SET on a narrow slip of land between Negombo Lagoon and the beach you will find Jetwing Lagoon, Sri Lanka’s newest wellness resort. Situated a little north of the capital of Colombo and just 20 minutes away from the island’s main Bandaranaike International Airport, Jetwing Lagoon is a 55-room luxury resort owned by the Sri Lankan Jetwing Group.
Designed by celebrated architect Geoffrey Bawa in the 1960s, the property was Sri Lanka’s first resort hotel and has long been a popular venue for upmarket weddings. The original hotel closed down in 1990. Jetwing Group bought the property in 2010, and set about remodeling and restoring the hotel under Bawa’s assistant, Vinod Jayasinghe.
The results are stunning. An eye-popping 100 meter swimming pool greets guests on arrival. The pool runs from reception through to the main property, with the rooms overlooking the blue waters from either side. The jungle foliage and cool breeze come together to create a luxurious retreat that pampers holidaymakers looking for a getaway to recharge their batteries.
What to expect?
Jetwing Lagoon is made up of clusters of chalets, each with large rooms and a lovely courtyard. The wooden furniture is quintessentially Sri Lankan, while the linens are made from local cotton fabric. Each suite comes with a huge bath tub, a flatscreen television with satellite channels, telephone facilities and broadband WiFi to keep tabs on the outside world – that is if you really want to, it is very easy to put the cares of the world behind you at Jetwing Lagoon.
Try to book a room on the upper floor of the double-deck chalets to get a stunning view of the pool. Rooms facing the lagoon make an ideal spot to unwind or indulge in a lazy cocktail.
What is there to do?
A spa and a wellness centre are some of the signature highlights of a visit to Jetwing Lagoon. The wellness menu includes yoga, meditation and a healing foot reflexology. The wellness centre also has a treatment known as ‘self-healing of the body’, a process that introduces you to your body.
Guests have access the fully equipped gym to burn some calories, or enjoy leisurely pursuits like board games or a game of pool.
For the adventurous, the hotel offers a range of water sports including sports fishing, leisure boat rides, nature excursions, canoeing, wind surfing, sailing and water skiing. A boat safari on the canals, for instance, takes you past mangrove forests to spot birds and reptiles, as well as a quick stop to down a complimentary glass of toddy, a local brew.
The hotel also offers walking tours around historic Negombo town, an early morning visit to Negombo’s main fish market to watch the auction, trips to nearby Wilpattu and Minneriya national parks or Kitulgala rainforests, or whale and dolphin safaris.
Jetwing takes care to live in harmony with nature and goes the extra mile to serve local food. Some of the vegetables, fruits and herbs are grown in the hotel garden, while others are sourced from nearby villages. Seafood comes from each morning’s fresh catch, while freshwater fish and prawns come straight off the lagoon. The extensive menus here include eastern and western cuisine.
Geoffrey’s restaurant serves up speciality cuisine, while drinks are available at the Kalapuwa bar, or at Palms by the poolside.
Negombo is flanked on either side by the beautiful lagoon and the sea. The mostly-Roman Catholic town is a popular fishing hamlet that was once a thriving city for the cinnamon trade. The conquering Dutch colonial rulers, who came in the 1600s, left their imprint with scores of beautiful churches, wide canals and architecture. While the cinnamon plantations have long disappeared to the south of the island, the town is now known for its fishing, tourism and pockets of Dutch heritage that are visible in the old fort and the lacework balconies.
A 20-minute ride or 16 kilometers away lies the Bandaranaike International Airport at Katunayake and the hotel offers a pick-up service. The hotel is seven kilometres away from Negombo town and 38 kilometers from the capital Colombo. There is regular public and taxi transport to and from Negombo town.
Jetwing Lagoon, Pamunugama Road, Thalahena, Negombo, Sri Lanka.