Sri Lanka’s top luxury spa resorts ‘will be kind to your body and your bank balance’

The Times UK reports that “Sri Lanka is one of the hottest destinations on the planet right now”, and that our “new wave of luxury retreats will be kind to your body and your bank balance”.

Writer Susan d’Arcy says that apart from our unspoilt beaches, chic new boutique hotels and an emerging restaurant scene, “if a holiday for you means hours whiled away in a luxurious spa, there’s another compelling reason to visit”.

“The country’s wellness scene is becoming the affordable alternative to the holistic honeypots of Thailand and Indonesia, with A-list yoga instruction and authentic ayurvedic retreats.

“It’s five-star pampering at four-star prices. Here’s our pick of the best places to lie back and think of the savings.”

Anantara Kalutara: top-notch pampering

The luxury hotel chain Anantara has a loyal following, due in large part to its reputation for top-notch pampering, and this glitzy resort, 90 minutes outside Colombo, doesn’t disappoint.

The vast 10-room spa has relaxation pavilions set over reflecting pools and 60-minute treatments from £78, almost half the price of the same experience at Anantara’s flagship resort in Phuket, Thailand. There’s also an ayurvedic doctor, beach running, yoga, circuit training and spa cuisine options available at mealtimes.

Surya Lanka Ayurveda: hardcore detox

This colonial-style, beachfront resort specialises in panchakarma, a hardcore ayurvedic detox. And we mean hardcore: laxatives, enemas, nasal cleansing.

For all that, the guests seem remarkably relaxed as they sunbathe in the pretty palm-fringed gardens or on what is one of the country’s most picturesque bays.

Tri Koggala: classes are fun as well as demanding

Russell Brand and Gerard Butler are among the fans of Tri. Its glamorous co-owner, yoga teacher Lara Baumann, has a great sense of humour, which means classes are fun as well as demanding.

The mirror-calm lake and Instagrammable pool provide all the visual cues required to master meditation. Tri’s laid-back vibe is seductive and its 11 suites have fresh interiors by Lindsay Taylor, who previously ran a textile business with Darcey Bussell.

Sen Wellness Sanctuary: sunrise shoreline yoga

The Sri Lankan Sam Kankanamge is one of London’s top osteopaths, but, these days, he divides his time between Wimpole Street and his new project, this retreat in a sliver of jungle between a pristine beach and a serene lagoon.

Life here has a rhythm as steady as the surf that pounds the coast: sunrise yoga at the shoreline, meditation with a Buddhist monk, spa treatments prescribed by an ayurvedic doctor, free excursions to nearby temples, and cookery lessons with the village grannies.

Santani Kandy: a jungle-draped valley retreat

In danger of burnout, Vickum Nawagamuwage quit his global consultancy job with Deloitte and returned home to open this sophisticated spa in Sri Lanka’s tea country.

The 16 rooms have been designed as 21st-century meditation caves, with polished concrete, minimalist styling and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of a jungle-draped valley and the dramatic Knuckles mountain range.

Read more here.

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