When I’m greeted at sunrise with a glass of mint iced tea and a pineapple-sorbet popsicle before heading off for a day of whale watching on the glittering shores of the Indian Ocean, I can’t help but have a hunch that it’s going to be a good day. More than that, a good stay.
At Cape Weligama, a postcard-perfect beach resort perched 1,250 meters over Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea region, you’ll find 12 acres of property featuring 27 rooms and 39 suites named after explorers and poets such as Ibn Battuta and Robert Knox, who once lived on the lush island. Fun fact: The country was originally named Ceylon, with the name changing in 1972 to Sri Lanka, which translates to “resplendent island” in Sanskrit.
In my ‘Pablo Neruda’ suite, designed by Lek Bunnag (whose former projects include Four Seasons Langkawi, Maia Seychelles, Pangkor Laut, and Ritz Carlton Phulay Bay) and outfitted by JPA Design’s Singapore studio, the sprawling veranda is what strikes me first. My eyes wander next to the gigantic bathroom, especially the standalone tub, which sits beside a large window facing out to swaying coconut palms and rolling tea hills on the horizon.
Although I could have spent my stay at Cape Weligama curled up on my veranda with a good book, the property makes it impossible for you to do so due to its extensive lineup of water sports, including PADI dive lessons, surfing, snorkeling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, banana boating, and seasonal whale excursions.
With December through April being the prime months, I was able to experience the hotel’s whale-watching excursion that, much to my initial dismay, had me up at 5:30 a.m. and headed for the nearby Mirissa port. Once there, along with about 15 other guests, I boarded an elegant catamaran for a game of hide-and-go-seek with blue whales. I could’ve kicked myself for even hesitating to wake up in time for this experience that, throughout my stay in Sri Lanka, was one of the most memorable moments of my trip.
That evening, sea bass ceviche marinated in lime juice was cooked up before my eyes at the hotel’s cliff edge, which only seats an intimate 12 guests. Other dining options included the main restaurant, serving a selection of Sri Lankan dishes, as well as a dining pavilion where guests can choose fresh seafood from a Sri Lankan “fish market” created during themed nights.
During my stay, I also had the opportunity to tour one of Cape Weligama’s Cape Pool Villas, which featured a two-story suite with a private infinity pool on its roof terrace. If you’re looking to splash out, this is the suite to do it in. But don’t fear: if you opt out of the Cape Pool Villa, there’s a gorgeous crescent-shaped, cliff-top infinity pool where I watched several sunset-timed Instagram photoshoots go down throughout my stay. But how can you not, right?
Abimanagama Road, Weligama
(+94) 41 2 253 000