A family owned boutique hotel becomes the first in the district to go meat-free
As you carefully navigate the twists and turns in the roads up the misty hills of Hanthana in Kandy, a beautiful building in the middle of a carefully manicured garden grabs the attention of everyone passing by. This is Theva Residency, an award winning boutique hotel in Kandy, which is owned by Dheeshana Ameresekere and her family.
The building itself is rather understated in design, yet modern and tastefully furnished. The large infinity pool overlooks the Kandy town below, and opens up to a beautiful vista one would never tire of admiring. The garden, with its flowers in full bloom and lush green grass bathed in a fine layer of dew, brings about a sense of tranquility that helps you take a break from a world that is constantly craving for your attention. At the time of writing, the hotel was devoid of guests, but with Sri Lanka getting ready to welcome tourists again from August 1 onwards, Dheeshana’s team was busy at work.
Amongst the many changes implemented is a brand new menu, developed with Dheeshana’s own input. “I believe we are the first hotel in Kandy that will be meat-free” expressed Ameresekere, who is very much interested in the concept of holistic living. While Sri Lanka was under curfew, Dheeshana worked with her team to brainstorm ways in which they could enhance the Theva experience for future guests. “One of the ideas we had was to introduce a meat-free menu. All our team members agreed that this would be a good move for us” Ameresekere said.
Ameresekere’s team may be on to something. After all, Sri Lanka’s ancient tradition of Ayurveda warns against excessive consumption of meat because it could potentially upset the balance of the doshas in the body namely Vāta, Pitta, and Kapha. With the average individual now consuming nearly 43 kilos of meat per year, perhaps our bodies could do with a small reset, at least briefly. “We have always wanted Theva Residency to be a place where our guests could come to rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul. The new menu is another step in our journey to make that promise a reality. The modern world does take a huge toll on our mental and physical wellbeing, and there is enough to research to prove that” Ameresekere added.
Kandy is also a region where some of Sri Lanka’s best spices and vegetables—packed full of immunity boosting vitamins, are grown. The chefs at Theva Residency have gone the extra mile to tweak their recipes to include more dishes which contain the best of toxin-free local produce, purchased from local farmers. A selection of herbs and spices are also sourced from a patch at the property itself.
Ameresekere is immensely proud of her team for the work they have done.
“They have been with me for a long time, all of us are one big family” she said. “Being forced to stay indoors for months has opened our eyes to what is most important in life—good health and family. No matter how rich you are, you cannot buy these things. They can only be earned, and are the most valuable assets one can possess” she ended.Dheeshana Ameresekere
Managing Director, The Theva Residency Boutique Hotel
Managing Director, Theva Cuisine Restaurant