MICHAEL AND TUSH
Michael and Tush met 5 years ago when Tush was a tourist guide and Michael needed a guide to set up adventure tours. Michael fell in love inside 30 seconds and while it took 6 months for Tush to except that maybe there was something there.
Michael is English by birth but lived in Denmark for 17 years. Tush is 100% Sri Lankan and they share the same birthday of June 19th. Michael has 2 surviving adult children living in Denmark, and Tush has 2 adult children.
Michael first came to Sri Lanka in 1983 as a traveler and felt a strong connection to the land and the people. Michael bought Welikande 10 years ago on a whim not really having a clue what to do with it. He originally wanted to buy a little summer house but ended up with his own kingdom of 12 acres of land and 6 houses on a mountain.
Tush ran off with the bad boy from next door when she was only 15. Unable to cook, as she came from a well educated and privileged background, she learnt the hard way and realized she had an unusual flair for making food with the added ingredient of love.
She ran many businesses whilst with her eventual husband (bad boy) including a video shop, tailors, table and chair rental company and flower decoration business. Tushes grandfather was an Ayurvedic doctor and he passed on many of the traditions and knowledge which she includes in her cooking and magic potions.
When Tush left her husband she had to make a living, so she took in lodgers of up to 50 people at a time, feeding them 3 times a day with a very small budget. In the end, other people where asking her to make food for them as well. Tush's style of cooking is a fusion between traditional Sri Lankan and European flavors, that has developed into an ever expanding menu as they travel more outside the country. The only complaint we have here about the food is that there is too much and too many varieties.
After 5 years and the death of Michael's oldest son Thor, Tush and Michael took control of Welikande again, deciding to make it their home and work. Since then, they have totally rebuilt the houses adding a Yoga Shala, terrace, and planted many trees and gardens to encourage the now abundant wildlife.
Their mission is to create a home away from home for the many particularly young people, so they can relax feel safe and loved for a few precious days, and many stay longer than planned.
We have a policy of non discrimination of the 4 main religions here in Sri Lanka, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian, and trying always to attain a mix in our internal staff, tuk-tuk drivers, and shopkeepers. Welikande Villas is most definitely non-religious, adhering to no creed. Michael is an atheist, and has a great interest in quantum physics. Tush has a holistic approach to religion. When Tush first asked Michael what religion he was, she misunderstood quantum for condom, so to this day she still introduces Michael as a believer in condom physics, which confuses people.
Tush and Michael love to build here on the property. Michael went back to Denmark to see his children and when he came back after a month Tush had bullied a local builder into building a Yoga Shala without Michael knowing, as a surprise.
Yoga started in 2017 at Welikande as an additional offer to then predominantly trekking guests, and gradually yoga retreats have taken over.
We directly supports 10 local families from the hotel and have many other families reliant on our hotel from shops to trekking guides.
One thing is certain when you visit Welikande, you will always be welcomed here with open arms and treated as family.