Where trade winds carried legendary explorers like Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta and Fa-Hsien past Sri Lanka’s soaring southern cliffs on some of history’s most celebrated nautical journeys, Cape Weligama has become the most celebrated among Sri Lankan Beach Resorts, along this fabled island’s palm fringed shores. Thirty minutes east of Galle, Cape Weligama inhabits 12 manicured acres atop a singular promontory rising 40 metres above the Indian Ocean. Stunning panoramas await you, naturally complementing the 39 private retreats designed by one of Asia’s most celebrated architects, Lek Bunnag. The hotel offers an array of international dining venues captures Weligama’s iconic sunsets, as does the 60-metre crescent-shaped infinity pool that appears to flow seamlessly into the shimmering sea, while those timeless breezes ensure elegant swells unfurl onto the sun kissed sand.
Nestled into the natural slopes atop Weligama’s striking headland, a collection of private Suites and Villas; offering 39 bedrooms in all, create the welcoming illusion of a traditional Sri Lankan village. Yet beneath local terracotta-tiled rooftops, stylish interiors unfold as Cape Weligama boasts the largest Luxury Villas in Sri Lanka. Accommodation options range from 130 m2 and 310 m2, surrounded by tropical gardens. Each room is named for a distinguished explorer or writer whose historic Ceylon journey captures the spirit of Cape Weligama. The Villas are set within eight stone ringed gardens. Each garden comprises two or three free-standing Villas plus a 15 metre infinity edge swimming pool. The Duplex Two Bedroom Cape Pool Villa, their most breath-taking accommodation at 310 m2, offers stunning Indian Ocean views from both bedrooms across two levels and a private 15 metre infinity pool on the upper level; a first for a Boutique Hotel in Sri Lanka. The Suites are situated around the Cove Pool in units of four. They are especially well suited to families or friends traveling together, seeking the beach villa experience for which southern Sri Lanka has become synonymous, with the added amenities and activities of a luxury resort.
Sri Lankan cooking is more art that science – recipes are mere guidelines. Making curry requires a deft touch to balance the heat of the spices with the sweetness of coconut milk, a well-measured tinge of acidity from tamarind and lime, to the perfect combination of fresh herbs that give the flavours a slight lift onto the palate… all so that the complex flavours of their cuisine can be appreciated to the fullest (and without drowning the food in chilli!). Their chef’s sleight of hand in the kitchen will leave you rosy-cheeked and grinning contently.Kitchen uses typical rural techniques – fresh spices are ground on a stone, curries are cooked in clay pots, and most of their ingredients are home grown. They are adept at Western cuisine as well as vegetarian meals, so they ensure that guests have a variety of flavours coming their way during their stay with them.
The generous Cove Pool, close to the Suites, meanders around an integrated 20m-lap pool, and is ideal for kids. The Surf Bar – secreted under the Moon Pool – erects a large screen on occasion to host convivial movie nights with popcorn and international sports fixtures with special themed snacks and drinks. Hotel facilities also include a Cybex equipped air-conditioned gym for keeping in shape after overindulging on the resort’s mouth-watering cuisine. Electric buggies convey guests around the resort if they prefer not to walk. There are two adjacent public beaches. West Beach is accessed via a specially built cliff staircase. East Beach is next to the Sports Centre, a 5-minute walk from the resort. A reef provides safe swimming conditions. With no large resorts nearby, the beaches are not busy. The Sports Centre is staffed by professionals and is the embarkation point for all land and water-based activities. Offering first-rate PADI dive courses and exciting dives, other activities include private cruises, big game fishing, seasonal whale and dolphin-watching trips and banana boating.