With a commanding view of the harbour from its upper floors, Amangalla is housed in historic buildings built by the Dutch East India Company in 1684. The oldest operating hotel in Asia was renamed the New Oriental Hotel at the turn of the century when it was bought by the Ephraums family, before eventually being fully restored to its former grandeur and opened as Amangalla in 2005 – Aman’s first Sri Lankan retreat. The stately exterior of the three-storey building serves as the reference point for the interior, redolent of a romantic past. The hotel also features much of its original furniture, including four-poster beds and pettagama chests. The Bedrooms, Chambers, Suites and the two-storey Garden House, all have a turn-of-the century ambience and tranquil views, whether the 200-year-old gardens centred by the hotel’s sleek swimming pool, the nearby Groote Kerk (Great Church), or the Fort ramparts.
Galle, Sri Lanka
+94 912 233 388
2. ANANTARA PEACE HAVEN TANGALLE RESORT
Experience the charms of island life with authentic Sri Lankan luxuries at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort. Nestled in a coconut plantation, overlooking the Indian Ocean, the luxe getaway sits within a private cove, where guests can encounter the rugged cliffs of Sri Lanka’s southernmost shore. Sip some select beverages from the exclusive wine cellar, explore villages by tuk-tuk, practise yoga on golden sands as the sun rises, or relax in tranquillity with an Ayurvedic ritual in the sanctuary of the spa.
Tangalle, Sri Lanka
+94 477 670 700
3. CAPE WELIGAMA – RELAIS & CHATEAUX
Cape Weligama’s residences and villas sit atop a promontory overlooking the Indian Ocean and enjoy stunning views of idyllic landscapes on all sides. At the seafront, the crescent-shaped infinity pool seems to float above the waves; alongside stone pathways leading to secluded coves where turtles flap about in the crystal-clear shallows. The terracotta-tiled rooftops of the accommodations, designed by renowned architect Lek Bunnag, create the illusion of a traditional Sri Lankan village with generously sized, stylishly furnished interiors.
At the seafront, the crescent-shaped infinity pool seems to float above the waves”– Cape Weligama, a Relais & Chateaux hotel
Weligama, Sri Lanka
+94 412 253 000
4. WILD COAST TENTED LODGE
– RELAIS & CHATEAUX
In the southeast of Sri Lanka lies the Wild Coast Tented Lodge, a haven of twenty eight cocoon-like tents placed at the edge of the jungle and beach.
Together they form the shape of a leopard’s paw, a symbol of the Yala National Park whose wonders you can discover alongside the camp’s naturalist guides on a safari adventure. At the outposts, the suites overlook the Indian Ocean. Each arched structure, stretched in canvas and bearing stylish colonial expedition decor, is dotted with a private watering hole. Entwined in bamboo, the main building resembles a rock along the shore. It houses the bar, library and restaurant where a modern take on traditional Sri Lankan cuisine is served.
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
+94 117 745 730
5. ANANTARA KALUTARA RESORT
Located only an hour away from Colombo, Anantara Kalutara Resort boasts a secluded beachfront setting on the picturesque southwest coast.
Bring your sense of wanderlust to this coastal paradise where the Kalu Ganga River meets the Indian Ocean. Luxuriate within the lush haven, infused with the vision of legendary Sri Lanka-based architect Geoffrey Bawa. With a host of inspired dining options, recreation – including great facilities for kids – and an Ayurvedic spa retreat, the five-star Kalutara resort invites guests to enjoy island life at one of Sri Lanka’s most coveted resorts.
Kalutara, Sri Lanka
+94 342 220 222