The first tourist hotel to be built in Habarana was The Village. It was built in 1976. Since then, Habarana has seen a marvellous awakening, especially as a tourist destination in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. Tourists now experience the traditional hospitality of Sri Lanka in its natural setting at the The Village. When I visited The Village last week, I was accorded a warm and traditional ‘village’ type welcome by Director General Manager, The Village, Srilal Mendis and the resort’s Resident Manager, Kenneth Jayasinghe.
I found The Village to be the ideal locality for all that is best about Lankan charm, courtesy and cuisine and what could be better than encountering all these in an intimate village atmosphere. There is more to The Village than a cosy ambience.
There’s the Habarana lake front with its plethora of endemic flora and fauna. There is a wooded parkland, nature trails and jogging tracks.
While you “live in The Village,” there’s a world of cultural heritage and relics from an ancient civilisation in the vicinity of Habarana for you to explore at leisure. The resort sprawls over 12 acres of landscaped gardens replete with exotic botanical interest. The resort has 106 terraced cottages with A/C or fan, hot and cold water and magnificent views of the glistening Habarana lake. It has two suites, ‘Kingfisher Lodge’ and ‘Silver Lodge’. It offers tourists relaxation beside the still waters of the ancient irrigation tank, home to rare species of flora and fauna. Over 135 species of birds have been identified within the premises of the resort. The ‘Samadhi Veda Asapuwa’ offers tourists a varied selection of herbal treatment.
Trees of over 100 species found in the 12-acre land on which the hotel has been built. This is something rare, Resident Manager, The Village, Kenneth Jayasinghe explained. Tourists take the edge off the tropical heat as they frolic in the cool waters of the large swimming pool with an overview of terraced pathways, limpid lake and tropical jungle.
The resort spreads a scrumptious array of traditional Sri Lankan and exotic Eastern food, presented by Executive Chef Wasantha Jayamanna and his kitchen brigade, to satisfy the ‘jungle hunger’ of tourists. BBQs and outdoor buffets, with a well stocked bar at hand, are also offered to guests.
Recreation and entertainment at The Village includes boating, tennis, badminton, chess in a king-size hut and a host of other indoor games – best of all, the resort offers a thrilling elephant safari in the village of Habarana which has become extremely popular not only among foreign tourists but Sri Lankans alike.
The Village is certainly a base for many tourist attractions, including Minneriya Park, Kaudulla National Park, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Namal Uyana, Aukana, Kalawewa, Somawathai Chaitiya, Dimbulagala, Ritigala and many other in the Cultural Triangle. The shimmering peak of Ritigala is also visible in the hazy tropical near-distance of the resort with its temple atop a mountain 18 km away from the resort.