With a slew of new, design-driven hotel openings, Sri Lanka is emerging as the destination du jour. The latest to debut is Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa, which is the first in Sri Lanka for the Hong Kong-based luxury hotel company. Located on the country’s southern coast with access to the Yala and Bundala National Parks, the resort is nestled on an estate measuring more than 140 acres—making it officially the largest resort in Sri Lanka. It’s surrounded by coconut plantations, a pristine private beach, and an 18-hole golf course.
There are 300 rooms, including 21 suites, overlooking either the tropical gardens, the golf course, the lagoon, or the Indian Ocean. Facilities include Shangri-La’s signature CHI, The Spa offering Chinese and Ayurvedic treatments; a health club; a sunset pool; a free-form lagoon pool; and the Cool Zone Kids Club complete with a drone flying area, water park, and a trapeze. Of the numerous F&B outlets, we’re intrigued by the sound of Sera, which was “inspired by the famous hawker stalls of Southeast Asia.” Note: The resort is also marketing itself as a destination wedding venue, with a large ballroom and additional conference/function rooms.