respite

I stepped out of Bandaranaike International Airport with all the soot and grime of Manila, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and of course, Sri Lanka. Four airports, three plane rides, damning heat of the summer sun, one 1-hour bus ride, and one 4-hour bus ride in 24 hours should be enough to drive me to pick an axe and decapitate Ron, or anybody who crosses my way. But since that was our first out-of-South East Asia trip together, I restrained myself lest be banned from going out of the country.

The bittersweet journey started  on a sweltering ordinary bus as air-conditioned buses are not very popular there. We landed in the middle of Kandy town and immediately basked in ogling eyes, warm smiles, and a bazillion of ravens. With a map in hand, we approached a tuk-tuk driver who referred us to a cell phone repairman who then called another tuk-tuk driver who took us to our first pit stop of the trip, Theva Residency.

We wound our way uphill past the noise and people until we arrived at the gates of what seemed to be an ultra-modern building sitting on top of a luscious mound that overlooks the town of Kandy. Now, Ron and I have been to the dingiest of hotels/hostels. And we’ve had a fair share of fine and modest temporary places when we travel. But I guess nothing prepared me for this boutique hotel. Modern at first sight but cultural to the bone, I can’t help but notice the hand that conceptualized the creation of it. I was stunned I didn’t even notice the drool hanging from my mouth.

And before the dirt on my body became a living being, we were led into our suite where respite waited for us.

I immediately baptized the rain shower and felt all the accumulated dirt wash off from my skin. Heard of the saying “diamonds are girl’s bestfriend?” In my most unappealing state, the Jacuzzi became my bestfriend. With an omniscient oversight of the country’s last capital of the ancients, I did feel like a princess. The place was a home away from home. It made me wish I was there on my honeymoon. And I’m pretty sure Ron was thinking of the same thing.

I immediately shed my inhibitions and dove into a pampering bubble bath while enjoying the peace and quiet we found at Theva. With a cold bottle of beer in one hand and my book in one, I can stay lethargic like that forever.

The detail of our breathing space exudes one of the rituals that is Dalada Thev?wa, a ceremonial offering in Sri Lanka. Ron found a way to amuse himself by clicking his camera on every nook and cranny that are made up of earth, stone, wood, metal, and glass.

An ornate metal head dress worn ONLY by Kandyan men during ves mangalaya is displayed in our room wall

He was able to capture a quiet tradition with his lens. Grand, theatrical and painfully exquisite -those perfectly describe the rhythm of the Sri Lankan wind that is carefully held in every corner of the residency. And we were lucky enough to touch it as we move along the lobby and corridor that led into our room.

Theva might not be a place that is a stone-throw away from the bustling Kandy town but is a perfect refuge for the romantic. Set 2 kilometers away from the center, we found ourselves cradled in the bosom of Hantana slopes, in the middle of a lush paradise with all the comforts of home.

The Theva Residency
11/B5/10-1, 6th Lane
Off Upper Tank Road, off Circular Road 2
Hantana, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Tel: 94(81) 7388296-99
http://www.theva.lk/

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