TCS>>Travel>>Lanka : Unwrapped
A Trip to the Blu
If there were ever a family that over-indulged, it would be mine.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family to death (!), but picking an ideal getaway that satisfies everyone is so far from doable that we were in the verge of giving up… that is, until we went to Trinco!
My family is what you would call a mixed bowl of nuts (literally)… I know everyone can relate to this, but we take it to the next level! My family consists of the oldest generation (the grandparents) – who would pretty much go anywhere as long as the whole family was present, Generation X (my parents, aunt and uncle) – who CLAIM to be comfortable in any situation, but would actually prefer luxury abodes, Generation Y (us!) – who are pretty much happy provided we have either the beach or a pool to resort to… (although one of us is adamant about having a spotless washroom!) and the foreigners (aunt, uncle and cousin who reside overseas) – who also claim to be ok with any ‘situation’, but would prefer to keep away from mosquitoes, and the heat!
So, adamant to keep everyone happy, we planned our most recent family trip to Trincomalee.
Our first hit at our abode for the trip was itself a winner. Having stayed at rented bungalows all our holidays, we decided to indulge this year by booking into JKH’s most recent addition in Trincomalee, Chaaya Blu. Luxury rooms, beach and pool – I think we killed several birds with that stone!
Being the adventure people that we were, we also wanted to experience another mode of travel in Sri Lanka, and decided to make the journey to Trinco via train. So, late one night, we met up at the Fort Railway Station, and hopped the train to Trinco (although we didn’t literally ‘hop’, we had pre-booked all six ‘sleeperettes’).
Arriving at Trinco at around 6am, since it was too early to check into the hotel, we decided to explore the town – as it was the first time some of us had been there, post-war. As we went along the deserted streets, we saw the depth of the destruction that had befallen this town. For every two miles of land, there were around two houses. Many of the houses were in ruins, or showed signs of bullet holes on its walls.
There were more ruins of houses, than those actually standing upright. It was overwhelming to see; and I was sure all of us were saying a little prayer for the families that had lost loved ones in the midst of this destruction.
We then decided to visit the Kanniya Hot Wells, a popular tourist spot in Trinco. According to the information boards at the site, the Kanniya Hot water springs started when King Ravana stuck the earth with his sword in several spots and seven hot wells sprung up of different temperatures.
Now considered a religious location, the locals believe that the hot water from these wells is good for some skin diseases and has healing power for Arthritis and Rheumatic. Based on this belief, many locals and tourists journey here daily to bathe, and receive these ‘showers of blessing’.
Thereafter, we made our way to Chaaya Blu. Chaaya Blu is a new, retro-chic resort, boasting of 81 rooms – 36 beach chalets, 43 superior rooms and 2 suites, which open out to the inviting blue ocean. All rooms are complete with modern facilities, from Cable TV and Wi-Fi, to complimentary toiletries and a scenic view of the magnificent sea.
The Captain’s Deck is Chaaya Blu’s main restaurant, where the main meals are serves in buffet style. The hotel also hosts an open-air restaurant dedicated to countless tantalizing crab preparations. The Rum Hold is an open lounge bar overlooking the distant Indian Ocean, which offers an array of tempting cocktails and fresh fruit juices.
Needless to say, we enjoyed the best of the best during our stay at Chaaya Blu. The food was fabulous, the rooms were pleasant and the atmosphere was that of rest and relaxation – just what the doctor ordered!
We spend endless days rolling around in the white sandy beach, and splashing around in the pool, just having fun and making memories.
On our last day there, we left the hotel after lunch and decided to visit the much-talked-about Marble Beach, before we caught our train back to Colombo.
We were fortunate enough to gain access to the Marble Beach Air Force Resort. The Resort blends in with its environment, enabling you to experience the wonders of nature complete with modern conveniences. Aside from the main restaurant, the resort’s six cabanas boast a distinct style and providing a tranquil atmosphere for its guests.
Marble Beach Air Force Resort is also fully equipped to cater to your every need – from serving up the freshest seafood, as well as its beach front bar (‘Eagle's Nook’). They also provide visitors the opportunity to go on snorkelling expeditions, and also organize hiking tours for adventurous guests.
We decided to take them up on the snorkelling offer, and ventured out into the sea, fully-equipped, and ready to discover the wonders of the big, blue ocean. Although we didn’t have an underwater camera, we wil never forget each magnificent fish we saw – out of them, the most amazing being the Lionfish. It was a truly unique and memorable experience!
Catching the train back to Colombo that evening, I could only think of returning as soon as possible, to explore more hidden treasures of Trincomalee – from Pigeon Island to Nilaweli Beach.
Thanks, everything in a nut-shell -Seeya -Chief nut that holds you all together.