By Sanath Weerasuriya, Pix by Nilan Maligaspe
‘Dalmanuta’ is a luxury Ayurvedic Spa Resort situated in the peaceful residential area of Warapitiya by the Benthara River in Aluthgama off Mathugama Road. ‘The name Dalmanuta is borrowed from the Bible and it was the place where Jesus went to rest.
Repeating the same theory, we created Dalmanuta to rest and of the well being of the people’ said Peer Franzen, the Swedish proprietor of this unique hotel.
This four acre property was originally densely grown and mostly a swamp. The beautiful garden with its unique herbal garden and its ample wildlife was constructed with help from Sri Lanka’s top garden architect, Donald de Silva.
In the Dalmanuta herbal garden, there are more than 200 different medical plants and some of the organic vegetables that used in the restaurant. Apart from this unique nature garden, Dalmanuta has nine separate suites, an Ayurvedic Spa, restaurant and river frontage for all water sports activities.
All rooms have a spacious bathroom with high pressure, non-chlorine water from resort’s own well.
The most unique feature of the room is its bathroom, which is built with Swedish touch. The ensuite bathrooms have twin vanities, three with bathtubs and six with `massage’ showers.
Every suite is equipped with a satellite TV offering a wide selection of interesting channels.
There are also 400 DVD films to choose from in the reception. Dalmanuta is a big nature park offering a rich wildlife, herbal garden and ponds with fishes and islands for meditation.
There are two pools, one for diving and swimming and one eight seat Jacuzzi in the shadow of a rose hedge that also functions as a children’s pool.
The Benthara River offers many beautiful sights and hotels boats will take guests on trips up the river or down to the long sandy beaches at its mouth where water sports lovers can find most types of water sports.
‘Water sports include scuba diving, snorkelling and windsurfing. Bentota’s lagoon is ideal for jet skiing, water skiing, banana-boating and sailing’ said Peer Franzen.
The design of the hotel is aimed at giving all its guests space and time for themselves, for healing and growth, but with service and comfort close by.
Relaxing massages, herbal baths, and body wraps take place in a separate area of the gardens in cooling wattle-and-daub huts with thatched roofs. Medicinal plants used for some of the therapies are grown extensively in the tranquil medicinal gardens where hours can be spent walking past ponds and waterways.
The other attraction of Dalmanuta is its informal open-sided riverside restaurant. The resort is famous for its seafood, Sri Lankan cuisine for overseas visitors, also attracting regular customers from non-resident visitors who come by boat to feast on fresh lobster, prawns and crab. Western cuisine is served here.
‘The food is an important part of our health treatment and right food is a must during the treatment. The treatment plan will include diet advices to be followed, while in Dalmanuta and maybe also when you get back home again. Based on your diagnosis, the kitchen and the doctor will put together a frame menu’ said head chef Athula Keerthi.