From tea to sea: Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka
Eliza Sullivan reports on a truly resplendent Sri Lankan resort.
By Eliza Sullivan | Published #67, Spring 2016
The luxurious Cape Weligama resort, on the south coast of Sri Lanka, sits across 12 acres of cliff-top land with sweeping views out over the Indian Ocean. Guests stay in large rooms that range in expanse all the way up to a two-floor residence.
The resort is the vision of the family owners of the famous Ceylon Tea Trails properties: a series of colonial bungalows with wide verandahs, set in the lush, inland Sri Lankan tea country; where butlers serve cucumber sandwiches and guests wander fragrant gardens, play tennis and croquet and visit tea factories to learn tea connoisseurship. Cape Weligama addresses a previously unmet demand from visitors to the Ceylon Tea Trails to extend their stay and have other Sri Lankan experiences.
During a stay at Cape Weligama, guests can choose from a variety of activities to fill their days – if lounging by the infinity pool isn’t enough. The main pool overlooks a 40-foot drop to the Indian Ocean, with only the occasional palm obstructing the views. At the resort itself, PADI-certified scuba diving is offered and beginners can start in a dedicated pool before heading out to the reefs. There’s also whale watching, surfing, fishing excursions, kayaking and of course spa treatments – which are administered in a guest’s residence by expert technicians. Short drives can deliver guests to the nearby historic Galle Fort or to Uda Walawe National Park to see sloth bears, elephants and crocodiles.
Dining at Cape Weligama is exceptional in quality and variety. Like the Ceylon Tea Trails bungalows, the resort has met the high standards required to merit the Relais & Châteaux badge. All dining venues offer different cuisines inspired by fresh ingredients. Guests can visit the De Mauny Dining Pavilion for fresh seafood, Rogue for traditional steakhouse fare or Misaki for high-end Japanese. Those looking for an authentic Sri Lankan dining experience can visit Kumbuk, a Sri Lankan village-style restaurant where they eat with their hands, or the Taylor Pavilion for a Ceylon high tea.
The guest rooms, suites and residences offer spaces that open onto covered terraces where guests can relax and dine. Even the smallest room still provides guests with 130 square metres in which to relax – more than double the size of hotel rooms in the city. All rooms come equipped with their own steam room, save the Cape Weligama Residence, which instead has its own private infinity pool and sundeck.
Resplendent Ceylon – the parent company of both Cape Weligama and the Ceylon Tea Trails bungalows – offers a Tea & Sea package for guests to experience both the seaside luxury of Cape Weligama and the unique Tea Trails property further inland. It is a seamless itinerary that includes stays at both residences and seaplane transfers between each.
Cape Weligama rates start around US$275 (about A$368) per night for a pool-view junior suite bed & breakfast package; while a fully inclusive stay in a Master Room 150 starts at around US$582 (about A$779) per double per night, including all meals, afternoon teas, mini-bar usage, house spirits and wines, laundry, WiFi, and a complimentary daily activity. resplendentceylon.com/capeweligama
The journeys combine unique travel experience, customised wellness programs and the …
Weather to go
Sri Lanka’s weather greatly varies according to the region. Between December and March, the Hill Country as well as the west and south coasts are dry and warm. The east coast experiences the best weather between April and September, while the rest of country experiences monsoon season. The east sees monsoon season between October and January. The ‘Cultural Triangle’ is located within the ‘dry zone,’ and only sees rainfall in November and December. The rest of the year is warm and dry, though June and July may see hot, strong winds.
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