barressential luxury retreat @ villa by cc: a look back
It was on a bright, sunny morning in March that twelve ladies gathered together at the lobby of Galle Face Hotel, Colombo to embark on a day of rest & recuperation.
With palpable anticipation and excitement in the air, introductions were made and each settled into the comfortable couches to enjoy the delicious chia pudding breakfasts from Barressential. Schedules were handed out and a formal welcome (by Founder Nare Bandaranayake) later, we piled into the luxury van and headed towards Wadduwa on a (surprisingly) less than busy Galle Road. As guests made new friends and re-connected with the old, the van was filled with a comfortable chatter.
Turning into the small gravel lane that led us up to the exquisite Villa by Contemporary Ceylon, a hushed silence fell over the van as we looked upon the wooden gate that stood between us and our host for the day. As the gate began to roll away, we gazed upon the aquamarine pool beyond the square hole in the stone wall - the chorus of ooh's and aah's took the place of the hushed silence.
We were greeted upon arrival with a warm welcome from the staff and a delicious fresh watermelon juice to quench our thirst. The guests were free to explore the property - discovering its beauty for themselves. Behind the scenes, our Barressential team prepared the poolside for our first class of the day - a morning Barre class to boost the metabolism prior to a delicious lunch.
Pink mats lined up in parallel facing the glistening water of the pool greeted our guests as they arrived at the pool side - decked in their workout gear for their first Barre class. Keeping the routine accessible yet challenging for all levels of fitness, the 60 minute Barre session worked on the major muscle groups: thighs, bums and abs to ensure maximum muscle usage & fat burn during class. With a relaxing stretch and aromatherapy oils at the end, the ladies felt quite accomplished & rejuvenated as the class ended.
As the schedule provided ample opportunities for own-time, some of the guests chose to refresh themselves with a dip in the pool whilst others congregated in the bar-lounge to enjoy some cool refreshments and continue chatting.
Soon the tummies began to rumble and it was time for our delicious and much anticipated 3 course gourmet meal. The Contemporary Ceylon brand is highly acclaimed in Colombo for its fine dining pop ups and quirky & delicious takes on traditional Sri Lankan ingredients - and as such, it was a true pleasure to partner with the Villa by Contemporary Ceylon - knowing that alongside exceptional service we would be treated to some taste bud tingling meals!
As if it needed to be made any more beautiful, the glass enclosed dining room with views of the coconut trees and ocean beyond housed our communal dining table - decorated with beautiful lotuses. The staff were highly efficient and posed true attention to detail as they served each of us our pre-selected set menu starters.
Silence descended upon the table as we dived into our delicious soups coupled with the soft home-made breads. Soon it was time for our mains to arrive - the villa was incredibly accommodating and no dietary restriction was too difficult to cater to - gluten free, vegetarian, vegan: you name it, they delivered.
Once the desserts were tucked away neatly into everyone's tummies, a food coma descended upon our group. It was great that the villa was solely for our use as guests collapsed on to all available couches on the property - on the pool loungers, in the tv & billiards room, in the bar lounge - any horizontal surface was fair game!
As the guests enjoyed their afternoon siesta, the Barressential team quietly set up for the outdoors Pilates session and given the guests' predominantly comatose state, the team made the executive decision to push back the session to give the guests enough time to enjoy their REM sleep.
An hour or two later, the guests began to stir from their slumber and slowly make their way towards the designated Pilates area on the coconut shaded alcove in the garden. The Pilates session was guided gently and at the very basic level to introduce the fundamentals to the clients who were not regular participants at our Barressential classes. Strengthening their core whilst stabilising the pelvis and mobilising the spine - the Pilates session was a full body workout to shake the last of the sleep out of the bodies.
As we ended the session, it was time to gift the carefully curated goodie bags to each of the clients. Who doesn't love presents?!
Comprising fabulous gifts from our sponsors: personalised notebooks courtesy of Hello Print, salt scrubs courtesy of Kesh Body Scrubs, Omega 3 tablets courtesy of VitaWell, Coconut Oil from Ceylon Coconut Company and (it smells so good we just want to eat it) hand creams from Bath Bliss Hand Made - the goodie bags were an utter delight.
Whilst we were busy Pilate-ing, the staff had been even busier setting up the afternoon tea. A delicious spread of eclairs, pastries and piping hot tea & coffee awaited our sore (yet invigorated) bodies as we filed back in to the villa. We comforted ourselves about our impending departure from this little piece of heaven by partaking of the scrumptious spread.
A tour of the 7 bedroomed villa and a final thank you to the fantastic staff, we were ready to depart. Piling back into the luxury van - we were the same yet so much better.
New friendships had been made.
Our bodies had been challenged but our minds were rested.
The beautiful surroundings not only gave our ears a break from the constant honk of traffic but gave our eyes the opportunity to break from screens to see far & wide into the horizon.
The time away from the familiar unplugged creativity, enhanced our sense of well-being and gave us a much needed respite from the daily grind.
It was with some sadness we bid goodbye to our guests back at Galle Face Hotel however we knew we would see them again....
.... join our next adventure at the beautiful Cape Weligama on 2nd June 2018 and experience the adventure for yourselves! For more details and to book, please click here.