I did not leave my hotel during my Sri Lanka holiday and it was perfect: Vogue India

The first thing that hits you square in the face when you walk through the towering entrance archway of Mosvold Villa in Ahangama is the breeze. Then your eyes adjust to the view. Across the grand wind-whipped atrium, you see it: the dazzling ocean, first turquoise and then an increasingly darker blue till it merges with the sky on the horizon. After that initial visual that sets your heart racing, you begin to take in the details around you: the large koi pond with its golden-orange fish, the batik screens by the Sri Lankan artist and designer Sonali Dharmawardena, the antique furniture in the common areas and the rattan loungers out by the lawn.

Mosvold Villa, which opened its doors in May 2023, is a beachfront boutique hotel on the southern coast of Sri Lanka that lies sandwiched between the thriving beach and nightlife scene of Unawatuna and the idyllic surfers’ paradise of Weligama. Its 16 sea-facing rooms, including the bucket-list-worthy Founder’s Suite with its own large deck and infinity pool, are spacious and comfortable. If you seek peace and privacy, book a stay on the first floor, where balconies provide relief from the heat of the afternoon sun while still making sure you get the best of that daylong breeze. But if you want to be steps away from the main pool and the lush lawn, pick a room on the ground floor.

During your stay, there are plenty of things you can do, should you wish to. You can visit the turtle hatchery at Habaraduwa, sip your way through the Handunugoda Tea Estate, walk the ramparts of Galle Fort, partake in the Cinnamon Experience at Koggala, go whale-watching in Mirissa or even try your luck spotting the elusive leopard at Yala National Park—all of which the hotel is happy to organise for you. Or you could simply plonk yourself on one of the many sun loungers perched on the edge of the property, drink King Coconut and let the crashing waves keep you company as you lose yourself in the pages of a good book. And that’s precisely what I did.

When it’s just you and the ocean in front of you, you may momentarily forget that there’s a well-staffed crew just behind, who do every bit (and more) to ensure you barely have to lift a finger while you’re here. And apart from this attention to hospitality, Mosvold also takes its culinary offerings very seriously. For breakfast, choose between a traditional Sri Lankan start to your day with egg hoppers and sambal, a generously heaped bowl of in-house granola and buffalo curd sweetened with deliciously rich kithul palm syrup (native to the country), or the fully loaded Mosvold Breakfast (eggs, bacon, hash browns, sausages, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans and toasted sourdough). At lunch, finger-food options such as the harissa prawns and crab croquettes are great if you’re in and out of the pool. If you’re sated by the sun and feel like retiring to the shaded dining area for a sit-down meal, demolish the Sri Lankan rice and curry and sweeten the deal with yet more buffalo curd and kithul. At night, wind down with grilled seafood and wash it down with wine from the hotel’s great selection.

If you’re not satisfied with simply eating the food, Mosvold will organise a cooking workshop for you with its chef. Here, you can learn to prepare curries, meats and local vegetable dishes to dazzle your dinner guests with once you return home. In yet another example of just how seriously it takes its F&B offerings, the property is taking things a level higher, quite literally, with its new rooftop bar—the only one in the region—that’s slated to open in February. I got a preview when I visited, and I will say that while the sun-drenched white-sand beach looks beautiful in the day, the golden hue it takes on at dusk as the sky turns from pink to orange to purple is mesmerising from the rooftop. It’s sure to become the stretch’s hottest party spot soon after it opens. Plan your visit well and you could be sipping Mosvold’s signature Down South Swizzle (Rockland spiced arrack, lime juice, vanilla syrup, elderflower syrup, passion fruit purée, Angostura bitters) with some of the many creatives who made the southern coast of Sri Lanka home during covid—few things fuel collaboration better than cocktails and creativity.

Whether you choose to come alone to do some five-star soul-searching or make Mosvold your destination for that much-needed family summer break, one thing is certain: there’s no wrong way to enjoy this place and all that it offers. During my time here, I met a couple vacationing from the US, daytrippers who came to spend the day by the pool and families whose children gleefully ran around the lawn. For a property whose USP is its location and the never-say-no attitude of its staff, it sure manages to cater to all demographics. And therein lies its charm—it may be boutique in look, but it’s all home at heart.

Source: https://www.vogue.in/content/i-did-not-leave-my-hotel-during-my-sri-lanka-holiday-and-it-was-perfect