Escape to Sri Lanka's Cape Weligama for sheer luxury

With everything you need inside the hotel, you might never want to leave

(Image credit: Tom Parker)

With everything you need inside the hotel, you might never want to leave

Southern Sri Lanka is home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world (especially for beginners) as well as lush greenery, tropical wildlife and beaches guaranteed to stir up some serious Instagram envy. But, the real charm of Sri Lanka? The warmth of its people, the gorgeous cuisine and a country that's thrived graciously after the 2004 tsunami and the end of their civil war in 2009.

Why go?

When your hotel is named one of the top 50 in the entire world, you could be forgiven for resting slightly on your laurels - but trust us, Cape Weligama does not. This luxury beachside resort is ideal for those craving hotel convenience with the intimacy of a private villa thanks to 39 spacious suites and villas. With everything you could possibly need from complimentary laundry service, a gym, afternoon tea and in-house activities like body boarding and snorkelling, you might (like us) try to come up with a get-rich-quick scheme that would allow you to live here forever. They even deliver a bespoke newspaper to your room every day catered to wherever 'home' is - although, reading up on news on holiday is completely optional - and we don't blame you if your holiday reading sticks strictly to Nicholas Sparks. Oh - and have we mentioned the panoramic Indian Ocean views and in-room steamroom showers?

(Image credit: Sebastian Posingis)

The location 

Located near beach town Mirissa (which for those in the know, is apparently going to become the new Unawatuna), those after a drink or two can head there for some after hours partying and backpacker vibes. Or, culture vultures can venture out further afield for blue whale watching, a guided bike tour around paddy fields and ancient temples or a day trip to Uda Walawe National Park to spot elephants, sloth bears and crocodiles.

The room

(Image credit: Sebastian Posingis)

Each villa is made up of rich jewel-tones, mahogany wood furniture and ocean-inspired pops of colour. And with a nod to Dutch colonial style, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time while sitting outside on your private veranda. Each set of houses share their own pool and are named after a famous explorer or Sri Lankan official. The super king beds guarantee you a good night sleep and you'll even find a bottle of organic mosquito repellent by your bedside table.

The food

(Image credit: Tom Parker)

Be adventurous and eschew the Western breakfast for a traditional Sri Lankan one. Think fried eggs embedded in a coconut crêpe with onion chutney and a daal curry on the side. And take advantage of the fresh juices and access to incredible yoghurt thanks to the nearby water buffalos and abundance of homegrown fruit. And, since you're in the land of tea plantations, make sure to have a cuppa a day, either at breakfast, or during the complimentary afternoon tea. The Somerset Estate - if you like tea with milk - was a particular favourite of ours.

The vibe 

Despite the hotel being the epitome of sheer luxury, the vibe here is refreshingly relaxed. Beachwear and loungewear are acceptable and dresscode-wise, you can pretty much wear what you like without eliciting stares either way. Although, there are an abundance of places where you can easily take a decent outfit of the day shot so... just sayin'.

Don’t miss 

(Image credit: Sebastian Posingis)

The moon pool and bar. The large infinity pool (which is strictly for adults) overlooks Weligama beach so it's the perfect spot for surfer-watching and for 100% relaxation. And, once you've finished taking a dip, head downstairs for a game of pool or table tennis to the sound of tropical birds and crashing waves - or enjoy a chess match against the beachy backdrop before taking part in a traditional game of English croquet on the lawn.

While you’re there… 

Release your inner kid by trying out some surfing and/or body boarding. Yes, you will fall over but the waves are forgiving and the setting is just too idyllic to say no. Time to hit the surf...

Rates at Cape Weligama (+94 11 774 5700) start from £358 per night on a B&B basis, based on two sharing and including daily breakfast, afternoon tea, laundry, mini bar, all taxes and service charges plus one activity per day.

Delphine Chui