Welcome to Sri Lanka, an island with a host of hidden charms and a country that has succeeded in preserving the authenticity and the magnificence of its virgin lands from mass tourism. Shaken by years of violent civil wars and the destruction caused by the tsunami, Sri Lanka has recently opened its doors to visitors in search of grandiose landscapes with tea plantations as far as the eye can see, recalling the British colonial era, lush tropical forests, breathtaking mountains and an enchanting coast bordering the deep turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. It’s impossible not to fall under the spell of the country and its warm and welcoming inhabitants. To take full advantage of this magical destination, here are the addresses of some of the island’s most beautiful palace hotels and lodges.
Colombo, the capital, possesses the only international airport, and it’s therefore the place to begin one’s Sri Lankan adventure. It would be a shame not to lose oneself in the labyrinth of its animated streets and colorful markets. The architectural mixture of colonial and modern structures is a living demonstration of the different eras that have influenced the country. After a day of strolling around the city, relaxing at the Casa Colombo, the island’s most hype address is strongly recommended. The combination of traditional charm and contemporary design makes this hotel in the center of the lively Bambalapitaya quarter a favorite with the rich and famous. The reputation of its Ceylon Spa has surpassed the confines of the Indian Ocean region. Guests especially enjoy the luxury of its treatments which can be taken in their own suites. In the same spirit of contrast between the traditional and the contemporary, The Fortress Resort and Spa, further south on the coast in the old city of Galle, is another is another must. This formerly Dutch fortified city offers visitors a picturesque stroll on the buttresses now covered with vegetation and an exceptional view of the ocean. From one end of Galle to the other, the southern seacoast is no less than magnificent as are its superb beaches ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
In addition to these colorful cities with their old world charm, Sri Lanka is filled with luwh vegetation, lakes and hills covered with tea plantations. To fully enjoy the peace and quiet of these green areas, it’s best to settle into one of the superb Norwood, Summerville, Castlereagh and Tientsin pavilions of the Ceylon Tea Trails located in the Bogawantalawa Valley. Each building, once the residence of British planters, offers guests a journey through time in a refined setting. In the direction of the proud city of Kandy, we find the luxurious Clingendael Hotel providing its visitors with rest and serenity in the heart of nature. Perched on the Coconut Hill Rajawella, the hotel with its five rooms and suites possess an infinity swimming pool and an uninterrupted view of the valley below. And for those who prefer an ocean view, prepare to be welcomed warmly at the five star Amanwella. In an intimate, sober and eco-durable style shaded by a thick coconut grove, this veritable haven of peace is situated at the entrance to the Mulkirigala temple and the city of Tangalle.
Sri Lanka is 95 percent Buddhist with a number of sumptuous religious temples, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Every year, the Esala Perahera an ancestral celebration is held during which one can witness incredible parades of elephants decorated with shimmering fabrics accompanied by singers and dancers in vividly colored costumes. For a romantic stay, The Kandy House, a traditional manor transformed into a boutique hotel is bound to please. Located near the center but separated from it by a jungle, the hotel is surrounded by tropical gardens making it an idyllic setting. In the category of romantic hotels, the luxurious Amangella is the cream of the crop. Located in the fortified city of Galle, the hotel is famous for its refined furnishings dating back to the Dutch colonial era and for the charm of its atmosphere perfumed by jasmine and cinnamon.
The small island of Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylan during the time of British colonization, a Buddhist enclave in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This Asian jewel which Marco Polo described as an earthly paradise and whose present rebirth includes welcoming tourists after long years of civil war and important reconstruction after the terrible damage caused by the tsunami.
To discover its varied coastal, tropical and mountain landscapes with lakes and nature reserves worthy of the largest African safari territories…For the warmth and hospitality of its inhabitants…For exploring an authentic country unspoiled by the mass tourist industry.
Colombo’s Bandaranaike is the only international airport and a perfect starting point. Once there, renting a chauffeured car is affordable and guarantees a maximum of flexibility and good advice for those who prefer a guide. For the more fearless, a motorcycle is ideal for enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Taking a train at least once is a picturesque experience in and of itself.
The white sand beaches especially Mirissa from where you can observe whales…A safari in the Uda Walawe National Park and in Bundula to observe buffalo, elephants, crocodiles and exotic birds living in the wild…The ruins of monasteries and the country’s oldest tree at the ancient Sinhalese site of Anuradhapura…The gardens at the foot of the Sigiriya Rock. Kandy, the cultural capital during the Dutch era, and of course Colombo the economic capital where you can discover the island’s specialties while strolling among the stalls in the numerous markets.
A balm similar to the tiger balm from Siddhalepa as well as other essential oils used in ayervedic medicine…Choose from among the numerous local crafts including magnificent batiks and statuettes and masks in traditional local wood. The island is also known for its precious stones especially sapphires. Make certain however, to purchase them at an officially certified boutique.
Sri Lanka - Tangalle
FROM 464€ /night
Sri Lanka - Galle
FROM 324€ /night
Sri Lanka - Galle
FROM 549€ /night
Sri Lanka - Colombo
FROM 510€ /night
Sri Lanka - Coconut Hill Rajawella
FROM 238€ /night
Sri Lanka - Colombo
FROM 355€ /night
Sri Lanka - Kandy
FROM 161€ /night
Book by phone
+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).