I’d been looking forward to visiting Hikka Tranz in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka for some time. As jobs go, this was a good one as I had been invited with three other bloggers to experience Sri Lanka and also a few of Cinnamon Hotels‘ luxury hotels. Finally I was there!
Food blogger and author Sarah Brittan (My New Roots) and I were picked up from the airport in Colombo for the two hour drive to the hotel. Looking out the window of the van along the way, I could tell this was going to be a holiday to remember. It was so green and lush. We passed palm trees, cinnamon plants and tea plantations all along the way.
When we arrived at Hikka Tranz, we were offered cold drinks and then shown to our rooms. My suite was very comfortable. Air conditioned and large. All of the home comforts were there. I walked out onto the patio off my room and immediately facetimed my wife and kids. That photo above was my view and I really wished my family could be there to experience it all with me. Our boiler back at home had just packed in and they were freezing. I didn’t quite get the reaction I was hoping for. 🙂
In addition to writing about all that Cinnamon Hotels have on offer, we were also there to shadow Marco Pierre White’s highly publicised visit to Sri Lanka with Cinnamon Hotels. I had no time to rest, there was a cocktail party starting down by the sea where Chef Marco was the guest of honour and us food bloggers were all invited. January is summertime in Sri Lanka and it was nice and warm as the sun set over the Indian Ocean.
The cocktails, I had my fair share, were spot on as were the canapés that were my first real taste of Sri Lankan food. I was in Sri Lanka! This was just too good to be true.
I walked up to Marco who was having photos taken with the chefs from the hotel and introduced myself. I’d just finished reading his book “Devil in the Kitchen” and wasn’t sure what he would be like. He turned out to be quite laid back and easy to talk to; a nice and down to earth guy. More on Marco in later posts.
Between snacking and drinking by the pool and dinner, I had an hour to kill so I went for a quick swim. What a place!
The meal that evening was put on specially for Marco’s visit. You would not believe the work that went into it. I met Sarah and another of the food bloggers, Roxanne Bamboat (The Tiny Taster) for drinks and then that spectacular dinner. The thing was – and I wasn’t to know this at the time – this was a good sign of things to come. The food served at each of the Cinnamon Hotels we visited was out of this world even when Chef Marco wasn’t in the building. As much as I wanted to just sit down and eat, I had to take a few pics.
After that evening of fun and overindulgence, I was ready for bed. I’d been told that if I make my way down to the sea at 6.30 the next morning, I could swim with wild large turtles. I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity.
I wasn’t quite ready to wake up when the wakeup call came but I got up anyway. I put my swim trunks on and headed down for the sea. I got a few photos of the turtles before packing my camera and jumping in for a swim. If you go to Hikka Tranz, I highly recommend getting up early and swimming with these friendly turtles.
We didn’t have enough time in this beautiful place. That afternoon we were being picked up to go to the next hotel Cinnamon Bey Beruwala. But not before a quick trip up the road with the head chef of Hikka Tranz to the local fish market and a cookery lesson. Executive Chef Julinda Pushpakumara showed us all how to make one of his incredible fish curries. You can see the recipe here. If you love seafood, you are going to have to give it a go.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Cinnamon Hotels in Sri Lanka. I absolutely loved my stay and recommend Cinnamon Hotels to anyone visiting Sri Lanka.
I was flown round trip from Heathrow to Colombo courtesy or SriLankan Airlines. Such a nice airline. Excellent service.