Luxury Holidays to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is heady and intoxicating, an experience surpassed only by its warm and friendly inhabitants! Sri Lanka has a great diversity of landscape ranging from lush, dazzling, paddy fields to its renowned tea plantations; from hill stations such as Nuwara Eliya to fascinating villages; from semi-desert to rainforest. Its diversity is only matched by its beauty.
Ancient cities such as Galle, where there is a beautiful 17th century Dutch boutique hotel which has been beautifully renovated or one can stay at a chic villa – this country is equally wonderful for the honeymooner or couples and famillies alike. Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, where one can see the original Kandyan dancers as well as local life as it has always been, with the villagers praying to their deities. There are also excellent wildlife sanctuaries such as Yala National Park! The beaches are simply astounding along the west coast and there is nothing more romantic than walking along the seashore, framed by the exquisite sunsets.
Highlights of Sri Lanka:
- Cultural triangle (Dambulla Caves and temples, Sigiriya Rock Fortess and the sacred cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa) in the north of the country where you visit the temples and have the opportunity of climbing Sigiriya rock fortress where the old kings used to live. See the foundations of the original palace and the paintings adorning the walls. There is a beautiful, luxurious lodge in this region.
- Kandy – See the Kandyan dancers and the Temple of the Tooth Relic which is still in use. This is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka.
- Highlands region – This is where the tea plantations are situated and should not be missed! Visit the tea factory and see how tea is made and the processes involved. Wonderful walking in the vicinity as well as Horton Plains National Park and World’s End which offers the most staggering views. There are some beautiful colonial houses here.
- Galle – The ancient fort where we have the most heavenly accommodation. Walk around the fort with expert guides.
- Beaches – the west coast beaches, especially around Bentota and Welligama are the very best and we have the most gorgeous properties here.
- Blue and Sperm Whale and Dolphin watching – December to April and we can arrange trips with marine biologists to maximise your enjoyment.
- Wildlife – wonderful tented camps with expert guides in Yala, Uda Walawe (where there is an excellent elephant population) and Wilpattu National Parks. The birdlife is fantastic and there are leopard too.
- Yoga – specialist yoga and meditation retreats where one can spend a week or two with some of the most qualified yoga instructors from around the world.
- A traditional Sri Lankan experience – Stay in a traditional Sri Lankan house (of which there are three) and sample the local food, visit the local temples and go walking with your guide, go cycling and bird watching. This is for those wanting an exclusive experience and we cannot recommend it highly enough! Meet the local villagers and feel part of a Sri Lankan community.
General information on Sri Lanka Perhaps have a luxury mobile tented camp set up in either Uda Walawe, Wilpattu or Yala National Park. Be escorted by your excellent guide, Javanah Fernando, who is very willing to focus on any particular interests you may have, as you search for leopard, birdlife and bees. Sinharaja is an absolute must and will appeal to any wildlife lover or bird watcher. Situated on 19,000 hectares of natural rainforest, this lowland forest is considered to be one of Sri Lanka’s very best birding areas. The heart of the Bogawantalawa Valley is home to Ceylon Tea Trails, which consist of colonial cottages built over a hundred years ago for the British tea estate managers. Sri Lanka also has a burgeoning clutch of luxury, boutique, hotels; the Aman group are evident as well as, of course, privately owned examples. In Kandy there is a wonderful manor house dating back to 1804, it has been fully restored and is a lovely place to stay.
For the more downto-earth there’s the eco-lodge of Buttala where there are just four “mud huts” perched on the rocks. Open sided, with clay and rock floors, driftwood furniture and lots of matting, one sleeps virtually as a part of one’s surroundings! The village of Sigiriya, considered one of the most impressive sites in Sri Lanka as it sits on its huge granite outcropping, has magnificent frescoes of Celestial Maidens and took King Kasyapa seven years to build in the 5th Century. And then, of course, there is the hedonistic coast where there are hotels and villas such as Lansiya and Bentota. If one requires personal exclusivity why not take a private villa at Lake Bolgoda, which is rich in birdlife? Otherwise stay at the Kanda Kahanda in Galle which, perched on a hill in the middle of a tea plantation, overlooks surrounding tea gardens and jungle running down to the nearby lake and the sea beyond.