While so much is written about Sri Lanka’s beaches, historic ruins, distinct cuisine, dynamic culture, wildlife experiences, and the picturesque hill country, hardly anything is said about something that sets the island’s attractions widely apart: how creatively Ayurvedic medicine is incorporated into the some of the loveliest spas of the world.
Ayurveda is one of the most ancient holistic wellness systems that helps restore a balance between mind, body and spirit. In Sri Lanka, Ayurvedic medicine has been around for about 5000 years, providing healing schemes to purify skin, balance emotions, alleviate stress, and to treat several other ailments. Hotel spas in Sri Lanka offer a ‘light’ version of Ayurveda while the full spectrum is offered at hospitals and clinics specializing in Ayurvedic medicines. The latter is mostly for serious medical patients, so tourists are recommended to enjoy the introduction concept by trained specialists at hotel spas. Here are a few hotels that offer exclusive spa facilities in Sri Lanka:
Just an hour’s drive from Colombo, Anantara Kalutara is one of the latest properties of the ‘Anantara’ brand on the southern coast. The wellness center here offers private lagoon frontage and is perfect for a peace seeking mission due to its location on a secluded beach near the Indian Ocean and Kalu Ganga River.
A resident Ayurvedic specialist is on call at all times here – who will assess your body first and then escort you to a room where you will climb on a wooden table and relax on your back. The treatment recommended depends on the specialist’s assessment and what he/she recommends for your body. A professional masseuse will begin pouring some warm oil on you to make you feel as if you are submerged in water. By the end of the treatment, you will feel relaxed and absolutely fresh.
Outside the spa is a pavilion where yoga classes are held and if you are an expert in the field already, you can simply practice yoga and meditation by yourself for further relaxation.
Amangalla in Galle
Moving further south, to Galle, stop over at the Amangalla resort. A beautiful spa, pool, and grounds will lure you into a refined holiday. Initially constructed in 1684, the building was carefully restored, preserving every architectural and decorative detail, while also reaching the standards of the “Aman” brand.
A spa experience at Amangalla begins with a complimentary private hour in “The baths”. You are advised to soak yourself for an hour in the bathtub and imagine that the water around you is a restoration of the body and mind. As you walk silently to the spa desk, you are cloaked in darkness and can see your shadow through the candlelight of lanterns which produces a dreamy effect.
Five treatment rooms are available along with two hydrotherapy suites – where two hot and cold plunge pools, steam rooms and saunas are placed. A range of therapies are available – including massages, anointments, reflexology and scrubs, each of which can be personalized by the Ayurvedic doctor on call.
Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle
Also known as one of the most beautiful hotels in Sri Lanka, Anantara Peace Haven is located on the southeastern tip of Sri Lanka, in the small town of Tangalle. The makers of the hotel found a gorgeous patch of secluded land in Tangalle to build a property that truly makes you feel like you are in paradise! Swaying coconut trees, landscaping done with optimum concern for the environment, beach chairs and sundries, and of course, another magnificent spa as a highlight of the resort.
The treatment packages offered here include ones with anti-inflammatory properties, those that help in relaxation, detoxification, muscle flexibility, skin moisture and much more. Teak platforms for guest treatments are more common in Sri Lanka as compared to soft padded massage tables in the West. Warm compresses are applied to parts of your body at the start of the treatment to relax the muscles. Once the therapy is over, you are left feeling lighter, refreshed and invigorated.