Romantics, Bourgeois Chic and Linen-wearing fashionistas
PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget
RATING: Wow factor
Arriving at the Frangipani Tree in Galle, Sri Lanka, is like meeting up with an old friend who becomes more and more fun as the years go by. The hotel is a long-standing favourite and each time we come back the welcome is warmer than the last. There is a familiar frisson of excitement every time our driver delivers us to the door. The Frangipani Tree occupies one of the best spots on Thalpe beach, with a seascape to die for. And with the rooms named after gentle but endangered turtles, you’ll have an immediate sense of the kind of amazing marine life on the doorstep.
The sleek and minimalist interiors are the brainchild of Channa Deswatta, a disciple of the legendary Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. There are only nine suites, located in three adjoining villas. They are all contemporary in style with sumptuous four-poster beds and rich linens. Combined with the polished cement floors, white walls and bespoke furniture, you have a formula that oozes quality.
The food here is amazing. It’s a fusion of the best: Sri Lankan, Mediterranean and Moroccan. You’ll get mouth-watering crab curries, Linguini a la Vongole to make your taste buds dance with excitement and lamb tagines so perfect you could be in Marrakech. And when it comes to working off all of those excess cals, the 35ft pool and tennis court are the perfect places to feel the burn
If you are organised enough, book long in advance to secure the best suite in the house. Hawksbill One has a stunning view of the ocean and a seriously massive bathroom, with glass sliding doors that make it feel outdoors.
On your doorstep
The sea in front of the Frangipani Tree can be rough. Just a little further up the beach are a couple of lagoons where it is safe for swimming. Head for Wijaya Beach restaurant – you can rent a sunlounger, take a refreshing swim and the pizza from the wood-fired oven is excellent.
Thoughts on a postcard
By the pool one late afternoon, we summoned Buddika the waiter. Before we could speak he told us: ‘Madam, you will be having a gin and tonic and for sir, a Lion beer. And I’ll also ask the chef to prepare some fresh chilli peanuts.’ Is this guy a mind reader or what?
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