lankan chronicles: renuka city hotel

one of the hotels i stayed in at colombo was renuka city hotel.  the hotel actually has an old and a new building wherein i opted for the latter based on the reviews i read – a few dollars difference for a more satisfying stay.

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Hotel Renuka and Renuka City Hotel, brings you to the heart of Colombo and is conveniently located just steps away from some of the City’s best attractions. Yet, the hotels quiet residential neighborhood makes it an ideal getaway for business and leisure travelers who prefer a more serene atmosphere. Once you enter our doors, you’ll experience the best in luxury accommodation, complemented by the highest levels of service designed to cater to your discerning taste. Let us do all the work for you, while you discover true Sri Lankan hospitality, delivered with a smile.

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i did my booking online directly from their website while i was still in galle.  the hotel is actually in the business center of colombo and is also near shopping malls and embassies.

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the room i got at the new wing was located in the corner most of the building.

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it was at the third floor, room 332 with a seaside view.

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i was surprised that for a newly built hotel not to have modern key cards.

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the bed was comfortable, the cool sheets crisp and the pillows, fluffy.

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a space for the working desk and complimentary bottled water, coffee and tea.

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hotel renuka and renuka city hotel.

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the room is simple and clean.

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the toilet and shower stall, toiletries.

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this is their rooftop infinity pool offering a great view of the indian ocean.

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a relaxing scene as the sun sets in.

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i went back next morning for a quick dip.

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they also have a fitness centre.

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i walked by the railroad which was very near the hotel.

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i read that the train system in sri lanka was developed during the british colonization in mid-1800’s

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it interconnects the main cities of the country.

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i used the train when i visited galle.

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the indian ocean.

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i had my breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant, the palmyrah.

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the breakfast spread has good choices, but more of the sri lankan fare.

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they serve good coffee.

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a typical sri lankan breakfast: thosai, dhal, stir-fried chickpeas, fish and chicken curry.

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palmyrah was awarded a certificate of excellence by tripadvisor.

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lankan chronicles: off to colombo

it has been a year since my last solo trip in india and i’ve been longing to satisfy the travel bug in me.  i had the curiosity to visit sri lanka as suggested by my indian co-workers who has told me about the place.  the likelihood to travel to this country was possible on my part for the visa will not be a problem for as a filipino citizen, it is easy to process an e-visa done online.

so for my scheduled days off from work, i asked our company travel agent to change my flight ticket from manila into colombo.  i purchased a separate ticket to go back home to manila and got a good deal from thai airways for my colombo – bangkok – manila flights (fyi, there is no direct flight for colombo – manila so a stop over is needed wherein i chose bangkok.  one can also have a stop over in kuala lumpur and hongkong but the prices will vary).

i took a flight from dammam to colombo through srilankan air.  service was excellent, food was fine and the staff were very courteous.  my seatmate, who was a tipsy indian national was insisting an odd mix of gin and whiskey for his drink but the pretty flight attendant handled the situation patiently as she explained that she cannot give him such.  i was already imagining the guy ruining my flight if he suddenly pukes out  his gastric contents in my lap, lol!

after about six hours from dammam, the plane arrived at bandaranaike international airport.  i passed by the immigration counter without a fuss and as i approached the arrival area i had to look for a money changer to exchange my dollar into rupees.  i chose thomas cook and they had a good exchange rate.  the driver of the cab that i have pre-booked was holding a placard with my name on it but i still missed to see him at first for i went straight to the main entrance.  he was actually just in the arrival area waiting for me.

it was a first time for me to book a room from airbnb.  airbnb is an online service that provides a platform for individuals referred to as “hosts”, generally private parties, to rent unoccupied living space and other short-term lodging to guests.  my hosts were an interracial couple who also loves travelling.  their apartment was located walking distance to the museum and i took this opportunity to visit.  after i dropped my bag and had a nap, i went out and walked to the museum.

the national museum of natural history in colombo is the largest in sri lanka established in 1877.  there is a small fee to enter and have to pay for your camera to be allowed to take pictures of the inside.

at the entrance of the museum is a limestone image of buddha from 800AD.  its composure denotes its perfect mental state.

an ancient chair made of ivory.

urinals of monks that comes elaborately designed to simply plain with a footstep and a carved hole.

i cannot help myself but to touch the carvings of the inscriptions.  there was this mortar and pestle and i just thought of what are the stuff being crushed and ground on this artifact that is hundreds of year old.  i tried to lift the pestle and it was heavy!

snake stone carving and buddha heads.

upstairs are some paintings. there are copies of frescoes that are found in the lion rock, in sigiriya.

stone cist burial and a large pot that was found with human ash and offerings.