Idyllic scenery, a laidback lifestyle and innumerable gorgeous boutique boltholes have made Sri Lanka one of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations – and a great place for a romantic break whatever the length or condition of your relationship. Here are our suggestions for some of the most intimate, memorable and original experiences the island has for couples, easily do-able as a two-week tour – although not surprisingly you’ll need a fair amount of cash to splash along the way.
Avoid the crowds and hustlers of Negombo town on arrival and head instead to The Wallawwa, a gorgeous little boutique hotel in a historic old manor house a short drive inland and a perfect place to recover from your jetlag.
Next, hire a car and driver to ease yourself into the island with two or three nights at the idyllic Brook Boutique Hotel and Spa, set in a fruit farm tucked away in the southwestern corner of the Cultural Triangle, where you can divide your days between trips to some of the island’s most stunning attractions – including Sigiriya, Dambulla and Polonnaruwa – and peaceful lounging and swimming in the hotel’s lush grounds.
Continue south and spend a couple of day’s exploring Kandy. There are all sorts of places to stay here. In the city itself we particularly like The Elephant Stables, combining designer style and funky décor with a real home from home feeling, although perhaps even more romantic is the stunning The Kandy House, set in lush country just outside the city in another historic old manor house.
From Kandy, ride the slow train south to Nuwara Eliya through the romantically green and misty uplands of the hill country. In Nuwara Eliya, choose between a stay at the creaky old Hill Club, a marvellously time-warped memento of empire, or the more modern Tea Factory, occupying a spectacularly converted – yep, you guessed it – tea factory set amongst endless plantations.
Finish up with a few final idyllic days on the beach. The super-stylish Amanwella resort on divine Godellawela Beach wins bucketloads of well-deserved plaudits, though there are many other equally enticing (and significantly cheaper) options including places like the low-key Talalla Retreat or the arty little Club Villa in Bentota.
Colombo Sri Lanka in a Day … idyllic temples and bustling bazaars
Explore Sri Lanka’s Galle Fort … historic stronghold on the southwest coast
Sri Lanka Family Holidays … something for all ages and interests
Sri Lanka Grand Tour … see the very best in two weeks
Sri Lanka Hill Walk Around Ella … hike through hills and tea plantations
Sri Lanka Journey through History … explore three thousand years of Sinhalese Buddhist art and architecture
Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle … the heart of the island’s most ancient kingdom
Sri Lanka’s Historic Anuradhapura … mapping your way through the myriad ruins and monuments
Sri Lanka’s Kandy in a Day … explore the temples, museums and music of the cultural capital
Sri Lanka’s Polonnaruwa … touring the stunning ruins and shrines of a great medieval capital
Sri Lanka’s Ten Best Beaches … sand and sea, plus plenty of great places to stay
Wild Sri Lanka … take a walk on the wild side through Sri Lanka’s spectacular landscapes and national parks