Wind down, Relax and Revitalise.
Unique amongst all of Sri Lanka's many superb locations - NEGOMBO LAGOON
If you're attending The Serendipity Art Retreat in Sri Lanka (29 Nov.- 7 Dec. 2021) and would like a couple of nights to relax before the retreat begins, I recommend staying here on the Negombo Lagoon.
I shot this brief video glimpse this week as I was sipping my first coffee.
Directly on the other side is the Bandanaraike National Airport. I'll probably watch you flying in!
Just next door to me is one of the most iconic hotels on the island - Jetwing Lagoon - the first of acclaimed architect Geoffrey Bawa's tropical hotels (he's now known as the father of Tropical Modernism). It's spacious, tranquil and as serene as this scene. It has an excellent Ayurvedic spa, and fabulous cuisine. Of course it's a Class 1 hotel, operating with maximum safety protocols and precautions.
Arrival into Sri Lanka
after completing your custom & immigration formalities it's just a 20 minute ride here
Whatever time you've arrived into Sri Lanka, Negombo is a perfect location to revive and refresh before your tour begins.
Negombo is built around canals created by the Dutch to transprt Cinnamon logs from the hill country to their ports, and lagoons whose brackish waters are home to the famous Ceylon Crab of curry fame. Even in Singapore's restaurants, premium crabs from these waters are referred to as 'Ceylon crab'. I was fascinated when I first came to live here a year ago - so here's my blog on this subject, plus an authentic Negombo recipe for Chilli Crab.
Fishing is the livliehood of thousands who either live here all year round or move during the southwest monsoon period to the other side of the island to ply their trade. It's a bustling town, but out on the narrow stretch of land that separates the sea from the lagoon - where your hotel is located, it's delightfully peaceful. Take it from me - I've lived here on the water's edge for the last year.
Included: taxi collection at airport and 1st of 2 nights at lagoon side hotel
Wind down with an Ayurvedic massage, and an evening of bird-spotting on the lagoon
The morning silence is bliss. You'll probably awaken to bird song. Enjoy your breakfast overlooking the shimmering water where fishermen gracefully punt kayaks, pulling up nets. The day's your own. You might enjoy a couple of hours discovering Negombo's canals, many churches, famous fish markets and the last vestiges of the old Dutch Fort - take a tuk tuk or a taxi ... easily organised at the time.
There's a wonderful Ayurvedic spa here, spacious grounds, a vast swimming pool, and just across the road from the hotel, a few umbrellas on the beach on the hotel-maintained sundeck. Practice doing nothing at all for a little while - you're going to busy tomorrow!
This evening, weather-permitting, there's bird watching on the lagoon, and I'll come to join you.
Included: B/D, bird watching on the lagoon, 2nd of 2 nights in your lagoon-side hotel
WE'RE OFF TO COLOMBO!
get to know this fascinating city, discover its treasures and architectural highlights
Colombo is an impossible city to describe easily - its appearance, its vibe, all reflect the many cutural strands that add to its diversity - the Sinhalese, Tamils and Ceylon Moors are dominant cultures but diverse peoples over two millenia have made this island home. In fact Sri Lanka has the oldest actual written history in the world, so the very grand National Museum is the place we'll start today.
We're then going to do a driving tour of the city before visiting a very special location.
If you hadn't heard of Geoffrey Bawa before you come to Sri Lanka, you'll certainly know his name and his works by the time you leave. We're going to have a private tour around his home before heading off to a very stylish lunch at the place he worked from - driving his gleaming Jaguar all two blocks away!
There's some time to browse a shop or two before having afternoon tea whilst taking in a bird's-eye view of the new port development which stretches out into the Indian Ocean. Gaze to your left and you witness the sweep of the city towards its earliest development - the area simply kown as 'Fort'.
From here we'll walk along the Galle Face Green - Colpmbo's iconic seaside promenade - towards our hotel, where your evening is at leisure to enjoy seaside cocktails before dinner.
Colombo has some outstanding places to dine, aside from this hotel, so that's for you to choose - I'll be happy to offer my favourite places as food for thought.
Tomorrow after breakfast we start out for Galle as a full group.
Included: B (tonight you stay at the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo as the first night of the retreat,There are no meals planned, as some participants may still be arriving).
COST of this 2 night pre-retreat treat
Airport Taxi Collection
2 nights at the 5-star Jetwing Lagoon Hotel
1 dinner at your hotel
lagoon birdwatching boat ride
Day tour of Colombo in private luxury coach
Guide throughout the day
National Museum entrance
Geoffrey Bawa's home private tour
Single occupancy USD$360
Double/ twin occupancy USD$520
PLEASE NOTE: If you prefer to stay on the beach in Negombo, this package is also available for the JETWING BEACH HOTEL.
If you are joing us on the Hidden Gems post-retreat tour, the final night of the tour will be spent at JETWING BEACH - it's also an easy airport connection.