In a week you can travel all over Sri Lanka to get your fill of temples, elephant safaris and fresh-made curries. Once you’ve conquered all the essentials though, it’s time to relax! Sri Lanka not only offers tons of adventurous experiences, it also boasts super-chic spots that are tranquil, calm and wonderfully indulgent. For my return trip to one of my favorite countries, I was able to have some much needed down time!
Although Sri Lanka is an island nation, it also boasts some other wonderfully still bodies of water. My experience at Jetwing Lagoon hotel was fantastic, from attentive and friendly staff to an amazing spa session and options for outdoor yoga classes.
The best part is the pool – it’s the longest in Sri Lanka! Choose a covered cabana next to the water and let the Lion beer flow. Across the street is the raging ocean – while waves are a bit strong for swimming, the sunsets are spectacular.
Don’t forget to head into the city of Negombo too, only about a 20-minute tuk-tuk ride from Jetwing Lagoon. The atmosphere is a little more chaotic in town, but you can find respite at the two other Jetwing properties on the beach.
Who would have known where are some sanctuaries of peace in a bustling capital city like Colombo?
Take an evening to splash out at the Residence by Uga Escapes for a cocktail, then definitely stick around for an indulgent dinner at their restaurant rare at Residence. It’s some of the best cuisine I’ve had in Colombo, perfectly paired with a large French wine selection. Order the impeccably prepared scallop starter and finish with fresh made blueberry ice cream.
One way I love to relax on a trip is with a cool swim in a well-located pool. A few fantastic Sri Lankan hotels have wonderful pools:
Renuka City Hotel
The rooftop pool there not only is just big enough for mini laps, it also overlooks parts of the city and the ocean. Perhaps the best aspect of this well-kept hotel is the price point. Rooms are comparably more bang for your buck when it comes to hotels in Colombo that are above average in style and amenities.
Jetwing Colombo Seven
A brand-new hotel in a well-located neighborhood. It’s chic, sleek and welcoming to travelers for business and pleasure all over the world. Pick a room on one of the higher floors for the best views, but don’t worry – you’ll have access to the beautiful rooftop no matter which rooms you stay in.
Up top on the 12th floor is a large infinity pool frames by frangipani trees with an adjoining deck that has massive lounge chairs. On the other side of the rooftop is an enclosed gym, large bar and outside seating area for snacks and drinks. While the downstairs restaurant and lobby is also expansive and serene, the rooftop is certainly my favorite area of the hotel.
Other Tranquil Sri Lankan Hotspots
Head south to the coast or inland to the tea plantations for more greenery, secluded oasis finds and much more. A couple inspirations are below:
A somewhat sleepy beach town, this is the place where many people take surf lessons and learn about a simpler lifestyle. There’s some great laid-back hostels in the area, but for a lot more luxury, it’s worth the splurge at the Lantern Hotel. Many of these rooms have built-in suites, so you can stay in some evening and do light cooking for an even more relaxed atmosphere overlooking the ocean.
Silence is golden at the temple in Kandy, where you can find a bustling, yet quiet, reverent spot to meditate. The Temple of the Tooth is located there, featuring a relic from Buddha surrounded by offering of sweet smelling flowers. Find a small corner and simply be.
I’ve never experienced a quiet majesty quote like soaring above Dambulla via hot air balloon. You go in the middle of the night to catch your ride so as not to miss the sunrise. Up in the air, it’s wonderfully calm and peaceful floating above the palm trees.
Check out some more Sri Lanka trip ideas here.
As of May 2017, Sri Lanka is currently experiencing awful flooding in certain areas of the island. Many people are being displaced and have lost their lives; it’s a terrible tragedy happening to a beautiful place and its people. If you’d like to help, keep updated on the news here and feel free to donate to reputable NGOs here.
While certain seasons bring about large amounts of rain, don’t let that deter your upcoming trip! Check-in with your country’s government travel alerts before planning any sort of adventure.