Peace and Tranquility at the Wild Grass
Driving through country roads, past fields and farms is a pleasant experience once you get off the main roads. Most of these roads are bigger and better now, and other than for drivers who seem to momentarily defy Murphy’s Law, the 175 km drive from Colombo to Sigiriya is one to be enjoyed.
With concise directions given by Tissa Perera, General Manager cum Chef, (yes that’s called multitasking), it is not hard to follow the tall wild grasses that lead you to this jungle hideaway. Aptly named Wild Grass, this is a 30 acre nature resort with a combination of jungle, rock, lake surrounded by mountains.
My first impression as I got off the jeep at the main building was, “Wow, this place is so vast and vacant.” Tissa welcomed me with a firm handshake and an iced fresh fruit drink. This is where you get off and stretch your legs and really get a feel of the vastness of the property. The entire building which is open on all sides, gives you an immeasurable view of the Knuckles mountain range on one side and a smaller rock (perfect for climbing) almost adjacent to the resort. The Treetops Restaurant is above and the view is equally great. I got to savour a delicious meal whilst watching the Crested Serpent Eagles soar above looking for their bite to feast on. During the night, an adjoining outside terrace, Starlight Terrace, is set for you to dine under the stars. It felt wonderful to feel the wind blowing in your face and listening to the sound of the wilds beyond. Guests speak in whispers not wanting to disturb the surreal serenity of the surroundings.
It is time to take a look at the villas which are situated a short distance down the gravel road. Five villas are spaced for privacy giving you a chance to detach yourself from others. I loved the villas! They are spacious duplexes designed for comfort. The bedrooms have tall glass windows on three sides giving you a view of tall trees and a ‘pokuna’ full of blooming lotus. The showers are open to the night sky and the star light adds to the ambiance of the moment!
As the morning dawned, I sat out on the wooden deck listening to the sounds of bird call as they foraged the trees and the garden for their breakfast. The noisy chatter of the Yellow Billed Babblers, the colourful dart of the Black Hooded Oriole, the incessant cooing of the Spotted Doves and the Rock Pigeons, the sight of the busy Red Vented Bulbul and the diligent Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker was the music of the morning. A solitary peacock strutted across and I was told that this is his daily routine. These are just some of the birds that you can spot outside your villa on any day. Or else you can even turn on your television and surf the unlimited channels available or even surf the net on your personal computer. But that is not a recommendation!
I then hopped on a bicycle and went to explore the property. Gravel paths are cut around trees and foliage mindful of the environment. A pool shimmers temptingly in the mid day sun. Tissa informs me that before long each of the villas will have its own plunge pool. How awesome is that!
Also in the coming months, Wild Grass will have an additional four villas spread across the land. A personal butler is at your service and if you prefer to dine in your villa, just tell him and he will lug the trays across to you.
For the adventurous guests, other activities include forest and mountain hiking, fishing, animal and bird watching and safaris to the neighbouring national parks. This is the cultural triangle which is blessed with numerous historical sites and home to Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO nominated world heritage sites.
Designed by the owners, the Lymans, this is a wonderful retreat for anyone looking for an experience. Forget the usual pomp and circumstance of big hotels; this is simplicity and style at its best.