Sri Lanka is making a serious move into the luxury resort market

Plan your next holiday to Sri Lanka and experience a new world in game-changing resorts.

By Kathryn Romeyn 28/08/2017

Flush with picturesque stretches of beach, pristine natural reserves, and stunning tea plantations, Sri Lanka is the stuff wanderlust was made of. And lately, the teardrop-shaped isle off the southern tip of India has upped the ante with new retreats that are bringing a fresh take on the traditional holiday.


Set high in the Kandy Hills on a 48-acre tea estate, Santani is a destination spa with 18 stilted ambalamas (Sinhalese for “place of rest”) that float among the treetops. Every visit begins with a consultation that determines each guest’s wellness needs; tailored programs can include yoga, meditation, personal training, and spa therapies like the blissful shirodhara treatment. In the restaurant, organic cuisine is tailored to each guest’s dosha, or Ayurvedic energy.

Wild Coast tented lodge

Resplendent Ceylon — the hospitality brand behind Sri Lanka’s acclaimed Ceylon Tea Trails and Cape Weligama resorts — will unveil its first luxury safari camp, Wild Coast Tented Lodge, in the leopard-rich Yala National Park in October. Guests will stay in 28 cocoon-like tents and suites, many with plunge pools and views of the on-site watering hole. Daily game drives will explore a reserve that is home to wild elephants and sloth bears, in addition to the world’s highest concentration of leopards.

Owl and the Pussycat Hotel

Named after the Edward Lear poem, Owl and the Pussycat Hotel brings eye-popping color and contemporary style to the southern coast near Galle Fort. The 17-room boutique’s vibrant look is Sri Lanka meets St. Barts, blending local art and furnishings with globally sourced crafts and fabrics. It’s a decided departure from the heritage properties that populate Galle — and a welcome one indeed, where guests can sip cocktails by the South Beach–inspired pool and dine at ocean’s edge as Lear would have: “by the light of the moon.”


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