Rising from the ashes like a phoenix, Fox Resorts Jaffna is basking in its new found glory as a chic boutique hotel in Jaffna. This former ancestral home of a leading Jaffna family has a colourful history. During Sri Lanka’s civil war, this majestic home was acquired by the LTTE who used it as their treasury. They built underground bunkers which served as vaults and used the garden to hold their meetings. When the armed forces liberated Jaffna, the army acquired the property and used it as an office. After the end of the war, the rightful owners reclaimed their property and turned it into a boutique hotel replete with a profusion of art by some of Sri Lanka’s eminent artists. Situated a few kilometers away from the Jaffna town, in a village called Kokuvil, this palatial property stands proud having shed all its battle scars.
The only reminder of its connections to the war are the two underground bunkers which are being converted into a museum and art gallery. The owners are avid art collectors and have named the different wings of the hotel after artists such as George Keyt, Richard Gabriel. Ivan Peiris and George Bevan to name a few. Spread over three acres, the hotel has 28 rooms, a restaurant and a swimming pool. The old bungalow named after George Keyt has four suites. The new wing comprises of six blocks named after Richard Gabriel, Donald Fernando and George Classen, Justin Deraniyagala and Tudor Rajapakse, Ivan Peiris, David Paynter and George Bevan have 4 rooms each. Beautifully decorated in keeping with the colours and landscape of Jaffna the rooms are spacious and minimal in design with paintings occupying pride of place.
The rooms are well appointed with all modern conveniences and super comfortable beds. The hotel’s restaurant resembles an old style dining hall, with works of art adorning the wall. The polished brown furniture adds a luxurious feel to the ambiance. The resident chef is well versed in creating traditional Jaffna cuisine. Their signature dishes include the Kool soup, an authentic seafood preparation, the Jaffna crab curry, garlic prawn curry and mutton poriyal all specialties of the peninsular. The traditional Jaffna rice and curry which contains over seven curries and cooked to a traditional recipe is also highly recommended. The menu also has a good selection of western and eastern cuisine for those who may want a break from traditional Jaffna cuisine. Jaffna is a veritable treasure trove of sights and experiences and the hotel offers guided tours with English and Tamil speaking guides.
A city tour of Jaffna and excursions to Casurina beach, Delft island, Nagadeepa temple, Dambakola Patuna, Kandarodai and Keerimalai can all be arranged through the hotel. The hotel also hosts a weekly cultural night with exotic and colourful dancers. Steeped in history, Fox Resorts Jaffna narrates a tale of a home that has morphed from a battle scarred building which endured turbulent times into a luxury boutique hotel offering serendipitous sanctury to visitors. Marrying culture and art with modernity, this hotel exudes an air of sophistication. With warm and friendly staff, great cuisine and luxurious surroundings, this is truly an undiscovered gem in the Jaffna peninsula.
Tel +94 (0) 764203370/112683890 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.fox-resorts.com
Text by Tina Edward Gunawardhana