I recall twisting myself into a tree pose in the open-air yoga studio of Sri Lanka’s Tri Lanka Resort, bending my right knee to place it high on my left thigh, my deep asana breaths competing with the hum of tree frogs and Buddhist chants wafting through the morning air. Before class, our instructor had explained that the intention of the tree pose was to leave you in a state of rejuvenation, bringing balance and equilibrium to your mind. This philosophy is one that is imbued in the larger Tri Lanka experience, as I discovered during my three-night stay at the design-meets-eco resort located on the peaceful Koggala Lake.
Traversed by cinnamon groves and knotted banyan trees, the hotel’s most appealing draw is the lustrous nature that it has been expertly built into. Recycled-wood walls and pitched roofs draped in emerald fern dot the eight-villa property. There are also rooms available in its central water tower, the crown architectural feat of the intimate resort, where guests can enjoy fresh king-coconut water or an adult beverage of their choice as the Sri Lankan sun melts into the palm-tree panorama.
During my stay, I was placed in villa eight, which is farthest from the lobby and the main infinity pool that offers 360-degree views of the peaceful lake. This is one of the two villas on the property with a private plunge pool and available beginning at AED 1,278/SAR 1,305. Its sliding glass doors lead out to a generous wraparound patio, the perfect place to spend the day reading as peacocks prance past you or to dine under the stars on fresh sashimi ordered from room service.
The rooms are minimalist, an ode to the back-to-nature vibe of the resort. You won’t find a television or any touch screens here but rather breathtaking landscapes to keep you entertained. If you need a daily reminder of Tri’s eco-centric ethos, a rolled-up scroll of recycled paper with a quote from Buddha – “One touch of nature brings us closer together” – will do the trick.
However, if you’ve – dare I say it – had your fix of nature gazing and plunge pooling, the resort can arrange a variety of activities for you. A visit to the spa, transportation to the nearby city of Galle, which is about a 45-minute drive away, and a boat ride to the nearby Cinnamon Island (its most popular excursion) are all great options. On the island, a local cinnamon harvester will retrace how the popular spice is tended, but full disclosure: The tour ends with a rather abrupt pitch to purchase cinnamon sticks and powder, which can make the experience feel slightly impersonal. However, the boat ride to and from the island is guaranteed to only make you further appreciate the spectacular natural landscape that engulfs the resort. Bottom line? If remote relaxation is what the doctor ordered, Tri Lanka is the all-natural cure.
Koggala Lake, Galle
(+94) 777 708 177