The Big Six: Sri Lankan retreats

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Cinnamon Bey, Beruwala

This luxurious 200-room resort opened on the golden sands of Sri Lanka's south-west coast last month. Located in the small fishing village of Beruwala – which was first settled by Muslim traders in the 8th century – the hotel nods towards the area's Arabic roots with intricate Mashrabiya windows, lattice work, mosaics and vibrant colours. Work your way through eight restaurants, relax at the spa or venture out to the Sinharaja forest, home to purple-faced langurs, butterflies, birds and reptiles.

Cinnamon Bey, Moregalle, Beruwala (00 94 34 229 7000; cinnamonhotels.com). Doubles start at US$190 (£119), including breakfast.

Lunuganga, Bentota

A decade after his death, Geoffrey Bawa endures as Sri Lanka's most eminent architect. During his prolific career, he built schools, hospitals, hotels and government buildings – but his real labour of love was Lunuganga. After buying it in 1947, when it was still a tropical wilderness, Bawa spent the next 50 years sculpting his dream home. It stands on the shore of Dedduwa lake, with peaceful gardens and six bedrooms decorated with antiques, sculptures and artwork from the architect's personal collection.

Lunuganga, Dedduwa, Bentota (00 94 34 428 7056; lunuganga.com). Doubles start at US$185 (£116), B&B.

Amangalla, Galle

Amangalla rests inside the ramparts of the 17th-century Dutch fort at Galle, overlooking the town's historic harbour. One of two Aman properties in Sri Lanka (the other is in the seaside resort of Tangalle), it oozes period charm, with teak floorboards, chaises longues and planters' chairs scattered amid its compact collection of 28 rooms and suites. A breezy veranda spans the full length of the ground floor, leading to the Great Hall, with soaring ceilings, chandeliers and an extensive library. Amangalla, 10 Church Street, Galle (00 94 91 223 3388; amanresorts.com). Doubles start at US$500 (£312), room only.

Ulagalla Resort, Thirappane

Ulagalla is in the heart of Sri Lanka's "cultural triangle", with the Sacred City of Anuradhapura to the north, the city of Kandy – home to the sacred Temple of the Tooth – to the south and the ancient rock fortress at Sigiriya to the east. It offers 12 secluded and solar-powered chalets (each with a private plunge pool) and one villa, all set amid 58 acres of lush paddy fields, rugged scrubland, lily-covered pools and lakes.

Ulagalla Resort, Ulagalla Road, Thirappane (00 94 11 567 1000; ulagallaresorts.com). Doubles start at US$403 (£252), including breakfast.

Casa Colombo, Colombo

Casa Colombo is a flamboyant 12-suite retreat set within a 200-year-old Moorish mansion in the capital. The look inside is altogether modern, with natty neon lighting breathing new life into the historic building, with its mosaics and carved ceilings. Its owner-cum-designer, Lalin Jinasena, used local craftsmen and materials to create everything from beds to bathtubs – but the overall concept is entirely his own. The Zaza bar is the place to sip Ceylon tea by day and sink cocktails by night amid flickering candles.

Casa Colombo, 231 Galle Road, Colombo (00 94 11 452 0130; casacolombo.com). Doubles start at US$200 (£125), B&B.

Ceylon Tea Trails, Hatton

Perched high in Sri Lanka's picturesque Central Highlands, this working tea estate harks back to a bygone era. Its four self-contained bungalows are spread throughout the fields in the Bogawantalawa Valley – with some separated by a distance of up to 15km. They are united inside by butler service and a private chef, king-sized beds and rain showers. Guests can take a tour of the estate to learn how Ceylon tea is harvested or go hiking and mountain biking through its undulating green pastures.

Ceylon Tea Trails, Hatton (00 94 11 230 3888; teatrails.com). Doubles start at €381, all inclusive.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'