Popular Kalu’s Hideaway is set amidst five acres of Dry Zone wilderness, just a stone’s throw away from the Udawalawe National Park. The brainchild of popular Cricketer Romesh Kaluwitharana, the Hideaway is located just 15 minutes away from the gates of the Uda Walawe National Park.
Little Kalu, no doubt, is the most popular and loveable Cricketer in recent times of Sri Lanka Cricket. Not only did he turn the game upside down with Sanath, but created an image in society that nobody will be able to overshadow for a long time.
‘Hideaway’ is his dream project, what was initially begun as a holiday home for his personal use. After four years of hard work, Kalu has added a new three storey wing with a luxury suite on top, with a 360 degree view.
‘The new wing came into operation nearly ten months ago and with that the total room capacity has increased to 14. I started this project as a holiday home for my family and Kalu’s Hideaway was born about four years ago with just four rooms,’ Romesh explained of his new journey in the hospitality trade.
The tastefully designed eco-friendly hotel, surrounded by an ensemble of teak and landscaped garden with various fruits, is a comfortable resting point between Colombo and the South Coast or Arugam Bay.
Spacious rooms, comfortable beds and good Sri Lankan food make it a tempting base after a jungle safari. The tastefully furnished and spacious accommodations are complete with modern amenities to cater to every imaginable comfort. There may be ample rustic charm in and around Kalu’s Hideaway, but the comfortable charm in the rooms are not found anywhere near the Wildlife Sanctuary.
‘When the guests walk in, it looks very rustic and eco-friendly but it’s geared primarily towards comfort and guests can expect all the essential facilities including A/c rooms, hot water, wifi, and satellite TV,’ he said.
The new wing consists of seven well appointed spacious modern rooms including the roof top private upper deck suite with all amenities and en-suite toilets. There are also five separate chalet rooms in the old wing inclusive of all facilities. A new addition is the honeymoon suite that enjoys a breathtaking panoramic view of fields and landscapes against the mountainous backdrop in the distance.
The relaxation lounge, the centre entrance of the bungalow is equipped with periodicals, satellite TV for those who require diversion while on holiday in the Jungle. The latest addition is the wooden deck lounge.
The restaurant has a breathtaking view of the landscape and serves a blend of Western and Eastern cuisine together with an all day a la carte menu.
‘Our main target market is the Sri Lankan clientele. Though it is hot, Sri Lankan dishes at the restaurant, is the main attraction among all,’ Kalu said.
Authentic Sri Lankan flavours apart from rice and curry, include pittu, string hoppers, hoppers and much more. Western meals are also prepared and guests may also enjoy BBQs beside the pool or a candle-lit dinner under a starry sky.
The visitors to the Hideaway can take their indulgence further at the ‘The Foot’ – the spa designed with quaint, traditional thatched roof and mud hut walls. Yoga is also a free offering on the cards that would be made available for guests in future.
For the more adventurous, the banks of the brooks are a fitting spot for camping. Excursions to nearby attractions such as the Uda Walawe Park and the elephant transit home, Madunagala Hot Water Springs, Maduwanwela Walawwa and Vavulpane Caves and the Sankapali Temple could be arranged.