Sri Lanka is finally landing on hot travel destination lists the world over. I wondered which year my favorite little island would ever reach the spotlight! If you have yet to visit the Pearl of the Orient, I've begun compiling a series of posts to make an introduction to the food, culture, and geography of the most biodiverse country in Asia. Read them here.
Our most recent visit was topped off with a couple of days spent in Koggala at the Fortress Resort and Spa. Koggala is a small beach town near the historic Galle Fort. There is an array of activities and sites to visit in the area, from the Galle Fort, Yala National Park, to endless beaches, tea plantations, and many other cultural surroundings. There is much exploration to be done in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. And while there is an abundance of adventure in the proximity, Koggala is an ideal place to stop for relaxation.
What makes the Fortress Resort and Spa one of my most memorable hotel experiences yet? It is luxurious and peaceful. No sooner did I step into the large fortress doors, I lost sense of time and place. The kind, welcoming staff greeted us with a glass of the best iced cinnamon tea I've ever tasted.
Lush Sri Lankan greenery (you wouldn't understand until you have actually been there, promise), the intense sound of waves crashing, the warm and balmy sunshine... all day.
The hotel staff feels like family. Take this observation from someone (me!) who has Sri Lankan family. I have the privilege of staying with our family and not in a hotel, allowing me to take in the culture and hospitality in an up close and personal way. Sri Lankans are genuinely hospitable people. They really set the bar high as it concerns hospitality. When you walk into the home of a Sri Lankan, you are loved and you are family. When we visited the Fortress, I felt well taken care of, as if by family. I must mention- I also admired their beautiful linen saris and sarongs in vibrant shades of blue and orange.
Their on-site spa provided a magnificent experience that cannot be missed. I booked a massage and arrived early to enjoy a warm cup of tea, change into a robe, and enjoy the Ayurvedic surroundings. Coconut oil was utilized during the massage, which is both healing and anti-bacterial, an important factor as we spent a fair amount of time basking in the sun.
Both the adventure, relaxation, and cultural experiences that await in Sri Lanka, in conjunction with it's relatively small size and biodiversity, make this island the trip of a lifetime. After visiting a few times, I am left with a to-do list every time I leave! Having explored the south, west, and central regions, next time we're planning to explore the north and east! Until then, I reminisce with a cup of warm milk tea and imagine the pleasantly tropical air only to be experienced in Sri Lanka.