Cape Weligama: Sri Lanka’s hidden gem of a hotel

Cape Weligama: Sri Lanka’s hidden gem of a hotel
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Travel Weekly took a drive from Colombo to Cape Weligama recently to discover one of the Relais and Chateaux gems. A three-hour drive from Sri Lanka’s bustling city, but only 30 minutes from the historic Galle, it’s a sanctuary with stunning views and landscapes.

    Location

    Cape Weligama overview. (Source: Kiwi Collection)

    There is something exotic about Sri Lanka, even its name conjures up images of pristine beaches and tea plantations. Cape Weligama pays tribute to all of this imagery – nestled along Sri Lanka’s southern coast, the resort boasts a prime location and is surrounded by striking landscapes. I was looking forward to staying in a Relais and Chateaux accommodation as I heard so much about the brand’s philosophy regarding local and sustainable hotels without compromising luxury.

    First Impression

    Garden spaces. (Supplied)

    Arriving at Cape Weligama did feel in many ways like stepping into a scene from a somewhat surreal movie. The grounds are exquisite, and the architecture a fusion of traditional Sri Lankan charm and contemporary luxury. Beware the winding paths, because it is easy to get lost, as I did many times, while taking in the beautiful gardens and losing myself in the sound of the crashing ocean below. A helpful staff member is never far away in their buggies, and the butler is a phone call away, his main job with me was finding me and directing me back to my villa!

    Rooms

    Spacious rooms. (Supplied)

    Designed by renowned architect Lek Bunnag, the 39-villa resort is spacious and private. The room is much more than that – a sprawling villa with an outdoor setting and a pool shared with another villa. The bedroom is spacious as is the bathroom with a walk-in wardrobe and are equipped with minibars, coffee machines and tea-making facilities. The design was in keeping with modern Sri Lanka and a nod of old-world charm. Each villa comes with a butler, who will insist on getting a buggy for you to get around, but walking around the grounds is very manageable and enjoyable.

    Food and Drink

    Cocktail, anyone? (Supplied)

    The clifftop bar is excellent for a Gin and Tonic late afternoon, or whatever take your fancy from an extensive range non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are extensive. The restaurant is positioned at the top of the cape with unsurprisingly fabulous views. The menu has a great range of modern Sri Lankan and Asian

    options as well as your standard western fate. There’s always the burger and fries available for those who are not so gastronomically adventurous.

    Service

    Service is second to none. (Supplied)

    Sri Lankans are known for their warm and gentle nature and the staff certainly embody this. Friendly and generous, the service was exemplary and nothing was too hard. Of course, having a butler, such an indulgent luxury, topped off the experience.

    Facilities

    Pool with a view. (Supplied)

    The Moon Pool is a crescent of water overlooking the headland – is open to all guests, but kids are directed towards the family-friendly Cove Pool. Otherwise, for more privacy, each villa has a large pool shared with another villa. There was never anyone at my pool, so even with a full resort, there is plenty of space for privacy.

    Overall Impression

    For me it was the perfect place to unwind and relax, and I wasn’t alone. However, there is also lots to do and the staff can arrange surfing lessons, diving courses, kayaks or paddle boards. Sunset cruises and whale-watching expeditions are also on the menu. The answer is always Yes at Cape Weligama, just the way we like it.

    Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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