Sri Lanka’s beautiful south coast is not just about sun and sands.
It is no longer misunderstood to be a cheap traveller’s destination.
My recent travel revealed a stunning array of upmarket hotels/ accommodation to really splurge and pamper if you are looking for something much more than an average 5 star.
I found a couple of common elements that make these upmarket hotels stand amongst the rest.
- They have their own unique characteristics from style to service to location.
- They are all upmarket boutique hotels with personalised services which you will not get in resort 5 star accommodation/ hotels.
- While they are elegant and luxurious, they are far from the stiffness that some upmarket properties are well known for. In fact they are homely and elegant.
- They have exceptional service and high level of quality that they adhered to, almost un-matchable.
- Services are almost always personalised which means you can be relaxed especially when it comes to meal times (butler service included)
- Food is always exquisite with a combination of western and Sri Lankan.
The 5 hotels to splurge on are not in particular order of preference. They happen to be all favourites in special ways.
1. Cape Weligama
Nestled on a cliff on the south coast in Weligama, a mere 26km to the south of Galle Fort lies the luxurious Cape Weligama Resort. Being part of the first Relais and Chateaux in Sri Lanka, its individual Suits and Villas are a sheer indulgence.
What we love about this property are:
- The location: although the ocean is not a easily accessible as this property stands on a cliff, the height and positioning itself is unique. It has almost a 240° view. Sunrise and sunsets are stunning!
- Food: cuisine at Cape Weligama is unmatchable. There are couple of restaurants to indulge in. Whereever you dine, ready to be amazed by the stunning presentations, unique flavours and simply delicious meals that are served with big smiles. My favorite was the dark prawn curry served with steam rice for dinner.
Sorry I was too engrossed in the meal to take photos!
This may sound simple, trust me the flavors explored in my mouth. There is good array of wines to pick from to match every course that you are ready devour.
- The Villas & Suits are spacious and carefully designed to provide great deal of privacy (even if couple of villas share a private swimming pool). The villas also include a spacious living/ bedroom with all the amenities, sauna, his and her sinks , walk in closest and a lot more. The terrace is lovely to have a breakfast (you may just request for that) if you are not in a mood to go to the restaurant and feel like having a quiet morning to yourself.
- You don’t necessarily have to be a surfer to enjoy your free time in Weligama, there is plenty of things to be done from early morning pilates to yoga to cooking with the chef at the property.
- There are plenty of activities for kids including Jnr. Master Chef. Just make sure you book in advance.
2. The Last House
The Last House, as the name itself denotes is the The last house designed by world renown Sri Lankan Architect Geoffrey Bawa. Every inch of this beautiful property cries out Bawa’s ingenuity. Tropical Modernism is omnipresent as there are receding lines between outdoor and indoor.
This is definitely a ‘ bucket list’ property. I was ecstatic to spend a night here.
- Geoffrey Baw’s design of The Last House is its main unique stand out for sure. From open spaces to colourful exterier to modern comforts to beautiful rustic interior are just outstanding
- This property is situated in a quiet corner of the secluded Mawella beach in Tangalle, giving it almost a private beach access. The waters are calm most parts of the year making it a great place to swim
- The lush tropical garden and the surrounding natural environment (including the marshy land) is the home for a good number of birds, reptiles and mammals – making it extra special. Imagine lush green tropical garden with a beach front!
A relaxed afternoon turned into sheer indulgence
3. Fort Bazaar
This is one of my favorites for sure. 17th Century town house redefined to with contemporary styles, unmatchable hospitality and excellent cuisine is just what makes Fort Bazaar a perfect upmarket boutique property to stay inside Galle Fort.
- Simple interior and exterior of Fort Bazaar is such a distinct difference, almost a relief in comparison to more fussy styles of many properties around.
- The cuisine at Fort Bazaar is outstanding, gourmet cuisine, possibly one of the best you would find in Sri Lanka. Surely that makes it extra special !
4. Taru Villas – Mawella
If you are looking for a place which embraces comfort, Sri Lankan styles, modern luxuries, beautiful serene beach, exceptional service and cuisine, then Taru Villas situated in the quiet Mawella Beach is the pick.
Does that sound unrealistic? I’ll tell you – definitely not.
What we love about Taru Villas, Mawella – Let the pictures speak!
5. Why House
This is one of my favorite places in the south. Situated in Talpe inland with easy access to Galle and an easy drive to spectacular Dalawella Beach, let me say I am quite bias towards this property. I fell in love with the name when I heard of it the first time and fell more in love when I saw it.
It is just perfect for families with 10 villas situated in a lush tropical garden. What I love most are listed below – certainly you would love them too!
- The host, Henrietta- her bubbly personality, great sense of humor coupled with warm hospitality is what makes Why House so special and adorable.
- Henrietta’s artistic touches are all over from the beautiful Jaipur cotton duvets to throw pillows to her own little shop inside the main house, I felt as if I have been transferred to a different era without a care in this world.
- Nigella, Henrietta’s dachshund is a major attraction, not only for kids but adults alike.
- The food is fabulous, needless say, Henrietta herself is a chef
Do I need to convince you more? I guess not!
So go on .. splurge and tick those from your bucket list
Note: the coast is at its best between November to April, however it is equally beautiful during other times.