Opened at a cost of $US5.5 million in November 2009, Serene Pavilions is a beachside retreat offering 12 lavishly appointed Pavilions with private Butler service set in a seven acre coconut grove facing the Indian Ocean, just a 45-minute drive from Colombo. According to the Chairman of Serene Pavilions, Clive Leach CBE: “The hotel offers an ideal Sri Lankan holiday experience for those seeking luxury, seclusion, tranquillity and exceptional service.”
Serene Pavilions Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, Anura Lokuhetty, said: “Becoming a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World will provide Serene Pavilions and Sri Lanka with added worldwide exposure to independent travellers who enjoy highly personalised service, combined with accommodation designed to exacting international standards which also reflects the local history and culture.”
The luxurious Pavilions, each with individual private plunge pools, have been designed with an emphasis on space and tranquillity using Balinese and Sri Lankan influences and architecture. The 12 pavilions are interlaced with walkways and water features and have spacious decked outside living areas.
Serene Pavilions’ signature centrepiece is The Pavilions’ Restaurant, and The Amritha Bar, which links the garden and pool areas to the beachfront gardens and quiet beach. Within the gardens there is a large swimming pool with four sunken Jacuzzi beds, and a clay tennis court. Also available is the Serenity Spa, the well-equipped Asana Gym and a large Reception Lounge with an exclusive Gem Boutique. The Dhaarana Reading Room is home to the library which can also accommodate small meetings or private events.
Paul Kerr, Chief Executive Officer of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Serene Pavilions into the Small Luxury Hotels of the World family.
I know that our discerning guests will enjoy the peace and tranquillity at the resort – as well as the high levels of privacy. Each hotel applying to become part of SLH undergoes a rigorous inspection and selection process and only five percent of the hotels which apply to join are accepted.
“This is testament to the high standards of excellence to be found at Serene Pavilions. It is the perfect complement to Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s properties in Sri Lanka.”
Here is a review from the hotels guest book…
We just finished a 4 night/5 day stay in this wonderful property. Brand new (opened Oct 09) and right on the beach, this will be a hard hotel to get into in a few years when word gets out. Highlights include: (A) the location (right on the beach – all the oceanfront villas look straight on to the beach (10 metre lawn and then 10 metre beach before the water) and have uninterrupted and private views); (B) the food, which is excellent and served either in your villa or in the restaurant which has perfect views of the ocean; (C) the service, which is professional and unobtrusive – each villa has its own butler and nothing is too much for him – they really strive for perfection here; (D) the spa, which was good (staff from Bali).
Although expensive, I thought that the villas represented excellent value. Private pool, big Jacuzzi and plenty of space is not something that you will get in any five star hotel unless you go for the presidential suite. Also had a look at the garden pavilions – very private but no ocean view. Otherwise, similar excellent facilities.
As a new hotel in Sri Lanka, we expected some teething problems. Other than a blocked toilet and a problem with the water heater (both of which were promptly fixed – and we were given a free dinner and bottle of wine for the inconvenience) there was very little that was not perfect. The entire staff, from the manager Deidre to our butler Amal were all trying very hard to make this a perfect stay for us and it showed.
Under 15s are not permitted at the hotel – perfect romantic hideaway/honeymoon spot. Wifi is good and I had good cellphone and blackberry service. Gym was ok – needs a yoga mat and a mirror – minor niggles.
If you are still debating whether to stay here or somewhere else, don’t waste your time trying to find something better in Sri Lanka. At least for now, this is the best. Worth a special trip to Sri Lanka just to visit.