Hunas Falls - a paradise on the misty mountains
by BEVERLEY JANSZ / Sunday Oberver
Standing majestically in the centre of Hunasgiriya Estate, an evergreen tea planation at Elkaduwa, Wattegama, 26 kilometres away from Kandy amidst tranquil surroundings, Hunas Falls Hotel is certainly a paradise in the misty mountains.
A view of the hotel taken from a boat in the lake Hunasgiriya mountains are in the background.
A private hideaway on the peak of a mountain set against a mirrored lake which flows into the cascading waters of Hunas Falls, - a haven of peace and tranquillity where quiet moments become treasured memories, is this paradise hotel, Hunas Falls.
Travelling from Kandy through winding roads wending through an estate of shady groves, accompanied by the sweet fragrance of fresh flowers amidst serene surroundings, we reached the Hunas Falls Hotel.
We were greeted with a traditional 'Ayubowan' from the humble bell boy, right up to the charming General Manager, Hyacinth Gunawardena, probably Sri Lanka's first woman GM of a star class hotel, with a winning smile and promise of warm treatment and comfort.
The comfortable and spacious bedrooms of the hotel were well equipped with a range of a facilities, in-house movies, telephone facilities and mini-bar with the added luxury of an attentive valet to attend to our needs. The hotel offers its guests classic cuisine blended with flavours of spicy Asian tastes, prepared by Executive Chef, Jagath Seneviratene, a maestro in food preparations, and his kitchen brigade, served in causal but elegant surroundings at the hotel's charming restaurant adjacent to a beautiful lake.
Hunas Falls comprises 31 air conditioned rooms inclusive of four suites, 'The Katsura' a Japanese style suite with a traditional sitting room which opens into a private garden furnished with a low slung 'Emperor' style bed, a 'Royal' suite and two luxury suites. Every room has a private balcony with a magnificent view of the waters cascading down rocky slopes.
Hunas Falls Hotel opened in 1971. Colombo Commercial Co. Ltd. owned both the hotel and Hunasgiriya estate until 1976 when the hotel was taken over by the Government. It was offered for sale in 1991 through privatisation when Hayleys and Jetwing Group acquired the major stake holdings. General Manager, Hyacinth Gunwardena said that Hunas Falls has become very popular as a hideaway and haven for honeymoon couples, both Sri Lankan and foreign.
Facilities at the hotel include a modern swimming pool, Tennis, Golf, Billiards, Croquet, Jogging, Mountain trekking, cycling, fishing, boating, bird watching, pony rides, Badminton etc. The Kiddies Corner, Youth Room with games Library, Business Centre, Banquet and conference facilities. The hotel also has a medical clinic, doctor on call a modern herbal massage clinic, gift shop, etc.
To blend with the tranquil serene surroundings at Hunas Falls, the landscaping and gardening have been done marvellously by Horticulturist Ms. Menaka Pallegama under the guidance of GM Hyacinth Gunawardene, to resemble a beautiful botanical garden.
The latest addition to the eco program at Hunas Falls is the 'three day hiking trek' offered to guests. This hiking trek traverses ten villages including traditional as well as new settlements, tea estates, Pinus plantations, grass lands etc. The trek lies in an undulating terrain and moves along estate roads, foot paths, village roads, through paddy fields and at some instances, it falls along steep climbs. This three-day hiking treak has already become very popular not only among foreign tourists but Sri Lankans alike, Hunas Falls Naturalist, D.K. Angamana said.
The energetic and charming new General Manager at Hunas Falls Ms.Hyacinth Gunwardena is working round the clock to make Hunas Falls a 'Paradise within a paradise'.
Hunas Falls is a Jetwing Hotel.