VIP meet and greet at Colombo airport
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 that are iconic of the park, found here in perhaps the highest concentration in the world. 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 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.
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 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 Colombo airport
Flight from Colombo to Male
- 33 overwater suites
- Restaurant and bar
- Watersports centre and dive centre
- Yoga pavillion
The embodiment of minimalist elegance, the 33 overwater villas sit on snaked wooden decks, where you can slip straight into the soothing turquoise lagoon for world-class snorkelling and diving on the private reef. The suites on Makunufushi island resemble a collection of Kerelan boathouses, each with a private sundeck, vintage-style ceiling fans, whitewashed walls, and lavish en-suite with roll-top bathtub. The ultra-private one-bedroom villas also offer dining bales and outdoor showers. As one of the smaller resorts, there is a definitive calmness to Cocoa Island that is hard to beat. From the gardens to the infinity and hydrotherapy pools, yoga pavilion to the renowned COMO Shambhala spa, wellbeing is central to life here. The resorts main restaurant, Ufaa, has a daily-changing menu specialising in Southeast Asian and Mediterranean dishes, using organic vegetables and freshly caught seafood. Romantic candlelit dinners and glamorous picnics are served on the beach. Diving and snorkelling are the main attraction here, with parrotfish, rays and small sharks spotted in the surrounding waters.
- 97 beach and water villas
- Swimming pool
An inter-island flight from Malé Airport and a short boat ride takes you to this tropical playground; with 97 beach and water villas Six Senses Laamu is the only resort in the Laamu Atoll. The villas have been tastefully constructed using sustainable materials and all have large private balconies with sunloungers, so you never have to leave the comfort of your island home. They also have a private outdoor shower and an upper deck for romantic sunset dinners. Various dining tastes are taken care of on this privately-owned island, with east and west cuisines on offer. Many of the dishes are created using organic ingredients grown in the island’s gardens. To top it off there is a chocolate room and ice cream room with 48 flavours to sample. Other than the wealth of water sports on offer, other activities include movie screenings in the jungle, deluxe spa treatments, sunset dhoni cruses, sand dune dining and free yoga and aerobics classes.
- 193 pavilions and water suspended villas
- Swimming pool
- Kids club
- Babysitting service
As the only resort on the island of Dhidhoofinolhu, LUX* South Ari Atoll offers exclusivity and unspoiled island living at its best. The 193 thatched-roof pavilions and water suspended villas seamlessly blend contemporary style with modern convenience. Each room has been designed with understated sophistication, with a private terrace, outdoor shower and sweeping views across the idyllic ocean. There are a variety of dining options at this laid-back retreat with restaurants on the sand, floating on the water or meals served privately in your villa. Guests can make the most of the luxurious facilities from the two swimming pools with poolside bars, to the tennis courts, fully equipped gym and the heavenly on-site spa. With a focus on entertainment, there are endless activities to take part in from snorkelling, diving, beach yoga, volleyball, hoover boarding, cycling and regular pop-up cinema screenings and musical performances.
- 33 over-water suites and villas
- 32 rooms, suites and villas on land
- Three restaurants
- PADI dive centre
The first luxury resort in the untouched Thaa Atoll in the archipelago’s southwest, COMO Maalfushi truly encapsulates why people visit the Maldives without a hint of ostentation. There are 33 over-water suites and villas, surrounded by crystal clear water that stretches out to the horizon, each referencing indigenous architecture while remaining elegantly pared back to compliment the island’s calming setting. The Water Villas feature their own pool, outdoor shower, sundeck and immense windows taking full advantage of the lagoon views. On land, there are 32 rooms, suites and villas, some tucked away in the islands tropical heart, others opening out onto the sandy beach. Both land and sea options include a handful of two-bedroomed villas, ideal for families. The island also hosts the popular Como Shambhala spa with its eight overwater, ocean-facing treatment rooms, steam rooms, and an open air yoga pavilion, a huge ocean side swimming pool and bar. Dining, a real highlight here, can be enjoyed at three dining venues, such as at Tai where the freshest local sea food is served as sushi and sashimi. Private dining can also be arranged. Discover the incredible marine life that surrounds the island by snorkelling from the resort (or your room), on diving excursions led by the PADI diver centre or boat trips to spot whale sharks. Fish for your dinner, explore nearby islands, sail aboard the resort’s catamaran, or try surfing some of the excellent breaks nearby.
- Tennis court
- Games room
One for design-savvy travellers, the resort was conceptualised by the go-to-guy for extravagant hotels, Jean-Michel Gathy, who has now brought detailed perfection to the Maldives. Every element of the resort oozes chic style, from the sand-disc artwork to the palm-fringed slate-lined pool and marbled bar. The 45 villas, each with its own private infinity pool, overwater deck, private beach and exquisite bathroom, have drawn celebrities and royalty including Prince William. Travel 40 minutes by seaplane from Malé to reach this eye-pleasing oasis. Guests can pamper themselves with spa treatments, an onsite hair salon and impeccable service with each villa assigned its own butler and concierge. Other than the obvious water sports options including snorkelling and diving at nearby reefs, the resort also has a tennis court, gym and a kids’ club.
- Two swimming pools
- Tennis court
- Dive centre
- Kids club
Sprawled across its own island and with the Maldives’ only PADI National Geographic dive centre, 12 beaches and sleek private villas, this resort more than lives up to its name. Sail in by yacht to this sophisticated haven that features some of the world’s largest luxury villas, each with its own ultra-chic design. The suites are nestled in the tropical gardens, on the beachfront or resting on top of the Indian Ocean. Each has spectacular ocean views; sweeping balconies and some have a private outdoor pool. With your pick of the numerous beaches, two swimming pools, tennis courts, the Maldives’ first sun spa and climbing wall, and the indulgent One&Only spa with aromatherapy massages, there is more than enough to keep you entertained. Dining is a highlight of One&Only Reethi Rah. Savour delicious meals in the privacy of your own villa or feast on Asia and Mediterranean cuisine in al-fresco restaurants.
- 110 beach villas and over water suites
- Nine restaurants and bars
- Water sports centre
- Diving centre
- Children’s club
- Tennis court
Set on and around the lush Dhigufinolhu Island – just a 35-minute speedboat ride from Malé International Airport – the Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort sits surrounded by a limpid lagoon that’s home to flitting rays and baby reef sharks. 110 spacious villas sit either over the water or just a few steps back from the beach, positioned for picture-perfect sunrises or sunsets. Many enjoy their own private plunge pools and all are modern, tranquil spaces with subtle Maldivian stylistic cues. The resort offers everything the archipelago is famous for and more. Take a plunge in the lagoon or kayak out to Guli Fushi Island for snorkelling. There’s a PADI 5-star Dive Centre offering course and excursions out to the best nearby dive sites and a Water Sports Centre for windsurfing, water-skiing, surfing, kite-surfing, parasailing and more. Fishing, sailing and island-hopping yacht trips are a firm favourite and kids are well looked after at the excellent children’s club. Of course you can choose to be a little less active, perhaps at the sumptuous spa, on the beach or by the pool. There’s also bespoke yoga and a wellness practitioner. Guests are similarly spoiled for choice when it comes to dining, with nine restaurants and bars serving up seafood and meat grills, fine Italian cuisine, varying themed buffet dinners, and lighter meals poolside for lunch. Further dining options can be enjoyed at the Dhigu’s sister island within the lagoon.
Spend your days relaxing on the picture-perfect islands of the Maldives. While away the hours on the powder soft sand or take to the sparkling waters to discover the wealth of marine life that teems beneath the surface. Your luxury accommodation is the perfect place to simply switch off and enjoy the fine dining and impeccable service, but as soon as you want to take it up a gear and explore, the Maldives are one of the world's most beautiful destinations in which to do so.