As we lie on a beach bed by the bluest of blue seas we’ve seen in our life so far, a cold breeze, mixed with ocean salt embrace us a little tighter. Nathan tells Zin one story, of his life back in Sydney, and a few more later as waves kiss the pebbled shore one millionth time. One hour and a few minutes later, we run around chasing palm trees as if we were four again. As if we were given a chance to live again. At the private beach of Underneath The Mango Tree, we sing each other our favorite songs. Dance as if it was our last day on Earth.
A kennel of dogs play with each other as the sun sets for another day, painting skies in glorious yellows and dreamy magentas. We head back to our room. A beautiful suite with a mini kitchen and a living room which turns into an apartment in low-season. Soothing music plays in the background as we busily devour the spiciest village kottu we’ve ever had and sip a glass of cocktail we just won.
Everyday, UTMT organizes a day quiz and if you happen to win it, fortunately, like us, you get yourself free cocktail the same evening!
Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple and Pink. Nathan peels a mango as he narrates how happy he is to see colours so vivid. Colours so lively played around throughout the resort. We wake up groggy next morning, to many songs a magpie sings. We hurry to the breakfast table, facing the views of the Indian ocean as Alex and Tina, our hosts greet us Subha Udesanak (Good morning in Sinhala). Along the way are the staff with the biggest and most cheerful smiles in the island starting their daily routine. UTMT itself is a mini village. With 22 suites and 78 staff members, they still make you feel right at home.
As Nathan feasts the most delicious breakfast buffet with french croissants and thick caramel sauce, Zin adds two spoons of chocolate sauce to her french croissants. Even before we finish our three course meal, a staff member greets us with another glass of strawberry coconut smoothie, the best we’ve ever had.
Back in our rooms, we take a dip in our private plunge pool opening to the beautiful garden. A garden with a few mango trees and a little more palm trees, 273 of them in numbers. A little later, we find ourselves in a hammock watching clouds so white. They lazily swirl in the blue sky as if they were a knackered backpacker who found his paradise only to leave it in two days. We swim against the waves. Chase them one hundred times until we are tired, lying on the softest sand. The blue sea runs back to the soft sand and take our footprints with it, to the ocean where nothingness only exists.
At one, we walk to resort’s main restaurant for our cooking class. Chef greets us with a big smile as he patiently explains us the secret spices Ceylon is home to. He prepares authentic Sri Lankan dishes as the smell of all the mixed ingredients floats through the air. When he comes to know that Nathan doesn’t speak Sinhala, he turns to English, telling us stories about his time in a fast-food restaurant in Germany. He tells us how much he loves the Dubai airport. He narrates his life back in Kandy in a few beautiful sentences, only to complain later, sadly, about the global warming. “Something terrible is happening to Sri Lanka,” he blends sliced brinjal with homemade mango chutney. Almost 2 hours later, we indulge in one sumptuous gastronomy.
We stayed two nights in utmost paradise in Underneath the Mango Tree, sipping cocktails one evening and camomile chai throughout the day. Cooked instant noodles and had fresh Alphonso mangoes, watermelon and papaya every evening. Had homemade orange cake for tea one evening with island’s finest Earl Gray. Ginger cake, the next evening! We played with waves, watched tiny wee squirrels munch onto sliced Alphonso mangoes in the courtyard next to hotel’s tennis court. And finally when we last went to their mini cinema half past nine, we watched The Girl Next Door munching free popcorn.
With free yoga and meditation lessons, pool games, bicycles on rent and an ayurvedic spa at the premises, UTMT is one of island’s finest resorts. But there’s more to this beautiful place. People often tell you that resorts and hotels lack the homely feeling. The feeling of being in a place where your heart sings many songs. Happy ones. And your heart aches a little when you leave, almost as if it was bidding farewell to a close one. As if it was the long lost soulmate you finally found only to bid adieu in one week. Underneath the Mango Tree Resort and Spa was that! It was as if we found a mini paradise amid the chaos of busy Colombo life, and for once when we left, our hearts ached a little.
Practical Information for Your Use
How to reach UTMT: Underneath the Mango Resort and Spa Tree is situated in Dickwella, about 20km from Matara. If you are using public transportation, board the highway bus from Colombo to Matara (highway buses to Matara run from Pettah, Maharagama, Kaduwela, Kadawatha Panadura and Piliyandala). From Matara, you can take a bus to Dickwella or Tangalle and get down at UTMT. Or you can take a tuk tuk to the hotel from Matara.
Best time to visit UTMT: Round the year! The area offers plenty of sunshine. If you are an island lover at heart, this is the perfect place for you.
Cost at UTMT: A double room with balcony is priced at US$ 204 during the low season. However, if you are staying longtime (say more than a week), UTMT offers you the apartment package. For one week stay in a villa for two adults + 2 kids cost you around US$ 1650. For more details about this visit UTMT website. If you book directly through their website, you get 5% OFF.
We would like to thank Underneath the Mango Tree Spa and Beach Resort for organizing our stay with them, but as always opinions are honest and entirely our own.
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