Travel magazine Destinations Of The World News was recently in Sri Lanka, and “discovers authenticity and heritage are alive in the island’s boutique hotels”.

Writer Danae Mercer starts her journey in the south-east to visit Yala National Park, which “draws tourists like me by the hundreds” to the expanses of jungle and beach.

Chena Huts, Yala

Fourteen safari-themed cabins sit between dunes and beach, and each comes with a stand-alone bath and a private plunge pool.

Leopard Trails, Yala

Even closer to the safari park, Leopard Trails is a boutique resort that bills itself around safari expertise. Rustic “glamping” tents have air conditioning, outdoor showers and large beds under peaked roofs.

Turtle Bay, Kalametiya

Turtle Bay is only a two-hour drive west, but this sleepy beachfront boutique in Kalametiya feels a world apart. It’s colonial and quiet, with 40-sqm rooms spread over three floors.

Maya, Tangalle

Sri Lanka’s south has lively jungle and secluded beaches. It also has rice plantations and tiny villages, and Maya, a restored heritage property with only five suites, charms with the latter.

Tri Lanka, Ahangama

Taking Maya’s love for nature and throwing in even more of a luxury twist is the recently opened Tri Lanka hotel. This high-end boutique in Ahangama, around 1.5 hours’ drive west from Maya, is all about sustainability and design.

Maniumpathy, Colombo

Boutiques like Maniumpathy, like Turtle Bay and Maya, are all multiplying. It’s part of Sri Lanka’s general tourism boom. Things are changing throughout the whole island – but in the south, with its beaches and nature reserves, the development has been accelerated.

Read more here.

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