Words Haseena Razak Photographs Prabath Chathuranga
Surrounded by the Indian Ocean and a lagoon on three sides, Kani Lanka Resort and Spa in Kalutara is a scenic setting. The Spa Ceylon spa at the hotel is housed separately on the bank of the lagoon. A 100-metre walk from the hotel, among coconut trees and sea breeze, will bring one to the entrance of the spa. An airy Kandyan style pavilion greets visitors and sets the tone for the luxurious, soothing and essentially Sri Lankan experience that will follow.
Directors of Spa Ceylon, Shiwantha Dias and Shalin Balasuriya pointed out that the open plan and natural surroundings are a large part of the experience at the spa. “The spa itself is a very open-concept spa with large rooms and relaxation areas,” said Shalin Balasuriya. “Even the boutique area is a huge open space, which opens out to the garden. So you see a lot of green and bamboo, which has a very relaxing, natural feel to it.”
“The entire spa, other than the treatment rooms, is open. But because it’s near the river, it’s under all these coconut trees and bamboo, it has a very airy, tropical, relaxing feel. It’s completely going back to old Sri Lanka – old Ceylon,” said Shiwantha Dias.
There is a calming experience for every one of the senses here. One is welcomed with a refreshing towel, scented with Sri Lankan flowers and the smell of essential oils wafts through all the rooms. The gentle lapping of the waves in the lagoon hamonises perfectly with the soft background music made up of birdcalls and sounds reminiscent of rural paddy fields.
The treatments offered at the spa are the signature Spa Ceylon treatments, designed especially to sooth and pamper guests, by giving them an experience that is truly Sri Lankan. Speaking about these treatments Shiwantha Dias said, ”It’s a fusion of Ayurveda as well as other contemporary spa therapies from the region.” One of the most popular treatments at the spa is the Royal Kandyan Massage. The massage techniques have been designed based on traditional massages performed on the Kandyan aristocracy. The Royal Kandyan Massage captures the luxuriousness of ancient practices and presents guests with the opportunity of experiencing ancient Sri Lankan pampering.
In addition to the Royal Kandyan Massage, the spa offers several other choices for the whole body including the Hot Sand Massage Ritual, the Ultimate Body Ritual, the Deep Tissue Massage Ritual and the Back Pain Relief Ritual. For the head, neck and shoulder area the spa provides the Sinus Relief Ritual, the Stress Relief Ritual and the Scalp Massage Ritual. There are also a range of Foot Rituals, Pedicure Rituals and Sleep Therapies to choose from.
The spa personalises the rituals according to each guest’s preferences and requirements. One of the latest treatments on offer, which is personalised for each guest, is the De-Tox Programme. This treatment includes massages, scrubs, wraps as well as medication and herbal teas to be taken. Designed in consultation with Spa Ceylon’s Ayurveda doctors, the De-Tox Treatment is a seven-day programme.
In addition to the reception area, treatment rooms, jacuzzis and plunge pools, the spa also comprises of a relaxation area. Guests are led here once their treatments are over, to be served herbal teas and locally grown organic fruits in season. Sampling local fruits like nelli, gaduguda, biling, lovi and jambu further enhances guests’ experiences of Sri Lanka at the spa. A boutique is located at the spa’s reception, where oils, balms, shower gels, scrubs, lotions and a range of other products can be bought. All these products are 100 percent vegetarian, animal friendly and entirely bio-degradable.
Perhaps the most striking feature of Spa Ceylon is that every detail of a guest’s stay is meticulously planned from the sights, sounds and smells upon entering to the treatments adapted according to preference and the luxurious pampering not only during but also after treatments. Spa Ceylon also marks its presence at Park Street Mews Colombo, Casa Colombo and The Paradise Road Villa in Bentota as well as Spa Boutiques at Crescat Boulevard and Barefoot Galle Fort.
With characteristics of Sri Lanka intricately interwoven into every aspect of a guest’s stay, it becomes an experience that will always be remembered.