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A Brief History: the origins of the Maison Nil Manel


The Maison Nil Manel, one of the finest Boutique Hotel in Sri Lanka  is the result  of the meeting between two people from very different backgrounds: Monique, who is (French), and Chanaka (Sri Lankan), whose grandfather owned a cinnamon distillery in a small village in the south of the island.

This enthusiastic couple with shared tastes (decoration and well chosen handicraft , gastronomy at its best in Sri lanka) decided to combine their talents in the form of a romantic but ambitious project: that of converting the old family distillery into a Boutique Villa complete with gastronomic restaurant

Monique’s sensitivity for Sinhalese culture took her naturally to La Maison Nil Manel close to Chanaka, both of them enthusiastic about the rebirth of this ancestral dwelling.

After an adventurous youth spent in Europe, Chanaka became very interested in the culinary traditions of the continent and spent some time working with renowned chefs in France and Switzerland, where he also learned French and German, which he speaks fluently. Since then, gastronomy has remained an    all-consuming passion !

His varied culinary experiences made him want to revisit western cuisine by combining it with the spices he knew so well.

Once they had defined their project, Monique and Chanaka left Europe and settled in Sri Lanka, where fired with enthusiasm, they gradually built up the ‘Maison Nil Manel’ from the warehouse where peeled cinnamon sticks were once kept during the drying process.

In 2004, six guestrooms were created within a little palace tinged with a certain magic of the past.
The Maison Nil Manel is a large colonial-style villa (6 bedrooms) with high ceilings, decorated with superb antique from the Portuguese, Dutch and British former colonies.
In a green setting, beneath imposing ancient banian trees and slender palms, the white walls of the house are the scene of a subtle play of light and shade.

Adding to this scenery is the shimmering blue of the mosaics in the swimming pool, which brings a touch of freshness !

On the ground floor of this genuine (little palace), in the vast salon with its refined décor, one is instantly charmed by cinnamon incense and oil fragrances.

One night is enough to feel transported back to the early times of the spice trade.

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