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Sri Lanka, dubbed the ruby of the Indian Ocean, is a seaside paradise nestling at the foot of lush mountains. In amongst its temples and tea plantations, there are relics of a colonial age and breath-taking traditions.
Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, is a country which offers all that is best in a tropical destination: magnificent beaches of fine sand, mountainous regions scattered with tea plantations, countless Buddhist sites, fine colonial remains, a rich and accessible wildlife, living craft traditions and the legendary hospitality of its inhabitants.
Separated by a mere 30 kilometers from the Indian coast, Sri Lanka shares its neighbor’s love of spices. On the central plateau, the roads wind among clove and pepper plantations before reaching the verdant landscapes around Nuwara Eliya, dotted with tea gardens where women clad in saris and protected by heavy aprons delicately pick the leaves that produce one of the world’s most highly-prized teas. The merchant ships on their way to Madagascar used to stop in the Maldives, an hour’s flight from India and home of some of the world’s most stunning coral reefs. Life here follows the rhythm of the sea and the sun, hopping from island to island aboard a dhoni, the traditional boat used for everything from fishing to transporting goods and pleasure cruises. On the countless island-resorts, low domes of white sand surrounded by coral and topped with clumps of coconut trees, visitors can relive the legend of Robinson Crusoe, reveling in paradisiacal seclusion.
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. The guest rooms open onto private gardens with vistas of palm trees swaying in the breeze against an ocean backdrop. Cape Weligama’s residences and villas sit atop a promontory overlooking the Indian Ocean and enjoy stunning views of idyllic landscapes on all sides. At the seafront, the crescent-shaped infinity pool seems to float above the waves; alongside stone pathways leading to secluded coves where turtles flap about in the crystal-clear shallows. The terracotta-tiled rooftops of the accommodations, designed by renowned architect Lek Bunnag, create the illusion of a traditional Sri Lankan village with generously sized, stylishly furnished interiors. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on a lake. Tea Trails is perched at an altitude of 1,250 m in Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea region, bordering Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands World Heritage site. Stay in one of five authentic tea planters’ bungalows, each one of which has its own charm. Lakeside Castlereagh, Summerville and Dunkeld, Norwood with panoramic views, and Tientsin, the most traditionally colonial of the five; they are all decorated with period furniture. Observe life on a working tea estate, savour the gourmet cuisine, and be pampered by a personal butler. This is the ideal setting for trekking and biking against the breath-taking backdrop of mountains, lakes and waterfalls. ... Learn moreless
Lodge and restaurant on the seafront. In the southeast of Sri Lanka lies the Wild Coast Tented Lodge — a haven of twenty eight cocoon-like tents placed at the edge of the jungle and beach. Together they form the shape of a leopard's paw, a symbol of the Yala National Park whose wonders you can discover alongside the camp’s naturalist guides on a safari adventure. At the outposts, the suites overlook the Indian Ocean. Each arched structure, stretched in canvas and bearing stylish colonial expedition decor, is dotted with a private watering hole. Entwined in bamboo, the main building resembles a rock along the shore. It houses the bar, library and restaurant where a modern take on traditional Sri Lankan cuisine is served. ... Learn moreless