From seaplane to neverending coastal road, past a string of stick fishermen and up a steep winding and rugged street, you’ll find a Sir Lankan hideaway built into a steep cliff that has all the character of a luxury resort with the rich flavor of local people and the traditions they hold dear. This is Cape Weligama, the modern and uber-luxe sister resort to Ceylon Tea Trails. It’s brand new, as in doors just recently opened. The staff, and the place itself, are still finding their feet, but landing firmly in a position that is setting them up for a very bright future indeed.
We arrived at Cape Weligama on a beautiful and bright sunny afternoon. It was as if the hotel staff had special ordered the weather – not an easy task at the end of monsoon season in Sri Lanka. But, for that afternoon we were truly able to see the beauty of our surroundings and the incredible detail that has been shown to every single corner of Cape Weligama. The villas themselves are the perfect reflection of everything the group stands for. Resplendent Ceylon, the hotel group which Cape Weligama is a part of, have made it their sole purpose in life to give back to the communities of Sri Lanka. This is a community in development that wishes to restore glory to their home country’s tourism trade. Everything from the furniture in the rooms to the food on our plates is a reflection of local talents. Even the butlers for the villas offer a local experience and are all too happy to discuss anything and everything with you during your stay.
Yes, each villa comes with a butler. It also comes with a pool, an ocean view and a bathroom that will truly knock your socks off. And if that isn’t enough to keep you busy, there are two other communal pools to dive into, two beach fronts to explore and a feast of activities to fill your days while at Cape Weligama. Although I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t tempted by the idea of lazying about for the duration – taking long hot baths, indulging in massages in the room, eating at any one of the three restaurants on site or just enjoying a good read on my ocean front porch. One look at Cape Weligama and you can easily see why it’s labeled a retreat. This is like stepping out of reality and stepping into paradise for however many days you can sacrifice.
Saying that, there are some things that can’t be missed while in residence. For one, you have to eat at the outdoor Sri Lankan restaurant by the beach. This was definitely the culinary highlight of the stay. Chefs deliver an outstanding curry and local street food experience, all cooked right in front of you and delivered straight to table. Be warned, you’ll think you can eat it all. I don’t think I’ve ever piled a plate so high. I sat with a full tummy as the ice cream stand opened at the close of the meal and I was certain I couldn’t fit another morsel of food in without embarrassing myself greatly. Yes, there could have been a jeans-button-popping-moment in my future, should I have kept filling my face. But truly you just cannot stop. The food is so incredible and I do believe when I come back I’ll be spending just about every night in this restaurant. That all being said, the hotel does have on offer an extensive in-room dining experience. Butlers assist you with everything from breakfast on your veranda in the morning to BBQs in the evening with your guests.In truth, if you don’t want to leave your villa once, there’s no need from check-in to check-out. Although doing so would be a great shame. But more on that later!
For now, here’s a look at what I discovered while in residence at Cape Weligama for three nights.
(Ps. Please do check out the website – http://www.capeweligama.com – for truly stunning pictures, as sadly we didn’t have too many blue skies so I’m afraid I don’t do it justice).
Cox & Kings have a 7-day / 5-night trip to Sri Lanka priced from £2,355 per person, including flights from London, road transfers, 2 nights all-inclusive at Tea Trails and 3 nights’ half board at Cape Weligama. Transfers by sea plane with Cinnamon Aircan be arranged for an extra cost.
FFG was a guest of Cape Wiligama.
All photos taken with an Olympus Pen. FFG is a UK ambassador for Olympus.