Santani has orchestrated one of the most successful resort launch in recent times. Before the property was even completed scores of magazines had already lauded its conception and impending opening. The anticipation was so palpable we simply had to visit quite soon after its opening and our arrival was definitely not disappointing. It took us almost four hours to reach the resort from Negombo and the last stretch of the journey was an unnerving drive scaling some rather narrow, winding roads up the mountainside. We fortunately made it past the entrance right before sunset and it was immediately obvious why the resort was raised in such far flung obscurity. Amidst its gorgeous location it was also obvious Santani isn't going to be the newest luxury boot camp with every creature comfort imaginable. There are no televisions and air conditioning in the rooms and wi-fi gadgets are not allowed in the public areas. For recreation, excursions on foot to the nearby river and other scenic spots will afford a cooling soak as well as meditative contemplations. Meals here are thorough 3-stars 6-course fares, which might be considered as indulgent on days that start at the crack of dawn at the yoga pavilion. Now the shrubs and bushes only need to grow out once the wet season arrives and Santani will become the full-fledged sensation it's slated to be.
Service: + + +
Design: + + +
Overall Distinction: + + +
Recommendation Index: +++ An escape to the edge of the world. Do note that the resort espouses a 'back to basic' mantra which city slickers might find hard to adjust to. From S$495
GOURMET AND WELLNESS
Santani is primarily a wellness retreat so this is the best place to get in touch with your inner self devoid of distractions like the latest Game of Thrones episodes. Yoga sessions begin as early as 6am and there is an Ayurvedic doctor stationed in the spa for consultation and treatment. A massage should be timed at sunset by the balcony of the room. The cool breeze, fading light and faint chanting from the nearby monastery all conduce an ethereal bliss. We also believe the cuisine prepared by executive chef Wajira Gamage is probably the best in Sri Lanka. Chef Gamage has decades of experience refining his skills in France and top billing Tea Trails Ceylon. He has truly come unto his own in this pristine spot where the food is not only delectable but naturally wholesome as well.