Its name may not ring a bell to some people but Sri Lanka is a paradise waiting for you to discover it. From historical sites in ancient cities to nature preserves and pristine beaches, it has lots to offers its visitors wherever they may be coming from.
This country in Asia has gone through tough times in the past from its 26-year civil war to the 2004 tsunami in Indian Ocean that killed an estimated 25 million people in South Asia. But that was then and Sri Lanka has survived.
Today, this nation in the south of India is a popular tourist destination visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
In 2012 alone, Sri Lanka welcomed a million tourists and the tourism service providers look forward to receiving 2.5 million tourists in the coming years. More »
One area in Sri Lanka that’s best for a holiday is near the Trincomalee Harbor, a world renowned natural harbor.
Situated at the mout of the country’s longest river Mahaweli Ganga, visitors here can explore the Fort Fedrick featuring British built fortifications that are century and a half years old.
Beach lovers can stay at the Sober Island Resort which has a tropical beach, a jungle and historical landmarks in the surrounding areas. In place are six chalets building on two junior officer mess buildings. The sun decks on the slope provide a wonderful view of the harbor.
An old hospital’s outpatient ward in the resort now houses five luxury rooms, a spacious living room and bathrooms. The building is 70 years old and its walls have been well preserved.
When in Sri Lanka, visitors have a great choice with regards to experiencing a grand holiday with their loved ones. The beach area is one of the best places to relax and be close to nature.
With a clean and green surrounding plus the sea breeze to enjoy, a vacation in this country would surely one you can treasure for the rest of your life. Staying at a villa would be a great idea for a luxurious vacation.
Here are some beach resorts around Sri Lanka that we highly recommend. All provide a quiet environment and some of them even offer a private beach area.
Alpha Villa Thalpe
This is an elegant place to be in situated east of Galle. It has three villas with each them housing seven luxurious suites. Facilities in place are a jacuzzi and infinity pool. The golden sandy beach is one of the most beautiful in the country.
Bentota is one of the popular destinations in southern Sri Lanka if you’re looking for a great time near the water. The reason for this is that it is bordered by the Indian Ocean, a tropical lagoon, and the river Bentota, making for countless water-related activities. It also doesn’t hurt that the location boasts of s good number of 5 star hotels and luxury accommodations.
One of the favorites accommodations of vacationers looking for some luxurious pampering at Bentota is the Saman Villas. Having the distinction of being the first boutique resort to open in Sri Lanka it is known for being one of the best boutique hotels in the country. In fact, it has been awarded the ‘Best Boutique Hotel in Sri Lanka’ for three consecutive years at the Travel & Tourism Awards and been inducted in the ‘Hall of Fame’. Today it continues to offer a unique and beautiful escape to its guests.
Tranquil atmosphere at the Saman Villas.
One of the best things about Saman Villas is its location, located in the outskirts of Bentota guests are always sure that they will have the most tranquil of stays. The luxe accommodations (26 luxury suites and 1 duplex villa) is also, according to many, not the main draw of the place with their Sahana Spa offering a good number of beauty treatments, massages, and Ayurveda treatments that will guarantee your total relaxation.
The Saman Villas is also pretty complete when it comes to amenities with everything you might want during a vacation, from an infinity pool to a gym. Even better, couples looking for the perfect destination wedding location would be happy to know that the Samsn Villas offer wedding packages that will mean a romantic, and more importantly worry-free , wedding.
Photo via SamanVilla
Sri Lanka boasts of numerous beachfront properties that will suit just about anyone’s taste. You’ll find quaint boutique hotels to fully serviced busy luxury hotels, all offering great access to one of Sri Lanka’s beautiful beaches. If you have made your rounds of the various beachfront properties in Sri Lanka though, you might have noticed that one thing that’s usually true for most is the lack of a sprawling garden. This is not a real disadvantage, given that most stay in beachfront properties to obviously stroll on the beach, but having one sure is nice.
The Mirissa Beach is 2 minutes from Talaramba Reef by tuktuk.
Talaramba Reef is one of the rare beachfront vacation rental properties you will find that has a huge tropical garden featuring local tree species. The garden is a really nice quiet place to meditate and is the perfect setting for the two villas – Villa Sulanga and Villa Vatura – located in the property. Both villas can accommodate a large group of people with 4 bedrooms each, featuring fourr-poster beds and en-suite bathrooms. The villas are both designed to let the light and the air in, with meals taken in a verandah overlooking the garden, and huge lounge areas that con comfortably seat a huge crowd. Beautiful french doors and Sri Lankan furniture and art pieces complete the simple yet luxurious feel of the villas.
Garden and Pool Outside Villa Sulanga and Villa Vatura
The main difference of the two villas is perhaps in the target market, with Villa Vatura being more child-friendly with a TV room and a pool specially designed with a shallow end for toddlers. Villa Sulanga’s pool is deeper, and with a bar area in the living room, obviously focuses more on catering to the needs of adults on vacation.
Note that if you interested in staying in Talaramba Reef for your vacation, it will set you back anywhere from $400 to $1500 per night, depending on how many villas you rent (Yes, you can rent just one or both.) and the season when you book it.
Photos via Talaramba Reef Website
The whole world may be aware of the famous Buckingham Palace in London, but what many do not realize is that there is another Buckingham that would satisfy your travel cravings half a world away at Tangalle, Sri Lanka.
The Buckingham Place in Sri Lanka may sound like old-world grand but it is actually the opposite being contemporary in design. This is not surprising since the hotel is named not after the Buckingham Palace, but after owner/manager Nick Buckingham. Although the hotel is not as grand as the palace itself, it does not mean that it does not deliver in terms of luxury.
A tuktuk at the entrance of the Buckingham Place
The hotel is a pretty exclusive place, featuring just 11 bedrooms and suites all with its own balcony/veranda, bathtub (only 2 rooms do not have a tub), 6ft x 6ft double beds with sprung mattresses and high quality linen, mini-fridges, and picnic menus. Choice suites also feature open air bathrooms and a satellite TV.
Open air bathroom in one of the suites
The atmosphere of the Buckingham Place is also truly tranquil, appearing idyllic even, with a view of Rekawa Beach’s lagoon. The beach right in front of the hotel, is however, more pretty than swimmer-friendly due to big waves and unpredictable currents. Despite this, swimmers need not go too far to get wet since the hotel has its own pool. If you wish to swim on the beach though, you’ll need to walk for about 15 minutes to get to a safer beach.
With the hotel getting rave reviews for excellent service, my only real beef about the hotel resort is that they have a 10 year-old and above policy, which means that it will be a full decade before our family will be welcome in the place. The policy is something that any guest who relishes the peace and quiet that only resort hotels like this provide, will truly appreciate.
Photos courtesy of the Buckingham Place
Finding a place to stay in Sri Lanka is not a problem with countless establishments that offer accommodations for a great price. Good hotels can be booked easily and without fuss, but the problem is that with all the tourists coming in and out of the country year round, you will find that most hotels are just not cozy nor personal enough to make your stay truly unforgettable.
A good option for tourists who want a quieter time away from the regular crush of tourists that come with big hotels is to rent private villas. Vacation rental homes, such as villas are great because you either get the entire place all to yourself, or get to share it with only a handful of other guests.
Auraliya, a family holiday home turned vacation rental property, is one such place. Auraliya features 6 tastefully appointed bedrooms surrounding a dining hall and swimming pool, and located right in front of a beach that guests can access anytime via a private gate.
Statue of Ganesh at Auraliya
The Sitting Pavillion at Auraliya
Auraliya guests find themselves returning to the place not only for the beautiful and serene atmosphere, but also because of the very personalized and excellent service of the staff. In Auraliya, you can have your meals planned for you ahead of time, or even ask the staff to shop for you with them returning with fresh produce and receipts in hand. The staff always on-call, ensuring that guests never lack for anything any time of the day. If there’s one word that will describe Auraliya, that would perhaps be “hospitality”, a luxury that not many hotels truly know the meaning of.
Photos courtesy of Auraliya