With 800 metres of white silky sand splayed out before you, it should give you an idea of the magnitude of both peace and privacy on offer at Amanwella. A coastal property in Tangalle, on Sri Lanka’s south coast.
A single-storey beachside oasis set in a wild, rugged and remote landscape, there are boundless reasons to switch off and disconnect, in the truest sense of the word. The design echoes the natural landscape, all open, minimalist, fresh and nature-filled. There are only 30 freestanding suites here, which means guest numbers are always guaranteed to be low. Each suite has its own private pool and 180 degree views of the coastline, made for sundowner settings.
An Ocean Hill Pool Suite will take you into the treetops with lofty views and a private plunge pool centred in your own courtyard. Nature is celebrated here, with plenty of cultural and wildlife encounters, including visits to National Parks where sightings of elephants, crocodiles and indigenous birds await.
2. Heritance Kandalama
Nestled within a still forest of dense green, Heritance Kandalama splays out like the outspread wings of a bird rising from the treetops. Conceptualized by world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, the hotel is all contemporary grace and minimalist grandeur.
Sitting on a rocky outcrop, on the edge of an ancient reservoir, it purveys over two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Dambulla rock temple and Sigiriya Rock Temple. There are 152 rooms, and we’d recommend claiming a Luxury Suite or Royal Suite Ω each with two bedrooms, Jacuzzi and sweeping views (the Royal Suite also has 24-hour butler service) Ω as your own.
You may well want to do little more than sit on your balcony and listen to the floating whispers of bird song, but for those who venture further, you’ll find three swimming pools, a spa, gym, library, shops and five restaurants. For something special, opt for a Cave Dinner where haute cuisine meets the Stone Age.
3. Resplendent Ceylon Wild Coast Lodge
Teaming up with Resplendent Ceylon is one of the most unique ways to explore Sri Lanka. With three resorts under its belt - Ceylon Tea Trails, Wild Coast Tented Lodge and Cape Weligama - and the option to travel safely between all three, you’re guaranteed an intimate glimpse into Sri Lanka from all angles. For something a bit different, start at Wild Coast Tented Lodge.
It’s nestled adjacent to Yala National Park and is renowned for its leopard viewing potential. A rugged, empty beach is home to the camp itself, with 28 man-made tents blending into the landscape thanks to a clever use of natural materials. The Family Cocoon Suite is perfect for those travelling with little ones, as it includes the Urchin, a separate tent just metres away to sleep children aged eight and above.
Or choose a Pool Cocoon Suite, with its four-poster bed, free-standing copper bathtub and plunge pool. The tented spa will salve bodies, minds and souls, while guided walks and game drives will immerse you into the heart of jungle life.
The beauty of Tri is that it’s a secret gem for those in the know. A stunning architectural hideaway on the edge of Lake Koggala, its unfussy approach to luxury makes it all the more splendid. Sleeping just 22 guests in 11 suites, the hotel is also available for exclusive use. The lakeside location spirals a six-acre hill and brings with it both isolation and uninterrupted views of Sri Lanka’s topography, as well as an off-shore breeze creating a cooler climate.
The hotel features an infinity pool, spa and glass-walled library that doubles-up as a yoga studio. Curious guests can explore the surrounding islands aboard the hotel’s dhoni, charter a private yacht for a day of discovery, take a day-trip to Galle Fort, or hop on a bike for free-wheeling adventures in the countryside. As far as rooms go, the Lake Villa With Pool is perfect for couples looking for style and solitude, while Tri Villa comes with lake views, two terraces and a plunge pool. To be honest, wherever you bed down, you’ll be surrounded by serenity, with a side-order of sustainability, with is just escapism personified.