“…wonderful to see Auraliya back to its former glory with added touches. Loved it before and it still lives up to the same relaxing atmosphere and splendid cuisine.”
Elizabeth Batty – Blissworth, UK
When we acquired the land on which Auraliya sits, there was a very different house called Oro meaning ‘Gold’ in Norwegian. Palatugaha beach was what sold the place to us. We began converting the existing property into the family holiday home to which we hoped to return year after year.
We recruited the eminent Australian architect Bruce Fell-Smith. Through our collaboration with Bruce we were able to include many of our own details such as the cruciform pool designed for all ages and the inclusion of window seats in all the bedrooms. We designed our own beds, and all the furniture in the sitting pavilion was made locally in Talpe.
At the rear of the garden we included an elephant bath to accommodate visiting pachyderms who we had staying prior to the Tsunami of December 26, 2004.
We had spent less than a week in our dream home when the Tsunami struck. We remain enormously appreciative of the combination of good fortune and loyalty enabling our family, and all our guests, to survive that extraordinary event.
As we rebuilt our dream home we decided to rename the house; Auraliya was born.
The name evokes the aura of aliya (Sinhalese for elephant) and araliya which means temple flower locally – or frangipani as some of you will know it. Three of our existing team of staff were among us the day of the Tsunami and were responsible for protecting the lives of our family and friends; making our bond with them very special.
The welcoming Ganesh in the front courtyard, the Buddha looking down on him, the dancing ladies by the gate to the garden and the elephant head spout in the beachside pond all reflect our family’s long association with India from where those pieces come. The other artworks were sourced locally. There are also two whale bones lying like tree trunks in the garden. They were recovered from a whale which washed up on the beach in 2004.