Exclusive Use Private Island Resorts in Fiji for VIP Private Jetsetters

While Fiji remains predominantly closed to the outside world amidst the COVID-19 crisis, there is a way foreign tourists can still visit Fiji Islands by exercising option for Private Island Buyouts just for your family and group of friends, Exclusive Use.

The island nation has permitted ultra high net-worth individuals (UHNI’s) to visit Fiji so long as they arrive by private charter aircraft and buyout a resort or charter a private yacht, both for a minimum of 14 days.

Fiji’s private island resorts range from intimate islands with just a handful of ‘bures’, to larger resorts accommodating 100 or more guests. The UHNI individuals seeking an ultra-luxury escape are presented with a unique opportunity to have a Fiji island completely to themselves.

The country’s effective response to COVID-19 has allowed Fiji to avoid any outbreak of the virus, recording just a total of 56 cases. With enhanced safety measures and guidelines in place, visitors can truly have peace of mind as they get off the grid with a two-week escape to paradise and enjoy their own private island in utter isolation.

Whether it be a reunion with friends and family after months of separation or a long-needed romantic escape to reconnect with a significant other, below is the list of Fiji’s best-in-class luxury, private island resorts available for buyouts:

Vatuvara Private Islands Resort:

Intimate luxury for a couple or small family (max occupancy: 6)

Vatuvara Private Islands (VPI) offers conscientious luxury to the discerning traveler, with an exclusive experience in the Northern Lau Group of Fiji – described by Forbes Magazine as “one of the world’s most beautiful places.”

Kaibu Island is home to the Vatuvara Private Islands Resort, with 3 all-inclusive private Villas on 800 acres.

The 3 secluded and expansive seaside Villas have been meticulously crafted with natural textures and materials creating spacious and comfortably elegant environments. Each with their own private beach access, the Villas include an infinity edge pool surrounded by lush tropical landscaping and an abundance of aromatic flowers.

Island guests enjoy diverse Land & Sea experiences. The marina is prepared for ocean activity with 3 boats always on the ready. Fishing, diving, scuba and snorkeling equipment are all on hand for guest use.

We also offer scuba diving training for open water certification. Guests may also enjoy being whisked away to a nearby uninhabited palm-fringed island for their own private champagne picnic. VPI also boasts a four-hole organic golf course and putting green. Yoga and cooking classes are also on offer.

It is accessible only by our private aircraft. Guests travel to and from the island aboard the resort’s private twin otter aircraft, originating in Suva or Nadi, Fiji’s International Airport.

Laucala Private Island:

The “Grand Dame” of luxury Fijian hospitality (max occupancy: 40)

One of the world’s most exclusive private island resorts, no expense has been spared at the luxurious tropical hideaway, Laucala. Set over nearly 3,500 acres, Laucala epitomises seclusion and impeccable hospitality with just 25 glamorous villas situated amongst deserted beaches, stunning clifftops and lush rainforest.

Each villa is unique, yet immaculately furnished with stylish bedroom and living room décor that opens to a private garden and infinity-edge pool. Each villa comes with their own buggy, so guests are free to explore the resort at their leisure.

Laucala offers a wide variety of activities to include watersports, rainforest walking tours, golf, farm visits and horseback riding.

The island’s Water Sports Centre is home to a fleet of 14 boats, including the Riviera Open Flybridge for game fishing as well as Dragon sailboats and traditional Fijian outriggers, ideal for sunset cruises or archipelago discovery. From here, windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking and jet-skis are also available. Arguably the best way to explore Fiji’s marine offerings is by taking the plunge, and Laucala offers snorkelling equipment and PADI certified Dive Centre to get guests up close and personal with hawksbill turtles and angelfish.

An island highlight is the 18-hole championship golf course, thoughtfully designed by David McLay Kidd with spectacular greens and fairways overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

A collection of five restaurants and bars offers everything from beachside barbeques to fine dining, with many of the buildings inspired by nature.

The closest airport is Nadi international airport, then a private (45 – 50 minute) air transfer to the Island. A 24/7 private Airport and Hangars are available for Private Jets.

The island can be booked for exclusive use and can accommodate private jets, with customs and immigration clearance arranged on-site.

Wakaya Club & Spa:

Authentic Fijian luxury for mid-size groups (max occupancy: 34)

Wakaya Island is home to the legendary Wakaya Club and Spa, which is an exclusive private island resort with only 10 intimate “bures” (suites) and 2 spectacular private villas.

The first Villa is called Vale’O, or “House in the Clouds,” is their royal suite: a 12,000 square foot villa on a 16-acre hilltop estate with stunning panoramic ocean views. This 3-bedroom villa, said to be one of the finest in the South Pacific, is an air-conditioned retreat that offers complete privacy and attentive personal service for a maximum of three couples (or six people, including children).

The second Villa is called Seqa Na Leqa, and it offers a state-of-the-art kitchen, ample living space, a master wing, with separate his and hers bathrooms, dressing rooms and massage rooms joined by a spa pool. Also included is a private guest suite and a 30-metre infinity-edge pool on the ocean’s edge.

Wakaya Island is abundant in dense tropical forests, stunning beaches and surrounded by a Marine Protected Area, home to vibrant coral reefs and a plethora of ocean life.

It is one of Fiji’s oldest legacy resorts that has hosted Hollywood celebrities and musicians for decades. While the private island resort has gone through extensive renovations over the years (most recent in 2019) to maintain its ultra-luxury status, Wakaya has been able to maintain its truly authentic Fijian feel.

It is surrounded by a protected coral reef boasting serene lagoons, majestic cliffs and pristine white sand beaches. Guests can spend the day golfing on the island’s nine-hole course, exploring out on the water, hiking the lush terrain or simply relaxing at the spa, on the beach or by the pool.

Fiji is known as the “Soft Coral Capital of the World.” Host to some of the largest reefs in the world, many people come to Fiji, and specifically Wakaya, to experience one of the most stunning marine wildernesses in the world. The Island is surrounded by one of the few categorized Marine Reserves as well as being a short boat ride from some of the greatest dive locations.

Facilities include: Fitness center, meeting room, 9 hole golf course, professional croquet lawn, night-lit tennis, Marina/PADI Dive Shop.

Wakaya Island is accessible by resort’s private Cessna Caravan aircraft, which is a 35 mins flight from Nadi international airport.

Tavarua Island Resort:

For the active group looking to get off the grid (max occupancy: 36)

The Mother of all world-class surf resorts. Located in the Mamanuca Island chain, about 15 miles southwest of Nadi, Tavarua is a 24 acre heart shaped island. Tavarua offers world class comfort and perfect conditions for surfing, kite-surfing, SUP, diving, fishing, or just getting a tan and reading.

Tavarua comfortably accommodates 36 adults in 16 private bures. They are beautifully made in a traditional island style that is still thoroughly modern in comfort. The bures (rooms) are there to rest, relax, and rejuvenate, for the next surf, kite, sailboard, dive, snorkel or SUP session.

The 14 bures are all private and en-suite, made of hardwoods and thatch. Each is beautifully appointed with Fijian art, surf photos, air conditioning and has two VCQB (Very Comfortable Queen Beds), a day bed, louvered windows, ceiling fans, mini-bar, and a large beach side verandah for relaxing, watching the sunset or just taking in the lush island foliage and bird life.

For larger families or groups traveling together, Tavarua has 2 air-conditioned Sunrise Bures that have two bedrooms and can accommodate four adults.

For those looking for the best, you may want to consider the Tavarua Villa complex offering couples, families or groups of friends the opportunity to experience Tavarua from a whole new level of Luxury.

The food at Tavarua is legendary and tailored to meet the appetites of guests who are playing hard in the ocean and the sun. The spread is loaded with fresh, healthy foods in generous portions providing energy to restore and reload.

Tavarua began as a remote island camp offering the basics to those who love the ocean but today, Tavarua has become a family friendly resort and is finding more and more guests who come as much for the wonderful amenities as for the surf.

Guests staying at Tavarua have access to a variety of breaks within a few miles of the island, the most famous is Cloudbreak, which is just about 3 miles straight south of Namotu. A world famous left reef pass that is regularly voted one of the 10 Best/Most Challenging waves in the world.

VOMO Island Fiji:

Chic, family-friendly escape for small to large groups (max occupancy: 100)

VOMO is one of Fiji’s larger islands – a spectacular expanse of lush inland greenery hugged by pristine beaches – amongst the best in Fiji. Walk, swim, explore for hours. Feel like the only soul on earth.

In the middle of the South Pacific islands, you’ll find VOMO – A stunning 255-acre tropical playground, offering 3 miles of powder-white sandy beaches and pristine coral reefs perfect for snorkelling, swimming and other ocean play.

The private islands of VOMO are home to a selection of contemporary resort villas and multi-bedroom beachfront private residences centrally located near luxury resort amenities.

During these unique times, VOMO is offering an opportunity to exclusively rent the main island or just one or two of our beachfront multi bedroom residences – all for you and your private group of family and friends. Your privacy and security are assured, while you enjoy the facilities of a full island resort usually occupied by up to 100 guests.

Be accommodated in one of the luxury private island homes with VOMO’s island resort facilities all yours to enjoy—the epitome of the perfect private island vacation.

You can choose to buyout all 32 villas and residences for a maximum capacity of 100 people, or just the minimum of one residence offered at a buyout minimum price.

You’ll have unlimited access to all this luxury resort provides; 3 miles of beaches, incredible infinity swimming pools, water sports craft, scuba diving, a 9 hole pitch and putt golf course, tennis, air-conditioned resort gym and more. All with full service as required, offered by the professional team of Fijian staff members who provide heartfelt hospitality to guests.

A range of active pursuits is on offer to keep everyone engaged and enjoying the island lifestyle while remaining in blissful isolation on your very own tropical island.

Getting to and from VOMO once you have arrived in Fiji, is safe and seamless. Private car transfers are provided to a nearby marina, where you walk on to our private speedboat for a 35-minute transfer to the island.

Two islands. One resort. Zero Crowds. Let’s Go.

Kokomo Private Island:

For large groups seeking the utmost in contemporary luxury (max occupancy: 120)

Kokomo Private Island is a luxury private island resort located in the Kadavu region of Fiji and cradled by the world’s fourth largest reef. The ultra-luxury accommodations offer abundant space, sustainable design, modern amenities and traditional Fijian touches.

The resort has 21 exclusive villas, each with its own private pool, tropical walled garden, expansive ocean view and direct beach access. Additionally, Kokomo has 5 residences ranging from 4 to 6 bedrooms each, providing complete seclusion on the hilltops with captivating views of the ocean from above.

The expansive residences offer an unforgettable escape for multi-generational families and friends travelling together. Perfectly positioned on the hilltops, and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, each residence offers captivating views from sunrise to sunset. You enjoy all the benefits of their beachfront villas, plus services of a dedicated butler and nanny for the duration of your stay.

Embracing the ‘farm to table’ concept, Kokomo boasts a 5.5-acre farm that produces a wide variety of local vegetables, herbs and fruits year-round. Fusing wellness and sustainability into every aspect of the resort, Kokomo provides an unforgettable, transformational experience in Fiji.

Here you get to explore one of the best dive and snorkelling havens on the planet; try your hand at deep-sea fishing or kayak around the island at sunrise. A short boat ride will deliver you to an active excursion at a nearby island where you can explore underwater caves, or hike to a secret (and breathtaking) waterfall. And for those who prefer a more spa-like pace, the Yaukuve Spa Sanctuary offers an abundance of choice for those in need of relaxation.

Kokomo is a tropical paradise that ticks all the boxes. This island home has every foreseeable land adventure and water based activity covered.

It is accessible via a 45-minute scenic helicopter or seaplane transfer from Nadi international airport.

Credits: This article originally appeared in LATTE (Luxury Australian Travel Trade E news)

How to book:

You can book any of above listed Private Island Resorts in Fiji with Delhi based Luxury Boutique Travel Design Company – Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd.

– Amit Kalsi, Private Travel Designer

Best Wellness Resorts, Healing Retreats, Health Resorts in India

This Blog presents the list of very best in Wellness and Healing Health and Medical Retreats in India. The collection is very different from Hotels, Resorts with Spa facilities. Below retreats are Purists in terms of wellness and healing concept and facilities, and are not meant for seekers of Spa resorts, wherein Spa and Wellness are just an extension of facilities.

You shall consider to visit at any of the below retreats only when you have wellness, rejuvenation, healing on your mind.

The list below has few exceptions, wherein besides having focus and ability to offer deep rooted wellness and healing programmes, also offer resort like comforts and facilities, and are less restrictive in their concept specially for those accompanying you in family, who are not undertaking the programs.

India is the birthplace of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy and recognised globally as the cradle of healing and wellness. Holistic living is a part of life in our country and culturally imbibed into the soul of our people.

Embrace Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, and you will find your natural balance. Discover how to balance your mind, body and soul at the below listed retreats. Therapies and programmes will be based on your dosha. Treatments use herbs and oils to treat your dosha’s and combined with breathing techniques, yoga and meditation you will come away feeling better and being able to achieve and maintain good health.

Vana Retreat, Dehradun:

Vana is a wellness retreat in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Offering Ayurveda, Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan Healing) and Yoga that have been thoughtfully integrated, yet rooted in their individual authenticity here.

Vana is meant for those who wish to truly disconnect and explore a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state of well-being.

Surrounded by clusters of reserve Sal forest, the 21-acre retreat has (82 guest rooms and suites). It has over 50 treatment and consultation rooms, an Ayurveda Centre, a Tibetan Healing Centre, two private yoga studios and one group yoga studio, a Wellness Centre, an indoor and outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art gym, spa, a private Watsu pool, two tennis courts and paths for walking within the retreat.

On top of 1 to 2 private wellness sessions per day, your retreat at Vana includes all three meals, arrival and departure wellness consultations, retreat well-being activities, use of heat and wet areas, retreat attire daily and airport transfers.

Vana takes its commitment to ecology very seriously; all bed and bath linen is 100% organic, the retreat’s bottling plant saves over 100,000 plastic bottles a year and all food served is local, seasonal and organic whenever possible.

Two restaurants, mindful cuisine, a juice bar, over 500 pieces of art, library, boutique, organic gardens and views of the Himalayan foothills mean that guests have access to a range of activities and facilities to enjoy outside their retreat.

Nutrition is key at Vana Uttarakhand India and guests will enjoy local, seasonal, fresh, and organic produce.

Vana is focused on wellness and well-being; all guests are treated with generosity and care. From yoga and natural therapies like acupuncture to aqua classes and oil massages, guests can choose the offerings best suited for their needs. Every guest is given a wellness itinerary and will have a consultation upon arriving at the retreat.

Retreat objectives include natural healing, destress, yoga, panchakarma, detox, functional fitness, rest, and weight management; guests can also opt to “just being” in the serenity of this space.

It is located 60 mins from Dehradun airport.

Naad Wellness, Sonepat, Haryana:

Naad is a 39-room (including suites) wellness centre located on the outskirts of New Delhi in Kundli-Sonepat. The mood at the centre is calm and tranquil; with attractive, spacious rooms, beautiful treatment areas, a Yoga pavilion and green, leafy grounds that extend over 3 acres.

Based on the principles of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, the property features a bouquet of experiences that begin at 3 nights and go up to 28 nights and include a combination of both experiential (Detox, Destress, Weight loss etc) and medical packages (Diabetes Management, PCOS management, Spine Care, Sports Injury Management, etc). The objective is to heal the body, mind and spirit from within, addressing the root cause of any imbalance, rather than offering a superficial short-term solution.

The cuisine served at Naad is an embodiment of these ancient ethos. All meals at the wellness centre are prepared in accordance with the tridosha style of cooking and are administered to guests to help balance out their doshas or bioenergies.

Meal plans are customised for each guest keeping in perspective their individual body types, medical history and health objective. The food at Naad is vegetarian, cooked in a combination of desi ghee and cold pressed oils with ingredients that are freshly sourced from neighbourhood farms and their own vegetable gardens on site.

The Spa Facilities include a Gym, yoga studio (indoor) & yoga pavilion (outdoor), Temperature-controlled swimming & plunge pool, Steam rooms attached to therapy rooms, oral health room, physiotherapy room, Salt Cave and outdoor Reflexology Track.

It is located 2hrs drive (48 kms) from Delhi’s international airport.

SwaSwara, Karnataka:

SwaSwara is a serene and secluded resort spread across 26 acres of land surrounded by gardens, green lawns and coconut groves just besides the pristine Om beach. Yoga and Ayurveda are the key therapies at SwaSwara and it’s ideal for both yogis and holistic enthusiasts alike. Daily yoga, meditation, pranayama, Ayurvedic treatments, art classes, an open kitchen and local culture at its door step will make this experience unforgettable.

Its form and spirit celebrates simplicity and purity, in keeping with their ethos of health and well being. SwaSwara goes beyond being a spa in the traditional sense. Neither is it an ashram.

SwaSwara is a sanctuary for your Prakruti or the innermost nature of an individual – that special blend of qualities and features that grant it uniqueness! Its goal is to offer a life plan for the ‘reconstruction’ of mind and body to bring about balance and harmony within. Starting at 5 nights and going up to 21 nights, they offer programmes to transform yourself.

The resort offers (24 Konakani Villas), all built from natural materials in traditional Konakani Style. The rooms are air-conditioned and they come with a private courtyard, a private sit-out, a yoga deck on the top of the room and an open courtyard bathroom. The rooms are equipped with tea/coffee maker, refrigerator and electronic safe.

The recreational facilities include a swimming pool, library and guests have access to the famous On Beach. Internet facilities, Ayurveda Center, Meditation center, Inter-active kitchen are other important facilities.

The food at SwaSwara is grown in harmony with nature, ripened naturally on healthy soil and cooked with an air of mindfulness. Their fresh produce – from the organic vegetable farm at SwaSwara and the neighbourhood – consists of seasonal tropical fruits, vegetables and freshly caught seafood. These are complemented with juices and herbal teas. Dairy and eggs are limited in their use as is the use of oils in our preparations. For those on the Swa Wellbeing, wine is offered. The menu does not feature meats, hard liquor, refined sugar or refined flour.

It offers SWA packages which aims at well being of mind body soul, PRANA package which aims at rejuvenation and SWASTHA package which aims at weight loss, anti-ageing and anti-stress.

The yoga programs are comprehensive with an introduction to yoga kriyas, asanas, yoga nidra, Meditations & Pranayama. All the programs offered includes consultations with the Ayurveda & Naturopathy doctors, private Yoga sessions and counseling by their experienced Yoga team. The programs at SwaSwara are aimed and designed to refresh your body, improve your blood circulation, removal of toxins, sooth away the frenzied city nerves and to put the spring back in your steps.

Swaswara is Located in Gokarna which is 160 Kms from Goa Airport (3.5 – 4hrs drive).

Shreyas Retreat, near Bangalore:

Situated just one hour’s drive from the Bangalore International Airport, Shreyas is a sprawling oasis of green. With only (14 cottages) spread over 25 acres of landscaped greenery, water bodies and organic gardens – the guests are able to commune with nature and benefit from its healing power.

The private, serene and ‘simply’ luxurious accommodation has been structured to make the guests feel like they are living in the lap of nature. The architecture and interiors are a confluence of traditional and modern – tiled roofs, antique doorways and stone pillars give way to contemporary interiors and state of the art facilities.

Shreyas is dedicated to promoting healing the body, mind and soul through authentic Ayurveda, Panchakarma, Naturopathy and spiritual tradition of yoga in a holistic manner.

What makes Shreyas unique is that they help you achieve total wellness through the right blend of all the 3 streams of healing sciences. Whilst yoga is taught in traditional ashram style with daily yoga, meditation sessions, chanting classes, gourmet vegetarian cuisine and no alcohol; the guests live in a luxurious environment normally associated with a star hotel and engage in community service.

Shreyas offers 3-21 night packages including Wellness for the Soul, Yoga Retreat, Joy of Giving, Ayurvedic Rejuvenation, Weight Management, and Silent Retreat. Anaha, the extraordinary spa offers all Ayurvedic treatments and range of massages – Ayurvedic, Balinese, Swedish, Thai and Aromatherapy.

Facilities include naturopathy rooms, 13 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy rooms, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, beauty salon, infinity pool, yoga shala and open-air yoga studio and gym.

Delicious gourmet, vegetarian dishes are served, influenced by Indian as well as international cuisines. Shreyas Yoga Retreat is the only vegetarian member of Relais & Chateux in the world. This certification means that food here is some of the best in the world.

The chefs use fresh herbs and vegetables from the vast on-site organic garden so everything is fresh and full of flavour. There are daily set menus and all dishes are served to you. They even have 3 cows for organic dairy produce and you can help to milk them. No alcohol, meat, fish or eggs are served.

SOUKYA International Holistic Health Centre, near Bangalore:

Soukya, Dr. Mathai’s International Holistic Health Centre, is a unique property set just outside of Bengaluru in a pretty tropical garden. This is a serious spa with a focus on restorative, holistic healing, combining modern medical advancements, with ancient medical techniques and complementary therapies.

This residential facility brings in the best medical doctors and therapies from around the world, helping clients with a preventative approach, alongside those suffering specific ailments. This is a wonderful sanctuary with a long and distinguished guest list.

Soukya runs a full range of programs but the essence is namely Ayurveda & Panchakarma (a lengthy detoxifying cleanse), Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Yoga, Wellness and Medical programs.

Wellness programs like rejuvenation, weight loss, anti-ageing, destress, detoxification & rejuvenation, are very specific programs that requires treatments and are available in duration of 07- 28 days. Your time will be spent in treatments, yoga and meditation and in-between there are beautiful gardens to explore and a decent sized swimming pool to enjoy.

There are (21 Deluxe rooms and 4 suites) all with private gardens and open-air showers (plus indoor bathrooms). Spacious and light, each room was uniquely decorated by Mrs Mathai, but all pay homage to traditional Keralan style, with clean lines and simple designs.

A long-term dietary plan is created by their Doctors, Nutritionists & the Culinary team and served to each guest, based on their Ayurvedic body-type and lifestyle, to sustain the health benefits gained at the Centre.

SOUKYA serves Sattvic food, which creates positive vibrations in the body and contributes to a pure and calm mind which is central to the concept of a healthy lifestyle in Indian philosophy.

Nearest airport is Bengaluru which is 42 kms / 1-1.5 hours drive.

Prakriti Shakti, Kerala:

Prakriti Shakti by CGH Earth is a Naturopathy clinic that uses the power of nature to reduce and in many cases, reverse the advent of lifestyle diseases. It’s your gateway to a healthier and happier life.

Located 2500 ft above sea-level in the hills of Panchalimedu, Prakriti Shakti offers a clean, pure and unpolluted environment. Being in this fresh and crisp atmosphere is in itself detoxifying and rejuvenating.

They follow the Indian ideology of Prakruthi Chikitsa or Nature Cure which focuses on preventive care by harnessing the healing power of the five elements of nature (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space) together with Yoga & Meditation to treat the root cause of the disease, not just the symptoms.

This is no spa resort; there is more to it than just relaxation. There are personalised naturopathy treatments for lifestyle and chronic ailments, like obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases and stress-induced disorders. These could last between 14 and 21 days or more.

The clinic is not just for people with specific illnesses; it also has a 7-day detox programme for those who want to give their body a break from the daily grind. The treatments in each phase vary, and are complemented by a raw diet—fresh, lively, wholesome, rainbow food.

Prakriti Shakti has a spacious, well-equipped treatment area to facilitate the therapies and the doctors’ consultations. Therapy rooms for hydrotherapy, mud therapy and heliotherapy, a reflexology track, massage rooms and spa rooms are among the various specialised spaces in the treatment area. Their therapists and doctors are always present in this space to take care of all your medical needs.

The kitchen at Prakriti Shakti redefines the popular perception of eating raw by combining the goodness of organic and fresh food with the fine taste and aesthetics of haute cuisine. Right from a traditional Kerala Sadya to a delicious brownie, their chefs have created a diverse range of dishes with uncooked and unprocessed ingredients sourced from local farms.

It offers 19 cottages in 3 distinct styles. Living in these cottages is like seeking sanctuary in nature’s comforting embrace. The scenic balconies complement the cosy comfort of the spacious bedrooms.

It is located at a distance of 130 kms (4 hrs drive) by road from Cochin (Kochi) airport.

Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort, Kovalam, Kerala:

Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort is a serene wellness centre that specialises in the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda. Nestled within lush tropical gardens, the setting perfectly complements the natural type of healing that you experience during your stay.

There is an element of simplicity to Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort, you won’t be spoilt with the fanciest high-tech facilities around nor a list of more activities that you could ever hope to get through, instead they have a narrowed down wellness offering that holds testament to the saying ‘quality not quantity’.

The Ayurveda here is easily some of the best in India, something you will quickly realise as you sit down for a consultation with the resident doctor, however yoga and meditation are also strongpoints that guests are strongly encouraged to partake in.

This is a place where you are encouraged to slow down and enjoy the pace of life, as previously stated, there may not be a multitude of facilities on offer here, instead you are urged to spend your free time attending a yoga session, taking a dip in the pool, or strolling down the beach. You will still find all your creature comforts, which combined with your effective programme and the relaxed way of life here are key to you leaving a much happier and healthier individual.

Every Ayurvedic treatment regime at Somatheeram includes an appropriate diet. As part of their initial assessment, the resort’s doctors draw up a customised Ayurvedic menu plan for each individual guest. Various kinds of fruit, freshly squeezed juices, exotic spices: all these things ensure the food is varied and delicious. Guests eat at the Ayurveda restaurant directly on site. The menu includes around 200 Ayurvedic dishes in addition to 150 other dishes from regional and international cuisine.

Somatheeram offers six different accommodation categories. All rooms (76 rooms) have en-suite bathroom, air conditioning and/or fan. The beach can be reached within five minutes, depending on the location of the room within the property.

It is about 30 minutes or 21 kms from Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram) international airport. The resort itself is located directly on the beach – far removed from mass tourism, in the peaceful neighborhood around the village of Chowara.

Neeleshwar Hermitage, Bekal, North Kerala:

A blend of health retreat and hotel on the unspoilt and tourist-free northern coast of Kerala, this is as serene and stylish a hideaway as you’ll find anywhere in India; a place to rejuvenate your body and spirit and feel ‘still’.

Genuine Ayurvedic treatments are practised in the traditional way, in collaboration with the Sahayadri Foundation, one of the few 100% organic herbal medicine manufacturers in India. All the preparations used are completely natural and organically produced, and are sourced in a way that does not impact negatively on the environment. Almost 20 Ayurvedic treatments on the menu, both general and localised.

Neeleshwar Hermitage offers (16 Cottages) set back from a stunning long and deep Keralan beach. All the cottages are rustic in style, designed on traditional fisherman’s huts and have en-suite outdoor bathrooms. Cottages are spacious, light and airy featuring teak floors, high ceilings and locally handmade furniture and both antique and contemporary works of art from Kerala.

It has two restaurants. The Annapurna restaurant specialises in authentic, predominantly vegetarian food, honed by ayurvedic teaching on the importance of attending to the appearance, balance, flavor, enjoyment and nutritional effects of any dish. Meenakshi, the beachside restaurant, serves superb fresh fish caught by the local long boats, healthy lunchtime salads and delicious light meals.

You spend your days in the Ayurvedic spa, walking for miles along the palm-fringed beach, doing yoga, learning to meditate or exploring untrammelled backwaters on their gorgeous 2-bedroom houseboat, The Lotus. In the evening watch the sun sink over the horizon

The closest airport is Mangalore (95 kms) which is 2.5 hrs road journey from the resort.

Kalari Kovilakom, Kerala:

Kalari Kovilakom, the palace of the ancient Vengunad Kingdom in Kerala is now converted into a resort/ retreat offering most authentic form of Ayurveda as the Rajas of Vengunad would have had it. Adhering to the strict tenets of Ayurveda the treatment offered is a combination of the physical, psychological and spiritual therapies complimented and supported by yoga and meditation.

Set within the palace grounds of the old Vengunad kingdom, Kalari Kovilakom offers 19 well-appointed rooms with modern amenities and a clinic with 12 treatment rooms. The living spaces and the gardens at Kalari Kovilakom complements the healing process with its nurturing and warm environment and an unobtrusive, quiet adherence to discipline.

There are a total of 19 guest rooms which consists of 13 Kovilakom suite rooms and 5 higher category Vengunad suites and the charm about this place is that being an old Palace, no two rooms are alike. The suites are all air-conditioned and offers required modern facilities.

At Kalari Kovilakom, apart from the Ayurveda treatment which includes special diet along with oils, massages and herbs, the focus is also on Yoga and meditation. Here Yoga is taught and practiced every morning. After you have undergone detoxification and purgation, normally you will have two massages / treatments every day.

The cuisine here is based on traditional Kerala vegetarian cuisine and mainly uses locally sourced vegetables and fresh coconuts. Salads are not part of the daily regime but certain fruits like fresh Pineapple, Guavas and Pomegranates are served. The dishes are cooked with almost no oil, salt, chillies or any other spices but it is unbelievably tasty. The food here is unique, created exclusively for Guests and strictly adheres to the principles & dietary restrictions laid down by Ayurveda.

The minimum stay here is 14 Days, which is the time required for ayurveda treatments to have any real effect. Most guests go for a ‘panchakarma’, or general ayurvedic rejuvenation programme, wherein the experts lead you through a safe and nourishing course of ayurvedic oil massages, detoxification therapies, meditation and exercise. Besides this stress relief, weight reduction and anti-aging programmes are also available.

Life at Kalari Kovilakom is very restful with everything designed and focusing around healing your body, mind and soul. Hence during the course of the treatments guest’s activities are strictly restricted to within the premises of the Resort. Keeping this in mind, the hotel arranges for various entertainment activities like cultural, dance and musical performances showcased inside the resort for the guests. Interactive discussions on Ayurveda and yoga along with chanting and meditation sessions also take place.

It is located 3 hrs drive from Cochin International airport and 2 hrs drive from Coimbatore airport.

Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra, Kovalam, Kerala:

Niraamaya Retreats, Kovalam is perched on a cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea and bordered on either side by beaches and palm groves. It is naturally secluded and peaceful; a stark alternative to Kovalam’s otherwise crowded beaches.

A signature feature of the retreat is the global award-winning Niraamaya Spa, which offers a range of natural and holistic therapies to rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. These include a collection of Ayurvedic treatments, International therapies like Swedish massage, thai massage and other Asian treatments like Reflexology. Our newly introduced Jetlag therapy, signature baths and scrubs are a testimony to our inherent need to continuously innovate and create unique experiences.

It offers 33 rooms, with 5 different room categories. Most of them are traditional Kerala styled accommodations with a verandah and spacious open-air bathrooms; scattered across a palm grove, interconnected by pathways. If you’re looking for a room with a sea view, book a Heritage Premium room, the cliff-front Octagon Suite or Banyan Tree Bungalow.

The restaurants showcase the fresh flavors that made Kerala the hub of the spice trade, including seafood curries and grilled prawns.

It is 30 mins drive from Trivandrum airport.

Carnoustie Ayurveda and Wellness Resort, Marari Beach, Kerala:

Carnoustie Ayurveda and Wellness resort is well situated on the pretty Marari beach. It is 1.5 hrs drive from Kochi. Carnoustie is both the idyllic beach resort in which to end your south India tour, or as a spa destination in itself.

It is well known for its best in class Ayurveda & Yoga treatments. We offer Detox, Rejuvenation, Healing, Anti-ageing, Weight-loss and Naturopathy treatments at our Award Winning Luxury Spa.

At the Aryavaidyasala, its Ayurveda Spa, the resort offers you authentic Ayurveda treatment, naturopathy, marma, pranic healing and yoga classes. A complete treatment for your mind, body and soul under expert guidance.

At Carnoustie, a detailed personal consultation for guests is conducted by their Senior Medical experts. After a complete diagnosis of the guest’s condition, the Medical experts offer short and long-term treatments that will help the guest to age gracefully, improve organ health and boost the immune system. The resort has fairly large qualified team of experts to ensure that each guest is given personalized attention

For leisure activities you have a beach, world famous backwaters, swimming pool, cycling, village walk and 25 acres of landscape gardens providing you the solace of nature and environment.

Carnoustie Beach Resort offers exquisitely furnished villas (40 villas) complete with private pools and timber laden decks. All the villas are a perfect fusion of traditional and modern Keralan architecture. Well appointed and spacious rooms, lavish bathrooms and artistically designed walk in wardrobes ensure you have plenty of space for your holiday.

It is located 1.5 hrs drive from Cochin (Kochi) airport.

Modi Yoga Retreat, Rishikesh:

Modi Yoga Retreat is a luxury holistic wellness center and yoga retreat, located in Rishikesh, the birthplace of the Indian ancient arts of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda.

The retreat follows an integrated approach to wellness with Advaita, Living Beyond 100 and Yoga at its core to maintain the balance of the body’s elements. A broad spectrum of wellness modalities on offer includes: ayurvedic therapies, naturopathy treatments, nutritional advice, physiotherapy, exercise, counselling, lifestyle consultation, meditation and self-awareness using traditional, alternative and contemporary treatment methods.

It has a 12,000 sq. ft spa which has 12 spa treatment rooms and is developed in association with WTS – the US-based Global Spa leader. The spa rooms include 2 rooms equipped with Vichy Showers, 2 Ayurveda rooms, 6 international therapy rooms plus 2 consultation rooms.

The resort’s (29 rooms) provide a panoramic view of the Ganges and the Himalayas. The retreat also features a heated swimming pool for hydra therapies, a restaurant, a Wellness Café, a pool bar and a 1300 sq ft conference room for events.

The eateries offer contemporary cuisine from around the world in addition to Indian regional and Ayurvedic food. The café serves a wide variety of healthy, organic, gluten-free and vegan options including meals especially recommended for specific treatments. The diet of each and every client is personalised after a holistic evaluation of the client health and body type.

The closest airport is Jolly Grant Dehradun, 19 kms (35 mins drive).

Ananda in the Himalayas, near Rishikesh:

An award winning luxury destination spa in the Himalayan foothills, Ananda is located
on a 100 acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate. Surrounded by graceful Sal forests,
overlooking the spiritual town of Rishikesh and the Ganges river valley, Ananda
integrates traditional Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta with international wellness
experiences, fitness and healthy organic cuisine to restore balance and harmony.

Ayurveda is the speciality here, although Ananda is also famed for its yoga, Vedanta, and detox offerings too; you can expect your mind, body, and spirit to all feel nurtured by the extensive range of treatments and activities on offer here. The spa itself is sure to impress, a beautiful and expansive wellness centre that features 24 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy pools and more all geared at offering you the most rejuvenating and pleasant experience possible, as well as a state-of-the-art gym to ensure guests can get their fitness fill too, if the many different classes and fitness sessions haven’t done the trick.

Ananda Spa employs qualified Ayurveda doctors and therapists to administer personalized treatments ranging from therapeutic massage to toxic elimination; experienced Bihar School yoga teachers will design your yoga and meditation program; and there are daily interactive talks from Vedanta disciples and leading international masters.

A healthy lifestyle requires a customized diet. A nutritious and balanced diet according to
an individual’s body type incorporating the principles of Ayurveda is the core to every
meal at Ananda.

With a specially curated menu courtesy in-house Ayurvedic doctors and Chefs,
they serve food that is rejuvenating and soulful while being delectable and sumptuous.
They use fresh produce from local organic farms and are low on fat and calories
with a special emphasis on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and
low-fat dairy products. They avoid added or artificial salts, colors, flavors
or preservatives.

Ananda offers luxurious accommodation (78 rooms) including 70 rooms, 5 suites including the popular Vice regal Suite in the Vice regal Palace and Ananda’s signature 1 Bedroom Villa and 2 Bedroom Villas with their private pools create a perfect escape in the midst of surrounding Sal trees. The rooms offer unparalleled views of either the holy river Ganges meandering below in the town of Rishikesh or a view of the 19th century Maharaja’s Palace with the surrounding hills.

Ananda in the Himalayas is a total experience for anyone wishing to heal, cleanse, relax and revitalize, restore balance, and embrace holistic wellbeing.

The closest airport is Jolly Grant Dehradun 40 mins drive.

Dharana Wellness at Shillim, Pune:

Shillim is located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Western Ghats 3.5 hrs drive away from Mumbai. Years have been spent to conceptualise Dharana Wellness which combines the most advanced Western diagnostics (body scanning, blood testing) with traditional age-old Eastern Ayurvedic practice.

Shillim’s guests go to resolve conflict, of which the primary sources are relationships, food, environment, sleep, and grief. They are encouraged to stay for at least five nights, with the maximum benefits experienced when taking a 14 or 21 day Ayurveda Panchakarma, the most ancient healing Ayurvedic treatment for detoxification that dates back 5000 years.

The retreat has a plethora of Dharana tradition activities like Acupressure – Acupuncture – Reiki – Pranic Healing – Ayurveda – Yoga – Chakra Cleansing – Shamanism – Meditation – Naturopathy – HydroTherapy – Ozone Therapy – Fire Healing – Music – Dance to – Body Work.

The 70-acre area with 17 treatment rooms (offering everything from Ayurvedic massages, acupuncture and acupressure, Reiki, Shamanic therapies, hydrotherapy and colon therapy), meditation cave, yogashala, a heated spa pool and an organic restaurant – is one of the largest spa facilities in Asia.

The food philosophy has its firm roots in age old Ayurveda traditions: Dharana Cuisine includes all the elements achieved by modern food research and is inspired by lessons learned from nutritional philosophies from across the globe.

The menus are inspired by fresh, seasonal produce and the slow cooking technique stresses on preserving the natural flavours of the food, working with ingredients known for their curative and nourishing benefits.

Its Luxurious Villas (24 Villas) set amidst rice fields, and bamboo plantations offer you sweeping views of the valley and the forest.

Each villa features contemporary decor and local design that allow nature to walk into your rooms. Sit at your private balcony and gaze at the stars. Or simply stare in wonder at the life that abounds around you.

Guests staying in Dharana Pool villas and Presidential Pool villas also enjoy a private pool and patio, as well as butler service.

Atmantan Wellness Resort, Mulshi, Pune:

Atmantan, is a luxury wellness destination nestled on a unique crystal hill (that lends the land healing frequencies) and overlooks the pristine Mulshi Lake. The resort spans 42 acres and is located in Mulshi, a hill station close to Pune & Mumbai.

It offers the most transformative wellness experiences by incorporating a multi-dimensional approach. The guests are offered tailor-made integrated wellness programs to suit their health profile and wellness objectives.

This award-winning wellness resort is truly the holistic amalgamation of the Atma (soul), mana (mind) and tann (body). Atmantan offers its guests result-oriented wellness experiences, such that they return to their daily lives healthier, happier and transformed!

You go to Atmantan to de-stress, detox and relax, for medicinal reversal (for conditions like Diabetes, Hypertension, etc), disease management, improving aerobic/cardiovascular fitness, rejuvenation with Ayurvedic Panchkarma, weight loss retreat, pre and post-surgical rehabilitation, pain management, emotional healing or to rekindle your inner spirit by diving deeper in their Yoga & Meditation ritual.

While using the freshest ingredients & seasonal produce from our organic farms, Atmantan offers guests spa cuisine, that is exquisitely customized to complement their dietary requirements and the individual’s retreat goals.

All the living arrangements (106 guestrooms and villas) at atmantan have been created for luxurious integrated Wellness.

The bedrooms have been furnished with plush King or Twin sized beds and sink-in loungers. Floor-to-ceiling view windows bathe the room in natural light, and when need be, the blackout curtains enable guests to transform the room from day to night for precious shut-eye. The bathrooms are indulgent with en-suite marble inlay and a glass-windowed bathtub overlooking breath-taking scenery.

All the rooms further extend into spacious private balconies or sit-out gardens, which open to the exhilarating landscape of Atmantan.

Atmantan is accessible by road and air, due to its strategic location in Mulshi, (a hill-station near Pune), and can be reached within a 3 hours drive from Mumbai.

The Beach House, Goa:

Accredited by Yoga Alliance UK and USA, this 15-room luxury retreat is located on the relatively quiet Sernabatim Beach, near Colva.

It offers a range of innovative and all-inclusive wellness programmes with a unique opportunity for total rejuvenation. The Beach House Goa is a holistic residential Health Services Centre comprising of a Ayurveda medical Clinic and resident recuperation facility along with an Ayurveda School and a Yoga Centre.

Combining ancient traditions (Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Natural Wellness) with cutting edge technology, The Beach House Goa Retreat offers a mixture of medical and holistic therapies, providing all the means necessary for a complete body and mind overhaul whilst relaxing in stunning surroundings.

They offer retreats like Diabetes Reversal Management, Intensive Juice Cleanse Retreat, Stress Buster, Panchakarma Retreat, Prepare for Pregnancy Retreat, Sugar OUT Life IN, Weight loss and fit body retreat for women, Beauty & Rejuvenation retreat for women and Kool Konnect group retreats for corporates.

It conducts morning and evening hatha yoga—at times, even ashtanga and vinyasa—open to both guests and outsiders. Residential wellness programmes can be 5–21 days long, tailored to your requirement. While the Yoga & Spa Retreat combines asanas with ayurvedic treatments, Asian massages, facials and body wraps, the Yoga Retreat focuses on posture correction, pranayam and meditation.

It is 27 kms from the Goa’s Dabolim International Airport.

How to Book:

You can book any of above Health and Wellness Retreats through Delhi based Travel Design Company – Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd. They are specialists in Healing and Wellness Holidays and have preferred partnerships and connections with above listed Retreats.

– Amit Kalsi, Private Travel Designer

Best Boutique Luxury Hotels and Villas in Sri Lanka: The Signature Collection

Sri Lanka has opened it’s international borders to welcome tourists once again with safety protocols which does not require a minimum number of days to stay. i.e. visitors to the island can stay even 3 to 4 days, but I will recommend atleast 7 days or more. It’s too much effort in terms of COVID protocol compliances to travel to Sri Lanka just for 3/4 days.

Sri Lanka offers ‘Quarantine free’ visitor experience where the visitors are allowed to enjoy all facilities in their respective hotels including the swimming pools, spas, gym etc. However the only requirement put in place for the safety of the traveller, tourism stakeholders and Sri Lankan community is the need for the travellers to stay at a ‘Safe and Secure’ certified, Level 1 hotel or hotels in the initial 14 days of their stay.

This ensures the creation of a bio-bubble for the international visitors assuring the safety of the local communities, employees of the industry and the visitors to the industry.

All visitors, prior to boarding, will have to carry a negative PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in their respective countries 96 hours before their departure. This report will be checked at the respective airport (BIA or Mattala).

Then on arrival in Sri Lanka the first of the prepaid PCR tests would be carried out on-arrival at the guest’s hotel; prior to check-in. The second PCR test would be conducted 5-7 days after, or if any symptoms should develop before.

More details in this link: Sri Lanka COVID protocols

This is a positive start, and restrictions will only ease in weeks or months to come, as the World enters Post COVID-Era with more people getting vaccinated, and breaking the spread chain with infections receding.

I have compiled below list of Sri Lanka’s Best Boutique Luxury Hotels, Villas and Retreats, which I feel were primarily hidden or unknown to the Indian outbound discerning travellers, who have always been seeking holiday refuge in long-haul destinations in Europe and the Americas.

Below selection is based on the principle of travel without crowds, wherein most of below options can be booked exclusively just for your family or group of friends, and with great value in terms of price combined with premium level of service and quality, with no compromises, and no corners cut.

Even you book some of the boutique Hotel options below on a single room basis, and not book the full property since you may be travelling as a couple or a small family, you can still be assured of physical distancing, and will be able to holiday without crowds in privacy and safety, as against in bigger resorts and hotels with hundreds of rooms.

Beach & Coastal Properties in Sri Lanka:

With nearly 1600 km of of palm fringed Coastline baked to perfection surrounding the country Sri Lanka is the ideal destination for beach lovers worldwide. Be it windsurfing, kayaking, yachting, water skiing, scuba diving or jut lazing around for the perfect tan, Sri Lanka offers it all.

The two monsoon winds providing rain to the two corners of the country at various periods, makes Sri Lanka’s beach holiday a year round prospect. The north east winds make the south western coast sunny and the sea calm from November to March. The South West winds make the East Coast waters quiet with the constant sun shine happily in agreement.

The best of the Southern beaches include Tangalla, Beruwala, Mirissa, Bentota and Unawatuna with varying options including luxury boutique hotels, glowing coral reefs, gentle sandbars and undiscovered corners of paradise.

Although Sri Lanka’s southern beaches has been long discovered by the international traveller the east coast is yet to be fully discovered. The most known among the Eastern beaches is the Arugam Bay, the high church of surfing enthusiasts’ in the region. Once a mere rumour, Uppuveli beach is also open to the sun seekers after a three decade long civil war.

Despite having a ring of sandy beaches surrounding the country, Galle Face Green, a half a kilometre stretch between Galle Road and Indian Ocean is the playground of the Colombians.

Cape Weligama:

Cape Weligama is a collection of spacious villas and suites nestled within private gardens, spread across an elevated promontory overlooking the Indian Ocean, making it the idyllic south coast hideaway.

Stunning panoramas await you, naturally complementing the 39 suites & villas designed by one of Asia’s most celebrated architects, Lek Bunnag.

The Villas are set within eight gardens in the upper part of the property, comprising two or three Villas in each plus a large shared infinity edge swimming pool. The Ocean Pool Villa and Duplex Two Bedroom Cape Pool Villa enjoy private 15m pools. The Suites are located at the lower level, around the Cove Pool. They are especially well suited to families or friends travelling together.

All accommodations enjoy a large terrace with dining and in-room spa facilities, spacious walk-in wardrobes, Sonos wireless audio, handmade Ophir toiletries, a steam room & large bathrooms with twin vanities and a stone tub.

174.4 Km (2 Hrs 45 Mins) from Colombo International Airport.

Ani Villas Sri Lanka:

ÀNI Sri Lanka is a stunning 15-suites private estate (divided in 2-Villas) that combines contemporary tropical architecture with the finest bespoke finishes and furnishings. The Villa Monara has 8 suites while the Villa Divia has 7. Either of the villas can be rented separately, or the whole 15-suites (divided in 2 villas) estate can be rented at once.

The stunning property offers a private spa, oversized oceanfront pools, dedicated children’s pools with exciting waterslides, and a plethora of spaces for dining and entertainment – perfect for celebration events and family retreats.

All suites at Ani Villas come complete with en suite bathrooms and for families with younger children there are connecting twin rooms which can sleep up to three kids. Each bedroom is tasteful and modern and are all sea facing, meaning you can wake up to the sound of the lapping waves.

The property overlooks the calm swimming waters of Dickwella beach, which is protected by sandbars and reefs, and is just minutes to the sheltered bays of Hiriketiya beach, where smaller waves are perfect for surf lessons.

Stay as active or relaxed as you please, with options like aqua aerobics, beach walks, water slides, bike rides, tennis lessons, personal training, and shuffleboard. The ÀNI Sri Lanka team understands hospitality and makes every effort to ensure your stay is a transformative experience to be cherished for years to come.

3 Hrs drive from Colombo International Airport.

Karpaha Sands:

Karpaha Sands Kalkudah, is a boutique hotel offering luxury tents on Sri Lanka’s most stunning beach, on the East Coast. Unreachable for 30 years and Sri Lanka’s prime beach destination before the civil war, the East Coast is re-opening its doors, offering its natural and cultural treasures, including the country’s most wonderful beaches and its rich Tamil culture

This is the only resort on Kalkudah Beach, offering 17 private luxury tented suites for discerning travellers. With 15km pristine beach with endless fine sand, a beautifully curved bay and safe to swim turquoise waters, you will unwind under an ocean of swaying palm trees, watching the calm horizon and falling under the spell of what is undoubtedly Sri Lanka’s most stunning beach.

The 17 suites are housed in well-designed South African tents. There are 3 versions – beachfront Palam Suites; garden-wrapped Kolaya Suites; and larger Seed Suites, which sleep up to 5 in 2 ensuite bedrooms (1 double, 1 twin + an extra bed).

All suites offer bed and living areas, private indoor bathrooms, outdoor showers and private decks with loungers, as well as generous outdoor space. They use the highest standard fabric for the tents and all accommodation is air-conditioned and fan-cooled.

1 Hr drive from Batticaloa airport or 1.5 Hrs drive from Trincomalee airport. Both airports are connected by scheduled or chartered flights from Colombo.

By road it can take upto 7hrs from Colombo airport.

Kumu Beach:

Kumu Beach is a chic, modern boutique hotel close to Balapitiya Beach on Sri Lanka’s south west coast. A short distance from Galle and close to Bentota and Hikkaduwa, there are just 10 rooms and suites here, making for a relaxing and stylish stay.

All 10 bedrooms have direct ocean views while the Ocean View Suites and Ocean View Bedrooms also open onto either private balconies or garden terraces. The rooms are spacious with a chic open plan layout, and their neutral colour palette is enhanced by colour splash contemporary batik cushions and vibrant works of modern local art.

Sea swimming is seasonal (November to April) – but the 23-metre pool compensates.

The hotel sits above a beach near Balapitiya, 30 minutes south of Bentota and an hour north of Galle. It is 130 Kms and 2.5 Hrs drive from Colombo International Airport.

Villa Ranawara, Kahandamodera, near Tangalle:

There are few villas in Sri Lanka as expansive, elegant and spectacular as Ranawara, immersed in 23 acres upon Tangalle’s easterly Kahandamodera Beach.

The house has 7 bedrooms in total, along with sophisticated living and dining areas, a fully equipped kitchen, an air conditioned home cinema and a beautiful swimming pool. Interior areas flow seamlessly onto terraces and verandas edged by pillared walkways, soft stone paving and mirror-still ponds.

All of the bedrooms enjoy the same colonial style and minimalist design. They are decorated with neutral colours, are very spacious and come with king size four poster beds. Five of the rooms can be found in the main house and for those looking for a little extra privacy then the luxury cabanas can be found in the garden. These are smaller but nicely appointed with similar furnishings to the main house.

This villa is perfect for families and groups looking for absolute privacy and tranquility. Pathways lead to a near-deserted stretch of beach where turtles often come onshore to lay their eggs by moonlight. The sandy beach stretches on for what seems like miles and is great for strolls although swimming in the sea is not possible here. Nearby is the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary, and Yala and Udawalawe national parks are both within easy reach.

It is a 4 Hrs drive from Colombo international airport.

KK Beach:

KK Beach opened its doors in mid-December 2016 and is a contemporary and stylish beachfront boutique hotel with 10 stunning rooms, overlooking the Indian Ocean. Located on the west side of Habaraduwa, the hotel is just 12km from Galle and the beach stretches as far as the eye can see.

All rooms are air-conditioned and have spacious en-suite bathrooms, and outdoor private terraces.

Conceptualized and decorated by renowned interior designer George Cooper who has made a name for himself globally with his first hotel Kahanda Kanda, a romantic retreat located inland of Galle. Cooper has successfully channeled his love for the island by creating KK Beach, a chic hotel along the coastline.

Minutes from KK Beach, activities abound from body surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, bike rides through the rice fields, canoe trips, whale watching, deep sea fishing, cultural tours, boat trips on Kogalla Lake.

2.5 Hrs from Colombo International Airport.

Owl and the Pussy Cat Hotel: