Octopus Reef where the Nature is your background 0 1530

By : Chantal D

Vacation, the place where I feel most comfortable is a place where I am calm. A place that is peaceful in its own ways. It is the place to go to get away from all my troubles. It is the one place where I could sit forever, and never get tired of just staring into the deepest blue I have ever seen. It is the place where I can sit and think the best. A place where nothing matters but what is in that moment. The one place capable of sending my senses into an overload. The place I travelled and ended my journey at, the waves are crashing, the sun is setting, and people are laughing and embracing under the sunset.

The way the deep blue waters meet the gritty beige sand leaves me in such awe.

Beautiful scene of nature, fresh air, beautiful people and quite life – all these things comes to our mind when we think of enjoying the natural way of life in full resting from the city bustle. There is almost nothing artificial about this quite gateway. Here you can be with everything that nature can offers you…

There is something divine and mysterious about this Villa beauty, which is the satisfaction in the slower pace of days. A perfect blend of harmony with nature that makes the time stand still.

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Octopus Reef Villas and Beach Cabana is designed for those who love the beach culture offer affordable luxury combining simple elegance, refined design, discreet and attentive service, in place of unique beauty and cultural interest. The perfect destination for a swim, snorkel and surf right on the beach and in the comfort of the simplicity, natural beauty and tranquility that makes the holiday gateway unique and special with the stilt fisherman in the rock pool opposite the Villa and surfers beyond with the sun setting in front of the Octopus Reef, you will amazed to watch nature unfold in front of your eyes. “The Rock” in front of the ocean opposite the Villa is famous with surfers as an International surf destination.

 

The water is like a soft blanket, comforting and inviting in the private rock pool right opposite the villa.

The Villa itself is built for those who prefer space, wood and colonial architecture. The rooms are large with a loft that accommodates two more beds, before it steps out into the wooden beach deck. Each room in the villa sleeps four and is ideal for families and friends to share. The wooden Cabana is only 5 meters from the beach and is built for two persons who love the natural style beach Cabana.

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The best thing about the Octopus Reef is the chef Kokilan who will cook (at cost price) whatever your desire in food, including a BBQ to grill the fresh seafood caught in the vicinity consisting of calamari, fish, prawns etc. you have to order early for lagoon crabs, lobster and oysters. Breakfast is included while the chef and the kitchen is given for you free of charge, where you can buy groceries and kokilan will cook meals for you at cost price.

 

Experience the breathtaking scenery and life revolving around a “reef pool”, get physical with outdoor activities in the area or simply indulge in the privacy and luxury of a beach house or beach cabana.

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Octopos reef, a perfect romantic getaway, to relax in the sand while soaking up the sun sipping a thambili or have the most memorable intimate moment lying down in the beach with few candles gives the light, staring in to the endless sky where starts writing yet another story  of love from the depths you cast upon the beach.

One minute you are relaxing lazily on the sandy seashore reading a most invigorating book while eating the most fabulous banana fritters and ice cream done by its very own chef “kokilan”

This beautiful gateway is situated in Kabalana (2.5km past the Fortress Hotel in Koggala) adjoining the Kabalana Beach Hotel before Ahangama, Weligama and Mirissa. This gives you access to a wide range of activities nearby including swimming, snorkeling, body boarding & surfing. Kabalana Sea offers a rock pool, swimming and a safe sea where you can walk 300 meters at waist level water to catch the wave. Octopus Reef offers you free use of body boards and snorkels. The rock pool opposite the villa is a snorkeling paradise with fish and coral, ideally before 8am and in the evenings.

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There are many other fun things to do around Kabalana such as visiting the ancient Kathaluwa Temple with temple art, the Great Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Art Museum in Koggla, the Virgin White Tea Estate(with guided tours) and whale watching in Mirissa.

Octopos reef, a place you can let go of yourself or the place to find yourself back!

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Dining in Times of COVID: Insights from a Food Blogger 0 256

By Dhara Gunawardene

During the lockdown in April and May 2020, my culinary skills were certainly tested. The delivery services came back online about a month or so after lockdown, so I had nothing else to do but engage in the usual millennial things such as cook,eat, and make the occasional TikTok video. 

Having been confined to my home for nearly 3 months, I was forced to research recipes to keep my food blog going. However, all that changed eventually when we were finally allowed to step out of the house once again, and I was back to visiting my favorite cafes, having embraced all the COVID-19 precautions.

Something I noticed however was that in Colombo, it is almost a second nature to us to go out and explore new dining spots. We’ve always been ready to support and visit a new restaurant or café as soon as it launches

Although we were cautioned to be very aware of the risk the virus posed, we still continued to visit places that made us feel safe and comfortable. Even if I did not have my food blog, I would still have visited places where I felt safe.

Rasai Machang (@rasaimachang) started out in 2015 as a hobby, but has since evolved into a passion that combines my interest in photography and food.

Being a part time blogger and full time foodie, has steered me to land a job in the food industry. To my friends and family, it came as no surprise when I joined a successful group of restaurants as their social media executive, but to me, this was not what I studied for. 

Having a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design, I never knew that a deep interest in food and dining could land me a job that paid to eat. This is something that my waistline does not thank me for. This amazing job has also allowed me to observe spending habits, as well as the ever-changing restaurant culture and food trends. 

What I’ve learned is that people get bored very fast. Restaurants and cafes need to keep up with trends, or they get left behind. Many restaurants closed down in 2020 due to a lack of cash flow, but also for their inability to think outside the box. 

Restaurants that thrived on dine-in customers, including tourists, soon experienced empty tables and snail-pace days. Why? They could not adapt fast enough to survive. Many restaurants quickly hopped on local delivery platforms and managed to keep their sales going. Some restaurants in the South that were heavily relying on tourists, moved their restaurants closer to Colombo to cater to the local market.

What I admired about some cafes and restaurants was how hard they worked to push through and survive these uncertain times. They changed their menus, changed their marketing photography style, upped their social media game and gave crazy offers. All this, to survive for a better day. 

Who helped them the most? Their loyal patrons did. People ordered delivery, takeaway, and some brave souls would even visit and sit at their favorite dining places despite the fear of COVID-19.

The new ‘restaurant culture’ is one where people are nervous about stepping out. Besides the fear of infection, most people have less money in hand these days. Some have lost jobs and others are on reduced salaries. Due to this, the average spends at restaurants is lower. 

I’ve also noticed that people prefer ordering directly to their homes no matter the restaurant, just because they’re safer and more secure in their own home rather than at a restaurant with other diners. Spending habits have decreased, and people, including myself, tend to go for deals and promotions rather than spend the full amount. 

In these unpredictable and unnerving times, people are looking for the new thing, the new deals; some kind of  distraction. Restaurants put out new menus and new items, for people have a form of escape.

Social media plays a major role in the customer decision making process. For example, when you hear about a new restaurant or café, you would immediately search for them on Facebook, Instagram or Google. If that  restaurant has an effective social media feed, it’s guaranteed that people will keep visiting for the aesthetic appeal. 

I follow this method as well; I only visit and review a restaurant once I have researched their establishment and seen their feed. It is important to me that restaurants have a strong brand, because it helps them create a loyal fan base and it helps them generate more foot traffic.

Food culture depends a lot on the trends around the world; what’s hot and what’s not. Then again, social media plays a big role because you see trends online and then try to follow a similar design.

In my view, restaurants and cafes should understand their local market and then cater to it in their own distinctive ways. It will be a while before tourists return, however it is only the locals who can help sustain and grow businesses. 

Since people cannot travel out of Sri Lanka, it is also important to create dishes and dining experiences unique to Sri Lanka. We shouldn’t copy and try to be like international restaurants, we should set our own standard. We can certainly emulate or be inspired by international players but not copy blindly. 

It’s very important to remember that when we had zero foreigners visiting, we always had the support of local customers. The minute you forget who you are really catering to, (pun intended), is when you stop being relatable. 

Being relatable is so important because people want to identify with a brand. They want to feel good and be appreciated when they visit. I do believe that restaurants in Sri Lanka could also use influencers to further promote their brand. It is certainly a cost for the restaurant industry, but sometimes you have to lose a little to gain a little.

I for one, can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2021. What I love about this industry is that it’s always changing, it’s always evolving and adapting. It’s amazing! And it’s even more amazing how we bounce back and how much support restaurants and cafes get from their loyal patrons. It’s this love and support that can help make or break a brand.

I certainly urge people to use caution, but also don’t forget to support your local restaurant or café. They need your help and you need food. It’s a win-win situation! Because, after all, you are the trend maker.

4 Ways to Stay Motivated as You Build Your Business 0 760

By : Chantal D

It takes consistent motivation to push through the hard times.

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re having an amazing month when things are flowing in your business. You’re signing new clients, your current customers are spreading the word about your business. Things are going so well that you pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming.

Then, the next month arrives. Business slows down. Potential clients decide to use someone else. One thing after another just doesn’t go your way.

In either case, your motivation affects the growth of your business. During the good times, motivation can be a little different to stay focused on the smaller tasks that grow a business. During the hard times, you don’t feel motivated to do anything but sit with a drink on the couch verging out on your favorite TV series.

It takes a lot to build a business. Your motivation is an important part of the equation. Being motivated 100 percent of the time is not a realistic expectation, but there are strategies for staying consistently motivated to achieve explosive growth in your business.

01. Take plenty of ‘you’ time. 

Take plenty of 'you' time

It’s easy and common to get lost in the hustle of building your business. You have long workdays, respond to message all hours of the day and chase down potential business when it looks within your grasp. Before you know it, you start to hate your business because it’s overtaken your life. You start to get bitter about what you once loved. To stay constantly motivated, you need breaks.

You need to schedule lots of “you” time. This includes vacations and hours when you turn off “business mode.” Set boundaries with clients and have lots of time set aside for doing the things that light your fire. You need to recharge your batteries so that you can come back stronger after the “you” time.

Those breaks will help you get more done because it brings greater consistency.

02. Build connections into each week. 

Build connections into each week

Human beings crave connection with other human beings. You can try building a business on your own, but at some point, you’ll need to involve others. It may be bringing on employees, a virtual assistant or strategic partnerships. But also, it’s human contact and connection through groups and masterminds. Don’t build your business on an island.

Consistent motivation comes when you’re sharing experiences with other motivated people. You learn from each other while getting the connection that’s built into your DNA. Set aside time to mastermind, connect and meet fellow entrepreneurs who can help your entrepreneurial journey.

03. Have your sources of instant inspiration. 

Have your sources of instant inspiration

No one is motivated 100 percent of the time, but with the right sources of inspiration, you can get motivated instantly. There are videos, podcasts, articles and different forms of virtual content that you can consume immediately. Have content on the ready for tapping into when you’re unmotivated.

Listen to what the entrepreneurial greats who are doing what you’re working to do have to say about taking action. When you feel down, hit “play” and get an instant boost of inspiration to keep going. You’ll be surprised by what a simple video or article can do for your mindset.

 

04. Have a mission bigger than just a business. 

Have a mission bigger than just a business

Take a look at any successful business and you’ll see it is more than the widgets, marketing or who is in charge. They are businesses that are built around a mission and vision. There was a driving force that caused the business to be formed with the main goal being to help people and change the world.

Constant and consistent motivation comes when you build your business around an idea that’s bigger than just making money. Build a business that makes an impact on the lives of those your business serves. A business that creates freedom and financial security. Get clear on your mission and the values that shape the actions you’re taking.

You’re an entrepreneur building your dream. You’re putting your dent in a world that’s full of conformity. It will take a lot of consistent motivation to push through the hard times because there will be plenty of them every single day. Use these four tips to tap into your inner power and use that motivation to do amazing things.