I went to Kalu's Hideaway Hotel in Udawalawa | Sri Lanka on 01st August 2015.
Hotel: Kalu's Hideaway
Star Category: Boutique Hotel
No of Rooms:
Telephone: +94 47 492 9930 (Hotel Main) | +94 77 805 0600 (Sanjeewa - Reservations)
I went to Kalu's Hideaway on the 01st August 2015, on a a bright Saturday morning from Colombo. We started the journey at around 07.00am and came to the hotel at around 11.30am. The bus ride (privately hired) wasn't that much tiring since the road conditions were really good.
The breakfast on the road as well as the smoking stops for my friends made the journey a little longer than expected and I am sure that if we skipped this, my friends would have had a rough start 🙂
Upon arrival at Kalu's Hideaway, the owner, Mr. Romesh Kaluwitharana welcomed us all with warm welcoming gestures. The lighting of the traditional oil lamp, which is a custom and tradition in Sri lanka was perfomed and we loved every moment. The welcome drink was amazing and made of Ambarella fruit. Then we had a hotel inspection with Mr. Kaluwitharana (apparently he's a cousin of my dad and I call him Uncle) while he explaining about the hotel from the start.
The 05 acre property was beautifully crafted and the lobby area was amazing with the display of Cricket souvenirs, photographs hanging on the walls, cricket bats and awards of Mr. Kaluwitharana on display. The giant billiard table was in my eye range and that's for the latter part of the day. We went all around the hotel premises, the room structure is great and the view for the Suite Room is breathtaking. It has it's own private balcony that overlooks beautiful lush greenery at a distance and also a birds-eye angle of the hotel itself.
The cocktail on the garden near the Chalets (Kalu's Hideaway has 02 amazing Chalets and this is my recommendation for the room category to select) was very professional and neatly conducted. The guitarists and the musicians did a great job while the others were very busy making food and beverages for us all.
The swimming pool was a highlight and we had to take a dip in the pool. After all, we wanted to experience all facilities at the hotel during our visit. The swimming pool is not that big but cannot complain on the size either. The spa with the fish-massage center was also a highlight and this is good therapy and much similar to the Fish-spa you can find in Bentota/Balapitiya.
Then came the lunch time and Yummy! The food was delicious and so tasty. We had Authentic Sri Lankan food with rice / curries, Italian corners, Chinese corners within the same restaurant.
After lunch, at around 03.00 p.m. we left for the Safari at the Udawalawa National Park. The jeeps were all parked at the hotel premises and from the hotel is was no more than a 15 minutes journey on the plain road. There are a few local shops you pass-by on the way to the National Park and I suggest buying some of the Mango's / Pickles for the Safari ride (a little something to make the Safari more interesting).
The Safari started at around 03.15 p.m, with our Jeep riding into the think jungle of Udawalawa. The park was very dry and for the first hour, all we saw was 02 elephants and some birds. We stopped at a giant lake at around 04.30 p.m. and saw some buffaloes having a dip in the waters.
Then started the amazing journey to see the elephants. The large tank in the park was the perfect spot to see the elephants. Baby elephants, giant elephants all in a large herd was seen and I calculate around 35 elephants here. The elephants were very calm but enjoying the evening while taking long walks on the tank area. The tank area was a little dried up and it could be the warm climate in the for this reason.
We finished the Udawalawa Safari at around 05.45 p.m. and traveled back to the hotel. We were very happy and hyped because we saw one of the amazing sights and a big elephant very close to the Jeep itself. Let's say, no more than 10 meters distance?
After loading into the bus, we commenced our journey back to Colombo. It could have been somewhere around 07.30 p.m. and we reached Colombo by about 10.30 p.m. thanks to the minimal traffic and good road condition. Mr. Kaluwitharana was very kind and stayed with us until the end of the program at Kalu's Hideaway and I wish all the very best to him and his efforts to make Sri Lankan tourism a highlight!