The Salty Pelican’s full time in-house yoga instructor. As a wellness professional and ambassador, she has dedicated over 8 years of her life studying emotional wellbeing in the field of yoga. She is a licensed yoga teacher and has developed an innovative program for our guests incorporating meditation with both Yin & Hatha yoga styles and pranayama breathing exercises. Strengths include aligning the asanas safely and assisting each guest in a gentle way.
“ Learning how to breathe properly is really important. It will calm you down when you're stressed, relax your body, and tighten your focus. These are all things you want to be doing when you're surfing. Breathing is the first thing we do in this life… When done properly, breathing can really contribute positively to your overall health ”
As a surfer, she knows the physical benefits of adding yoga to your surfing routine, in building balance, flexibility, and strength. She self practices yoga daily, including her own personal spiritual practice, eats plant based foods and makes the appropriate rest times…. but loves to also get out on the water and just surf the waves all day long with friends ”
“ My values in life are based on helping others… I want to guide others to find their way back to their energy centres in the midst of a busy work life, relationships and stress. I teach tools to understand one’s energy and help find happiness through practising yoga ”
Meet Monika - Co-founder & Head Masseuse
Role at The Salty Pelican... Im one of the co-founders of The Salty Pelican and I'am also the retreats "mum", always happy no matter how bad the day may seem.... I will always find a way to make you smile and cheer you up. Not only that but I'am a qualified masseuse with over 10yrs experience and available everyday to help you relax with a beautiful Ayurveda massage.
Background experience... I grew up in The Alps, Austria, in a tiny little village called St Johann in Tirol. Im an avid snowboarder, nature lover, qualified masseuse and now I have fell in love with surfing. I have spent a good part of my life travelling away from home and conquering the world one country at a time for the last 13 years. A few years ago we began planning our dream retreat, like many we had found along our journey... and now here you have it ... The Salty Pelican and I hope you love it as much as we do. I am also the head in-house masseuse and I will pamper your body with a relaxing deep tissue Ayurveda massage during your stay with us. Highly trained and a practitioner all over the globe, my vast experience over 15 years will allow you to fully appreciate my relaxing massages in a long lasting way.
Secret super powers... Don't know, just ask Gareth, he will tell you that I make dirty laundry and mess disappear hehehe I have been told my massages are simply heaven... I guess it's not a secret anymore ;-)
“ Praia da Ursa, in Portugal for me is the most magical of places to breathe and find yourself.... My other favourite place in the world has to be Wanaka on the south island of New Zealand.... What a Beauty ”
Craziest experience... OOOhhhh theres too many, probably spending 15 years of my life with GARETH is crazy enough heheheh. No but really having spent the last 15 years travelling the globe together, from hiking the Himalayas.. to being marooned on a deserted island in the Philippines... my life has been a little crazy here and there.
Meet Melani - Local Manager
Role at The Salty Pelican... I am part of The Salty Pelican family as a local manager and my role is to help with the day to day operations and organising the activities for all the guests. I also manage all the work personal, continually evaluate hotel performances, coordinate with third parties, local authorities but more importantly I love to make sure that our guest are always happy, comfortable and enjoying their stay with us to the fullest.
Background experience... I have 4 years experience working in hotels and wellness spa in human resource management, hotel management, accounting, bookkeeping, sales, business development and valued customer service skills.
Secret super powers... Ha, ha secret super power is knowledge, experience, super friendly with excellent communication skills.
“ Im that friendly local you will meet at check-in and the one that will help plan your days here. My knowledge and experience in the area and industry will make sure your days are unforgettable ”
Craziest experience... I will never ever forget it…. I was driving a tuk tuk and I rolled it over in an accident. It helped me to learn about pain and the inner strength of women.
Zanda - Operations Manager & Social Host
Role at The Salty Pelican... I Am Zanda from Latvia originally! I work extremely hard everyday to make sure The Salty Pelican guests are always having a great time in the and out of the water, organising all your activities and attending to any requests .... I love my job and that brings me the greatest pleasure I can share with everyone around me ;-) I Am looking forward to welcoming you to The Salty Pelican soon.
“ I started off working for The Salty Pelican in Portugal 3 yrs ago and have gradually become a key member of the team and I'm currently based setting up the foundations for our new surf & yoga retreats in both Portugal and Sri Lanka. I have been travelling all over the world and have the best advice and positive attitude to offer all our Salty Pelican clients. I will help you spend your days here stress free whilst you practice yoga, mediation and learn how to surf with the best instructors ”
Secret super powers... My secret super power is my smile regardless of how bad your day has been, I will find a way to share my positive energy with you ;-)
Favourite place in the world ... I love Hiriketiya in Sri Lanka but of course my sweetest love is for Portugal! The waves, the nature, the food, the culture and the people !! Either way, I spend my time between two of my favourite places in the world regularly.
Craziest experience... Probably moving from Latvia down to Portugal full time last year, to pursue building my role further at The Salty Pelican. It's now taken me to the other side of the world on this crazy adventure ;-) I can say I Am really happy about that.
Meet Ishan, Isuru & Akila - Bar & Restaurant
Role at The Salty Pelican... Hey! I'm Akila, 24 years old and Proudly Sri Lankan 🇱🇰 Im working with The Salty Pelican family as their head bartender. My role at The Salty Pelican is to keep our guests happy preparing all their needs from behind the bar and from the restaurant. I make delicious cocktails and drinks so our guests can relax and enjoy the vibe around the pool.
Background experience... I have many years working in different hotels and restaurants in and around Hiriketiya.
“ I love my job... The Salty Pelican is the best place to work ”
Secret super powers... My secrets super powers is my smile and always having a positive attitude.
Meet Sanne - Surf School
Role at The Salty Pelican... Surf instructor in paradise.. Im the one making all our students fall in love with the ocean while experiencing the feeling of catching that wave ! We always find the perfect waves for every level and my everyday goal is to see that every single person has fun, is safe and learns how to ride these beautiful warm water waves.
“ I started surfing in Portugal and it didn't take me long to decide i would quite my job build a van and starting to surf as much as possible while discovering the beautiful coastline of Portugal. There I met my Salty Pelican family.
In the meantime Im doing the van-life for 4 years already. Keeping it simple while Living wild and free.
Working in Sri Lanka makes it all complete.. loving the beauty of the beaches while surfing in your bikini.
Seeing happy faces in the water everyday..... What more do you want right? ”
Secret super powers... Putting smiles on everyones faces while creating a fun vibe when we are all out on the water together. If you hear loud whistles and cheering.... it will be me !
Favourite place in the world ... The driver seat of my Sunny-Side up van which Im always chasing the sunsets in.... a sea view room on wheels !
Craziest experience... Saving someones life in the Maldives. It was a tough rescue that almost cost me my life but i guess theres's still a lot of waves waiting out there for me to chase ;-)
Meet Champika - Head Chef
Role at The Salty Pelican... I am the head chef at The Salty Pelican and I am proudly from Sri Lanka. I create and plan all the lovely food items we have on our diverse menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My job is to make sure all our guests experience the best tasting food in Sri Lanka.
Background experience... I have completed my hotel hospitality course at Kandy Youth Hotel School and I have worked in Sri Lanka as a 3rd commis chef, 2nd commis chef, 1st commis chef in a variety of hotels and I have also worked in the Maldives as a chef de partie. All together I have 15 years experience working as a chef.
Secret super powers... Yes I have a secret super power…. it’s team work with all my staff who are very educated and working at a very top level together.
Craziest experience... Craziest experience, leaving my family behind when I worked in the Maldives.