Perched on a hillside, overlooking one of Sri Lanka’s largest natural lakes and miles of wild beauty, Tri serves up an almost unrivaled location.
White sand beaches are a 10-minute drive away and the Unesco World Heritage Site of Galle Fort, with its photogenic Dutch-colonial buildings, Instagrammable boutiques and overall boho buzz, is a mere 40-minutes. Colombo’s international airport is two-and-a-half-hours drive.
Its beauty and tranquility – not to mention fantastic food – are what has rocketed the independent hotel to global fame. Search ‘best hotels in Sri Lanka’, and we guarantee it will crop up.
British owner Robert Drummond discovered the site over a decade ago and embarked on building Tri, in all its sustainable beauty. Recycled woods and stripped cinnamon branches were just some of the natural design elements utilised by architect Raefer Wallis. Living walls, green roofs and edible gardens also help shape the eco resort.
But while the strives for sustainability are noteworthy, they’re not the selling point. That lies in the tranquility.
Designed to provide an escape from the buzz of the beach, the only sound you’ll hear at Tri is the squarks of peacocks and the gentle tones of Rob’s wife leading a sunset yoga class.
Thanks to its secluded location, there isn’t anything within walking distance, but the hotel offers cycling tours, boat trips on the lake and day trips further afield.
If it’s some down-time you’re after, head to the hotel’s library for a read or the spectacular infinity pool for a dip.
The rooms are just as luxurious as you would expect. Large, open-plan rooms adorned with contemporary (and sustainable) furnishings come armed with spectacular views. The balcony’s an idea spot for watching the wildlife on the lake and enjoying a mid-afternoon cuppa.
If you’re after something a little stronger, head to the main bar and treat yourself to a cocktail at sunset before heading down to the restaurant for dinner.
Be warned: you won’t find a hefty portion of steak and chips here. Instead you’ll be treated to perfectly presented six-course meals worthy of a top London restaurant. The menu changes daily, but a miniature mango green curry is an example of a starter we tried and cinnamon chicken a main.
For dessert, we had everything from doughnuts to white tea panne cotta during our stay.
Breakfast is just as intense: a fruit platter and homemade granola with a scoop of ice cream will likely be followed by croissants and papaya jam, followed still by a smoothie of the day and a full English – or a full Sri Lankan breakfast. There is an a la carte lunch menu, but chances are you’ll be too stuffed from breakfast to give it a look-in.
Rates at Tri start from $325 per room per night on a half board basis, based on double occupancy.
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