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There are these kind of stays that for some reason leave their mark on you. Those places that simply become your happy place for a very very very long time. And for some unexplained reason they stay in your memories and accompany you forever. Kurulu Bay is one of these places.

With 14 suites, two pools, a yoga terrace with beautiful lake views, a cosy spa and a poolside restaurant with great vibes and even better drinks and food, Kurulu Bay is an eco-resort that brings together minimalism, design and respect for nature. The result? An intimate, tranquil jungle experience in the heart of Sri Lanka that stimulates all the senses.

Tucked away in one of the most tropical corners of Ahangama, in a little neighbourhood away from the area’s most touristy places and exactly on the shores of Koggala lake, this private low impact estate fascinated me from the very first minute and somehow never ceased to amaze me throughout my stay. In fact, it fascinated me before I even arrived.

As I was approaching the property I started realising that streets were getting narrower and bumpier, and the surroundings were more green and tropical. It did not fell like another tourist town. The opposite; I found myself in the heart of a little neighbourhood.

Stepping into Kurulu Bay felt a bit like stepping into a lush green paradise: exotic flowers, coconut trees, frangipani trees and the magic of the afternoon sunlight glittering off the swimming pool. And once I stepped in, I really didn’t want to leave.

I was captivated by all the magical sounds: birds singing, lake water lapping and the most relaxing beats playing by the pool. I was captivated by all the sensational flavours: sea-to-table mahi-mahi, yummy local dishes, exotic fruit juices, and the most delicious pineapple and cardamom daiquiri – you simply need to try it!

And I was captivated by the huge respect to locals and nature: rain water is collected and reused, most of Kurulu Bay’s exclusive tuk tuk drives live in the neighbourhood, while shampoos and shower gels are handmade by the local community – and I loved them!

But the one thing that really made my stay at Kurulu Bay enter the list of my ‘forever memories’ is its people, their caring attitude, their genuine smile, their incredible generosity and kindness!

Saying goodbye was hard, very hard! But a part of me is still there in spirit. As I write these lines, a part of me is still sipping a delicious pineapple and cardamom daiquiri by the pool. A part of me is still listening to the rustling of palm leaves swaying in the gentle wind. And a part of me still feels that very special cinnamon scent in the air!

My Kurulu Bay moments clearly left a mark on me. And if crafting unforgettable moments is not the essence of great hospitality, then what is it?

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