We stayed in the Tangerine Suite, the ground floor suite of the two built alongside the original three-bedroomed villa. Upstairs, the Blue Suite is just as lovely and spacious inside, but with a slightly more enclosed-feeling balcony where the Tangerine has a terrace onto the lawn. Also, the Tangerine is the only one that has two showers in the bathroom - one 'normal' tiled one, and one semi-outdoor with stone floor and trough of tropical plants. The normal one was good and powerful, the other less so. Both use solar heated water (with electric heating backup for cloudy periods). Both have good, king-sized four-poster beds with very pretty laced mosquito nets round them. We came to Max Wadiya for a few days of unwinding and reading at the start of out holiday, and it was just great. if I were pushed to make one suggestion, it would be to consider some softer, more 'lounging' seating in the suite. I found myself borrowing extra cushions from other seats to soften the wicker chairs.
The Wadiya isn't selling itself as a 'gourmet' destination - but it could! We kept feeling we were having the very best examples of fine, traditional Srilankan food, even as they managed to ring the changes and offer us something different every day for eight days. At the start of the visit we were shown their extensive menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, including various European and Indian options, as well as many Srilankan ones, but quickly gave up on trying to choose and quickly came to trust Ranjan to put something together for us based on vague directions such as 'Maybe if there are prawns in the market today?' or 'We liked that 'seven vegetable' curry'. He (and his inestimable chef, of course - but on our last night it was himself cooking as chef had to be elsewhere) never let us down. We had great French toast one day for breakfast, an amazing crab curry, coconut about 30 different ways, tasty tandoori chicken, a special banana-leaf parcel of aromatic deliciousness, and sweet, creamy, caramelly puddings of various sorts. Oh, as we had options to eat in our suite, on the terrace, in a pavilion on the lawn, in the main villa, on the sun deck just above the beach, and even on the sand of the beach (I think, we didn't try that one!). Truly, come to Max Wadiya for the food!
We spent the days variously swimming in the sea (and/or playing in the surf) on the immaculately clean stretch of beach just at the bottom of the garden (a public beach but with very few people on or near it - until the first day of the school holidays, when we were joined by a gang of local boys for a little while), pootling up and down the modest but lovely seawater pool, and moving between sun loungers, hammocks, and chairs in various places to quietly read our books. In addition, we tried some of the wide range of Ayurvedic treatments on offer and found them beautifully done, and amazingly reasonably priced (although it's worth mentioning that the Ayurvedic centre is right beside the pool, so may not be that peaceful if you or other residents have kids splashing and larking around just beside you!). The Wadiya offers a range of 5 and 7 day Ayurvedic programmes for wellness, weight loss, etc which you could ask about, or they could usefully put details of on their website, to enable a little bit of planning before arrival.
About the only thing we weren't quite expecting, having read their website and Tripadvisor reviews extensively before we arrived, was to find the Wadiya was right beside the main road, with the train track just beyond. But DON'T WORRY, it's no big deal! The road is not as busy as it once was, now there's a new highway elsewhere taking the trucks south, and the trains are not very frequent. Both quieten down significantly in the early evening, and the nights are quiet and undisturbed. OK, so the trains start up again quite early and do sound their horns a lot, but somehow it didn't prevent us from sleeping well and generally relaxing. I mention it here so that a) you won't be as surprised as I was, and b) because if you really want to get away from all the hustle-bustle sounds of normal life, then maybe I'd regretfully suggest you look elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Max Wadiya is an award-winning select boutique hotel that offers an authentic Sri Lankan experience beyond 5-star. With a verdant garden opening onto a sweeping unspoiled beach, it offers a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity, a kitchen that rivals the best on the island and a professional and caring staff who will attend to your every need. Two luxury suites provide intimacy and privacy. A connected 3-bedroom villa, rented as a single unit, is just right for a family or group of friends. The entire 10-bed property, which can be expanded with extra beds for children, is perfect for reunions or gatherings of far-flung families. All rooms are en-suite with terraces overlooking the Indian Ocean. A secluded 40-foot infinity pool is a watery alternative to the sea, and ayurvedic treatments and massages are available on request. Tariffs are inclusive of three full meals, taxes, service charge and extras like coffee or afternoon tea. The Wadiya does not serve alcohol but guests are welcome to bring their own, without a corkage fee. The concept: your temporary home on the beach. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Max Wadiya Hotel Ambalangoda
- Max Wadiya Sri Lanka/Ambalangoda