Serene Pavilions

Serene Pavilions

If you want to have a week or two in almost complete solitude and luxury, few places do it as well as Serene Pavilions in Sri Lanka, just a two hour drive from Colombo. On the south-west coast of the island, Serene consists fourteen entirely detached pavilions. Most are two storey, with a small private plunge pool, lounge, dining area, bedroom with balcony and large en-suite bathroom. There are two sprawling one-story two-bedroom pavilions that are completely enclosed by high walls and are therefore perfect for those wishing for total privacy.

With a maximum 28 guests you will have plenty of space to relax, and never have to worry about finding a good position to sunbathe by the pool or in the beautiful gardens. This is a beautiful, comfortable and luxurious boutique resort and we think you will struggle to find better.

So, what's it like spending some time here? Firstly because the number of guests is small and the number of staff is large (over fifty people work here) you will receive very personal service. You may find this too much of course - a private butler will attend to you at any time of day or night and you will never have to wait for a drink, meal or towel. The feeling you have here is that you are in your own private estate with a large staff constantly tending the gardens, cleaning and cooking, and worrying about your every need.

Your pavilion has a full kitchen and dining room and so if you wish you can spend your entire time here and have your meals prepared for you in your own pavilion. But there is a central restaurant that we preferred. Only a dozen or so tables of course, but they are big, spacious tables with huge comfortable chairs. Some inside, some on the balcony overlooking the sea. In the photograph above you can see the restaurant balcony on the upper floor.

Serene Pavilion

The dining is of a very high standard with sumptuous breakfasts and dinners. The chef will sometimes cook to order, and you will on occasion be able to dine on the beach. Have pre-dinner drinks served on the veranda where your butler will happily set up two large armchairs for you.

As well as your private plunge pool that is large enough to swim a couple of strokes and cool down, there is a huge pool that is of course immaculate with clear water and plenty of sunbeds. All of this is set within lovely gardens. Serene has a tiny gym (big enough for two) and a tThere is a central lounge and library with a small selection of books, and a small collection of DVDs.

Serene offers no evening entertainment of any kind - the deal here is serenity, peace & solitude. For that reason this may not suit everyone. The daily routine here is leisurely breakfast, relax in the sun, read a book or listen to your music, perhaps a light lunch on your private veranda, then a swim in the big pool before afternoon tea. Finish the day with a treatment in the late afternoon before dressing for dinner and spending the evening over a relaxed five-course meal before retiring to your four poster bed so you can do it all again tomorrow.

The pavilions are off the beaten track, and there is little to do outside - you have to travel. There is a private four-wheel drive car. As you would expect this is a top-end quality car and comes with a driver. You can hire this for a day to take a trip out. See our reviews of the elephant sanctuary on the next page.

Final word

This is a luxury holiday and very expensive. You may have to hunt around a bit to find a travel agent to arrange this, or you can book directly with Serene. Fly direct with Sri Lanka Airlines - an OK airline but not five star -or indirect with other carriers.

Serene Pavilion Balcony Pavilion Lounge Pavilion Dining Room Pavilion Study Pavilion Bedroom Pavilion Jacuzzi Serene Pavilions Beach Serene Lawns Serene Main Pool

Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary

Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary

Sri Lanka is famous for its elephant sanctuaries. The best known is the Pinnawala elephant orphanage. More...

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