Sri Lanka ranked as top destination
An overlooked gem, this exotic island in the Indian Ocean seduces everyone who steps foot with its stunning unspoiled wilderness, colorful history, and flavorful cuisine.
Due to the proximity and a lack of crowds, it’s possible to pack a lot into a trip to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Bliss 6 – 15 August 2021
Sri Lanka continues emerge as one of the world’s best tourist destinations with accolades from
various travel guides and travel magazines including Lonely Planet and National Geographic Traveller.
Our trip takes in
Colombo, Kandy, Hatton, & Galle
9 nights of blissful accommodation!
A gem of an island, some describe it as an emerald, others as a pearl, most find a treasure in the warmth of her people. Others, a tear drop
Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) has been a key trading hub of the Indian Ocean world for more than a thousand years.
The Colonization of Sri Lanka began with the Portuguese in 1505. It ended in 1948 after the British gave Independence to Sri Lanka. During this period, Sri Lanka was under the rule of Portuguese (1505-1658), Dutch (1658-1796), British (1796-1948) and Trincomalee Harbour was under the French for few months in 1796, so we’re in for a rich architectural history.
Population as at 2020 is 21,426,278
Sitting in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern tip of India, travelers may default to thinking of Sri Lanka as a beach getaway. But we will immerse ourselves in the country’s history, and go inland and tour the country’s cultural triangle as well.
Starting and ending our tour in Colombo, we have also included Kandy, Hatton, and Galle.
- Accommodation in standard rooms 09 nights
- Two nights Colombo – Shangri La Premier Ocean View room
- Two nights Kandy – Kandy House – Deluxe room
- Two nights – Tree Trails Hatton – Luxury room
- Three nights Galle – Galle Fort Hotel – Terrace suite
- Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
- Entrance cost of Peradeniya botanical gardens
- Kandy temple and cultural show
- Gangaramaya temple – one of the most important temples in Colombo, being a mix of modern architecture and cultural essence.
- Breakfast daily from 02 ending with day 10
- Tea Trails Hatton (Relais & Chateaux) fully inclusive all gourmet meals & drinks, incl. select top shelf spirits/wines
- Welcome dinner at Shangri La Colombo
- Farewell dinner at Amangalla – Galle
- Dinner – The Lagoon or Ministry of Crabs, Colombo
- Negombo boat safari
- Colombo city tour
- Colombo by Jeep
- Cost of train tickets from Peradeniya to Nanu Oya. (subject to availability)
- Cost of English Speaking Chauffeur Guide
- City tour Galle
Day 1: Friday, August 6th 2021
Meet and assist on arrival at Airport by Aitken Spence Travels Representative and transfer from Airport to Colombo for accommodations. (Approx. 1 hour drive time)
Sri Lanka’s Capital Colombo, a port city, with a rich colonial heritage, on the Western coast is a potpourri of races, religions and cultures. Colombo displays the best and worst the country has to offer. The city is a contrast itself, with mansions, lush gardens, fine dining options, shopping malls packed with expensive designer brands standing next to urban slums; diesel fumed congested roads and street markets.
Despite its small size just 37.31 km² Colombo offers a varying selection of experience ranging from taking a tuktuk ride, a visit to Pettah market and eating Kottu to playing a round of golf and having high tea at one of the colonial style hotels overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo is delighted to welcome you to the enchanting capital of Sri Lanka – a precious jewel in the Indian Ocean, with a glittering cultural heritage and a long, proud history.
The hotel benefits from a prime location by the sea that is in the heart of the business district and buzzing social hotspot. Shangri-La’s world-renowned Chi, The Spa presents 10 private rooms and a soothing selection of traditional Sri Lankan and Asian treatments and therapies is guaranteed to relieve any jet lag.
Overnight Stay at Shangri La Colombo – Premier Ocean View rooms
Day 2: Saturday, August 7th 2021 (B, D)
Today we’ll meet after breakfast at our hotel, where you can enjoy some traditional dishes and coffee to the sound of birds at your own leisure.
After breakfast at The Shangri La Colombo enjoy the morning with a Colombo city tour exploring the shopping malls and city sights with a optional visit to a spa treatment.
The throbbing metropolis, Colombo – located in the West – is not only the country’s commercial capital, but also the turbine that impels above 50% of the national GDP flanking Colombo’s fancy urban development effort.
Drive along the clean streets edging the crystal white Race Course – horse racing hub in 1893 & World War II airstrip – furnished today with lavish clothing, food & tea boutiques.
Ride to Pettah & tune into the Floating Market – an offbeat shopping experience – or feel the buzz surrounding the upcoming inspiration, the Colombo Port City – an offshore city – featuring parks, commercial complexes & even an F1 track! Head along Bauddhaloka Mawatha towards ‘Arcade’ facing a historic waypost, the Independence Square.
Every designer boutique, top-notch cuisine outlet and even the ‘walk-over fish tank’, have revamped this colonial masterpiece into one of the trendiest shopping and hangout zones in Sri Lanka.
Have a chilled beer at the Dutch Hospital while gazing through fancy windows showcasing best fashion, jewelry & handicraft brands.
Smell the scent of incense while listening to the chiming bells of Gangarama temple. Transfer from Negombo to Colombo.
Overnight Stay at Shangri La Colombo – Deluxe Ocean View rooms
Beautifully appointed with a contemporary design and local Sri Lankan touches. All rooms look out over the Indian Ocean and Galle Face Green, presenting some of the nice views in the city.
Welcome dinner Shangri La Colombo – Shang Palace First round on me.
Day 3: Sunday, August 8th 2021 (B)
After breakfast at Shangri La Colombo transfer from Colombo to Kandy (approx. 4 hours) and visit Matale spice gardens en route.
An agricultural zone in the Central Province, Matale seldom drops off the maps due to its remarkable contribution through flagship crops of the island extending from tea, rubber & vegetables to spices. Spearheading the Rebellion back in 1848, Matale today takes immense pride in its story woven around spices. Stop by the side of a spice garden – into which you will be most welcome – and observe the therapeutic values of spices & processes over a refreshing cup of herbal tea! Or spend some time idling people watching, filled with colors and voices and fragrant smells.
Continue on to Kandy (approx 1 hour) and check in to accommodations and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight Stay at The Kandy House – Deluxe rooms
This boutique hotel is an ancestral manor house which was built in 1804 and its rich history and exquisite restoration, with nine rooms to choose from.
In 1804, the last Chief Minister of the Kandyan Kingdom, Ratwatte Adigar, committed an act of “defiant decadence” as he dared to build himself a palatial villa using roof tiles which at that time were decreed only for royal residences. 200 years later, it was converted into a designer boutique hotel in Kandy, in partnership with Channa Daswatte by retaining the charisma of this captivating house while taking it to the standard for 21st century guests. The resulting restoration sensitively blends modernized bathrooms with elegant antique furniture, and fresh touches of color set off the traditional architecture.
Day 4: Monday, August 9th 2021 (B)
After breakfast at The Kandy House transfer from Kandy to Peradeniya and visit the Botanical gardens. Return back to Kandy and spend the day exploring Kandy city sights and enjoy the cultural show in the evening!
First developed as a pleasure garden under royalty and later harmonized by the British, the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya – today bundled with the most welcoming facilities located just 4 miles off Kandy – is a flourishing national asset in the Wonder of Asia. Walk into this 147 acre bliss of an experience, passing well-tended lawns, pavilions & an octagon conservatory to be greeted by the vast expanse of a magnificently landscaped lush green turf which will encourage you for an exhilarating break. Towards the north of the entrance rests a cafeteria that one might come across before stepping into some of the highlights – the orchid house & giant Javan fig tree.
Transfer from Peradeniya to Kandy
Last ruled by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe – before it was brought under the British rule in 1815, Kandy – the World Heritage Site & last royal capital of Sri Lankan kings – crafts an array of culture, history and heritage in the minds of visitors across the globe.
Experience an ancient Kandyan legacy engraved around its crown jewel, the temple of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. A stroll across this small lakeside town – cradled among the misty hills – will feature the Kandy City Centre – bundled with latest and world class brands, bazaar, an arts & crafts center, as well as a gem museum & lapidary.
Walk in color as you glide through fresh fruits and vegetables in the Kandy market. Fine tune your evening by stepping to the beat of traditional music & drumming amplified by a cultural show enhancing the rich and vibrant culture of the Wonder of Asia, Sri Lanka.
Day 5: Tuesday, August 10th 2021 (B, L, D)
After breakfast at The Kandy House transfer from Kandy to Peradeniya railway station (20 minutes’ drive) and board the train to Nanu Oya. (2.40 hrs) Enjoy the train ride and meet with your chauffer upon arrival and continue on to Hatton (1 hour drive) for accommodations. Check in to the Hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Tea Trails – Luxury rooms
Ceylon Tea Trails comprises of five restored historic tea planter residences, called Bungalows, perched at an altitude of 1250 meters in Sri Lanka’s panoramic Ceylon tea region. The 27 rooms and suits with period furnishings, gracious butler service, and gourmet cuisine create an ambiance that has made Tea Trails, the gold standard for luxury in Sri Lanka. This is the ideal setting for trekking, and biking against the break taking backdrop of mountains, lakes, winding roads, and waterfalls. If you prefer to unwind, observe life on a working tea estate, while being pampered by your butler, enjoy a spa treatment, croquet on the lawn, or sunbathe alongside the pool. Enjoy the lush tea fields, and visit a century old factory, for the gentle education in the art of Ceylon Tea
Day 6: Wednesday, August, 11th (B, L, D)
Another perfect day to enjoy at Tea Trails.
‘One cannot think well, love well and sleep well if one has not dined well’
The day at Tea Trails starts with that wonderful tradition of Bed Tea. Served by your butler as part of a gentle wake-up call, this must be the most civilised way to start the day. The butler will also draw your bath.
Then an early morning walk followed by an English or Sri Lankan breakfast. A unique aspect of Tea Trails’ cuisine is the use of fresh, home grown vegetables, herbs and teas from the surrounding estates. Basil, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sage, parsley and mint inspire and enliven the chef’s menus every day.
Tea Trails is all about the time-honoured planters’ traditions: Roaring fires and the comfort of a single malt whisky while the mists roll in or a stiff gin and tonic after a long day’s walk in the tea gardens, accompanied by the spicy flavours of Sri Lankan nibbles to stimulate the appetite.
Scrumptious afternoon cream teas in gardens curiously English and exotic at the same time. A four-course dinner that is at once contemporary with its garden-fresh ingredients married with choice wines, best shared in good company. Or a fabulously aromatic, authentic Sri Lankan rice and curry for lunch – a definite harbinger of the afternoon siesta.
Rates at Tea Trails are fully inclusive of gourmet meals and drinks, including select top shelf spirits and wines. Even service charges, taxes and limited laundry are included. We won’t bother you with bills.
Tea Trails – Luxury rooms
Day 7: Thursday, August 12th (B)
After breakfast at Tea Trail transfer from Hatton to Galle (approx. 5 hours’ drive time) and check in to accommodation and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Perched on Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, Galle wears its history on its sleeve. Windswept beaches and nodding palms surround its colonial-era showpiece, a 16th-century Portuguese-built fort, while the rest of the city is trimmed with Dutch-style houses, quirky shops, whitewashed mansions, and heritage museums.
Overnight Stay at Galle Fort Hotel -Terrace Suite
With foundations dating back over three centuries, the property was originally a Dutch mansion and warehouse, and as such the 18th century doors and windows on the building’s façade are perhaps the best examples of their kind within the Fort.
A regency top floor was added during the British era when the house was refashioned for the Maccan Markars, a renowned family of gem merchants. Along with a grand Palladian colonnade, a ceremonial entrance arch was installed, which, to this day, never fails to take guests’ breathe away.
Rescued from neglect and decay, and lovingly and painstakingly restored in 2003; the property retains its historical value and authenticity while also boasting some modern creature comforts.
In 2007 UNESCO awarded the hotel the Asia Pacific Heritage Award of Distinction, calling it “a masterpiece of cultural heritage and conservation”.
The restoration work on the property laid a marker for how every other building in the Fort should be restored, and continues to be its most splendid example today, one of the best historic hotels in Galle.
Day 8: Friday, August 13th (B)
After breakfast at Galle Fort Hotel spend the day at leisure with an afternoon tour of Galle city sights.
Galle, the epic Southern capital, is the intersection where classic Dutch architecture meets a tropical setting creating a vivid atmosphere in beauty. Walk the Dutch-haunted streets listening to the creaks of wooden saloon doors and observe how European architecture mingles with South Asian traditions today flooding cultural enthusiasts on a global scale. Its original ramparts and bastions preserved up to date showcase evidences of a heritage preserved for more than 3 1/2 centuries.
Walk clockwise within the fort to observe the ‘old gate’ carrying the British coat of arms. Flanking the old gate is the Zwart bastion – the oldest of all – and the lighthouse standing 18 feet in its glory next to the Point Utretcht Bastion. This Dutch bliss is painted with streets that spread in a rectangular grid pattern pierced with houses carrying Dutch colonial style verandas.
Hop into the Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex to be mesmerized by an array of souvenir selections. However, its hallmark stands a reality where the Dutch fort remains a working community with its usual buzz of administrative offices, court complex, commercial buildings, churches and Southern folks frequenting its streets bracing the air of the Elysium of architecture, Galle.
Day 9: Saturday, August 14th (B, D)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before you depart for your flight home. Our driver will take you to the airport for your return flights.
After breakfast at Galle Fort Hotel spend the day at leisure with the vehicle available for clients use for 80km.
Enjoy our farewell dinner at Amangalla – first round is on us.
Furnished with period chairs and tables, crisp white linen and antique silverware, the high-ceilinged Dining Room rests at one end of Amangalla’s magnificent Great Hall, or Zaal, as it was known in Dutch times. Soaring fin de siècle ceilings, overhead fans and chandeliers, and the veranda facing the tree-lined street create the perfect setting for exquisite Sri Lankan and international cuisine. A jazz pianist plays nightly. A fitting place to salute new friendships formed, with promises to meet again, someday soon.
Overnight Stay at Galle Fort Hotel -Terrace Suite
Day 10: Sunday, August 15th (B, D)
After breakfast at Galle Fort Hotel, transfer from Galle to Colombo (approx. 2.30hrs) and enjoy a Colombo city tour on WW2 Jeeps. If required, we’ll be able to squeeze in that last minute shopping.
Enjoy our last hoorah tonight, either The Lagoon Cinnamon Grand or Ministry of Crab in time to transfer from Colombo to Airport for that late night departure flight.
Colombo city tour in an open air jeep will give you a unobstructed 360 degree visibility which is great for taking photographs and filming while sightseeing Starting with Galle face green, about 20 Archaeological and tourists attraction sites including Aththidiya bird sanctuary will be covered. Guests can enjoy self-drive in our classic jeeps in Aththidiya sanctuary. Photographs and video clips of the tour will be given to the guest free of charge. Sad when all good things have to come to an end!
Transfer from Colombo to Airport for International departure flight accordingly.
If you require another night in Colombo for your International flight connection Galle Face Hotel – Superior Rooms USD$150 per DBL as a supplement is available.
Sri Lanka’s iconic landmark, The Galle Face Hotel, is situated in the heart of Colombo, along the seafront and facing the famous Galle Face Green. One of the oldest hotels east of the Suez, The Galle Face Hotel embraces its rich history and legendary traditions, utilizing them to create engaging, immersive experiences that resonate with old and new generations of travelers alike. No visit to Sri Lanka is complete without staying at this majestic hotel, built in 1864 and recently restored back to its former glory.
USD$3,692 per person (twin share) plus USD$1,410 single supplement
Put your name down for this amazing trip, today, or be in touch with your questions..