Sri Lanka is the closest neighbour to the Maldives, with a flight time of around an hour. This diverse island destination, a short hop across the Indian Ocean, packs more between its shores than perhaps any other country on the planet. It makes for a fabulous add-on before or after a visit to the Maldives.
Experience incredible wildlife, see the largest land and marine mammals in the world, witness rich culture and heritage and trek through the emerald tea carpeted estates in the Central Highlands. Diverse landscapes sweep from mountainous jungle terrain to roaring waterfalls to the plains dotted with symbols of the 2000-year-old Buddhist civilisation. Eight remarkable UNESCO World Heritage sites dot this small island which was voted the second most popular country to visit in the 2020 Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice awards.
Sri Lanka offers a variety of upscale boutique lodges including Resplendent Ceylon’s trio of Relais & Chateaux resorts.
The World Heritage Central Highlands is renowned for its panoramic scenery of tea fields, valleys, waterfalls and forests. The highlands are home to Ceylon Tea, the best tea in the world, and a visit provides you with a glimpse into a day in the life of a tea planter. Stay in a historic tea planter bungalow and learn about the journey of tea from the bud to the cup. Sitting on a verandah, overlooking a sea of tea fields with the cool mountain breeze and a cup of Ceylon tea in your hand, is an experience you should not miss.
Sri Lanka is the best wildlife and nature destination in Asia with 26 diverse national parks. Yala National Park has the highest density of leopards in the world. Incredible viewing of wild elephants is on hand at parks like Uda Walawe and Minneriya. The country is home to a variety of landscapes from rainforests, dry zone forests, montane forests, mangroves and coastal ecosystems.
Sri Lanka is known for its rich cultural heritage, rivalling Angkor Wat, and has been a cradle of Buddhist civilisation for 2000 years. Visit Anuradhapura, the first kingdom of Sri Lanka, the rock-hewn fortress of Sigiriya and the royal city of Kandy and be transported back in time. There are many nuances woven into the storyline of this paradise island with the colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, make Sri Lanka a melting pot of culture and tradition.
Sri Lanka’s beaches are popular amongst travellers for their unique character and charm, with colourful beachside towns sit along the azure coastline. Weligama has a variety of different surfing breaks and is the heart of the southern surf circuit. Sri Lanka is famed for abundant marine life including the largest colonies of Blue whales.
These are just a few of the many distinct attractions in Sri Lanka, highlighting the amazing diversity of this ancient isle.
Three Relais & Chateaux resorts; Tea Trails, Cape Weligama & Wild Coast Tented Lodge, form an enchanting “Route de Bonheur (Happiness)” from tea fields to clifftop beach & safari lodge. This “best of Sri Lanka” circuit, created by the family-owned Dilmah Tea Company, features distinctively original resorts, connected by a thread of peerless service.
Ceylon Tea Trails is an icon for small luxury resorts, comprising of five restored historic tea planter residences, perched at an altitude of 1250 meters in Sri Lanka’s panoramic Ceylon tea region. The 27 rooms & suites with period furnishings, gracious butler service, and gourmet cuisine create an ambience that has made Tea Trails the gold standard for luxury in Sri Lanka. They are connected by walking and biking trails through scenic tea gardens.
Wild Coast Tented Lodge is adjacent to the Yala National Park, renowned for its leopard population. This spectacular luxury tented camp is situated on a rugged, empty beach, overlooking the Indian Ocean. The use of arched fabric structures allows each of the 28 Cocoon pods to take on the shape of the rocks and boulders that lay scattered nearby. The vaulted bamboo restaurant and bar overlook a large freeform pool.
Thirty minutes east of Galle, Cape Weligama inhabits 12 tropical acres atop a singular promontory rising 40 metres above the Indian Ocean. Stunning panoramas await you, naturally complementing the 39 private retreats designed by one of Asia’s most celebrated architects, Lek Bunnag. An array of dining venues capture Weligama’s iconic sunsets, as does the 60-metre crescent-shaped infinity pool that appears to flow seamlessly into the shimmering sea.
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