 4 years ago, the property had not a single tree and was quite simply, bare beach. Today it boasts a thriving garden, a stunning swimming pool, a yoga shala, spa, and beautifully clean, rustic accommodation that does not impose on the landscape surrounding it.
There is no reception, no menu and the staff all seem to be one big family instead of individuals working at a resort. Some travellers may find this at unnerving at first, but a day or two at most and one quickly eases in to the unique concept of hospitality that Glen and Carolyn have created, and most leave Udekki with a smile on their face and plans to visit again and again. It is the perfect place to escape the worries of work and life in general, and indulge in some ultimate down time. The vibe is laid back and the pace, soothingly slow. LT heartily recommends Udekki as one of its favourite places on the West Coast.
Udekki is located on the secluded Alankuda Beach in Kalpitiya, two and a half hours North of Colombo Airport. Winding dirt tracks through marsh and farmland lead to the property which is situated mere metres from the sea.
There are plenty of options for accommodation at Udekki, be you an individual, couple, family or even a large group. In total there are 2 lofts, 2 private villas and 1 shared villa that has 5 suites. The two lofts are situated on top of each of the private villas with their own staircases for access. Although they lack air conditioning, the lofts are well-lit, airy and command stunning ocean views. The abundance of breeze that flows through is more than sufficient for a comfortable night’s rest, although a mosquito net is essential.
The private villas are more suited to families or large groups and cater extremely well to travellers spending more than a week in residence. Villa 346 is equipped with two master bedrooms (both with en suite bathrooms), 1 of which has two king size beds and the other, one. It also has a large living area with tea and coffee facilities as well as satellite TV. Dividing the main bedroom and the living area is a large central courtyard that has a soothing fountain as well as private ‘his’ and ‘hers’ antique bathtubs, perfect to scrub the heat of the day away in.
The second private villa, Villa 343, also features a central courtyard but with one private spa bath instead of two antique bathtubs. Unlike Villa 346 it has just the one master bedroom, however it also comes with a fully equipped kitchen where you can whip up your own meals or have the in-house chef cook for you. All rooms in the private villas are air-conditioned and both have their own front verandah which overlooks the garden.
The shared villa consists of 5 suites and can be booked individually or together, which is ideal for groups. The 5 suites are all double rooms and feature king size beds, air conditioning, fans and mosquito nets. All 5 rooms have en suite bathrooms and command views of the garden.
FOOD & SERVICE
There is no menu at Udekki. Instead the menu is crafted every day according to what comes in and Glen makes sure only the finest seafood and freshest ingredients are served to his patrons daily. Each dish is exquisitely prepared and there is never too little of it (the batter fried prawns served with Glen’s mom’s special sauce is a must try!). Every meal is a feast and the dishes just keep on coming. For dinner we had brilliantly cooked fish steaks with a fresh herb dressing, spiced calamari, a gorgeous bounty of buttered crab with parsley, devilled chicken, boiled seasoned vegetables all served on a bed of fried rice. One could not help but feel spoilt. However what truly shines here is the traditional Sri Lankan rice and curry served for lunch – wholesome, authentic and nothing short of fantastic.
WHAT LT LOVES
One of the things that will surely win you over is Udekki’s irresistible rustic charm. All the doors and windows are antiques from old buildings that Glen has painstakingly sourced. The property is also full of antique pieces thoughtfully and subtly placed to draw the eye. Even the outdoor shower is a work of art, created by Glen using several pieces of driftwood that washed ashore.
LT also loves the unique H-shaped pool and jacuzzi, the centrepiece of the property. It truly ties all the elements together and is well thought out. Additionally, the many hidden nooks, daybeds and huts that surround the pool and dot the property are carefully positioned in such a way that even though they had a full house when I visited, and all of the guests were out of their rooms, it didn’t seem that way at all!
THINGS TO DO
Kalpitiya is probably the best spot in the island to see dolphin in their natural habitat. During the season one has only to travel 500m out to sea from Alankuda beach to see these majestic creatures in the hundreds, dare I say, thousands. Aside from dolphin watching it is also the best spot in the island for kite-surfing due to it receiving plenty of wind most year round. Other sea related activities such as snorkelling, diving, responsible fishing and canoeing are all available as well.
Udekki’s idyllic surroundings make it perfect for yoga. Maggi, Udekki’s very own in-house yoga instructor, is sure to advance your practice, regardless of what level you may be at.
Those seeking a jungle experience will not be disappointed; as Udekki is about 2 hours away from Wilpattu National Park, the largest park in the island. Day trips to the park can easily be arranged with a picnic basket full of goodies from Udekki for the long day ahead.
It is also the ideal place to make your ‘base’ from which to do day trips to Kandy, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, the Millenium Elephant Foundation, Pinnawala Elephant orphanage.