Hotels we love

Notary's House

Set in a picturesque rural landscape surrounded by lush green plants and vegetation, Notary’s House is a small boutique hotel that stands still and serene amid a coconut grove, with a large garden facing a natural lake. A one-hour drive from Colombo’s International Airport makes this property a great place to begin a tour of Sri Lanka, particularly given that most flights from Australia arrive late at night.

Notary’s House has just six rooms consisting of Sri Lankan architecture and traditional designs coupled with modern amenities and features including the bathrooms. The rooms have great views of the abundant bird life that thrive on the lakefront and nearby trees. Rooms have their own balconies and are spacious with four-poster beds and traditional local furniture. There are modern touches everywhere in terms of décor. We woke at dawn listening to a gentle chorus of birds that had begun the day a bit earlier than we did. As we opened the wooden louvers, we could see the beauty of nature all around us. The tropical garden overlooks the lake that is home to Lapwings, Cormorants, King Fishers and Egrets, to name a few of the birds you can see here.

There are five room on the first floor of the main house and one on the ground floor, with a large lounge area and dining room also on the ground floor. Dinner and lunch are served in the dining room and optionally on the outside terrace. Breakfast is generally served on the outside terrace overlooking the lake as the mornings are quite picturesque. One thing you’ll notice about this property, is that its uniqueness is attributed to the well-preserved traditional age-old décor including a vast display of centuries old kitchen utensils that are no longer or hardly seen in the kitchens of local homes.

The property has a pool set in the lush garden, ideal for a dip after a long day or as you ease yourself onto Sri Lankan time.  There’s a sense that time has stopped here and you will lose yourself in the serenity of the property. There are optional activities if you are inclined such as cycling through the village or taking a slow walk to see and experience rural Sri Lanka. A smile, greetings and a cup of tea with some local street food are to be expected on your walk, guided by a team member from the hotel. Notary’s House is an ideal place to begin your journey into Sri Lanka. One night may not be enough is our feeling!