It took us about three and half hours in an SUV from Colombo airport to reach Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, on Sri Lanka's southernmost shore. It seemed like a long haul after spending most of the day travelling from Delhi, but once you reach this former coconut plantation, it is worth it.
What to expect
Each of the 152 guest rooms and villas of the resort boast of hand-woven custom-made Sri Lankan furnishings and contemporary amenities, al fresco spaces to relax with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. 120 Premier and Deluxe rooms are spacious and luxury bathrooms that come with both a rain shower and separate oval bathtub, as well as a terrace or balcony with a daybed and dining furniture overlooking the ocean. If you crave for your own plunge pool, check-in to any of the 32 spacious one- and two-bedroom villas at the resort. The two-bedroom Garden Pool Villas also feature an indoor dining room and pantry.
Once you are tired of staying outdoor and want to relax, head straight to the Anantara spa, for Ayurvedic and western massages. But if being active is your thing, then head straight to the double level outdoor swimming pool, or you could try yoga, tai chi and 24-hour well-equipped gym.
The Anantara Peace Heaven has six restaurants, bars and lounge venues that serve authentic island cuisine and delightful colonial customs. You could enjoy a sumptuous breakfast with a live juice counter at their all-day dining restaurant, Journeys. The menu includes Sri Lankan and world cuisine. Il Mare, the Italian restaurant, is very picturesque as it is perched on the edge of a dramatic cliff, overlooking the Indian Ocean. We enjoyed the beachside Verele restaurant, which served Teppanyaki and Kothu — a traditional Sri Lankan dish.
What made it more interesting was that at the core of Verele is the farm-to-table philosophy, serving seasonal organic ingredients and fresh ocean produce. By day, the poolside bar serves refreshing beverages, light bites and sundowner cocktails, and for a charming retreat, the Lobby Lounge offers high tea with a Sri Lankan twist.
You could also take cooking classes at Spice Spoons to learn traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.
WHERE: Goyambokka Estate, Tangalle, Sri Lanka, 82200 Tangalle, Sri Lanka.
How to reach: There are direct flights from Delhi to Colombo. Cinnamon Air offers daily 40-minute sea-plane flight from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport to Mawella Lagoon in Dickwella, which is a mere 10 minute drive from the resort. You could also charter a private flight, helicopter transfers or use the resort’s luxury Hybrid SUV transfer service which is approximately a 3 1/2-hour drive. The fleet offers complimentary WiFi, DVD’s and an array of journals
COST: Starting from Rs 38,500 per night (Rates are dynamic and varies between seasons)
CALL: 00 94 47 767 0700; anantara.com