Five Exclusive Small Luxury Hotels in the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka

Tourism in Sri Lanka is consistently on the boom and more and more investors are interested in the tourism industry. As a result, several exclusive luxury hotels have opened up in the recent past all across the island and our team at Blue Lanka Tours have partnered with many of them to provide our guests with a truly memorable Sri Lanka luxury holiday. Let’s have a look at some of the exclusive ones on the southern coastline of Sri Lanka. Most of these hotels will boast breathtaking views of the beach but each hotel has its own uniqueness and homely atmosphere.

1. Tamarind Hill – Galle

This colonial style luxury hotel situated just a few kilometers from Galle Fort is an ideal blend of well designed and spacious modern rooms, sophisticated service, and a fine dining restaurant to provide guests with a truly relaxing and luxury holiday experience. Tamarind Hill has 12 luxury suites, each with four poster beds, and some of these rooms come with private butler service and a private balcony from which you can enjoy the unmatchable views of the sunset. The hotel also has a secluded infinity pool and a veranda with a calm atmosphere where you can sit and relax and take in the beautiful antiques and historic works of art.

2. The Fortress Resort and Spa – Galle

Leave the cares of the real world behind you when you enter the doors of this sophisticated luxury boutique hotel situated in the town of Koggala, Galle. Designed in the style of a luxury fortress, this hotel has about 49 rooms in different categories along with spectacular gardens, water features, ayurvedic spa, a freeform swimming pool, a bar, restaurants and of course a breathtaking view of the exotic Indian Ocean.

To make your Sri Lanka luxury holiday a memorable one, you can choose to stay in a fortress room, a beach room, an ocean room, an ocean loft or the fashionable fortress residency. The interior of this hotel resembles Dutch and Portuguese styles along with a touch of Sri Lankan architecture and designer amenities.

3. Shinagawa Beach – Balapitiya

Shinagawa Beach hotel in Balapitiya, close to the town of Bentota in South Sri Lanka, is an ideal cozy beach retreat. This contemporary boutique hotel has a spectacular beach frontage that can be viewed from each of its 26 modern rooms. Set amidst tall palm trees, a golden stretch of sand and bright blue waters, the hotel has its own natural rock pool, spa and a restaurant that serves mouth-watering dishes. The décor throughout this luxury hotel exhibits a simple, yet sleek Japanese element in neutral colors. This soothing atmosphere, along with the friendly staff that is at your service for anything you need encourages you to just relax all you can while on your Sri Lanka luxury tour.

4. Owl and the Pussycat Hotel – Thalpe, Galle

Owl and the Pussycat Hotel in Thalpe, Galle is one of the newest boutique hotels that adds to the collection of resorts in the Southern Coastline. Having opened its doors in December 2015, the hotel has gained amazing popularity and fondness within just one year of opening. Creators of this hotel have done a great job in offering guests a sophisticated living atmosphere with a lively seaside. The name was inspired by poetry and the designers have incorporated lines from the poem “Own and the Pussycat” as titles for each room.

This unique property, designed by a New York architect, is painted in deep pastels and vibrant colors. The hotel includes furniture, artwork and colorful textiles collected from hand-made artists all around the globe. There are seventeen large rooms for guests and each family can choose which one they prefer to stay in because some rooms are suitable for families on a long stay, while some are more ideal for couples on a honeymoon getaway.

The hotel is situated in the town of Thalpe, which is just a small tuk-tuk ride from the Galle Fort. Nicely poised on the edge of the ocean, it is just a hop, skip and a jump from the hotel to the soft sand and cool waters. The hotel’s restaurant boasts global cuisines with a Lankan touch, accompanied with a wide variety of wine collections, juices and salads.

5 Serene Pavilions – Wadduwa

True to its name, this luxurious hotel is based on a philosophy of privacy and tranquility. Serene Pavilions provides 12 luxurious holiday pavilions for guests, each with their own dining and living areas, along with a private plunge pool and personalized butler services. While guests can enjoy a truly secluded and memorable luxury holiday in Sri Lanka at the pavilions in this hotel, they can also make use of the large outdoor swimming pool cum jacuzzi, the gym and the soothing spa facilities. The hotel also boasts a bar and a restaurant where guests can indulge in exclusive meals and top notch beverages.

Situated in the town of Wadduwa along the southern coastline, Serene Pavilions is just an hour’s drive from Colombo. Each of the luxurious Balinese style pavilions has tremendous views of the Indian Ocean and tropical landscapes.

Must try foods while touring Sri Lanka

For food lovers, Sri Lanka has cuisines that appeal to all senses, making Lankan food a feast for travelers! In addition to the natural landscape variety, the variety of authentic Lankan food is icing on the cake for making Sri Lankan holidays perfect.

Here are a few Sri Lankan foods you just cannot leave without trying.

1.  Dhal curry
Comfort food in Sri Lanka is the authentic rice and curry. Dhal is made from red lentils which are cooked in coconut milk. Initially, a sauté is done with onions, tomatoes and fresh green chilies and tempered spices are then mixed in. cumin seeds, fenugreek, mustard seeds, turmeric and curry leaves are the spices that go into the mix of onions and tomatoes. The soaked lentils and coconut milk is then added. Dhal curry turns out even more authentic when cooked in clay pots.

2.  Gotu Kola Salad
Mallung is the Sri Lankan style of green salads which are an important part of the Lankan diet. Gotu Kola is one type of a mallung salad along with Mukunuwenna, Kankun and other green leaves. These greens deliver a great dose of vitamins that add to a meal full of cars and protein. The gotu kola mallung, just like other mallungs is finely chopped and mixed with green chilies (also finely chopped), along with salt, pepper, lemon juice and a handful of fresh grated coconut.

3. Kottu Roti
Walk among the streets of a busy city or town during your tour in Sri Lanka and you are sure to come across the rhythmic clank of the kottu maker from one of the roadside hotels. This dish is the ultimate Sri Lankan street food. Paratha or roti is chopped into pieces and stir fried together with shredded vegetables, meat, a touch of soya sauce, ginger, garlic, and spices. All this is places on a flat iron skillet and roughly mixed with two metal cleavers attached to wooden handles. Found only and only in Sri Lanka, Kottu Roti is a must try!

4. Lamprais
The authentic flavor of Lamprais comes when cooked by the Burgher community in Sri Lanka, who descend from the colonial Europeans. Lamprais is a Dutch word for ‘parcel of food’ and it consists of a good portion of rice, boiled egg, eggplant curry, meat balls, and onion salad. These contents are organized onto a banana leaf, wrapped up and placed in an oven to be baked at low temperature for at least an hour.  The banana leaf aroma gets into the food, giving it a one of a kind flavor indeed.

5. Hoppers (Aappa) with sambol
Hoppers are the traditional version of thin pancakes which must have crispy edges. Produced in the shape of bowls, hoppers are made from fermented rice flour, sugar, coconut milk and coconut water. These crepes like Aappa can either be eaten plain with coconut or onion sambol or are also preferred with an egg in the middle, cooked while the hopper is being cooked.

6. Wood Apple Juice
Wood Apple is a very healthy South Asian fruit found in almost every fruits and vegetables market in Sri Lanka. The brown paste inside the hard shell of the wood apple is extracted and blended with jaggery and water to make a delicious juice.

7. Ambul Thiyal curry
This dish is created from Tuna fish and is a method of preserving fish in South Sri Lanka. Tuna fish is cut into cubes, sautéed with authentic Sri Lankan spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, black pepper and curry powder. An important ingredient that gives a unique taste to this curry is dried goraka, which is a tamarind-like like fruit that gives a distinctive tart flavor to the fish. The ingredients are then cooked in a little bit of water to make a dry curry.

8. Watalappan
Influenced from the Malaysian culture, Sri Lankan Muslims are very fond of Watalappan, often made during religious festivals. This pudding is made with a mixture of egg custard, jaggery, coconut milk, cinnamon and cardamom, and them steamed until the ingredients are cooked.

Our team at Blue Lanka Tours is dedicated towards providing tourists with the best possible memories of their holiday in Sri Lanka. We work hard in making sure our customers have a comfortable and luxurious holiday and do not leave without trying out these mouthwatering Lankan foods.

White water rafting – an experience of a lifetime!

White water rafting in Sri Lanka is an upcoming and increasingly popular sport amongst those planning adventure tours in Sri Lanka. The experience of rafting in Lankan waters not just gives you a thrilling memory but is also a challenge to test your teamwork ability, leadership and strategic thinking skills.

A Thrilling Adventure in Kitulgala – Sri Lanka

Kitulgala is a beautiful town where the banks of the Kelani River are located, which is about 80 kms from the city of Colombo. White water rafting adventures on the waters of this natural, yet perfectly designed Kelani River are suitable for amateurs and professionals alike. The picturesque river covers a total of 7 rapid falls, including 3 major ones and 4 minor ones. Every rapid fall is full of fun and excitement for those passing through it on their rafts.

White water rafting is ideal for all adults as well as children above the age of eight. Every rafting package comes with safety gear (life jackets and helmets), modern rafts as well as a brief instructions session by instructors before you begin the sport. The entire experience will take approximately one to two hours and the rafting distance covered is about 5kms. In addition to these, most rafting agents provide a Sri Lankan lunch, tea and coffee for the rafting package fee that they charge.

For those on a first time holiday in Sri Lanka and have never tried rafting before, you should get in touch with travel consultants at Blue Lanka Tours. We can arrange a day trip to Kitulgala for you to make sure you don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity. For first time rafters, here are a few frequently asked questions about white water rafting in Kitulgala that may clear your doubts.

How dangerous is white water rafting?

Rafting is an adventurous sport that involves exciting, wet, wild, thrilling and amazing fun. Yet, just like any other adventure sport would be, there is an inevitable risk involved. If there was no risk in an adventure sport like rafting, there would be no thrill and the sport would not be as enjoyable and exciting. The guides and instructors that would be with you during your rafting experience are expertly trained to manage and minimize any risks that you may come across.

What would be the consequences of any injury occurred during the rafting experience?

Your rafting instructor will give you a briefing on the do’s and don’ts of the boat ride as well as other safety techniques. Despite of this, if an injury were to occur, you will be transported to a neighboring hospital immediately and all costs of treatment will be borne by you or your travel insurance.

What are the basic safety rules for white water rafting in Kitulgala – Sri Lanka?

• No consumption of alcohol before the rafting session begins
• During the session, obey and abide by all rafting instructions given to you
• By dis-obeying safety rules and instructions, you are risking the lives of everyone on your boat.
• Rafting agency insurance will not cover any damages caused

Can non-swimmers still go rafting?

Everyone who steps into a rafting boat goes with an approved life jacket which will keep you afloat if you fall into the river. So it is okay to go rafting even if you do not know how to swim. Professionally trained instructors will guide you beforehand on what to do if you fall into the river during the rafting session.

What is the probability of falling out of the boat?

The priority is to stay in your boat. But due to certain circumstances you may end up falling out of your boat and in fact that adds to the excitement of your rafting experience. If you do fall into the water, beware of rocks and avoid swimming in rocky areas. Don’t hang on the boat either. Just relax, stay calm and let yourself float with the flow of the water. Once the rocky areas have passed you will be helped back onto the boat.

Magazine rates Sri Lanka as second best holiday destination in 2016

A well-known luxury lifestyle and travel magazine known as ‘Condé Nast Traveler ’ talks about the astounding beauty of the pearl of the Indian Ocean – Sri Lanka. Throughout their discussion, one optimistic factor remains: the charm of Lankan folk. With Australia ranking as number one, Condé Nast Traveler bestowed privileges to the precious island of Sri Lanka as being the second best place to visit in 2016. This is a huge boost to refresh the tourism industry in Sri Lanka.

Condé Nast Traveler magazine is more than just a travel magazine and focuses on hard news reporting as well as literary journalism. Founded in 1987, the magazine has won 25 National Magazine Awards. Pursuing the motto “Truth in Travel”, chief editor Evans clearly states that no travel industry freebies will be accepted.

In this particular article, writer Katherine says tourism in Sri Lanka is often defeated by neighboring countries such as Maldives and India. Yet, the tropical country remains a relatively unexplored, affordable and not very populated place to visit. Katherine goes on to say that the timeless ruins located island-wide and the endless stretches of beautiful waters are sufficient to summon travelers. While the seaside capital city of Colombo is currently undergoing a cosmopolitan upgrade, developments in the Southwestern shores of Galle are also ongoing – having recently launched a well-designed luxury hotel.

Writer Sebastian also covered holidays in Sri Lanka as a part of the Condé Nast Traveler Magazine a couple of years ago. In it he spoke about authentic Lankan folk. Sri Lankan men are almost always dressed to stand out. They have a sense of potential that remains unrealized. For example, if you stop at a remote rural area, a man whose job is to simply keep the pathway clear of leaves will be dressed as a politics professor at Yale! Another writer commented on Lankan fold being very polite, un-invasive and unruffled. Walking along the streets will attract three-wheel drivers passing by who will stop to ask if you need a ride. But if you say no, they will politely drive away instead of hassling you and insisting you ride with them.

                    The Fortress Hotel

Beach holidays in Sri Lanka are one of the many things that the country can boast about. Lovely golden sand beaches with palm trees on the sides, patches of gardens, rice paddies, smallholdings, and mangosteen orchards all mixed together.

Due to the long term civil war and the great tsunami in 2004, Sri Lanka suffered a massive drop in tourism rates. Thankfully, when peace was declared in 2009, there was stable reconstruction of areas affected by the tsunami and the country began to flourish as a must-visit holiday destination. Very few places around the world can present travelers with a wide variety of greenery, climate changes, sandy beaches, hillside terrains, thriving rainforests and well-maintained wildlife. These are just some of the reasons why this precious island is known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”.

                  98 acres resort and spa

The North of the country is just recently developing after the war and has only a few options for tourist accommodation but will soon flourish with plenty to offer. Apart from that, there are other areas that are perfectly safe to explore such as tea and temples in Kandy, Wildlife in Yala, white-water rafting in Kitulgala and of course surfing along the beaches of the eastern and southwestern coast. Blue Lanka Tours has a team of skilled travel consultants who can prepare an itinerary for your visit solely based on your likes and preferences. In providing transport and accommodation to all our customers, we focus on giving tourists a luxury holiday in Sri Lanka at extremely affordable rates.

In addition to this naturally beautiful island that has a pursuit to suit everyone; Sri Lanka’s greatest wealth is the charm of its warm, gentle and friendly population. Visitors often take this one impression with them which is a great motivation to Lankan folk to preserve our unique perspective on life and be a united and dignified nation.