Hotels

Hotel Review: Family-friendly luxury on Sri Lanka’s South Coast

As the waves crash beyond the striking crescent shaped pool, the stilt fishermen assume their positions and the surfers ride the endless tubes below, we’re served an “Earl Grey” cocktail in a vintage crystal glass while taking in the sights, sounds and smells of Cape Weligama resort.

“The Earl Grey” is a signature drink at this property and features a unique mix of their homemade Dilmah tea-infused gin as the base, infused with flavours of lime, egg white, tea and cinnamon. 

And it is dreamy combination, much like the resort itself.

Surrounded by 12 acres of rugged, natural beauty, Cape Weligama features 39 spacious villas, 13 pools, endless private gardens, two restaurants, an open-air bar, spa, yoga studio and gym.

The villas feature a mix of contemporary styling with traditional Sri Lankan décor and furnishings (and seriously comfortable beds), making for a rare but perfect pairing of two distinct interior styles.

The rooms are surrounded by lush gardens, all individually manicured. These gardens – whilst perfectly maintained – retain the wild and free ambience of the resort.

Kids will love the family pool where the resident Thalagoya (Land Monitor) lizard swims between the palm fronded ‘islands’ of the pool. But the piece de resistance of the resort is the adults-only moon pool which offers an uninterrupted 270-degree view of the Indian Ocean and icy cold beer. The pool sits atop a cliff point and is surrounded by rugged cliffs and luxuriously green coastal vegetation. 

But while the physical features of the resort are exceptional, what makes a stay here feel truly special is the impeccable levels of service – and the sense of a truly tailor-made experience. Each staff member is deeply passionate about the resort, its story, its very special location, the local village and the Resplendent Ceylon family of hotels (many guests stay at all three as part of their Sri Lankan tour).

Everything about the place feels like bespoke and immersive – from writing on a “Cape Weligama” postcard, dropping it in the post box at the Surf Bar, to be sent anywhere in the world for free, to being able to speak to the chef directly about the catch of the day and selecting your own menu preferences for the stay.

The resort features four exciting locations for dining, with the jewel in the crown being their cliff side restaurant, Tableau that looks over the wild surf and rising sun below. Here, the catch of the day – which has been sourced by the local stilt fisherman – is expertly prepared by the head chef for guests in whichever style takes their fancy. 

Traditional Sri Lankan spicy fish curry? Sure.

Lightly buttered and filtered for the kids? No problem. 

Served in a light white wine and lemon jus? Can be done. 

To put it simply, nothing is too much of an ask here and everything is prepared to guests’ individual tastes. 

All-day dining venue Tableau is also where breakfast is served daily, where you can expect delicacies like Sri Lankan crab omelette with a parsley reduction on locally made sourdough… delicious. 

Lunch is usually a spread of southern Sri Lankan specialities including a light fish curry, sambals, pol roti and rice. It’s served in clay and terracotta pots and is every bit as tasty as it sounds, while for dinner you can opt for delicate house made pasta and pizza – perfect for kids and adults alike. 

Other F&B options include the gorgeous Surf Bar – with breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean, the bar is famous for honouring its roots by serving one of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated Ceylon tea selections, Dilmah tea (the resort is owned by the Dilmah family). Here guests can enjoy high tea, a variety of signature cocktails and late-night bar snacks. 

Guests can also opt for poolside cocktails at the moon pool, mostly inspired by the Dilmah tea range and locally available spirits. house-made croissants, fresh juices made to order and eggs benedict with house smoked salmon for him. It makes for the perfect start to the lazy days that are the norm here. 



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