VIP meet and greet at Colombo airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Colombo
- 17 rooms and suites
- Outdoor swimming pool
Located within five acres of landscapes tropical gardens is The Wallawwa, a colonial manor house with plenty of character and charm. A short drive from the airport and under an hour from the hustle and bustle of Colombo itself, this is a great option for those wanting a tranquil stay while never being too far from the action. The hotel features 17 elegant rooms and suites, some featuring their own verandah overlooking the garden. For families or small groups, the two-bedroom Mountbatten Suite with private plunge pool and garden is perfect. It is so named because Lord Mountbatten was commander in chief of the south east Asia command, the headquarters of which were in Sri Lanka – then Ceylon. Dine at the Verandah restaurant, which makes use of fresh, local ingredients to create delicious fusion cuisine. You can also enjoy high tea in the garden, enjoyed with a cup of Sri Lanka’s famous tea. When you want to relax and unwind, the Z Spa offers a range of rejuvenating treatments, and there is an outdoor pool nestled among the lush foliage.
- 11 suites
- Swimming pool
Set off tree-lined Park Street and close to the lakeside Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Residence by Uga Escapes is one of the finest boutique hotels in Colombo. The grand Victorian townhouse was built in the 19th century by a wealthy barrister, its great halls and expansive gardens once entertaining British governors, Indian maharajas, European nobility and the cream of the colonial Ceylon society. Today, its 11 unique luxury suites are a calm and secluded oasis in spite of its central location. The style is elegant, contemporary and comfortable, with numerous hints of its rich heritage. This urban retreat also has a wonderful swimming pool, private courtyards, a gourmet restaurant, bar and gym within its walls.
Private transfer to the Cultural Triangle
- 20 villas
- Outdoor swimming pool
The former ancestral estate of local Anuradhapura nobility, Ulagalla is a beautiful boutique property set among 58 acres of lush tropical gardens. At the heart of the hotel is a 150-year-old mansion which is surrounded by 20 villas, each with a private deck and plunge pool and huge windows looking out over paddy fields, forest or the lake. The two-bedroom Nikawewa Villa with separate living and dining room is perfect for families. Fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden are used to create mouthwatering Sri Lankan cuisine, which guests can enjoy in the main restaurant, on their private deck or in the beautiful surroundings of the paddy fields. Enjoy some time out at the spa, a tranquil haven where guests can unwind with a rejuevenating treatment. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre, as well as a pool table in the main house.
- 36 rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- Swimming pool
With a strong focus on the environment and eco-friendly practices, Jetwing Vil Uyana is inspired by the reclaimed agricultural land on which it is built. Make yourself at home in a luxurious waterside suite and gaze out through the reeds towards paddy fields and forests. The hotel is built on a man-made wetland system, making for a beautifully tranquil escape from city life. The 36 rooms are spacious and stylish, with a focus on materials that blend in with the surroundings, and bold splashes of accent colour. With a serene rural atmosphere, the rooms offer modern conveniences to ensure the utmost comfort of guests. Whether you are in the mood for a light meal, a refreshing cocktail or Eastern and Western dishes, there are a variety of choices at Vil Uyana. For an exceptional evening, book a private spa dining experience, or select one of the other signature dining options. Whatever you choose, the backdrop will be as inspiring as the food. Focus on your overall well-being and take advantage of the therapeutic and traditional treatments at the Jetwing Vil Uyana Spa.
Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa were the three great Sinhalese capitals, and together they form an area known as the Cultural Triangle. The heart of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilisation, this historic region is crammed full of temples and monuments and its ruined cities are fascinating places to explore.
Ancient cities don’t get much bigger than Anuradhapura, and few capitals around the world have ever been as long lasting. Dating back to the fourth century BC, Anuradhapura was the spiritual and secular capital of the island for well over a millennium. At its height, the city was dotted with monasteries and home to over 10,000 monks, many of these monasteries and colossal dagobas can still be seen today.
This privately guided cycling tour takes you through a dozen sites, such as the three largest man made stupas in Sri Lanka, the Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig said to be the southern branch from the tree under which Buddha was enlightened. You will bike along flat terrain and can make stops along the way for pictures and to enjoy the scenery.
The iconic Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, was the site of a city and forest, built around and on top of a huge column of rock in the 5th century by King Kasyapa. Abandoned soon after his death, it was then used as a Buddhist monastery. You'll explore the gardens and archaeological remains below before scaling the 1200 to the top for an amazing view.
Private transfer to Kandy
- Five rooms
Stately colonial grandeur meets modern luxury at this elegant hilltop hotel in the grounds of Victoria Golf and Country Resort. Clingendael’s prime positioning offers expansive views of the lush Sri Lankan countryside, the Victoria reservoir, golf course and the Knuckles mountain range. Travel back to days gone by as you relax in one of the five spacious suites. Each has its own colour scheme and design accents. Artworks, antiques, polished wood floors and carefully-chosen furniture all contribute to the feel of old world extravagance. En-suite bathrooms are modern and feature double, overhead showers. Covered verandas with superb views offer the perfect private space for intimate dining. Meals are served according to guests’ preferences. Whether you would prefer to dine outside in the cool shade of the trees, at the pool side or in the dining room, you can sample Sri Lankan classics or enjoy gourmet Oriental and Western dishes. A tranquil garden oasis, the spa offers a variety of treatments designed to relax and wash away tension. Choose from holistic, energising and detox massages. Thoroughly pampered, spend some time on the golf course, or venture out onto the nearby jungle pathways, keeping a lookout for the vibrant bird life of the region. And at the end of the day, enjoy a refreshing cocktail above the water reservoir as you gaze out over the hills.
- Nine rooms
- Massage treatments
Set in a tropical garden near Kandy, this restored manor house, which dates from 1804, is the ideal place for a private getaway. The hotel blends contemporary décor and luxury with elegant antiques. Nine rooms, each with its own character, are named after Sri Lankan butterflies, and local fabrics, stylish furniture and modern amenities ensure guests are comfortable from the moment they arrive. At mealtimes, take a seat on the veranda and enjoy fresh fusion and a variety of international dishes. However, to get a true taste for Kandy, the speciality is traditional Sri Lankan cuisine – and don’t miss the twice weekly feast of local curries. Take care of your physical and spiritual wellbeing by booking a session with the in-house masseur and Ayurvedic therapist. Treatments on offer include energy healing, full body and head massages and reflexology. Enjoy a game of cricket with the Kandy House team, unleash your inner artist using art supplies from the hotel, or learn how to play carom, a combination of billiards and shuffleboard. Alternatively, simply while away your afternoons in the infinity pool gazing out at the paddy fields. While the hotel creates a sanctuary you may not want to stray too far from, there are lots of activities nearby to keep the more adventurous traveller happy. Visit temples, gardens and tea plantations and seek out some of the World Heritage Sites the region boasts.
- Seven rooms
- Infinite pool
- Collection of classic cars
Located on top of a hill a few minute’s tuktuk ride from the bustle of central Kandy with a fabulous view over the sacred city and mountains behind, The Elephant Stables is a charming boutique hotel marrying colonial Art Deco glamour and modern comfort with a Sri Lankan twist. Once the private home of Sir Cuda Ratwatte, a former mayor of Kandy, many elephants were once housed in the gardens, hence the name. The Elephant Stables has seven rooms including spacious rooms with balconies and a collection of stylish suites, most of which have separate bedrooms and thus ideal for families, including a vast royal tent. All rooms have complimentary minibars, air-conditioning and DVD players with a collection of vintage Sri Lankan films. There’s a bar, living room, reading room and spa while outside there is an infinity pool with a truly fabulous view. The hotel also has a collection of vintage British cars from the 1950s and early 1960s, including a mustard yellow Mini Moke, which are huge fun on local drives around Kandy and longer trips such as to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The restaurant serves hearty breakfasts, light European lunches, afternoon tea and set menu dinners which feature traditional Sri Lankan curries, Asian Fusion or Western cuisine.
A world of ancient kings, ornate temples, lush gardens and vibrant traditions, Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and its cultural capital. Nestled in the midst of hills and surrounded by tropical paddy fields and tea plantations, the town is the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), the country’s most important religious shrine. Browse the bustling market places with bright, fresh produce, local delicacies and fragrant spices, or spend the day exploring the opulent temples and learning about the city’s rich history. The dense downtown area is surrounded by tropical rainforest, so look out for exotic monkeys swinging overhead.
The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest of the botanical gardens of Sri Lanka and one of the finest in Asia. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the central highlands, the Gardens lies at an elevation of 460 meters above sea-level, tightly bounded on three sides by the loop of the River Mahaweli. Your expert botanist guide will take you on a leisurely walk around, sharing interesting and insightful stories about this place and Sri Lanka.
Sri Dalada Maligawa, or the Temple of the Tooth, is a temple in the city of Kandy which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site partly due to the temple. Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily, at dawn, at noon and in the evenings.
Private transfer to the Tea Country
- Seven suites
- Dining room
- Cigar room
- Outdoor dining
Venture into the lush heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country and surround yourself in old-world luxury at Thotalagala, a carefully restored planters bungalow which dates back to the 19th century. Each of the seven suites is inspired by prominent role-players in the tea-growing region’s history. Situated on Pitaratmalie Estate, the hotel offers easy access to all tea country has to offer, including Dambatenne where Sir Thomas Lipton lived in the late 1800s. Décor is elegantly refined, with antique furniture complemented by carefully-chosen artworks. Enjoy a cigar or after-dinner drink in the lavish cigar room, indulge in a sumptuous tea out on the lawns or allow the chef to treat you to a feast of plantation-inspired cuisine in the dining room. For an extra special Thotalagala dining experience enjoy perfectly barbecued meat beneath the stars, while sipping a fine wine from the cellar. As this is a working estate, guests are welcome to explore the gardens and fields, learning about how tea is produced. Immerse yourself in the history of the area and keep a look-out for memorabilia from the region’s colonial past.
- 26 rooms
- Five bungalows
- Meals and drinks included
- Spa treatments
With astounding views out over green tea fields and misty mountains, the Ceylon Tea Trails resort is the ideal place from which to explore this breathtaking part of Sri Lanka. Dating back to colonial times, five spacious bungalows feature antique furniture and exemplary, personalised service. With between four and six rooms, they are perfect for families and small groups. All of the 26 rooms and suites, which are named after tea planters who lived there, are elegantly outfitted in natural colours and materials, and make for a tranquil escape. Spend time out on the veranda in the fresh mountain air enjoying the views of Castlereagh Lake, the Bogawantalawa Valley and Dunkeld Estate; or curl up with a book in front of a fire. Take long, leisurely walks through the tea plantations learning all about the ancient process of making tea, enjoy a tempting spread of sweet treats on the lawns or have a light lunch at the pool side. Sri Lankan-inspired meals at Ceylon Tea Trails feature the freshest of seasonal produce with home grown vegetables, herbs and teas from the estate. Rates at Tea Trails are fully inclusive of meals and drinks. Make the most of the calming surroundings and start the day with an aromatic bath, or treat yourself to a selection of therapeutic spa treatments in your room. Get a healthy dose of fresh air and explore some of the walking and biking routes through the mountains, or enjoy a game of tennis or croquet.
Undulating hills blanketed in green plantations, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is the world’s fourth largest producer of tea. You'll see the hills dotted with women quickly but meticulously harvesting leaves by hand, baskets slung across their backs. Skilful workers deftly pluck the most flavoursome and aromatic parts of the bushes – the topmost leaves and buds – which are then sent to nearby factories to be dried and processed.
The first tea plantations were established in Kandy in the 1860s and now most of the scenic central region’s elevated slopes are covered in contoured rows of painstakingly maintained plants.
Visit a typical plantation, and observe how the plant is grown and harvested. From here you will travel to a factory, and learn about the whole processing procedure and how different types of teas are created.
Private transfer to Yala National Park
- 14 thatched suites with plunge pools
- Swimming pool
To the southern edge of Yala National Park, the luxurious Chena Huts sit overlooking a beach where turtles lay eggs at night and elephants venture down from the jungle to play in the surf. It is bordered by forest and a saline lake home to ibises, painted storks and even flamingos. There are just 14 thatched ‘huts’ set around the property, though calling these sweeping thatched pavilions – each with a living area, bedroom, freestanding bathtub and shaded outdoor deck with built-in 5m plunge pool – is an understatement. The Basses restaurant takes its name from the nearby reefs and lighthouse and is suitably nautical in its theme. Private dining experiences can be organised, whether on the beach under the stars or by a camp fire surrounded by nature. There’s also a swimming pool with poolside bar concealed behind a waterfall and an Ayurveda spa in which to unwind. As well as safaris into the Ruhuna block of Yala National Park, other nearby attractions include fabulous birding in Bundala National Park, and the Great and Little Basses reefs, off which blue and humpback whales congregate and dolphins frolic. Kataragama, an ancient forest shrine on the edge of Yala that attracts tens of thousands of Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims in July and August, is close by too.
- Six classic and two luxury tents
- Dining, bar and lounge area
- Modern game drive vehicles
- Camera and lens hire
Leopard Trails Yala Camp provides an immersive and intimate safari experience right on the edge of Yala National Park. The camp comprises eight tents – six classic and two luxury – all of which are air conditioned with en suite bathrooms, personal outdoor showers, charging points and just canvas separating you from the wilderness outside. The luxury tents are more spacious and can accommodate families. A fire, bar, lounge and dining area sit at the camp’s heart. Dining is a convivial experience, with chefs serving up authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, an endless array of colourful and fragrant curries and sambols, and Western dishes. There are twice daily game drives into the park accompanied by an in-house naturalist who is ever willing to share their knowledge of the Yala’s wild elephants, leopards, sloth bear, mugger crocodiles and numerous birds on nature trails. For younger guests, there is a Junior Ranger Programme where they can learn about tracks, bird calls and wildlife conservation.
- En suite tents
- Tailor made mobile safaris
- Specially adapted 4WD vehicles
Kulu translates as untamed, a most fitting name for this authentic, ecologically minded safari camp. The base camp has large custom made tents secured on raised wooden platforms, each with a small deck area for an evening drink, en suite bathroom and hot shower. Expertly guided game drives on modified Land Cruisers, kayaking and jungle walks will let you really get a feel for this stunning region. The camp is ideally situated to explore the multiple sectors of Yala National Park, with the majority of safaris in Block 1. However, for guests staying three or more nights, full-day excursions into the far less frequented Blocks 3, 4, 5, and Lunugamvehera National Park can be arranged. For truly tailor-made camping experiences, mobile safari options can be planned to suit specific requests in smaller, yet still comfortable tents. This is an adventurous option for groups looking to get entirely off the beaten path, and that Kulu’s mobile clients include world renowned nature documentary filmmakers is testament to their expertise.
Occupying the south-eastern corner of the island, the vast Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s second largest national park and also its most popular. The park itself is divided into five blocks, two of which, Ruhuna and Kumana, can be explored on guided game drives, and stretches from the sea inland, encompassing some 979 square kilometres (378 square miles) of forest, wetlands and savannah. This varied landscapes provides a vital home for hundreds of Sri Lankan elephant, sloth bear, crocodile and rare wild water buffalo, as well over 200 bird species.
But it is the leopard, found here in perhaps the highest concentration in the world, that are iconic of the park. Their secretive nature means spotting Sri Lanka’s top predator is still a challenge, but accompanied by a skilled guide and a little luck, there a few better places in the world to find these enigmatic cats.
Private transfer to Tangalle
- 27 suites
- Swimming pool
Amanwella is a tranquil hideaway set amid palm trees that spill down to the golden beach and the sea, a little west from laid-back Tangalle. 27 contemporary suites are open to the sights and sounds of the bay with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. On one side they lead onto the entrance courtyard with a private plunge pool, the other to an expansive terrace with sun loungers, dining table and chairs, and views of the coconut grove, beach and ocean. The restaurant serves fish straight off local fishermen’s boats and local produce sourced by the chef at the nearby market – an experience you can join to discover more about this fertile island. The beach is ideal for swimming, snorkelling and surfing, some of the best in the region in fact, while a little further out you can try your hand at fishing. Blue whales can be sighted on their annual migration from December to April, as well as sperm whales and spinner dolphins. Turtles can be spotted laying their eggs on the beach a little way along the coast and, inland, Yala and Udawalawe National Parks can be explored. There’s also a rich cultural heritage with a landscape dotted with ancient temples and you can even try your hand at pottery with a local artisan.
- A collection of private suites and villas offering 39 bedrooms
- 14 swimming pools including 60m infinity pool
- Four restaurants
- Dedicated butler service
- Spa villa
Sat atop a small peninsula jutting out into the Indian Ocean, Cape Weligama is one of Sri Lanka’s finest resorts. A collection of private suites and villas offering 39 huge bedrooms in total are laid out like a traditional village with stylish living spaces beneath terracotta tiled rooftops. All enjoy butler services, a large terrace with dining and spa facilities, steam room, stone bathtubs, spacious walk in wardrobes and state of the art in room entertainment systems. Between these are tropical gardens and 14 swimming pools, some private and some shared, such as the incredible 60m crescent shaped infinity pool with fine sea views. You’ll also find four restaurants, with Pola serving the day’s freshest catch and the Cape Colony Club a relaxed yet refined venue for traditional high tea and sunset cocktails. Spa treatments can be organised in room, or head to the Spa Villa to indulge with homegrown spice scrubs and bespoke massages that incorporate Ceylon tea, an ingredient renowned for its antioxidant, anti-ageing and calming properties. There are two adjacent public beaches and a reef provides safe swimming conditions. The Sports Centre is staffed by professionals and is the embarkation point for all land and water-based activities, such as PADI dive courses and exciting dives, private cruises, big game fishing, seasonal whale and dolphin-watching trips aboard a luxury catamaran, kayaking and snorkelling. You can also explore Sri Lanka’s lush rural hinterland of sleepy villages, paddy fields, meandering lagoons and ancient temples on guided bicycle rides.
- Six rooms
Relax on the shores of Sri Lanka’s south coast at Last House, a chic and intimate beachfront property with just six rooms. Fresh white walls, polished cement floors, splashes of colour and a mix of antique and contemporary furniture give the hotel plenty of character. Rooms come with views of the sea or a lagoon, lofty ceilings ensuring they are flooded with natural light. Enjoy fresher-than-fresh seafood at the hotel restaurant or head to the beach for a unique destination dining experience. With such a beautiful stretch of coastline on your doorstep you’ll want to get out and explore. There are beach games, surf boards and bikes to hire as well as a boat to take you fishing or snorkelling. There is also the option to play croquet on the lawn or take a dip in the swimming pool nestled among the tropical gardens if you fancy something a little more relaxing.
Enjoy your days relaxing on the laid back sands of Tangalle and exploring the verdant landscape of the interior. A meandering stretch of rugged cliffs and beautiful sandy bays on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, all protected by a vast enclosing reef, you’ll find a collection of the island’s best beaches and a small collection of blissful resorts.
The waters are a wonderful place for surfing, diving, whale watching or simply lounging alongside and you may find yourself sharing the low key sands with Green, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles, the area being a vitally important nesting site.
Private transfer to Galle
- 30 rooms and suites
- Two-storey Garden House
- Spa and yoga pavilion
Built in 1684 and converted into a hotel in 1863, the Amangalla is a beautiful historic property with plenty of old-world charm. The hotel features 30 rooms and suites, all with high ceilings, original Burmese teak floors and large windows that look out over the gardens, the harbour or the Extending the length of the hotel on the ground floor is a beautiful verandah with colourful floor tiles and palm trees. Here you can enjoy afternoon tea or a refreshing drink as you sit and watch the world go by. Step inside and you’ll find yourself in the Great Hall with its lofty ceilings, period lighting and overhead fans. The dining room sits at one end, an elegant space with crisp white linen and antique silverwear. Here you can enjoy traditional Sri Lankan dishes centred around what the chef finds that day in the local markets. At the other end of the hall is the lounge, the perfect place to enjoy a cup of Ceylon tea or an evening cocktail. There is also a library with a range of books on the history, culture and arts of Sri Lanka. Relax and unwind at the spa which features hot and cold plunge pools and a sauna, as well as treatment rooms where you can enjoy traditional Sri Lankan therapies. Take a dip in the refreshing waters of the outdoor pool, surrounded by the lush greenery of the garden or enjoy a morning yoga class in the yoga pavilion to set yourself up for a day of exploring.
- 18 rooms and suites
- Restaurant and bar
- Private cinema
A cool retreat from the hot streets of historic Galle, Fort Bazaar takes up residence in a completely and immaculately restored 18th-century merchant’s townhouse right in the heart of town. 18 cool, chic rooms are arranged around a central courtyard, all spacious with high ceilings and four-poster beds. The family suite has two bedrooms. Branching out from the breezy courtyard you’ll find the acclaimed Church Street Social Restaurant, a bar, private cinema, library and spa. Walk out the front door and find yourself close to a range of boutique shops and the 300-year-old walls, making this the ideal place to soak up Galle Fort’s brooding atmosphere.
Spend your days soaking up the unique atmosphere of Galle, a stunning town at the southern edge of Sri Lanka with fascinating colonial history evident at every turn through its eclectic assemblage of architecture. It's walls and everything inside them are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with beautiful Dutch fusion architecture, a commanding Victorian lighthouse, grand churches and mosques, all in a sultry tropical setting.
Cycle a gentle 12km (7.5 miles) loop starting and finishing near Wijaya Beach and passing through verdant paddy valleys with a half way coconut stop in a shaded ambalama set in a beautiful garden. No rush, take it at your own pace.
Take a walk with a local resident from the spot where the first Portuguese boats landed to where the English left off, learning about tales of legendary past battles for the Fort, alliances that were forged and destroyed and insider knowledge of the Fort’s unique urban ensemble, a melting pot of culture, styles and traditions spanning over three centuries. Stroll through fortifications, public administration buildings, warehouses, underground cells and business houses of the past and present interspersed with churches, temples and mosques.
Your host’s Moorish ancestors first arrived on the shores of Galle in the mid-17th century in one of the earliest waves of spice traders and gem merchants. Having being based in different parts of the island in the past, he now resides in Galle, exploring news ways to help people connect with Sri Lanka.