Going native in Tri Lanka
Nuzzled into a hillside overlooking the beautiful Lake Koggala, Tri Lanka is a bold new breed of luxury hotel that is relatively uncommon in Sri Lanka. While most holiday-makers heading to the south coast stick to the more rustic beaches of Hikkaduwa and Tangalle, those who venture inland will be rewarded with serenity at the recently opened, design-led hotel.
The hillside property is crested with an enormous banyan tree, with the layout of the resort built in a spiral that adheres to the ‘Golden Ratio’ as mapped out in the Fibonacci sequence. But despite the modern design and aesthetics of the 10 guest rooms — eight villas and two in the eye-catching water-tower — the resort was constructed with sustainability at its heart. Tri’s philosophy is based on going local — from team members to ingredients in the kitchen and the art displayed — while the hotel’s buildings are built from local materials. The water is heated by solar power, the buildings even have ‘living walls’ to camouflage themselves in the jungle setting and a carbon-consulting company in Colombo conducts comprehensive biodiversity reports on the property.
Despite the hotel’s careful waltz with nature, it has the mod-cons to rival any of area’s luxury hotels. There is free high-speed Wi-Fi, a library of art, design and architecture books, three of the villas have plunge pools, and the infinity pool is so picturesque that you almost don’t want to get in for fear of upsetting the view.
The plot of land was originally bought as a place for owner Rob Drummond to retire to, but as a keen photographer married to a yoga teacher, the idea evolved to open a boutique hotel specialising as a photography and yoga retreat. Today the hotel offers free yoga sessions, as well as a spa with two treatment rooms.
While the main objective of Tri is to allow you to get lost in your private cocoon of luxury, the hotel staff are more than happy to help organise transport and day-excursions for those who want to wander. The blue-whale-watching trips (best taken from November to April) from nearby Weligama Bay are something that you really shouldn’t miss, as is a day-trip to the historical Galle Fort, but if you fancy staying closer to home, the resort offers daily boat trips around Koggala Lake to visit cinnamon farms and fish-spas. Or if you fancy a work out an indepedent bike shop, Idle Bikes, hosts cycling tours around the areas green and pleasant lands.
While most people head to Sri Lanka’s south coast for its beaches, we’d argue that it’s inland where the real treasures lie.
Book holidays and accommodation at Tri Lanka via scottdunn.com