TikaWeeks #38/2023: Sri Lanka update

Posted by John on 21st September 2023

Taru Villas - 906, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

Children are welcome in most hotels in Sri Lanka, even the most upmarket. However, what if you prefer a more grown up experience without kids clubs and child-friendly menus? The island has always been popular with honeymooners, and there are many places to stay that cater for adults craving a more tranquil and relaxed ambience. Here are some of our favourite accommodation options which should whet your appetite for your holiday with us.

41 Lighthouse Street within the ramparts of the Dutch colonial era fort in Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an exquisite and exclusive sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the fort. The entire villa will be yours to enjoy, and friendly, welcoming and hospitable local staff will look after your every whim.

Recently launched Ahu Bay promises laid-back barefoot luxury in an intimate, relaxed beach house at Ahungalla on the island’s golden sandy beaches of the southwest coast. Adopt a slower pace of life in serene privacy and enjoy a highly personalised, pampering and stress-free time.

Jetwing Kurulubedda, or ‘Jungle of Birds’, is a sustainably built, luxury eco-retreat surrounded by paddy fields and hidden amidst lush foliage on a quiet stretch of the Kepu Ela waterway near Galle. A strict ‘no children’ policy and dwellings for two ensure that this jungle hideaway remains tranquil and private for nature lovers.

Magnificently situated on a rocky headland dividing two unspoilt, surf-swept beaches and backed by dense coconut plantations just south of Bentota, Jetwing Saman Villas is the place for couples to relax in the lap of luxury, cool off in the infinity swimming pool, and enjoy the superb food and attentive service.

Kahanda Kanda is a hilltop luxury boutique hotel overlooking Koggala Lake and immersed in a tea estate with breath-taking views over the surrounding countryside.  KK is a very special place to stay inland and off the beaten track whilst still within easy reach of Galle and beautiful beaches.

Another new hotel for 2023, Kayaam House is a spiritual sanctuary in a secluded location just steps from the Indian Ocean with access to wide empty beaches and picturesque lagoons near Tangalle on the island’s south coast. With a lower age limit of 16 years, this luxury boutique hotel and spa offers tranquillity, wellness and relaxation in equal measure.

The house and gardens at Lunuganga were lovingly created over several decades by the world renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa, as his vision of a tropical garden idyll. The Italian garden with spectacular views over lakes and tropical jungle together with a simply designed plantation house are one of the lasting legacies of Asia’s most famous architect.

Small is beautiful at this perfect beach hideaway and Taru Villas – 906, an exclusive and secluded seaside bungalow nestled amidst towering palm trees away from Hikkaduwa, makes the beach even better. Immerse in the liberating luxury of a private plunge pool, or settle into a deck chair to survey the endless horizons of the Indian Ocean opening up in front of you.

Overlooking picturesque and undeveloped Mawella Beach near Tangalle, Kurumba House of Taru Villas – Mawella is a fully serviced private villa including two en suite double bedrooms, a charming  garden  with  a  dining  pavilion  facing  the  beach and a 9.5-metre  long swimming pool  at  the  rear  of  the  property .

Taru Villas – The Yala Lodge is a chic oasis in the jungle surrounded by traditional chena farms and immersed in a garden redolent with bird calls and resident peacocks performing their courting displays. The luxury villa has open-plan living areas, air conditioning, pool and Wi-Fi. Jeep safaris in Yala National Park are part of the all-inclusive accommodation.

Offering something different as a certified Ayurveda organic retreat, Thaulle Resort is set in generous shaded grounds on the banks of tranquil Yoda Wewa near Tissamaharama. The serene and calm surroundings complement the comfortable rooms, all with spectacular lake views. The self-styled eco-hotel champions sustainability by the use of resources and its harmonious coexistence with nature.

The Fort Printers is a magnificent 18th century mansion villa turned printing facility in the heart of the Dutch colonial era fort in Galle. The original villa is a sanctum of peace and tranquillity to sit or lounge in the morning or evening. Four suites are located on the first floor and all overlook the attractive tiled roofs of the fort houses, the harbour and the lighthouse.

A charming and an historic Burger raj colonial estate bungalow dating back to 1804, The Kandy House on the outskirts of Kandy has been sensitively restored to its previous grandeur. This stunning manor house has individually designed rooms and lush tropical gardens, including a secluded forest pool, enveloping the property.

The quintessential Keralan experience – in Sri Lanka! Yathra Houseboat by Jetwing is the island’s first backwaters houseboat cruise and accommodation, a unique experience on your Sri Lanka travels. Take the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive cruise along the Bentara River near Bentota, an intimate dinner under the stars and breakfast for two on the open deck in the sun.

The Pekoe Trail – Stage 20: Lunuwatta to Uda Pussellawa

This challenging yet splendiferous 12.6-km stage, which generally takes around 4 hours, starts in Lunuwatta town heading west on a village road towards the Sri Wisuddharamaya Temple opposite a lake. Continue straight down towards the paddy fields below and, after 1.5 km, the trail ascends between village homes.

The next kilometre is possibly the toughest part of this stage, zig-zagging up village roads to a eucalyptus and pine forest above. From leaving the village to the end of the stage, the trail is immersed in forests and tea plantations throughout, a total of 10 km of quiet countryside split evenly between uphill and downhill sections. On entering the eucalyptus and pine forest after 3 km, don’t be intimidated by the mountain ahead as The Pekoe Trail circumvents the forested hill on the eastern side. Enjoy the wilderness and the views to the east as you follow the contour of the hill.

After 4.5 km, the trail passes the Sthripura Caves, an ancient cave network steeped in myth. From here, head northwest on the clearly visible tea trail ahead, leaving a small estate workers village on a gradually ascending tea trail, until at 6 km the trail arrives at the estate manager’s bungalow. Continue for another 800 metres to a junction of tea trails that saddles both valleys and sits on the border between Central and Uva Provinces. Take the trail to the right and follow the trail along the ridge for approximately 1.5 km, a few hundred metres of which is in pine forest. The views from here are stunning.

At the 8.7-km point, begin a descent, first through another eucalyptus forest and then down a maze of tea trails, for 2 kilometres before ascending 100 metres and crossing a small bridge. At this point, the tea trail links up with an old country road that heads down to the village, with the main Uda Pussellawa -Ragala road twisting and turning down below. You can avoid the main road by taking the country road you are on, which follows down all the way to the centre of town.

After 12 km, the trail narrows down to a single track as you walk between a house to your right and a fence to your left, but only for 10 metres or so. Descend gradually towards the end of this stage at Uda Pussellawa, which is a large village rather than a town, however it is still a transport and commercial hub with basic facilities, shops and ATMs.

Categories: Accommodation, Honeymoon, Sri Lanka, Sustainability

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