Wattura is Sinhalese for water and guests will feel relaxation begin to wash over them in waves as soon as they arrive at the newly-opened Wattura Resort & Spa, a luxury boutique hotel a little more than half an hour’s drive from Bandaranaike International Airport.
The soothing presence of the stuff that makes up 60 per cent of our bodies and 71 per cent of the planet we traverse is all but omnipresent within its grounds.
Bordered by the Gin Oya estuary on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, the resort is practically its own private peninsula, making succumbing to a sense of seclusion all the simpler.
Within its walls, the whitewashed buildings summon to mind a more ancient Sri Lanka, having been inspired by the architecture of its millennium-old kingdoms, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
Yet Wattura, with its suites, stunning beachfront villas and a deluxe ‘residence’, is equipped to cater to the requirements of the most discerning of 21st century guests.
The water motif continues within these abodes, with vast baths and private pools, while floor-to-ceiling windows lend themselves to the contemplation of swaying palms, Gin Oya or the sea.
Harmonious with its clean, uncluttered outside spaces, there’s a restrained minimalism to these sanctuaries which further engenders a feeling of freedom to breathe.
Simple touches like a swinging sofa chair on our villa’s sizeable second-floor beach-facing balcony, or the shadows cast across its high ceilings by tastefully-sculptured lighting fittings are beautiful in an un-intrusive way.
Downstairs an outdoor plunge pool big enough to stretch out in with a glass of wine or one of the many crisp teas sourced from Sri Lanka’s famous tea plantations affords further pleasures.
A butler service, with a dedicated member of staff on call 24 hours a day, bids farewell to any last obstacles to dedicating oneself wholeheartedly to the serious business of relaxation.
Gentle entreaties as to the whens, wheres and whats of breakfast, lunch, dinner; your next spa treatment or ‘experience’ excursion are about as demanding as things get.
Allowing Wattura’s master chef free rein is highly recommended if the delicious and unexpected Sri Lankan specialities we devoured are anything to go by.
Even our stipulation of a vegan repast was no curb to his culinary creativity, quite the opposite. Test him.
Being served a late breakfast in your lodgings is the ideal start to the day here, but taking a meal or two at the tastefully-appointed restaurant, Pappali, particularly in the tropical evening is not to be missed.
Its indoor environs consist of a handful of discrete dining areas, answering any question of different groups’ experiences overlapping or interfering with one another with artful subtlety.
Eating outside on the veranda overlooking the ocean is equally lovely, with the resort’s judicious use of herbal repellent ensuring a much-needed moratorium on that public enemy number one of post-sunset repose, the mosquito.
For those not already reduced to a liquid state of relaxation by the ambience, the Wattura Spa provides facilities and treatments that range all the way from a steam room session or pedicure to hours-long themed odysseys of massages, scrubs, peels, wraps and reflexology.
Your correspondents opted for the latter, a blissfully wise decision.
There was no namecheck for the Ayurvedic tradition so often associated with Sri Lanka, but it’s assumed the deeply restorative nature of our experience within this luxurious sanctum is what the ancients were getting at.
Alongside the spa and wellness elements, the other hemisphere of Wattura’s professed raison d’etre is to be family orientated.
To this end, staff are on hand to entertain younger guests with the help of an array of indoor and outdoor creative spaces and activities, from arcade machines to waterslides, with every day at the resort hinging around a different theme to keep them smiling.
So, whether you’re a) visiting in search of romantic and relaxing retreat, b) some quality time with family or friends in luxurious and private surroundings, or even c) trying to steal a little bit of a, among the b, this place might be just Wattura looking for.
Wattura Resort & Spa opened in December 2018 as the first wellness and family boutique resort in Sri Lanka.
Located just under a 30-minute drive from the International Airport in Negombo, Wattura comprises 27 villas and suites located on a pristine swathe of sand, between Waikkal beach and the Gin Oya estuary.
Find out more on the official website.