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Nisala Arana

Bentota,  South West Coast

Overview

Ideal for a group or visitors looking for quiet charm in a village atmosphere

Nisala Arana means 'quiet and peaceful place' which is surely the Doctor's House, originally built 180 years ago and home to the village ayurvedic doctor.  A classic Dutch colonial house which sits at the end of a long winding path surrounded by its 4-acre gardens of medicinal and fruit trees.  Owners of 3 years, Kevin (born Sri Lankan) is a retired Australian businessman and his wife Jill a charming and artistic Aussie.

The renovation has taken the couple on a tour of Sri Lanka collecting relic temple ceilings as art, Dutch furniture, four-poster antique beds and Jaffna temple balustrades.  The thick kabook and mud brick walls, cement floors and high ceilings keep the villa very cool.

The Pereira's spend 75% of the year in this home hosting guests, but occasionally quietly slip away to their Mount Lavinia home, in order that you may enjoy this private villa and tranquil sanctuary alone.  The gardens are immaculately maintained and home to an original temple. The turquoise blue pool, pagoda for dining, and badminton courts are dotted around the gardens and the many hammocks are a tempting trap.

Kevin's passion for vintage and classic cars is evident in the grounds and they will gladly take you on a village tour in the Morris Minor cabriolet if you so desire.  Beyond the villa's 6 ft perimeter wall is the friendly family village in the heart of Bentota.

Maintaining this tranquil setting is son Ben and his 3 staff. Trained at a well-known boutique hotel, Ben's staff attend to every detail yet allow you to dictate the level of formality. Nisala Arana also has a recently established yoga centre for guests wishing to brush up on techniques or become aquainted with the ancient art. If you simply want to relax at the end of the day you may request an in - suite massage. 

Take a 10 min tuk tuk to Bentota town, the beach or one of the many eateries.  Tranquillity, charm and history are the essence this villa.  Groups or solos will relax.

 

 

 
     
   Child Friendly
   Swimming Pool
   Groups Welcomed
   Ayurveda
   Bird Watching

Rooms

Nisala Arana consists of the Doctor's House, the extended Coconut Wing and the newer Mango Suites. The white washed walls compliment the antique brown furniture and magnificent green garden views.

The Doctor's House master suite and its attic,with a king size antique bed, is prepared daily with crisp white cotton sheets and araliya flowers.  The second queen size bedroom is ideal for the restless sleeper or children.  An extra bed can be supplied.  The atrium is suffused with the soft tinkling sounds of the fountain, contemplation pool, and birds of the woodlands. Ceiling fans and natural air conditioning keep the rooms really cool.  The terrazzo style floors and floating white mosquito nets add no fuss to this fairy tale setting.  There is a large shared bathroom where the open air showers remind you of the nature that awaits outdoors.

The open verandah opens onto the central lounge and is equipped with comfy reclining chairs, TV. stereo and DVD equipment and a host of board games.  The dining room sits within the atrium but we preferred to eat al fresco in the gardens and enjoy the stars.  The staff are readily obliging, but guests may wander into the kitchen to make a cup of tea as if at home.  You will want for little but it is worth taking the bell when you are lazing by the pool to get Siri's attention.

The Coconut Wing, originally a wedding room beside the main house,  has two de-luxe and spacious queen-size bedrooms alongside the Doctor's House and is built around the original coconut trees and roots.  Siri keeps the trees well cropped of coconuts but if you hear a thud in the night, don't be alarmed.  Watch the honey birds feed on the neighbouring trees.  Again, the luxurious modern en-suite bathrooms have open-air showers and indoor gardens which surprisingly don't attract the mosquitoes.

The newly built 1st floor Mango suites are adjacent to the main villa and sit above the garage.  Very spacious rooms with twin antique four poster beds.  The antique almirah wardrobe and writing desk add colonial charm.  The pièce de résistance is the Jaffna- inspired verandah, reached via original temple doors, overlooking the gardens and a wonderful  space for relaxing in a planter's chair or dining alone.

The Mango Suites lack the colonial character and feel a little colourless but the en-suite bathrooms are luxurious, with views onto the woodlands.

The lounge at the Doctor's House is not for communal use when the Doctor's House is occupied.  There are plenty of plug points in all the rooms and hot water is plentiful.

Dining

Dining is very relaxed and designed around your needs.  You will never tire of your surroundings - the garden pavilion, the verandahs, the garden tables, or the Dining Room in The Doctors House (if available) are just some of the romantic settings for dinner à deux .

The menu is primarily Sri Lankan but guests` tastes will always be accommodated.  Meals are planned and ingredients bought daily and Siri will discuss your favourites in the morning. Seafood Harvest (Rs1000), rice and curry (Rs750), or, our favourite, rotti and egg hoppers from the village bakery eaten by candlelight with a bottle of Old Arrack ( Rs500.)

Siri's chef  presents wonderful grilled seafood and salad - lobster, crab, jumbo prawns.  Dip into some fine chilli & passion fruit or garlic sauces.  Again, breakfast and lunch (if desired) can be cooked to your taste.  From String hoppers and dhal to Kellogg's cornflakes. Lunch- time bites, sandwiches or salads are offered but we recommend that you try many of the wonderful guesthouses on the river.

Imported wines are plentiful, with a slight New World bias (Jill's home) at about $20 each. The local beer, Arrack and all spirits are available.  An ice-cold gin and tonic on your veranda from your duty- free stock is fine but Kevin prefers guests not to bring alcohol to the dining area, except for the finest cognac, and then he will welcome you with open arms and an empty glass!

Nisala Arana is only a 10 minute tuk tuk ride from many excellent local and fusion restaurants if you fancy a change.

Things to do & local tips

In-house

  • Kevin's vintage cars are a fun way to see the surrounding sights.
     
  • Pull together a team of staff or friends for a game of Badminton in the gardens
     
  • The pool is one of the most tranquil spots on the south west coast.  Just you, the ripples and the birds.
     
  • Nisala Arana is a delightful location for simple or traditional private weddings. - see below for details.

 

   

Local 

  • Bentota's beaches are the best in Sri Lanka.  Miles of wide sandy beaches and fabulous sunsets. Head to the Induruwa end for absolute privacy or nearer Bentota for watersports and elephant rides.
     
  • Take a river trip for the day to see wildlife, baby crocodiles, local toddy factory and travel out to Little Adam`s Peak.
     

  • Visit the local small turtle farms at Kosgoda. Join in the egg burial by night, admire the baby turtles by day and take a journey to the sea to release the young back into their natural environment.
     
  • Monday is market day in Aluthgama, just 15 minutes stroll across the bridge. Bustling with locals selling fresh fish, meat and vegetables, the produce is as colourful as the saris they wear.
     
  • Jewellery shops line the streets but if you are looking for a special piece visit more distinguished stores to ensure certified stones and good quality gold.
     
  • Kalutara temple is fascinating and beautifully maintained. The guides speak good English and pitch the history at your level of interest.
     
  • Water-sports centres are everywhere but the quality of equipment and instruction varies. The river is perfectly calm for water-skiing and windsurfing but we would not recommend you swim in these rather dirty waters. After rain, the river can stir up a lot of debris, which can be off- putting. Next door is one of Aluthgama's best watersports and deep fishing excursion centres.
     
  • Many craft shops where skilled carpenters carve and paint masks of health.
     
  • Meander into Bentota villages and join a family for afternoon tea.
     
  • Visit Geoffrey Bawa's work including his original home "Lunaganga" or enjoy lunch at one of his many neighbouring works of architecture like Club
     
  • Gardeners will love strolling through the landscaped estate of the Brief Gardens, created by Bevis Bawa (brother to Geoffrey).
     
  • Take a taxi to one of the quietest waterfalls in the south west- just behind the paddy fields that surround Dharga town and Kalutara. A picnic and your bathing costume is all that's required.

    Slightly further afield

  •  About 2 hours drive inland to Ratnapura, you can watch the mine workers climb deep into the shafts to source gems such as sapphires, moonstones and topaz.  The workshop craftsmanship is second to none.
     

  • Just 1 hour further and your mind shifts to admire another natural gem - Sri Lanka's only rainforest - Sinharaja. Admire the unique orchids and the sounds of the Woodpeckers and the grey tailed monkeys.
     
  • A memorable overnight excursion to the south/east will include Yala safari, Galle Fort and Galleries, Kosgoda Turtle Farm and Welligama's stilt fishermen.
     
  • Take a good camera and a big heart and follow the elephant herds to water at Uda walawe - just 2 hours east and inland.
     
  • Colombo is a shoppers` paradise. A number of department stores and a few ladies` clothes shops,where you will find up- to- the minute fashions at extremely discounted prices. For a list of stores, restaurants and evening entertainment, check-out our regional guides.

For details on our recommendations on places of interest, activities, local transport and restaurants in Bentota and around, click here.

Weddings

The gardens are a superb setting for a stylish wedding and the pavillion is  very romantic for a ceremony or reception. weddings can be tailor-made but a sample of 2 styles are below. Couple s must visit the Registrar 4 days prior to the wedding day.

Nisala Arana Wedding Package - Please send a request for a cost

Traditional Wedding (Poruwa Siritha)
Includes:
- Includes wedding Representative & Master of Ceremonies
- Wedding Poruwa (Natural Platform & Arch) & Traditional Decorations all made naturally and by hand on the day.
- Includes Authentic Kandian Dancers & Drummers at Ceremony

Includes Jayamangala Gatha (Four Girls Singing Blessings) 

- Registrar to officiate at Ceremony:   

       She will provide a basic offering of vows in English.

       Provides Official Sri Lankan Marriage Certificate.

 

      Handmade Brass Canister as gift for document.

     Couple must visit Registrar 4 days prior to Wedding Day

 - Includes professionally arranged flower boquet & button hole

 - Large Standing Brass Oil Lamp - Lit by couple ending ceremony.

- Includes Bridal Hair Stylist helper

- Open Top Morris Minor with Driver for Sunset Beach Photoa

- Includes complimentary champagne & fresh fruit basket. 

 

.-----------------------
Simple Style Ceremony 

Includes :

 

 -        Natural Wedding Arch with hanging threads of Frangipani & Jasmine
 -        Also includes traditional coconut lamp decorations in the gardens
 -        Registrar to officiate at Ceremony
           She will provide a basic offering of vows in English. Provides Official Sri Lankan Marriage   
           Certificate.
           Certified English Translation Available (1-2 Days)             US$100
            Handmade Brass Canister as gift for document                

           Couple must visit Registrar 4 days prior to Wedding Day
 -        Wedding Representative will conduct a short series of blessings.
 -        Offering of your wedding bands will also be at the Natural Arch.
 -        Includes locally arranged tropical flower bouquet & Button Hole
 -        Antique Brass Oil Lamp included - Lit by couple ending ceremony
 -        Open Top Morris Minor with Driver for Sunset Beach Photos
 -        Includes Complimentary Champagne & Fresh Fruit Basket

 

 

 

MUSIC
______

 

Traditional Indian Music Group                                                             

 

         - Indian Music to be played in the background on the garden hill

 

Jazz Group (3 Piece including some vocals) from Colombo                     

 

Passionate Jazz musicians with a strong repertoire

 

Other Options include a DJ setup or Sri Lankan Baila & Calypso Bands

 

Traditional Kandyan Dancers & Drummers Cultural Show                       

 

Also Includes Village Devil Dancers & Fire Walking



 

EXTRAS

 

Firework display Night show (15mins) "big Show"                      

Smaller firework display                                                             

Ceremonial dressed elephant for the wedding day                       

Double chocolate cheese cake or traditional wedding cake          

Professional bouquet options available

Professional Photographer to cover wedding

Includes 2x film (36) 4x 6 prints with negatives                           

Extra rolls processed @                                      

Bound wedding album by profeessional photographer

24 selected large photos (8x13")                                                

additional photos (8x13")                                     

extras postcard postcard size (4x 6")                    

Wedding video VHS (45 mins)                                                  

Wedding Video  DVD (45mins)                                                 

 

DECORATIONS                                                                     

-           Clay oil lamps for the driveway and pool edge

-           Paper Lanterns around the trees of the gardens

-           Flowers of white frangipani bordering the swimming pool

-           Purple water lilies for registrar and dinner table setting

-           Small white petals provided for confetti in handmade leaf pockets

-           Extra Standing oil lamps and fisherman lamps with citronella oil

 

 

MENU
_____

 

 

Bites Menu

 

Salmon Fish & Potato Ball Cutlets

Vegetable cutlets

Vegetable Patties with homemade pastry

Sauces include Tomato/Chilli & yoghurt coriander dips.


Suggested Dinner Menu - Seafood Dinner   


Soup
Spiced Red lentil soup with parsley cream

Homemade Lime Sorbet

Main
Chilly Tiger Prawns
Grilled Fresh Lobster
Marinated  Fish kebabs

Saffron Rice
Fresh Green Salad

Sauces
Garlic Butter
Lemon Butter

Dessert
Rich chocolate  decadence cake
Seasonal Fresh Fruit Platter

 

 

Sri Lankan Menu  


-        Traditional Coastal Style Sri Lankan Dishes served from authentic clay pot burners.

-        Dishes will be labeled with Sinhala/English names and Chilli gauge.

 

 

Fresh Tomato & Onion Salad

Chefs' Salad

 

Steamed White Rice

Yellow Rice with cashews & onion

 

Red Chicken Curry (Med)

Pork Curry (Hot)

Fish Mullet Curry (Med)

Prawn Curry (Mild)

 

Creamy Dhal and Spinach Curry (Mild)

Tempered Potato (Hot)

Beans Fried & Cooked (Med)

Brinjal Curry (Med)

Leeks Curry (Med)

 

Lunu Dehi / Lime Pickle

Sinhala Achcharu

Mango Chutney

Pol Sambol

Hall Messa

Papadam & Fried Chilli

 

DESSERTS

 

Fresh Fruit Platters

Curd & Treacle

Jaggery Wattalappan

 

Tea & Coffee

 

 

 

Required documents for Weddings in Sri Lanka:

 

Documentation for wedding and marriage ceremony must be sent to the hotel at least 4 weeks prior to the wedding day and includes:

 

Photocopy of birth certificate - original to be presented prior to the wedding day

 

Photocopy of valid passport - original to be presented prior to the wedding day

 

Details of the names, addresses and occupations of the couple to be married

 

Details of parents' names, occupations and addresses of the wedding couple

 

An affidavit confirming marital status of bride and groom prior to the wedding. Should be signed by a Solicitor with company stamp.

 

If either party to the marriage is divorced, a Decree Absolute proving the lawful termination of the previous marriage must be presented prior to the wedding ceremony

 

If widowed, Death Certificate of former spouse of the previous marriage

 

If names have been changed prior to the wedding, legal proof of change of name

 

 

Marriage certificate in English

 

The Registrar of Marriages will provide an official marriage certificate in the local Singhalese language.  A certified duplicate copy in the English language is available and will cost US$60. The duplicate copy should take between 1 to 2 days to be prepared. Depending on weekends and religious holidays it may take up to a week and will be sent on to your Home Address by the hotel if necessary. Foreign Ministry Certified Translations are also available. This will require the couple to visit the required Ministry in Colombo. You can also get a Certified version in UK from Sri Lankan Embassy in London if you wish to take the Sri Lankan copy and do it yourself. The cost is about £10.

 

Weddings will not be available on Poya Day and certain other Religious Holidays. Please Contact for details.

 

All Weddings require 30% Non-Refundable prepayment to secure a booking. Balance must be received 30 Days prior to arrival at "˜Nisala Arana'.