The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Boutique Ceylon is a classic but leisurely journey around the most interesting and beautiful parts of the island, which allows you time to enjoy the quality of your accommodation. Experience the ancient heritage of the north-central Cultural Triangle, the tea plantations and misty mountains of the hill country, and finally the glorious beaches of the Deep South. We have selected stylish boutique accommodation in two price categories to make this an unforgettable holiday.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to your splendid boutique hotel conveniently placed a short drive from the international airport. Relax and unwind after your flight, preparing yourself for the adventure ahead.
Our Boutique Ceylon tour suggests three days in the Cultural Triangle. As you enter this dry, central region, you should visit Dambulla Cave Temple, a must-see with its rock ceiling covered in one large sweep of colourful frescoes, some of which dates back more than 2,000 years. This cave temple has the largest number of Buddha statues all housed in one place including a 14-metre figure of the recumbent Buddha carved out of the rock. You could also explore Polonnaruwa which became Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital in 1073 and remained Sri Lanka’s capital until the late 13C. Today, the ancient city’s ruins remain in remarkably good nick, and are a fascinating site to visit. The most impressive are the ancient sculptures of Lord Buddha at the Gal Vihara cut into Granite stone dating back to the middle of the 12C while the nearby Archeological Museum adds extra interest. On the next day, why not rise early and climb the magnificent Sigiriya Rock, one of Sri Lanka's fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites? No matter how often you climb to the summit of this one-time fortress of the murderous, maverick Sinhalese king, Kassapa, the pleasure barely diminishes. Many scholars believe that Kassapa sought to rule as a God-king. About two hours can happily be spent walking through the water gardens, and then up the steep steps - either hewn out of the rock or on circular iron staircases - past the frescoes. You will be in no rush to abandon the spectacular views at the summit. There is much more you can potentially see and do in the Cultural Triangle – as well as other famous sites such as Anuradhapura and Mihintale, you can visit the game park at Minneriya or engage in activities such as bullock cart rides, boating on the lakes, nature trails, bird watching and fishing.
The journey from the Cultural Triangle to Sri Lanka's hill capital – the small lakeside city of Kandy – will occupy most of the morning. Experience the ancient Kandyan heritage. Visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy where a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined since 4th Century A.D. The temple has decorative walls, a golden roof and fine woodwork. Religious services with traditional music and drumming are held daily at dawn, midday and in the evening.
Today you begin your journey to the central highlands with its tea covered hills, gushing waterfalls, and scenic beauty. Travel into Sri Lanka’s tea-growing highlands and check-in at your beautiful hotel. The hill country also provides an excellent base for a variety of adventure activities, such as kayaking, trekking and cycling.
Time to leave the cool highlands and twist your way down to the Deep South to the fishing village of Tangalle. Relax and enjoy the sun and surf. Tangalle and the surrounding areas are renowned for its superb unspoiled and undeveloped beaches. Perhaps visit Rekuwa, a small fishing village near Tangalle where a fascinating Marine Turtle Conservation project is helping to save this endangered species. You might even want to engage in some Water Sports like whale watching, snorkelling, sailing, river trips, and sea kayaking. Other attractions nearby, include Yala National Park, one of the largest national parks in the island where elephants and leopards can be seen.
Journey along the scenic south coast to the historic city of Galle and stay your final night in Galle's 17C Dutch Fort, a UNESCO-protected World Heritage site. Several hours can be spent wandering along the narrow streets, well preserved ramparts, the lighthouse, the Dutch Reform Church, and several houses with the typical manor house style architecture with columns, courtyards, and verandas. The thick, high ramparts that protect and distinguish the Fort are today used for romantic evening strolls and knockabout cricket games. High on the headland of Unawatuna Bay is Rhumassala Temple. Scuba diving is rewarding in Sri Lanka and around Galle there are some of the country's best dive spots. Spotting bright corals and exotic fish is easy and there is the opportunity to go both cave diving and wreck diving.
Nestled amongst acres of beautifully manicured gardens, this colonial manor house, or Wallawwa, is now a luxurious boutique hotel. This old and new concept provides guests with unrivalled setting and style just 15 minutes from the airport. 18 bedrooms, Asian fusion cuisine, Z spa and The Wallawwa’s swimming pool – all set amongst one of the finest private gardens in Sri Lanka.
Ulagalla Resort is the most luxurious choice close to the ruins of the ancient capital Anuradhapura. Individual chalet are set amidst 58 acres of lush woodland, paddy fields and the Ulagalla reservoir in Anuradhapura. Among the many activity options, Ulagalla even has its own riding stables, enabling you to explore the area on horseback.
The Kandy House is a brilliant boutique hotel offering stylish and private accommodation, personal service, and delicious food - all in a stunningly beautiful natural setting. The manor house, has been refurbished to blend the old with the new- light white interiors, polished hardwood floorboards, Jack wood staircase, Dutch style antique furniture and careful injections of colour.
Camellia Hills is a modern interpretation of a tea bungalow. Offering accommodation in five ensuite rooms overlooking the majestic Castlereagh reservoir and surrounding tea plantations, the bungalow is great for relaxation and operate on all-inclusive basis.
The Last House, so called because it was Geoffrey Bawa's architectural swansong, is positioned on an idyllic strip of land - lagoon on one side, beach on the other - on the outskirts of Tangalle. It has long been one of best villas in the south coast and also operates as a small boutique hotel. Few villas have a better beach.
Taru Villas - Rampart Street is an appealing four-bedroom villa with pool and a prime position inside the historic Galle Fort.
Red Dot selects only the best accommodation in Sri Lanka, in its particular price range. Please suggest which of the three categories might most appeal to you. (You can tick more than one box).
Would you like to sign up for the Red Dot Tours Newsletter ?