Luxury Hotel Review: Maalu Maalu in Sri Lanka
If you have followed my Instagram account @houseofanais, you know already that our family of five had the holiday of a lifetime full of adventure when we were touring around the lovely island of Sri Lanka and maybe you remember my article about tracing the origins of Ceylon tea in the first issue of Skimbaco Lifestyle magazine. As great as touring Sri Lanka was, it was also tiring and we ended the holiday in a high note with nearly a week on the beach. For that purpose I picked Maalu Maalu resort located in Passekudah for us: it’s on the east coast of the island of Sri Lanka. Welcome to paradise – this is the lovely view that greeted our family from the lobby of the Maalu Maalu Resort upon arrival: a view of the infinity pool, pool bar, the calm ocean and that clean, blue sky. Passekuhad is still a very quiet area for tourism as it is located on the east coast, in the heart of the Tamil area which was the centre of the civil was that ended some years ago – and it also suffered from the 2004 tsunami. This pristine beach has some 10 hotels at the moment, but there are quite a few new ones under construction, so I expect that future visitors would have a busier beach live as well as more dining and activity options on offer. Maalu Maalu is a small, intimate resort with a total of forty rooms, of which 8 get to enjoy direct beach views and private plunge pools. The resort is organized in u-shape with these little huts lining the pool area and opening to the sea. That leaves main building with the restaurant, bar and spa facilities at the opposite end with views stretching out to the beach. All in all this setup is very cozy and has a relaxed feel to it. There is also a pool bar and at lunch-time snack bar area located between the pool and the beach. The resort is build up from individual huts, but a lesson learned from the 2004 tsunami is that the traditional-looking structure is actually made of concrete and very sturdy. I love the little gesture of having a bucket of water to clean your feet before entering inside – that is a very effective way to avoiding bringing in mounds of sand which if what often happens in beach resorts. The decor is rather contemporary, yet cozy. I loved the wooden floors and the dark wooden furniture, and especially that headboard with a sort of recycled wood look in – all of course made of local wood. The rooms are also equipped with fans and two air-conditioning units as the climate outside is all-year round pretty warm and humid. There is also a TV with a couple of English movie channels, but our children loved watching local talent shows with singing and dancing, as well as the Bollywood music video channel in the evenings. I absolutely loved the bathroom – it was so spacious and beautiful with polished concrete walls and a spacious walk-in shower – which actually is located outdoors. The hot tub had a mood lighting and despite the hot weather we still managed to use it several times – combined with a mellow music and the mood lights it was a heavenly spa moment for me once the children had gone to sleep… And I should mention that the resort toiletries have a divine scent also so there is no need to bring your own to this resort. Hello plunge pool! As this little private pool was located in shadowed area nestled between the two huts it was nice and cool – although in this case cool probably means still at least 30c/86F. The sea and pool that felt so much warmer than the plunge pool – the sea was like a warm bathtub, and I never felt cold while playing with the children, and believe me, normally I always get cold after a while. So I rate this sea the best sea ever I’ve been to so far for the temperature! The pool area at sunset – so calm and pretty. Since the resort is small we had the pool to ourselves almost every day which quite unbelievable really (one of the benefits traveling off-season). The resort also has a large number of staff, so the service is pretty fast from room service to pool towels and in the restaurant. The room service works 24/7 and the food is actually really good – which is often not the case with hotels – and even less so with room service. There is no special children’s menu, but Sri Lankans are very child-friendly everywhere and we were told that we could request anything for the children and they would try to accommodate, and they did so really well. As Sri Lanka is still a very cheap country, the hotel food is also very well priced from cocktails to main courses. I would definitely recommend trying local curries and all the seafood as they just melt in the mouth. This is what you get in Passekudah – pristine beaches with almost no other tourists (nor local either bar the fishermen early in the morning), clear and calm water which is almost bath-temperature – and for the shell-seekers the beach offers some pretty little finds as well as sand dollars…so lovely! And once you are done with the beach why not book a treatment or two at the resort’s spa? I tried their most expensive offering, the 2.5 hour Ayurvedic package with steam bath, massage and facial treatments and it felt really good – and cost only around 50 USD or so, whereas similar treatment package can run into several hundreds in other large-name chains, say in Hawaii or Philippines. Maalu Maalu is a place for quiet meditation and relaxation – just perfect to catch the sun rising slightly before 6 after which you can join in the free yoga lesson in the spa area. Our family had a wonderful there and we would be happy to recommend this resort both for couples and families! I love luxury travel and bringing global inspirations to our daily life. As a mother of three, I am always in the look for best places to visit with the kids. If you like the global lifestyle as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Lifestyle weekly feed.