Juliet Coombe discovers why Era Beach by Jetwing is the perfect base for the January Fairway Galle Literary Festival
Sunset, the colours of a King Sapphire, the island’s most valuable gemstone turn one of the Souths most beautiful places Era Beach by Jetwing Hotels into a wonderful series of golden, orange and pink colours as it sinks into the sea like a giant red ball of fire. The villa hotel features eight spacious bedrooms, four of which have direct Indian ocean views from the first floor in the main building. A pair of curved staircases sweep like a scene out of Mayfair Lady up to these delightful sea view suites with four poster beds shrouded in brilliant white mosquito nets, which create intimacy perfect for honeymooners or couples looking for the idyllic escape. The paintings and simple dragonfly motifs are all part of feeling like one is at one with the elements, and the villa staff mostly from the Galle area tend to your every wish telling you what to see from the white tea planters estate to advising on talks and events are a must do during the world famous Galle Fort Literary Festival. One of many events Jetwing sponsor every year in the area.
The sunrise is worth waking early for as well, as it seems like the twin alchemists, fiery and mordant, in Era Beach by Jetwing Hotels are engaged like two matadors, enticing the prey, in this case the villa’s guests to engage in dividing up the pavilions, frames enmeshed in frames, coddling the vast mazes of air with the vexations of form. The line between form and function is naturally and articulately blurred and yet it has an improvised Zen to it, like a wise old man contemplating the mysteries of the universe, something artist and brilliant architect Ismeth Raheem is famous for. Here is the universal truth – that nature is the most beautiful thing ever and it is nurtured here in a building whose soul is dug in deep into the creative process behind this breathtaking architectural feast.
Broken up and opened up, the spaces feel well lit, ventilated and most importantly are able to accommodate not only the moods and elevations of the environment but also seems to coax the best out of book lovers, artists, architects and smart travellers that enjoy the many terraces, lawns and corridors which are connected through a series of open verandas and spacious spaces allowing for a noble yet energetic interaction with the elements. The Kandyan walawwa concept informs certain aspects of the building but it is wholly original in the envisioning of a humane way of treating the interiors and exteriors. This is the architecture of invisibility, imposing its will and its way by its very absence – the result is serenity in its magnificent simplicity.
It is the greenish blue of the swimming pool opening up to the vista of an endless horizon that you will remember, fringed with tropical palm trees soaked from the spray of the Indian ocean. Era Beach by Jetwing is not only a blissful spot for foodies who love fish and want to top up their tans, but also a central location for sightseeing and enjoying the yearly literary festival in January, contemporary fashion shows and superb cultural events, which the area is famous for in particular mask and fire dancing shows. It is also an exquisite villa for architectural snobs and style gurus, who realize that style is a living and breathing sonnet in the sun