The captivating Marble Beach
By Manjula FERNANDO
Tired of the city's heat, headaches and hassle - need a place to
relax and rest your feet while watching the sun rise against a serene
'shaded blue' sea front, where the crystal clear water would make you
forget all the aches and pains - that little haven would be the Marble
Beach, situated close to the southern tip of Trincomalee Bay - this
virgin stretch of sandy beach was unexploited for decades and it was
declared an Air Force detachment and a high security zone.
Now it is an alluring beach resort run by the Air Force. "It was made
an Air Force detachment in 2001," Flight Sergeant Madura Wanniarachchi
who is the second in command at the 'Marble Beach, Air Force Resort'
told the Sunday Observer, adding that the objective then was to secure
air operations at the Air Force's Eastern base at China bay. This was
one of the main supply routes at the height of war against the LTTE and
thus a key LTTE target.
Flight Sergeant Madura Wanniarachchi
After the conflict ended, the beach was opened for the public, but
with the beach resort opening in March this year, activities have been
restricted to a far corner, so that the privacy of guests will not be
hindered. The major part of the beach is taken up by the eco resort run
by the Air Force and no trespassing is permitted. The resort with its
nine themes Cabanas, Teak, Ebony, Mahogany, Margosa, Sandalwood,
Satinwood, Banyan, Cinnamon and the two storeyed tamarind are designed
with the beauty of the natural surroundings in mind. Each of them boasts
a distinct style and is full of character while providing a tranquillity
that can seldom be found elsewhere. 'Cinnamon' with its unique location
on the rocky side of the beach commands the highest demand.
The services of the resort include a wellness spa run by a qualified
therapist, a lifeguard service that operates during the daytime and at
night on request, and pleasure boosters like snorkelling, hiking and
Fresh seafood dishes prepared from the harvest of fishermen on the
beach front is a speciality of the resort. Calypso and oriental music
are played alternatively by the Air Force band on the beach front, as
the sun sets and darkness spreads.
The two bands have received accolades from guests and their music
lulls you to tranquillity.
To the right side of Marble Beach, you can see former LTTE pockets
Muttur, Sampur and Upparu and to the left the Trincomalee harbour - the
second biggest natural harbour in the world - and the Eastern Naval
base. Marble Beach, with a name that gives one the impression that the
beach is made up of cobblestones, like the ones you find in southern
England, instead marvels you with a fine look-alike. The sun's rays make
mosaic patterns on this exotic view of the ocean bed as the first
glimpse of the sun is seen over the horizon. Lars Bindzus, a 41-year-old
IT manager from Frankfurt is one of the guests captivated by the
stunning view at Marble Beach. "This is more like a camping site. There
is a jungle adjoining the Beach. The Beach front is breathtaking because
of the bay."
Bindzus who is in Sri Lanka for the third time has brought with him
his 80-year-old father. The father proudly said it was his eighth visit
to Sri Lanka and the conflict had never bothered him.
"My father wanted to visit Trincomalee again and I made it a point to
bring him to Marble Beach which was recommended to me by a friend."
Lars Bindzus, an IT Manager form Frankfurt with his father
Talking about the end of the conflict, Bindzus said: "There is no
reason not to visit Sri Lanka now."
This particular stretch of the magical East coast is famous for
colourful marine fish, shallow waves and a tranquil sea with water as
clear as crystal. For parents who dread their children playing alone by
a rough sea, this particular piece of news should be reassuring.
The water is shallow and is upto an adult's waist, stretches several
metres before it turns deep. The resort, built on a concept by former
Air Force Academy Commandant Air Vice Marshall, Kapila Jayampathy was
opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in March this year. Its fame has
already reached worldwide and within this short span, the resort has
accommodated guests from India to Germany. "We have a strict privacy
policy, hence beach vendors are not entertained.
They are a nuisance and we have made this place out of bounds for
them for the benefit of our guests," Flight Sergeant Wanniarachchi
The resort managers with their eco friendly concept have banned
polythene use and food from outside is not allowed even in the public
area of the beach.
Already the resort has received several bookings from leading
companies in Sri Lanka to host their annual trips.
One of the companies of Brandix Group had an annual 'day out' for 500
guests last month.
Mas Holdings will be having a similar event for 1,200 people this
"We don't have a rigid policy. Our aim is to please the guests and
provide maximum entertainment to make their outing a memorable one. We
try to fulfil almost all their requirements."
He said the China Bay Air Force Academy Acting Commandant Group Capt.
Prasanna Ranasinghe and the Manager of the Resort Retired Warrant
Officer Jayakody was taking a keen interest to ensure the Marble Beach
Resort elevating itself into one of the top resorts in the Eastern
Dieter Flak, a German national who stayed at the resort last month
penned his satisfaction in the visitors' book: "Like a paradise!
Beautiful beach, wonderful cabana, extraordinarily nice staff and the
best Air Force band! Thank You."
The article was prepared with the help of Wing Commander Rasika