Friday, August 6, 2010

Alankuda Beach, Kalpitiya

Posted by The Editor at 9:40 PM
Alankuda Beach is a tranquil eco-retreat located in the rural fishing village of Alankuda on the North West Coast. Situated along a deserted 2 km stretch of pristine private beach, this is a relaxing and romantic getaway that is also ideal for nature lovers. Seas here are calm and inviting from November to April when thousands of dolphins can be spotted. Alankuda is l20 kms south of Kalpitiya and about three hours north from Colombo on the main A3 route, past Negombo and Chilaw. The journey from the Bandaranaike International Airport is about 2.5 hours. Wilpattu National Park and Anaradhapura are also easily accessed from here.

Following the same village based concept as its sister property – Ulpotha located near Anuradhapura, Alankuda Beach is situated in the small fishing village of Alankuda amidst swaying palms, sandy beaches and the azure seas which is home to pods of Dolphins during the season. Individual wattle and daub cabanas, wooden cottages, villas and houses set within their own gardens, provide for a range of accommodation options. Meals are served in clay pots in the Ambalama overlooking the stunning infinity pool and the shimmering seas beyond. The nights here are magical with oil lanterns that lights ups the pathways, twinkling fibre optic lights of the swimming pool that matches a star filled sky, and a seductive bonfire on the beach by the boat house where drinks are served.

There are several accommodation options at Alankuda Beach including wattle and daub or wooden cabanas, family villas and three newly-added houses all set within their own private gardens.

Wattle Daub Cabanas: There are four open-sided, wattle and daub cabanas with thatched roofs with each set in its own quarter-acre garden. These cabanas are 35 sq metres and consist of an open-sided bedroom furnished with a comfortable king size bed and an open-sided sitting area with built-in seating (also fitted with mosquito netting) that can sleep two more. Two separate palm-thatched enclosures, a few yards away, house the bathroom (w/c and wash basin) and the shower area. These open-air bathrooms are wonderfully designed to blend in with the natural surroundings. The shower, fitted to a coconut tree, cascades down like a waterfall. There is no h/w. Cabanas are ideal for families or couples and can accommodate upto four guests.

Wooden Cabanas: Three wooden cabanas, each 40 sq metres, are situated close together and consist of a double bedroom and lounge area. The attached bathroom has h/w shower. The bedrooms can accommodate an additional single bed if necessary.

Family Villas: Two spacious family villas, of more than 200 sq m, set within their own fenced gardens. Each villa consists of two ensuite double rooms. The spacious open-air bathrooms are nicely designed within their own garden space. The villas have a large verandah with six built-in seats that can be used as single beds. There is a common bathroom and a separate garden shower that can be used by those sleeping in the verandah. The villas can accommodate up to 10 guests.

Araliya House: Araliya House is 180 sq m and has two bedrooms - one double room and a twin room - living/dining area and kitchen. One bathroom with h/w shower is shared by both rooms. The double room has a brass bed and the other has two single beds. Araliya house is 50 metres from the swimming pool and dining area and is suitable for a couple or small family. Araliya can accommodate a maximum of four guests.

Begonia House: This is an airy two-bedroom house of 180 sq m. Each of the double rooms has a private sit-out and ensuite bathroom with h/w shower. Begonia house is about 30 metres from the swimming pool and dining pavilion and can accommodate up to four guests.

Kohomba House: At 230 sq m, this is the most spacious accommodation. About 200m from the boat house, pool, and dining area, Kohomba House consists of two ensuite double bedrooms, spacious living/dining area and an equipped kitchen. One of the bedrooms has a king-size double bed and the other has two large single beds. Each bedroom has a lounge area with built-in seating that can be converted into two single beds. Three more guests can be accommodated in the main lounge area which has built in seating fitted with mosquito netting. If preferred, a cook will come to the house and prepare meals according to your wishes or guests can eat at the main hotel dining area. Kohomba can accommodate up to 10 guests.

The central point is the Ambalama – an open sided wattle and daub cabana with comfortable cushioned built in seating for lazing around and taking in the spectacular view of the infinity pool and the turquoise seas beyond. Meals are served buffet style in clay pots at the Amblama on a unique table top in the shape of an `oruwa’ or canoe. As in the village home, guests serve themselves and sit around where ever they please and enjoy delicious rice and curries cooked with freshly available seafood and vegetables. Local beer and soft drinks are served here. Guests are welcome to bring their own drinks. The main 40 meter long swimming pool with a separate shallow area which is ideal for children, is lit up at night with fibre optic lighting giving it a magical air. A second infinity swimming pool with spectacular sea views has been added recently for the convenience of guests staying at the Araliya and Begonia houses. There is a boat house – a cabana with thatched roof, boarded floors and lounging areas. A roaring bonfire is lit at nights by the boat house and drinks are served. The boathouse is well equipped with safety vests and boats to take guests out to sea for whale and dolphin watching excursions. The Ambalama has an ipod station and there is also a guitar for anyone wanting to add a magical touch to memorable nights by the sea.

During the season from November to April, thousands of dolphins can be spotted in the deep seas off Alankuda. If you are lucky, further into the deep seas, you may even spot a blue whale. Coral reefs offer much to see for marine enthusiasts with an array of exotic tropical fish, and the deep seas off the Gulf of Mannar in Kalpitiya, is also home to stingrays and several species of Marine turtles. There is also snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, kite and wind surfing. Birding enthusiasts will enjoy an excursion to the nearby Anaiwilundawa a wilderness sanctuary that has lakes and mangroves where numerous species of birds can be spotted. Explore the fishing village of Kalpitiya and the Dutch period church – St. Anne’s in Thalawilla. Go on a morning’s excursion to Wilpattu National Park which is home to wild elephants and the elusive leopard.



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