I don’t know about you, but every year, after the fun of Christmas is over and I’m going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, all I want to do is get away. I want to go somewhere warm and sunny and beautiful and, instead of me taking care of everybody else, there is a staff of everybody else who takes care of me.
That’s why the Heritance Ahungalla Hotel and spa in Sri Lanka is on the top of this year’s holiday list.
This resort offers 152 rooms that are spread out, along with the hotel’s facilities and spa, across 15 acres of beautiful beachfront property in southern Sri Lanka. The rooms feature native-grown and polished wood furniture and throws, as well as pillows and cushions that are all woven locally, reducing the hotel’s carbon footprint. No imported junk here! You also get your own private balcony with an ocean view.
The culinary team at the Ahungalla Hotel has won awards for everything from its teamwork to its energy efficiency standards and green approach to food prep. This hotel offers a buffet; a coffee shop; and private, individually catered, candlelit dining on the beach. The fare is local, which is a huge bonus for people who love their spices.
The hotel has a spa (a really great one). It also offers infinity and swimming pools, shopping, bicycle rental, and a full gym. It even has a conference venue and business centre for workaholics (ahem) who like to try to get a least a tiny bit of work done while they are relaxing.
I can only stay put, even in paradise, for a few days before I start looking for something to do. Here, among other things, I’ll be able to take hot air balloon trips, wander over to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery to see the efforts being made to save the local turtle population, or go whale watching.
Recommended for… Those looking for a luxury eco escape
Be aware that… The airport is a 3.5-hour drive away from the resort, so take advantage of the car service offered by the hotel.
- The hotel is designed to be perfectly lit by natural light during the day so the lamps and lights aren’t turned on at all until night-time.
- The hot water system is solar powered.
- All of the waste produced by the hotel is handled or recycled on site; none of it is allowed to escape into the natural landscape that surrounds the grounds.
- They only use locally grown food and locally produced furnishing. No imports here!
Erin Steiner is a freelance writer from the US who has written about travel, invoice software and geek culture for a variety of websites.