Sri Lanka. It’s a name that conjures up a rich tapestry of images: Pristine beaches, rolling green tea plantations and fascinating and exotic cultural traditions. Throw in the grace and favour of some stunning colonial era luxury hotels and you have an intoxicating concoction. Yonder’s 13-night Sensational Ceylon itinerary provides a Sri Lanka luxury holiday that will whet your appetite for more.
We have woven this epic holiday together using Yonder’s core ingredients of culture, luxury and the road less travelled. This is luxury travel in Sri Lanka that will linger long in the memory for all the right reasons. Frankly, it’s a triumph. Why? Because it’s a tailor-made tour (you can swap components as you wish) that consistently delivers sheer delight.
*Every Yonder itinerary is uniquely created to suit our individual clients. Destinations, hotels, lengths of stay and even modes of transport are all decided by you, with the help of our local knowledge and expert guidance.
We first head north to Anuradhapura and the Cultural Triangle before making an about-turn south towards the revered city of Kandy via Sigiriya and the Dambulla caves. Next, we hit the serene, rolling green hills of Tea Country. From here, its south-east to Yala National Park for a spot of spotting some spotty felines. Thereafter, it’s the sound of the crashing waves and picture-perfect swaying palm trees in Tangalle for your luxury beach holiday. And, saving the best till last, the spectacular living time capsule of the old colonial fort in Galle.
Arriving in Colombo, you’ll walk through the sliding glass doors of the arrivals hall to be met by your Yonder chauffeur-guide. After brief introductions, you’ll hit the road for the journey north-east towards the Cultural Triangle. On arrival at Ulagalla, a magnificent old manor house with its plunge pool pavilions scattered across the paddyfields, you’ll encounter their traditional warm welcome. This will be your home for the next couple of nights. Here, you can recuperate from your flight as well as go out with your guide and explore the ancient ruins of Anuradhapura.
Thoughts on a postcard
Now we really know what luxury truly means. Chaminda, our chauffeur guide, was unfailingly knowledgeable and always ensured his car was full of chilled water and refreshing towels. At our hotels, we we treated to uber refined hospitality, rich linens and sumptuous food, accompanied by stunning vistas.
En route to Kandy, you will stop at Sigiriya, the rock fortress, that dramatically rises 200m above the surrounding complex system of ancient water gardens. The far-reaching views are spectacular. After your descent, via a cavern containing beautiful wall frescos, you’ll journey on to Dambulla caves. A sacred buddhist pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, the five cave temples offer a fascinating insight to the evolution of Buddhism. Once in Kandy, your guide will show you the fabulous botanical gardens and will give you a tour of the revered Temple of the Tooth. Your new digs will be Kandy House, a charming ancestral property replete with uniquely designed bedrooms and offering a superlative gourmet experience.
You’ll leave Kandy on tracks. The scenery on the train journey is amongst the most spectacular you’ll see on your luxury holiday in Sri Lanka. On arrival at the remote hill station of Hatton, it’s just short ride to Ceylon Tea Trails. Your experiences here will long be etched into your minds. Whether it is your daily chat with your chef about your culinary whims or the mind-blowing walks on the trails through the plantations, you’ll be smitten. Your stay will include a visit to their working tea factory as well as a delicious and therefore obligatory daily high tea. And in between drinking the fragrant nectar and gorging on the superb food, you can find a spot in the summer house, by the pool or even by the roaring fire to curl up with a book and marvel at the views.
You’ll leave the high rolling hills and head south-east towards the coast. Your next port of call is Yala National Park and hopefully a meeting with its famous residents. You’ll have no trouble settling in at Chena Huts, your ‘rustic’ safari lodges with their own private plunge pools, air-conditioned bedrooms and free-standing baths. You’ll have three included private game drives into a park that is famed for having the world’s densest concentration of leopards. You’ll inevitably see plenty of crocs, deer and a vast array of fabulous birds – and fingers crossed for a rendezvous with a sloth bear, jackal or even the A-list big cats. There is also a good chance of seeing elephants and an array of other mammals throughout the vast savanna-like park.
The drive from Yala to Tangalle hugs the southern coast line. You are heading for Amanwella, a sanctuary of perfection on an exquisite beach a few miles from Tangalle. Here, indulged and pampered, you will want for nothing. Trying decisions such as choosing between the huge infinity pool overlooking the crescent of sand or the sunbeds positioned under the palms on the beach are about as difficult as it gets. This is R&R at its very finest. Lazy lounging absolutely guaranteed!
On your penultimate day, you’ll prise yourself away from Amanwella safe in the knowledge that your next stop is no less salubrious. Amangalla, majestic in its splendour, in Galle Fort awaits for the last night of your luxury holiday in Sri Lanka. Galle Fort is an absolute delight and its reputation stretches far and wide. It is the largest thriving old colonial fort in Asia and counts artisans, gem traders and chic expats amongst its residents. Having passed through Portuguese, Dutch and British hands owing to its strategic location on the spice route, it is a melting pot of Western colonial architecture combined with Arab influences and native Sri Lankan culture. On your final day, your driver will whisk you up the new highway to the airport for your international flight.
What you get for your money
This itinerary would typically cost from £2,900 per person staying in the specified hotels and having the services of a private chauffeur guide excluding international flights. The costs can vary based on season, room type and board basis. All our holidays are tailor-made and can be created around your budget.