The Sun, the UK’s top-selling daily newspaper, raves about Sri Lanka’s heady delights, reporting “a Sri-freshing cup of tea … close encounters with elephants, monkeys and crocs, all washed down with a soothing cuppa at a plantation”.
“No sooner have I seen the mum and ridiculously cute baby elephant than we pass peacocks gliding through the air, water buffalo wallowing in a pond and crocodiles lurking in the shallows.
“With priceless moments such as this, it’s not hard to see why Sri Lanka has become such a hot holiday destination. And while there is plenty of wildlife to keep me entertained, this country has far more to offer than just its animals.”
Chena Huts, a more luxurious approach
The London Evening Standard highlights the Chena Huts resort, which “has pioneered a more luxurious approach for a night in the Sri Lankan wilderness”.
“Bouncing along the dusty tracks of Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park in an off-road vehicle, you’re never quite sure what you’ll encounter around the next bend.
“Most visitors are hoping it will be one of the park’s more elusive residents, the Sri Lankan leopard. Home to one of the largest concentrations on Earth of these big cats, Sri Lanka’s second largest park (after Wilpattu in the north) offers pretty good chances of seeing one in its natural habitat.”
Sri Lanka: wild and wonderful
Next up, Ireland’s Independent says: “It’s not surprising that Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the most desirable holiday locations. With a crop of new chic boutique hotels, its stunning white sandy beaches, historic sites, amazing food and reliable surf, there is much to attract the tourist.
“You cannot fail to be struck by the colossal development that has occurred in the last few years when you arrive in Colombo—the capital of Sri Lanka. It is a fascinating blend of different cultural and architectural influences; Portuguese, Dutch and British. This colonial architecture lends the city a strong European feel.
“Sri Lanka has a Buddhist majority, but there are significant populations of Christians, Hindus and Muslims and the city is dotted with pagodas, churches, temples and mosques.”
The hottest new travel destination
Luxury London pursues the unashamedly high-end approach when it says that “the hottest new luxury travel destination of 2016? Sri Lanka, take a bow”.
“Touted as the top destination of 2016, a host of new luxury hotels have opened in Sri Lanka this year including the Shangri-La, Santani and Anantara which, with the newly opened Kalutara Resort, now boasts two high-end hotels on the south and south-west coast.
“Our first port of call was to check in to the Anantara Kalutara Resort, which opened in October. As you enter the resort you are immediately struck by the architecture that dramatically showcases the Kalu River and the Indian Ocean. The original plans for resort were designed by Geoffrey Bawa before he passed away in 2003.”
New hope from tragedy for young orphan girls
Finally, the Mail Online reports how a horrific UK Christmas tragedy led to a charity that now gives hope to the many young Sri Lankan girls orphaned by the 2004 tsunami.
Mary (pictured above left) and Graham Storrie’s beloved young daughter Rosie May (above right) was murdered at a Christmas party. Says Mary: “Our mission now is to give children in crisis the future that Rosie May has been so tragically denied.”
Having set up a partnership in Sri Lanka with Dr Asoka Jayasena and his People In Need Foundation, the couple raised £850,000 to create a home for the orphaned girls, while a separate community programme supports more than 100 children living below the poverty line.