How to Explore Sri Lanka as a Luxury Traveller

Lauren Hill

Senior Contributor

Exploration of Sri Lanka introduces you to the famously warm nation’s different ethnicities, historic monuments and enticing cuisine along with its verdant environment of rainforest, mountains, lush tea plantations and golden beaches that provide incredible wildlife with their habitats. ASMALLWORLD Private is on-hand to curate this tailor-made holiday for you, whether you’re looking to move between locations or base yourself in one place for the duration of your stay.

The Wallawwa, Colombo

Located just outside Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, and only 15 minutes from the international airport, The Wallawwa is ideal for a two-night stay at the beginning or end of your journey. The 18-bedroom manor house hotel lies within swathes of lush 200-year-old tropical gardens with a pool, spa and opened-side restaurant. Rooms and suites come with garden views, and at the top-end, with a private plunge pool.

From here, it’s an easy journey into both Colombo and Negombo. Visit Negombo’s churches, Dutch fort and markets, then delve into Colombo’s shopping, art and food scenes. ASMALLWORLD Private can organise a day of sightseeing with driver and guide. If you’re here for the food, book a table at the renowned restaurant Ministry of Crab, which is consistently featured in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

The Wallawwa Garden Pool

Ceylon Tea Trails, Hatton

One of the most highly regarded places to stay in Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Tea Trails are idyllically situated at the heart of the picturesque Ceylon tea region at an altitude of around 1,250 metres. A two-night stay in one of the five restored tea-planter residences gives you the opportunity to explore the tea fields, take part in a tea tasting experience and visit Horton Plains National Park, which is home to a dramatic escarpment known as World’s End.

A part of the Relais & Chateaux collection, the luxury property offers memorable dining experiences - think afternoon cream tea and Sri Lankan meals incorporating garden-fresh produce—and accommodation comes with butler service, lake views and use of the croquet lawns and swimming pool. ASMALLWORLD Private can arrange for you to arrive here by private road transfer, seaplane or on a scenic train journey through the tea plantations via Kandy.

Ceyclon Tea Trails Tientsin Bungalow

Ceylon Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Yala National Park

The vast area of forest, grassland and lagoons making up Yala National Park borders the Indian Ocean on the southeast side of the island. People come from far and wide to catch sightings of the wealth of wildlife roaming this landscape, from elephants, sloth bears and jackals to, most famously, a population of leopards. The Relais & Chateaux property, Ceylon Wild Coast Tented Lodge, lies just outside the national park on a rugged stretch of coast.

You can travel by private road transfer or fly in by seaplane from Colombo for a three-night stay at this unique lodge crafted from natural materials to blend into the surroundings with a layout representing the shape of a leopard’s paw print from above. Use your time here to set out on game drives through the national park, relax in the lodge’s freeform pool and dine and imbibe at the dining pavilion designed to mirror the boulders scattered across the nearby beach.

Ceylon Wild Coast Tented Camp

Haritha Villas & Spa, Hikkaduwa

Tucked into the hills rising up from the small town of Hikkaduwa on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, Haritha Villas & Spa benefits from a secluded location shrouded in lush greenery, as well as close proximity to the coast; the beach is just a three-minute tuk-tuk ride away — a service that’s provided by the hotel. Seven contemporary villas and two houses with indoor-outdoor lounge areas and private pools join chic dining areas, a yoga pavilion and jungle-enclosed spa focusing on Ayurveda.

Spend between three and five nights here to fully appreciate the peaceful location while also getting to know the surroundings. Travel along the coast to Galle for a private or guided exploration of sites such as the UNESCO World Heritage Galle Fort, cycle between the region’s paddy fields and take a Sri Lankan cooking class. With a whole host of experiences ranging from whale watching and diving to trekking and riverboat safari, you’ll wish you had even more time.

Haritha Villas

Book your bespoke Sri Lanka holiday with ASMALLWORLD Private, our high-end personalised travel curation service.

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