Situated in the exuberant ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Lake House, earlier known as the Polonnaruwa Rest House has been re-branded and refurbished to a luxuriously novel elegance that is truly unique. Hotels Corporation under the aegis of Sanjay Gardiner the visionary leader and the Group Chairman of the Galle Face Hotel has been instrumental in the project that has certainly captured the old world charm in a superior modern ambience.
Lake House located on a higher plain adjacent to the great “Sea of Parakrama” or “Parakrama Samudraya” is really a miracle beyond doubt to anyone that visits the property. Lake House is built on three acres of landscaped garden. This 14 roomed luxury boutique hotel was earlier known as the Polonnaruwa Rest House and it is significant that as the Queen of England, Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the second and her husband Duke of Edinburgh had stayed during their visit in 1954 at this luxurious property. The special suite where the royal couple stayed has been refurbished with an additional private Jacuzzi and balcony overlooking the ruins of the palaces of King Nissanka Malla (nephew of King Parakramabahu) during his reign in the historical Polonnaruwa.
Serenity with scenic beauty The drive from Colombo would be about three and a half hours if you leave early morning and my suggestion is leave early to enjoy the day ahead. It is one of the best drives once you pass the Habarana junction as the road is smooth and on either side you will witness messages to prevent harming the forest that you pass by. You will catch sight of beautiful birds such as peacocks or even great tuskers on their way to a lake nearby or the lush greenery on either side of the stretch of a smooth tarred roadway that leads all the way to Batticoloa. When you reach the Polonnaruwa town you will be amazed at the progress as it has some of the reputed stores for household items such as furniture, electrical items and even clothing. The turn off before the junction leads you to the two properties that belong to the Hotels Corporation. Down the road you will arrive at a junction that forks to two where you need to take a right turn and drive on the smooth tarred pathway that separates the land from the great Sea of Parakrama. If it is your first visit you will be amazed at the sight of development and the magnificent “Parakrama Samudraya”.
Warm smiles with a refreshing welcome
The enticing hospitality by the staff of the Lake House Polonnaruwa is commendable as once you park, a friendly member from the concierge will be at your service and take charge of your baggage from the vehicle to the reception area. A steward will bring you some refreshing face towels along with a tall glass of juice to welcome you to an unforgettable experience. The magnificent “Sea of Parakrama” is aptly named, as it is vast and the waves keep lapping at the beach where the rains are late. There is also a special part that is naturally made like the sea shore which makes it a very unique experience. The pleasant winds gives you a very refreshing yet calming feeling to put your feet up and let the winds envelope you to rejuvenate you.Luxurious comfort with a breathtaking ambience Most rooms and the suite overlooks the magnificent “Parakrama Samudraya” therefore you can devour the dawn and dusk enjoying your favourite cup of tea or coffee available in your room. The theme seems quite simple yet elegantly designed paying careful attention to detail especially when it comes to space. The suite is unique for many reasons, first of all, it is the one occupied by Her Royal Highness Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth the second and her husband Duke of Edinburgh. The careful combination of furniture from ancient times to the modern era brings about a fusion of the two periods of time. The carefully planned out interiors bring out a rich heritage of the period. At the entrance of the suite you will find an antique dressing table and cupboard that is unique. When you walk into the bedroom you will discover another table with chest of drawers that opens out from the top as a stand. The en suite bathroom has a tub that dates back in time of the above visit and it is engraved that it was made in Great Britain. Whether it is the suite or a normal room that you wish to spend your time, the softness of the mattress, bed and the pillows will soon put you to a restful sleep. In certain rooms you have two entrances to view the picturesque environs outside either at dawn or dusk. The sight you will witness cannot be matched anywhere else as early in the morning you will find over 150 elephants on the far side of the vast lake enjoying and cleansing themselves in the lush green environs. Devour the scrumptious cuisine An array of cuisine is available depending on the number of guests in house. “The Lake Fish” is a must try and hats off to the Chef and his team as the writer does not like having fish especially because of the smell even after its cooked but the team at Lake House really know the best way of cooking fish without any smell or after taste. This aspect has made the Lake House a “hot spot” for those who engage in cultural tours as many of them stop over for a scrumptious authentic Sri Lankan meal. On certain days the buffet is available but the guests could even order a la carte at breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you wish to venture to the nearby trekking areas or visit the culturally important spots the staff will arrange a meal that you can enjoy whilst taking a trip of a past era. On special request they will even arrange a special barbecue overlooking the magnificent lake. Beacons of the past Located in close proximity to many of the historic sites in the cultural Triangle, the famous Wasgamuwa Wild Life Park and Tivanka Image House, the hotel offers its guests, in addition to, Bird Watching - boat riding on the Parakrama Samudra, fishing and jungle trekking as well. The drive to Passekuda, batticoloa and Trincomalee is a little under two hours and this is a mid way spot if you wish to discover the rich heritage of Sri Lanka. The hotel will arrange a guide who will take you through the ruins and educate about the various stories in relation to the prosperous history of the past. You could visit the King’s Council Chamber where the king’s throne, in the shape of a stone lion, once stood (it’s now in Colombo’s National Museum). Inscribed into each column in the chamber is the name of the minister whose seat was once beside it. The mound nearby becomes an island when the waters of the tank are high; on it are the ruins of a small summer house used by the king.