Fairway Sunset – where the comfort of home and the luxury of a holiday combine
By Jennifer Rodrigo
Galle, as a travel destination, has become synonymous with casual strolls and late night drinks with friends amidst the ramparts of the Fort. However, standing slightly away from the Bay of Galle with its bistro culture, 25 minutes away to be exact, is Fairway Sunset, conveniently located near the Southern Expressway exit and overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean.
Walking up to the building, the structure in itself – almost showroom-like – doesn’t really feel warm, but you’re quickly discouraged from dwelling on that thought when the staff at the white-themed reception greet you with warm smiles.
Think modern traveller meets famous Lankan hospitality, served on a platter of lean luxury. Fairway Sunset offers all this and more with its 65 rooms, 19 serviced apartments, a spa, two restaurants, and rooftop bistro bar titled Scarlett Skyy.
“The name Fairway Sunset can be attributed to the fact that this hotel provides the best view of the sunset, especially from Scarlett Skyy, our rooftop bistro bar,” shared Fairway Sunset Front Office Manager Erosh Fernando.
Opened just September of last year, the location, space, design, and technology blend in seamlessly to suit the guest’s every need; this has, so far, ensured 60% to 70% occupancy throughout, according to Fernando. Fernando, exuding professionalism and good nature, told us that he’s been in the industry for the past 14 years, having previously worked at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa and Cinnamon Bey Beruwala.
“This is modelled on a lean luxury concept,” he affirmed, going on to explain that their rooms are priced within a range of $ 55 (room-only basis) for a standard room to $ 120-130 for a suite. “What we want mainly is to give our guests a comfortable stay with a homely feeling.
We don’t go for a lot of amenities as we want to give our rooms for a reasonable price.” This seemed certainly true.
The five-floored building housing the rooms, designed by I. W. Associates (Pvt.) Ltd., is modestly decorated. Each floor has its own lobby area with white wicker chairs and cushions of fern green and muted gold. The walls down the hallway are adorned with brightly painted surfboards, an interesting note to the otherwise minimalist interior. The rooms carry the same theme of white and green with notes of blue, and have all the basic amenities you’d expect at a hotel.
Scarlett Skyy is where guests are served their meals, which Fernando explained is on a la carte basis when only a few guests are checked-in, as opposed to the buffet when it’s a full house. “The restaurant specialises in all types of cuisine,” he said. I ordered their seafood wrap and fresh watermelon juice as in-room dining and was pleasantly surprised by the portion size and filling in the wrap. It was obvious that careful attention is paid to balance taste and quality of preparation and presentation. I was told that come May and thereafter, BBQ nights and electronic dance music (EDM) nights are going to be a regular occurrence at Scarlett Skyy.
Scarlett Skyy, with its character of stylishness and spaciousness, is definitely one of the stars of the entire experience. The restaurant offers beautiful views of the sea and the sky and quite a few seating options – a barstool kind of vibe on the terrace, more relaxed couch-like seating towards the inner area, and a closed off space for proper sit-down dining further inside. And the food is truly amazing. Every dish is prepared with a lot of care. You won’t be disappointed even if you were to drop in for a small bite at this place. I had their beef satay dish and the spaghetti marinara and both exceeded expectations.
“We hope to have a 30-seater jacuzzi on the rooftop soon,” Fernando said, when asked what the future plans for Fairway Sunset are. True to Fairway culture, which is revealed by their frequent street and music festivals in Colombo which keep the city crowd entertained, Fairway Sunset is not going to let the beach stretch in front go unutilised for long. “We hope to have weekly beach festivals where we want to modify the current beach huts and have BBQ stations and also music. Scarlett Skyy will have an outlet there as well.”
The serviced apartments at Fairway Sunset are located adjacent to the building housing the hotel. Offering city and harbour views, these 19 apartments each come with a fully-equipped kitchen and simple lounging area. All your recreational needs are met with their swimming pool, gym, mini supermarket, and spa. The units come with standard services such as linen change and garbage collection and are operated with minimum staff interaction offering complete freedom to all guests.