Geoffrey Bawa is Sri Lanka’s most well known architect. Public buildings and private homes designed by Bawa (who passed away in 2003) dot the island. He is famous for subtlety, lines, and working with nature.
I have never stayed in a Bawa hotel, but have previously visited his brother Bevis Baba’s home “Brief” (which is surrounded by what can truly be called. secret garden) four years ago. It is now a public museum
It was about 5pm, close to closing time, when I entered the garden, which is located on the slope of a small hill. It was paradise in green. A hedge would reveal a hidden patch of green, which would lead to something else, and then more. it was fascinating, a garden of discovery. I did remember feeling a bit apprehensive, as I was alone in this large green space with many hidden corners and a few cul de sacs.
The Indian and Sri Lankan teams had booked up most of the hotel. Since they were busy playing cricket, the hotel was practically empty. The front desk manager graciously deputed the hotel’s first employee, Indika, to accompany us. The hotel is impressive, yet simple. It does not intimidate. The lines are clean. Truly, architecture at its very best.