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Monday 13 May 2013

3BM in Sri Lanka : Tangalle

Over the last few weeks we've finally got round to blogging about the Sri Lankan adventure we embarked on back in January... We've filled you in on all the details of shopping in Colombo, cocktails in Galle and leopard spotting in Yala... Next stop on our Sri Lankan itinerary was a final few days of total relaxation at the stunning Maya in Tangalle - a charming colonial manor house. From the moment we arrived we knew we'd found boutique heaven! 

We were whisked off immediately to our room with a view - a very welcome base for the next 5 nights - a bit of a steep change from the camping lifestyle we'd become accustomed to during our safari stint! Maya blends the old with the new - an original 19th century manor house fused with a new wing boasting sleek style and design. Our room was in the traditional part of the house, overlooking the pool area - we had a quick peek at some of the other rooms and we think it was by far the best of the 5 suites within the hotel! Every detail was perfect - a gorgeous four-poster bed stood proud in the centre of the room draped in a pretty mosquito net, then there was a bathroom 'bigger than the Blue Banana' (that fabulously famous quote from Pretty Woman...!) and last but not least, lots of lovely design elements like the beautiful black and white Sri Lankan photography adorning the walls. The first thing that struck us all though was the ever-present waft of cinnamon notes lingering in the air - it's all the little touches that make somewhere so special.

After settling in and unpacking our holiday wardrobes, we headed out to the pool area for a much deserved cocktail and late lunch. First thing to note is the surroundings and settings of Maya. Nestled within two-acres of stunning garden, overlooking a spectacular rice paddy field we were treated to miles of uninterrupted tranquil views coupled with the distant sound of peacocks and exotic birds chirping away. 

With a delightful daiquiri in hand we order up a Sri Lankan curry banquet fit to feed five thousand and devoured every last scrap! With bulging bikini bodies we waddled over to the shimmering L shaped pool and spent the afternoon basking in the sizzling sun keeping ourselves hydrated with ice cold fresh lime and sodas expertly made by the kind staff. 

The food at Maya is totally knock out. While guests aren't showered with choice when it comes to breakfast, lunch and dinner, the options are minimal, fresh and locally sourced meaning that only the very best is served up. This was an aspect of Maya that I really liked because it took the task of having to pick from a whole host of dishes away and in turn minimised the risk of that dreaded food envy you all know I have! I was never once disappointed with the food but a few dishes did stand out including the scrumptious Sri Lankan favourite, egg hoppers for breakfast, a mouthwatering watermelon, chicken and bacon salad and a pudding of dreams consisting of caramalised bananas and ice cream!

Every aspect of life at Maya is tailored to your needs. The staff are discrete but always there in a flash when you need them. There are also little bells dotted around the place so in the rare case that there isn't somebody nearby to attend to your every need all you have to do is give them a gentle buzz! Every meal kicks off with a choice of where and when. If you're feeling social they'll set your table in the communal dining area but if not they'll find a secret, secluded spot just for you.

We didn't actually leave our Maya happy place once during our stay, that's how heavenly it was! I guarantee that within the four walls of Maya you won't want for anything or get even slight itchy feet but if you wanted a little excursion to explore a bit of the surrounding area you could grab yourself a hotel bicycle and head to the nearby ancient village, Aranwella or pedal to Mulgirigala Rock, a Buddist temple closeby. If culture and cycling sound a bit too much hard work, alternatively you could head to the Southern coast to spend the day on nearby beaches - Mawella, Palm Paradise and Seenimodara - all of which are apparently the best of the best and are rumoured to be super for surfing. Last but not least, you're close enough to the shores of Mirissa for a spot of whale watching - we did this earlier in the holiday, see our experience here.

All explored out after our three other action-packed stops, we mostly did this...

With only a handful of rooms, the hotel is never going to be seething with people fighting over sunbeds or waiting to be served that all important poolside G&T. We were lucky enough to only have one other family staying in the hotel at the same time as us which meant that we pretty much felt like we were staying at a private villa. A private villa complete with attentive staff, cooks and waiters falling over themselves to make sure we were happy, relaxed and constantly fed and hydrated (cocktails count as hydration right?!) Having been spoiled to that kind of one-to-one treatment during our stay, I can't help but think that things might feel slightly crowded when the hotel is at full capacity - but that's probably just us being spoilt Mice!

In summary Maya is all about pure relaxation and luxury. If like us, you love sunbathing, eating, drinking and reading, look no further! Maya also offers the perfect spot for sunset G&T's...

In my opinion it doesn't get much better than this! The perfect end to the perfect holiday. We're already plotting Sri Lankan adventure number two....

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