Beaches and Buddhism, wildlife and wonder: Resident magazine discovers the enchantment of Sri Lanka

 

A luxury lifestyle magazine and website for well-heeled millionaires, mover and shakers in London’s high-end neighbourhoods is celebrating the joys of Sri Lanka.

The Resident bills itself as “the flagship title for a family of luxury London lifestyle magazines … everything from famous inhabitants, wellbeing, beauty, fashion—and how to travel in style”.

And that includes us. “With beautiful beaches, game drives, fantastic cuisine, Buddhist pilgrimages and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Sri Lanka is an absolute must for adventure travellers.”

It notes that “tourists have been flocking to discover a destination rich in history, culture and UNESCO World Heritage sites, with the added bonus of beautiful beaches, safari resorts and fantastic cuisine.

It spotlights Uga Escapes and “a whirlwind week visiting three properties: Ulagalla in the ancient capital of Anuradhapura in the north central province, Residence in the city of Colombo on the west coast, and Chena Huts on the south west coast by Yala National Park”.

“Together with Uga Bay on the east coast and Jungle Beach to the north east, Uga essentially provides you with a passport to explore Sri Lanka.”

While Ulagalla is “a lush, sprawling resort where opulent, Colonial-style villas are disguised as jungle hideaways”, residence in the capital Colombo “is an opulent, 11-suite boutique hotel built in the 19th century … to entertain British governors, Indian maharajas and the cream of colonial Ceylon society”.

“The huge suites are luxuriously appointed, and the restaurant, Rare, serves up top-notch international cuisine like octopus with avocado and spicy carrot purée, as well as fiery Sri Lankan dishes.”

Meanwhile, the Old Dutch Hospital, now a tourist hotspot, was the start point for a walking tour of the city, followed by the Grand Oriental Hotel, “once the playground of wealthy colonials. Its splendour has faded, but the walls ache with tales of revelry and royal visits”.

But the pièce de résistance, it says, is Chena Huts by Yala National Park, “one of Sri Lanka’s first and finest boutique safari lodges. Elephants regularly visit the beach here to frolic in the surf, and the night before our arrival a particularly cheeky specimen had stomped through the property, trashing the pretty lily pond”.

“Invigorated by our proximity to these magnificent beasts, we headed out on a game drive, where we marvelled at elephant herds, land monitors, warthogs, jackals, peacocks in tree tops and the briefest glimpse of a leopard.

“The lure of a morning at leisure in our beautiful eco-huts – inspired by the thatched huts farmers built to watch over their crops, but with luxury furnishings, plunge pool and a sound system that makes Lana Del Rey sound more deliciously haunting than ever – was irresistible.”

Read more here.

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