As a general rule, LT tend to shy away from the bigger hotels while searching for unique ‘experiences’. Avani is a refreshing surprise in every sense, because behind its size lies personalised service of a different kind.
A Bawa legacy hotel, the ‘Avani’ Brand is the second tier of the recently launch ‘Amantara’, a collaboration between the Minor Group in Thailand and Sri Lanka’s corporate heavyweight Hemas. It seems a productive pairing, because Avani retains all the charm Bawa intended, upgraded with a plush, tasteful refurb, and bestowing guests with an exemplary level of service. It is a winning combination from which the holiday-maker benefits most, as it always should be.
The Hotel has many repeat visitors, and a largely European clientele, but it has only been recently that Sri Lankans have begun to appreciate its family oriented venue. Not just for families, Avani has special plans for couples and a list of options/activities for those who want more than just beach, peace and comfort.
There are comprehensive spa facilities at Avani, and a special moonlit massage for 2, under the stars, in a private spot on the beach. A sunken in ‘Jungle Theatre’ also gives couples the option of watching a movie under the stars. Best of all, soft lighting permeates through the gardens, against the backdrop of palm trees with the sounds of the Indian Ocean all around. This is old-school Sri Lankan hospitality at its finest, now complete with all the conveniences of modern living.
What LT Loves
The tasteful bedrooms with broad views yet relative privacy are a tribute to Bawa’s understanding of space. The extra touches define the experience, from private dining on the beach, to an extensive seafood market option and all the trimmings in between, there is not much to want for in terms of F & B. The Sri Lankan spread is carefully planned at every meal and the hoppers are outstanding.
Many of the service staff hail from the area and have worked at this hotel for years. Indrani from Aluthgama is the lady behind the wonderful hoppers and always has a smile for guests. The masseurs are local girls trained to international spa standards and even a passing room boy will stop, smile and nod in your direction. It’s an example of great human resources, and they seem genuinely happy to be of service, adding to the charm of the establishment as only Sri Lankan warmth can.
Avani has 75 rooms of which 60 are categorised as ‘Standard’, 13 Deluxe, and 2 suites. The deluxe room is double the size of a standard, and tastefully furnished, complimented by wood panelling and glass, yet not overly modern or trendy. Each room is luxurious and lacks nothing in terms of mod cons.
Food & Beverage
Avani has one main restaurant, as well as an al fresco Seafood Market each night in a salubrious setting. The options are comprehensive, there is plenty of choice. The lunch set menu option was decent but the dinner buffets and breakfasts far more exciting, with interesting salads and a fine representation of Sri Lankan cuisine.
Situated at the heart of Bentota, Avani guests can avail themselves of many of the southern coastline attractions, from water sports to controversial turtle sanctuaries. More than anything, Avani is a place where there is little to complain about, if you don’t mind sharing your space while on holiday. With great deals on local credit cards through much of the year, this is a hotel worth visiting, for all the right reasons.
AVANI Bentota Resorts & Spa
Bentota, Sri Lanka.
Tel: 034 4 947878