In a quiet nook down south, seemingly far far away (yet not that far) from busy Galle Road resides the contemporary boutique oasis that is Calamansi Cove by Jetwing. Open less than a year, the luxury small hotel property presents expansive 12 suites with every conceivable mod-con, where leaving your own private bungalow is scarcely a necessity. But when you do step out, don’t let Calamansi’s beach-facing pool and al fresco dining and lounge areas distract you from the spectacular calm blue sea and deserted beach that caps off the holiday experience.
What LT Loves!
The million dollar private beach ‘in season’ is an inimitable example of Sri Lanka’s magnificent coastline. The beach is clean; a hotel lifeguard hovers close enough to give you pointers and the water is a cool, calm blue and safe for swimming during these peak season months.
The Jetwing service is as always exceptional and we are not just saying that! LT travel a great deal around this island and we know that we can count on Jetwing’s human resources to go the extra mile with the warmth of their hospitality. Calamansi Cove’s service reflects this consistent high standard.
The laid-back style and comfortable open plan of communal areas gives a homely feel to a spanking new and luxurious property.
The private dining spot and even just requesting your dinner table be moved a few steps onto the grass, gives guests the ability to dine under the stars with to the sound of the ocean in the background, increases the value of the experience.
The funky fruit names of each suite belies the size of each of the private quarters. With separate outdoor seating, a roof deck and if you are lucky, a sea facing room, the plush interiors epitomise quiet, understated luxury.
Calamansi Cove is located in Balapitiya, approximately 15 minutes away from Bentota and around the same distance south to Hikkaduwa. Despite the necessary isolation of the property, not many are aware of Balapitiya’s charm, although by recent additions to the area, we know this relatively undisturbed slice of paradise will soon have its skyline disrupted by some massive concrete structure. This hotel, with its discreet planning and unobtrusive footprint, nestles comfortably on a deserted beach and offers its guests the ability to travel not too far to experience more of Sri Lanka’s southern charm. From over-commercial turtle hatcheries, to busy Galle and vibrant Hikkaduwa, the eclectic southern coastline is on your doorstep. For completely different experience, the boat tour through the mangroves of the Madu Ganga offer yet another element to the tropical island experience guests can immerse in.
Food & Beverage
While the menu is full of fresh produce and seafood, there is certainly room for improvement in this area. It would be the one complaint that a discerning traveller may have, because the execution of dishes, although presented beautifully is not remarkeable in terms of its flavour. LT come across this shortfall in F & B a lot with smaller more remote hotels and I hope management will take note of apparently declining standards, in terms of both freshness of produce and the flavours represented. The Sri Lankan fare is also not up to the mark and far below the levels of taste and authenticity that Jetwing is known for.
The ice-cold tropical fruit juices were sensational and definitely the highlight of F & B service.
There is no cause for complaint at all where the well appointed suites are concerned, every conceivable luxury has been considered including a coffee maker on the veranda and Spa Ceylon Ayurveda products in the bathroom. The highlight for this writer was that a tree outside the bedroom contained a birds nest of freshly hatched chicks, who like me, seemed to be enjoying peace, quiet and privacy in the Pomelo suite where we all resided. The lime green infused décor is a theme of the property and perfectly compliments the fresh ethos the hotel seeks to present. The soft furnishings, pillows and bedding in particular were top of the line for Sri Lanka.
Calamansi Cove is currently at peak season with rates for rooms ranging between $275-$325 BB, with a special Rs.27,000 FB Double offer for Sri Lankans.