Sri Lanka has rapidly become one of 2018’s it-destinations. With miles of pristine beaches, impossibly scenic tea fields, supreme cuisine and elephant-filled national parks – it’s not hard to see why. My first (but definitely not last) trip involved a three-day safari and surfing on the south coast, and ended with a short but sweet stay at Tri, an intimate eco hotel set high up on a hilltop on the banks of the breathtakingly beautiful lake Koggola.
After a 10-minute drive up a craggy road alongside the rice paddy fields and local villages, we were met with the view of the hotel’s extremely Instagrammable infinity pool and Oliver James, the uber friendly and knowledgeable hotel manager. After a cup of Ceylon tea and a wander around the grounds, I began to feel completely at home – and surprisingly at ease with the lack of phone signal or Wifi. Tri offers a real sense of tranquillity in what could possibly be the most beautiful rural jungle setting, and I’ll definitely be paying them a visit again soon…
11 secluded suites spiral the 6-acre island hill, each with their own spectacular lake view. Interiors are minimalist, chic, and feature cinnamon-wood cladding, natural granites and luxurious bathrooms – and there’s not a TV in sight. Book one of the rooms inside the grand water tower for particularly impressive views, especially at sunset.
The chefs at Tri have a knack for crafting local ingredients into flavourful, contemporary dishes – their 6-course dinners are an experience in itself and have made the restaurant a gastronomic destination for those in the know. Breakfasts are delicious and nutritious and include everything from fresh fruit smoothies to eggs benedict and hoppers – the perfect start for an action-packed day ahead.
The hotel offers guests a bespoke plan of yoga classes and spa treatments on arrival, involving Lara Baumann’s unique quantum approach. Classes are held in the shala, an elevated retreat space above the bamboo grove, perfect for relaxing the mind, body and soul, while the adjoining Ayurveda spa is a tranquil oasis of calm, promising to nourish and rejuvenate.
What to do
Take a boat trip to the nearby Cinnamon Island where you can experience the cinnamon making process and taste their world-famous tea. Feeling adventurous? Slip on your sneakers and head out on a bike tour, where you’ll get the chance to see in-land Sri Lanka up close and personal, amongst the expansive lush greenery and rice paddy fields. Make the most of the beaches nearby – Weligama and Mirissa aren’t far at all – for incredible surfing and snorkelling.