Beauty Ritual: Spa Natural,The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka

RITUAL: Pindasweda, 90 mins, USD 100 approx

LOCATION: The Fortress Resort and Spa, Galle, Sri Lanka

Massage- www.stylecity.in

Any trip to The Fortress Resort and Spa cannot be complete without visiting their Spa- Spa Natural, which offers a simple and holistic approach to well-being, with eastern and western treatments combined. From signature Ayurvedic treatments which begin with a consultation with the in-house Ayurveda Doctor; who finds out the body constitution (Prakrthi),the state of body humours (doshas) and formulates a personalised treatment, to western massages and body scrubs there is a whole lot of treatments you can experience.

I for one had a great consultation with Dr.Pushpika, where we discussed not only the type of treatment I should have but also things I should incorporate in my diet. According to Ayurveda the body consists of three Doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kappha and each person’s nature, health and ailments depend on which Dosha is most prominent. In an ideal situation all three must be balanced, but that rarely happens with one being the most prominent and a second following close, my most prominent Dosha is Kappha followed by Pitta. After my consultation I learnt I need to increase intake of greens as well as some high pungent tastes to my diet like Black pepper, ginger, cumin so as to balance my Dosha. Also meditate and be more physically active so I don’t get too lethargic and depressed which is the negative side of having a higher Kapha Dosha. After this I was booked for an Ayurvedic treatment for the next day.

Spa, The Fortress Resort and Spa, Galle. www.stylecity.in

I enter the Spa Natural and am asked to wait in the relaxation room while the treatment room is given final touches for my therapy. The treatment set up for me by Dr.Pushpika is Pindasweda in which a special type of rice is cooked, tied into a cotton ball, dipped into an herbal mixture with warmed milk and then skillfully massaged into the body. These hot herbal bags(potalis) have herbs which are a great combination of correct herbs for all three Doshas and hence are great for balancing any Dosha missing in your body. The Potalis are heated to a high temperature to make the body sweat hence easier for the herbs to penetrate and heal the body. This treatment is excellent for muscle relaxation, improved blood circulation, remove joint stiffness and swelling.

I wont lie, when the treatment began I was extremely uncomfortable with the excess heat induced to make me perspire, but as the therapist worked on my back (which had come up as a problem area during my consultation) and down through my legs and thighs, I slowly started feeling the effects. By the time the therapist stopped using the Pinda’s, and started giving me a massage I was so relaxed I fell a sleep during the last 15 mins of my treatment. When she finally woke me up to tell me my treatment is over I could feel most of my bodies stiffness had gone and I feel lighter than I have in a long time. In fact I practically glide into my room to get changed and check out of the hotel.

I made a huge mistake by booking my treatment for the last day of my stay instead of taking up a package for all three days, which is also an option. So in case you visit Sri-Lanka and get a chance to go to or stay at The Fortress Resort and Spa I suggest you definitely get an Ayurvedic consultation and go in for the treatment suggested to you and if possible for a three-four day package. I promise you will thank me for recommending!

Reservationsfor any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property can be made by calling 000800 650 1456 (India), online at www.slh.com or via the SLH iPhone app. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.  To receivespecial benefits including a complimentary breakfast, upgrade (subject to availability)and late check-out, join The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World at www.slh.com/club  Membership is offered on acomplimentary basis

The Fortress Resort and Spa, Galle, Sri Lanka

On my recent Sri Lanka trip, I had a reservation for two days at The Fortress Resort and Spa thanks to Small Luxury Hotels of the World to review the property. Small Luxury hotels of the world, have tie-ups with some of the most beautiful boutique hotels around the world, so I always have really high expectations with the properties they are linked with and “The Fortress” did not disappoint.

THE Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

On our way from spending the day at Galle fort, we actually missed the property and drove past it, cause as the name suggests, The Fortress is like a fort next to the beach with high walls and solid wooden doors. When we did manage to turn around a find the place I was a little intimidated by the huge size of the wall, but once you enter the property that changes, for you are greeted by lush gardens and a view of the swimming pool over-looking the vast blue ocean and served with a cool welcome drink which is a refreshing welcome for The Fortress is 160 km from the airport (and Sri Lanka is really humid)

The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

Inspired by the Dutch Fort Design, The Fortress has 53 rooms with six distinct styles of guest’s rooms and residences, each creating sensual living spaces with a naturally modern twist. The categories are the Fortress Room, The Beach Room, The Ocean Room, Splash rooms, The Ocean Lofts and The Fortress Residences. With a well-balanced design concept at the forefront, each room has been designed with either private courtyards or balconies with a view to either the gardens, water features or the Indian Ocean. We are shown to our Ocean View room, which is on the upper level and faces the Swimming Pool and the Ocean.

The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

The Fortress Rooms feature a superior King size bed (7ft x 7ft) dressed with Egyptian cotton with an open plan bathroom with rainfall shower and bath. A state of the art entertainment system including a plasma screen TV’s, Bose DVD and sound system and a private Bar are just some of the features.The Ocean Lofts are approximately 140m and the design of these split level rooms creates a one-of-a kind experience on each of its two separate floors. The largest of them all is the Fortress Residences which are 240m and creates the ultimate living space as it is on the upper level of the Fortress and each features two bedrooms and an outdoor dining deck. Guests staying in these residences are pampered by their 24 hour personal butler to cater to their every requirement.

The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

Each evening there is a different dining program varying from Sri Lankan food special to Sea Food barbecue, which is what was on the first night we got there. Chef Kumar made it even more special for us by arranging for us to sample various dishes from the ala carte menu so we can get an idea of the wide array of culinary delights are served at Pepper, the Central dining venue at the Fortress. A combination of international Cuisine and local flavours are offered to the guests and for those who prefer destination dining , private dining within the confines of the Fortress can be arranged. They also have a large selection of wines, which makes it every wine connoisseurs dream come true. You can have this large selection along with your in-room dining as well as at the Sea Lounge, which is the bar by the pool.

Spa , The Fortress, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

Spa, The Fortress, Galle, Sri lanka. www.stylecity.in

Another great offering of The Fortress Resort and Spa is its Spa Natural, which offers a simple a holistic approach to well-being with eastern and western treatments combined. From signature Ayurvedic treatments which begin with a consultation with the in-house Ayurveda Doctor, who finds out the body constitution and state of body humours, based on which a personalised treatment is formulated to western massages and body scrubs there is a whole lot of treatments you can experience. You can also have customised treatments and make a full Spa vacation of your stay. I for one had a great consultation with Dr.Pushpika, where we discussed not only the type of treatment I should have but also things I should incorporate in my diet. Details to follow soon.

The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

Finally, before I end this post earlier over here I had  spoken about The Fortress as one of the SLH properties you can choose for your Destination Wedding. Now after visiting the property I am more convinced than ever that it is a perfect property for a wedding. To begin with Sri Lanka has a warm tropical climate throughout the year, so if you avoid the monsoon season you should get clear skies (we only got rain one day through my 6 day stay at Sri Lanka). The Fortress Resort and Spa also has a variety of wedding packages for you to choose from, Moonstone, Star Ruby, Star Sapphire and Serendib Sapphire Package. Each of these packages has some basic items like wedding planners, decoration, Wedding cake, Floral decoration and a 24 colour photo wedding album. Of course, besides the above items each package are tailored to include certain other amenities. If you cannot manage your destination wedding at The Fortress, they also have great deals for Honeymoons and Anniversary’s.

The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

World Luxury Hotel award and Asia Pacific Hotel award winner The Fortress is a perfect destination if a serene place combined with luxury is your idea of an ideal vacation.
The Fortress Resort and Spa – PO Box 126 Galle. Sri Lanka. Tel:+94 777 743 750
Rate– The Rooms begin at USD 280* per night
Transport– International Airport: Colombo 140 km (transfers arranged by the resort). Local Airport: Koggala Lake (KCT) 2 km (transfers arranged by the resort) Train station: Galle 10 km. Pick up service: By resort at time of booking. Helipad: on-site & on request (please book via the resort)
Guests are met by resort staff at Koggala Airport. Seaplane comes direct from Colombo Airport. From Colombo Airport – Take main road into Colombo and then the Galle Road direct south to Koggala.

*These rates are approximate rates and could vary.Reservationsfor any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property can be made by calling 000800 650 1456 (India), online at www.slh.com or via the SLH iPhone app. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.  To receivespecial benefits including a complimentary breakfast, upgrade (subject to availability)and late check-out, join The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World at www.slh.com/club  Membership is offered on acomplimentary basis

Travel Diaries: Sri Lanka

Hello, so the reason my posts have been so erratic this month is cause I was off on a vacation with my bff from school who lives in Australia and we met in Sri Lanka for a few days after almost 5 years. My trip began on a horrible note thanks to AIR INDIA and them cancelling my flight, hence me missing my connecting flight at Chennai and almost having a heart attack about the fact that I may need to stay at Chennai Airport which may I add is the worst airport in the world. But all worked out, and I met this really sweet guy who had the same problem with AIR INDIA from Mumbai and totally helped me out.Fortunately, my ordeal in getting to Sri Lanka was not a reflection on the rest of my trip which was fabulous. To begin with five days is just too less, you need atleast fifteen to properly see Sri Lanka. I plan to go back in February hopefully, join me maybe? Well anyway starting with this photo-essay you can get an idea of my trip.

Dutch hospital Colombo. www.stylecity.in

Day one I landed at around 6pm and my friends picked me up and we went to a coffee shop,we had some Sri Lankan Chai and then headed to Colombo. There we chilled at Dutch Hospital, which was originally a hospital but now is a cool hang-out zone, with shops and restaurants and pubs all around a courtyard. Which as you can see has this amazing Christmas tree in the centre and is full on a Monday evening, party girl in me pleasantly surprised, 5/5 to the Sri Lankan youth.

Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

Day 2 we went of to Galle for the day to check out the fort and just have lunch out there. This is a panoramic view of the beach, taken from the light-house.

Amangalla, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

Pedlar's Inn, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

We first stopped to have a drink at Amangalla Hotel, which is a beautifully done up building, looks like an old Dutch house which has been restored. Unfortunately we did not realise it was Amangalla when we walked in (don’t judge, they don’t have any signs or board) else I would have definitely asked to see the whole property. From there we walked down the fort and went for lunch at Pedlar’s Inn. Which is so quirky and the food is absolutely delish!

The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

After this we went to The Fortress Resort and Spa where I had a two-day stay booked  thanks to Small Luxury Hotels of the World to review the property. We actually missed the property and drove past it, cause as the name suggests it does look like a fort from outside and we did not think to look past the high walls. But once you enter those high walls, its like a small piece of heaven, with lush green gardens overlooking the ocean (More about the Fortress soon!)

Happy Banana *no pun intended", Unawatuna, Sri Lanka.www.stylecity.in

The next day after my meetings at The Fortress which included a long consultancy with the Ayurvedic doctor regarding my treatment the next day (details to follow) we went off to Unawatuna beach which is approximately 20 mins by car from where we were staying. Here we chilled at a shack called Happy Banana (*no pun intended* that is the name) and had a sea food barbecue in the evening.

Paradise Road Gallery Cafe, Colombo, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in Paradise road Gallery Cafe, Colombo, Sril Lanka. www.stylecity.in

The Commons, Colombo, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

Finally went back to Colombo and most day just went in traveling, but we did manage to visit Paradise Road Gallery Cafe’. This charming cafe opened in 1998 in a structure which was offices of world-renowned Sri Lankan architect the Late Geoffery Bawa. The art gallery constantly has exhibitions featuring renowned and upcoming Sri Lankan artists. After coffee here we checked into our service apartment, which is really well located and absolutely safe even for girl or single travellers called over11apartments. The owners live in the main building and this apartment is in the annexe above the garage. Finally we went to eat at “the Commons” a really nice and homely joint for a meal before crashing for the night.

Home Lunch with Fariz and family. www.stylecity.in

Silk, Colombo, Sri Lanka. www.stylecity.in

The next day and my final day in Sri Lanka started with a home cooked meal at my friends college friend Fariz’s place. Fariz needs a special mention because he was pretty much our tour guide in terms of where to go and what to do during our stay. He also let me know often enough I should have not come if I was only planning to come for 5 days since Sri Lanka has too much to offer to be covered in such a short span. Then we went off shopping, mostly souvenir and small gift shopping cause honestly Sri Lanka is by no means cheap shopping and finally as it was my last night wanted to check out a night club, which we did called SILK. Again, if you do go to Colombo do try this club out. Missed out on the Casino’s, but next trip hopefully!
P.S- Note how much I tanned, picture from beach on day two and night club n day five

Hotel Guide to Romance

When one is in love, they want every moment to perfect, from the first official date to the first official kiss to the first official vacation. I am saying official cause while you are dating it is nice and all but nothing like when you fall in love and you realise you actually want to spend time planning each special moment. (Sigh! I don’t even know why I talk about all this, I think I am just too romantic and optimistic and a wee bit dramatic). Anyway back to planning those special moments, the most taxing among all has to be the vacation. I mean come on, you don’t want to end up in a place where both of you have nothing to do and hence are fighting the whole time. So well, coming to our rescue is SLH (Small Luxury hotels of the World) to plan your vacations for each of those moments. Even if you are single like me, it is a great start to plan those trips with your lovely ladies, who knows who you meet and what that might lead to (told you I am optimistic). Plus with summer vacation coming up you could do with some help there as well.So here is a bit about few of their properties. See if they catch your fancy or suit your purpose, else go through their site and chose out of the 520 other properties. Let me know how your vacation went.

Hotelde Tuilerieën, Belgium– www.slh.com/tuilerieen 
The Hotel de Tuilerieënin the picture-perfect city of Bruges in Belgium exudes old-school romance with period décor, four-poster beds and daily champagne breakfasts. Walk hand in hand down cobbled alley ways, enjoy candlelit dinners at the hotel’s legendary Le Menu Belge restaurant or a relaxing couples’ massage to end the day. So what better way to show to the world that you have found that someone special?
Night rates at Hotel de Tuilerieën from USD 259* per room based on double occupancy.

Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, Greece– www.slh.com/mykonos 
GREECE! I mean if you have not read my earlier post about my desire to visit here or how hot the Greek men are please do, and really there is no argument here that this is the ultimate destination to declare your love against a crystal blue backdrop of sea and sky. Enjoy proposal perfect settings on the white sand beach at sunset, in the privacy of a candlelit suite at Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort or on the nearby temple island of Delos. And to my lovely single ladies, really aren’t you sold?
Night rates at Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort from USD 228* per room based on double occupancy.

The Fortress Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka– www.slh.com/fortress
This is an ideal place for a destination wedding. Buck the white wedding trend with a truly unique celebration at the entrancing Fortress Resort & Spa.Enclosed within landscaped gardens, this ultra stylish 53-room resort offers the perfect party paradise with drummers,dancers and elephants as wedding regulars! Newly weds and guests alike will delight in the 24-hour butler service, private plunge pools and renowned SriLankan cuisine to make it a wedding day that everyone will remember for a lifetime.Night rates at The Fortress Resort & Spa from USD 257* per room based on double occupancy.

Velassaru,Maldives – www.slh.com/velassaru
When deciding where to go for the most important and most romantic holiday of your life, whether is the proposal or the honeymoon it doesn’t get much better than the unsurpassable beauty and luxury at the Velassaru hotel in the Maldives. After the stress and strain leading upto the big day, newly weds can spend their days lazing within the sanctuary oftheir water villa with nothing but ocean as far as the eye can see.Night rates at Velassaru from USD 282* per room based on double occupancy.

Hotel Punta Tragara, Italy– www.slh.com/puntatragara
This celebration is for when you have crossed a few years and real life has begun to be just that “Real Life”. Celebrate your years together with all its ups and downs and rekindle that honeymoon romance with a stay at the irresistible Hotel Punta Tragara perched on the cliffs of Capri, overlooking the rocks of Faraglioni and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. Full of charming Italian character and charisma, couples will delight in the stylish décor,decadent cuisine and intimate ambience of one of Italy’s finest hotels. Night rates at Hotel Punta Tragara from USD 475* per room based on double occupancy.

Sivory Punta Cana Boutique Hotel, Dominican Republic – www.slh.com/sivory
If not Sri Lanka for your wedding day then there’s always the option of the beautiful tropical paradise getaway, Dominican Republic. So have a beautiful destination wedding here or renew those all important, life-long vows. Sivory Punta Cana Boutique Hotel is what dreams are made of with exquisite gourmet food, suites with private plunge pools and an incredible holistic spa – the perfectsetting to say “I do”. Night rate at Sivory Punta Cana Boutique Hotel from USD 369* per room based on double occupancy.

The Betsy, Florida– www.slh.com/betsyhotel
And finally for all my lovely single ladies the iconic Betsy hotel on Miami Beach’s Ocean Drive is the answer to all those holiday dilemmas. If you’re newly single, or single since the last decade, there’s no better place to enjoy a day of selfish pampering followed by dinner at the hotel’s famous BLT steakhouse restaurant and then a night out in Miami’s fantastic Art Deco District.Night rates at The Betsy USD 400* per room based on double occupancy.

*These rates are approximate rates and could vary.Reservationsfor any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property can be made by calling 000800 650 1456 (India), online at www.slh.com or via the SLH iPhone app. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.  To receivespecial benefits including a complimentary breakfast, upgrade (subject to availability)and late check-out, join The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World at www.slh.com/club  Membership is offered on acomplimentary basis

Coveted Calender

And it’s back! A decade after its initiation, the 10th edition of the coveted Kingfisher swimsuit Calender is back to dress up our homes. Shot at various exotic locations over the years, this year it was the picturesque locations of Sri Lanka that played back drop to the twelve sensual beauties that feature in the Calender. Shot by Atul Kasbekar at various Jetwing properties around Sri Lanka, this year it features the likes of Angela Jonnson, Mimi Blix, Tena Desae, Saiyami Kher, Nathalia and Maia Haydon. Here is a sneak peak at a few of the shots we will get to see this year