The cooling breeze greets you, and the view of the Weerawila lake creates a mesmerizing sight. The lush greenery enhances the beauty and welcoming ambiance as you step into the DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort.
Words Udeshi Amarasinghe. Photographs Menaka Aravinda.
Opened in November 2020, the five-star resort is the brainchild of Saman Upasena, Chairman, KDU Group. He envisaged a stylish property that respected the environment and provided all modern luxuries for guests to enjoy a wonderful holiday during their stay in the South. Managed by Hilton Worldwide, the resort encompasses the standards and finesse that the international hotel chain offers. As the property owner, Saman Upasena adopts a hands-on approach to enable the smooth operations of the resort. Situated in Weerawila, a short distance away from the Mattala exit of the Southern Expressway, the resort is easily accessible. The Rajawarna tree is supposed to be prevalent in the Southern region. Still, it is rare, and on this property, there is a single Rajawarna tree, which is protected. Thus, the name of the resort was given as DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort. With a 270-degree waterfront view of the Weerawila Lake, guests are immersed in a relaxing and rejuvenating environment. Weerawila is home to many endemic and migratory birds. Thus, various spaces of the resort have been named after these birds.
You are welcomed with a warm Ayubowan, a signature Cookie, and a refreshing, welcome drink made of fruits sourced from the area. The lobby lounge is spacious and decorated with natural cooling colors. The furniture is simple yet elegant in beautiful designs reflecting the resort theme. Opening out to the garden, the views are lush and relaxing with the soothing sounds of the nearby water. Ensuring that the environment is protected is a priority at DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort. Even during the con- struction phase, no tree was cut, but the building design was adapted ac- cording to the natural environment. Sculptures made of recycled metal adorn the gardens and ponds, reflecting the wildlife and birds of the area. The outdoor sitting area, which is known as Woolf’s Deck, was inspired by the book, “The Village in the Jungle” by Leonard Woolf. This sitting area faces the lake, garden, and swimming pool and consists of gazebos with varying numbers of sitting arrangements. The pavilions are named after birds, such as Wigeon, Waxbill, Wagtail, Stork, and Tringa. Guests can enjoy beverages, meals with privacy, and afternoon high- tea. Other evening functions are also held in the gazebo area.
The swimming pool has a unique shape and extends a length of 97m. The unique form is because no trees were cut for its construction. As a walk-in swimming pool, the depth is a uniform four feet. There’s a chil- dren’s pool for the little guests to enjoy and play. Hornbill the poolside bar serves delicious snacks and refreshing beverages. Featuring a swim-up bar, guests can enjoy beverages from the Hornbill while in the pool. As you walk along with the swimming pool, you will see a tree held up by steel crutches. Before the resort’s opening, there had been a storm the previous night in which the tree had fallen. Reflecting Saman Upasena’s love for the environment, instead of cutting the tree, it was literally brought back to its feet by placing the steel crutch- es under the damaged branches. Many paths run across the property, and guests can enjoy a relaxing walk or cycle along the lake and witness many aquatic birds. The resort has its own fitness center and spa as well. Guests can use electric buggies, which is an environmental initiative, to travel around the resort.
DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort has 78 rooms, in- cluding 74 Deluxe rooms, three Deluxe Suites, and one Presidential Suite. Guests can opt for either the garden view with a terrace or with a balcony. The rooms are elegantly furnished with subtle shades and beautiful dec- orative pieces. The Deluxe rooms can accommodate up to triple occupancy and are provided with king beds or twin bed configurations. Deluxe Suites are set in double occupancy and are with a king bed configuration. All rooms and suites are equipped with the most modern amenities and lush en-suite bathrooms to ensure that the guests have a wonderful stay. The Presidential Suite consists of four separate rooms that can accommodate up to triple occupancy with a central sitting area, pool, and gymnasium.
Spoonbill, named after the bird that frequents the resort, is the all-day dining restaurant, Tea Lounge and BBQ Grill. It serves exquisite cuisine featuring an international fusion of Sri Lankan, Western, Chinese, Indian, Thai, and much more. The restaurant’s design is beautiful, with ample natural light drawn in from the large glass panes. It maintains a balance between furniture and space. The central highlight is a prominent wooden feature where one could walk through to serve their food.
Another highlight is the lighting feature that creates a surreal ambiance. There is a private dining room within the restaurant, providing a space for family gatherings or corporate events. True to its name, a metal sculpture of a Spoonbill can be seen in the restaurant’s pond.
The BBQ Hut is situated outside, and guests can select from a spread of meats and seafood, including lake prawns. The lighting at the BBQ Hut can be changed according to the theme for the evening.
The main bar, Turnstone, has a beautiful wooden and stone finishing, thus, exuding a warm ambiance. The Turnstone serves various types of beverages, including wines, cocktails, mocktails, fruit juices, and much more. Shisha is also available for guests to enjoy. The bar provides both indoor and outdoor sitting. The Karaoke Lounge can be used upon reservation, and the Pelican Boardroom is also on the same floor. On the rooftop of the resort, guests can enjoy beautiful views of the South. Redshank, the hotel’s signature seafood restaurant, and Nightjar are both on the rooftop, providing an unforgettable experience.
The resort also provides banquet and conference/meeting facilities with a seating capacity of up to 600. The hall can be separated as Rajawarna, and Lake Rajawarna according to the number of guests and requirements for the function. Furthermore, the banquet hall has the facilities for groups to have workshops in separate (breakaway) rooms.
On holiday to DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort, guests can simply relax and enjoy themselves at the resort for their entire stay. They can also visit the
Sooriyawewa International Cricket Stadium, Weerawila Tissa Sanctuary, Tissamaharama Temple, Kataragama, Kirinda, Wedihitikanda, Yala, Bundala, Lunugamvehera and Udawalawe National Parks, Ussangoda, Ridiyagama Safari Park, and Kalamethiya Beach if they wish.
A stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort would indeed be a memorable experience.
DoubleTree by Hilton Weerawila Rajawarna Resort
Weerawila Watta, Weerawila.
(+94 47) 203 0100 DoubleTreeWeerawila.com