One Weekend For All In … Sri Lanka
The restful one
For total seclusion, visit the hidden Kingdom of Kotte. These overrun remnants of a fourteenth century
palace lie in the Sri Jayawardenepura suburbs. The Beddagana Weherakanda ruins in Etul Kotte are beautifully peaceful; perfect for an afternoon of reflection. Colombo’s cosmopolitan side is littered with stylish eateries, contemporary galleries and engaging museums. Surprises wait to be unearthed in its old quarters, where you’ll find traditional cafés and quaint, characterful shops. At the National Museum, for example, an oversized ninth century stone Buddha greets with its enigmatic smile, and in galleries that date back to 1877, visitors admire a variety of art and carvings from an ancient past. There is little more peaceful than seeing gentle giants in their habitat: at Turtle Bay in Tangalle you can do just that, at an extremely secluded place with deserted sands on one side and a cove on the other. But for us, the crescent beach hideaway of Mirissa is most alluring. Soak up the sun on a hammock while sipping fresh coconut… the only disturbance being the breeze.
Did You Know?
Anantara has an enviable presence in this paradise. On a stunning palm-fringed southern coastline, Peace Haven Tangalle Resort is their established property thanks to its tranquil luxury, spa-pampering and holistic bliss. In July, Anantara Kalutara Resort will add extra charm. On a secluded-beachfront, this gateway to wild nature and rich culture captures adventure with water sports or a sunset boat cruise, is family-friendly with its Kids’ Cub, and suits the restful and romantic with private-pool villas and a couple’s spa. Indulgence, truly without end.
Ask a Local
“To experience authentic culture, be among the devotees who ascend the 2,234-metre Mount Samonala to watch the sunrise. It is truly significant for Sri Lankans, and trust me, as you see the entire sky turn pink from the mountain-top, you’ll feel spiritually moved. The climb is made extra ethereal as it is usually undertaken at night (as a tourist, take a guided trek and they’ll pick a place to spend the night just below the summit). The place has blissful cool air, making it the perfect climate to try a local delicacy of roti with chilli paste: it is spicy, and certain to warm the soul” – Lalith Sawarnasiri