Sri Lanka could very well overtake the Maldives as the preferred beach getaway in the Indian Ocean. It is familiar yet exotic; boutique, but big enough to feel like a world in itself. So when we found out Sri Lanka’s next on our travel map, you can imagine our excitement. Bliss was just a few hours away!
We landed in Colombo at around four in the evening on a pleasant Tuesday. A beautiful, winding 85-kilometer drive later, our caravan crossed into Beruwala, a town awash with the smell of the sea.
There’s a lesson in colour waiting for anyone heading to Beruwala. This is where the blue of the ocean looks like turquoise tarp stretched taut over the water. Green is the ground you walk upon, a carpet with a natural crunch. Here, sunsets are songs painted in red and gold.
At Cinnamon Bey, Beruwala, all of these colours combine. It is simply one of the most stunning properties we’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. As one of the largest resorts on Sri Lanka’s southern coastline, the Bey with its 200 rooms, is a treasure trove. Its Turkish theme borrows everything great from the Ottoman era, making you feel like you’re settling into a colour-corrected mini-version of Turkey, but all the way in Beruwala.
Our deluxe room had its own private pool, which itself opened to an unparalleled view of the Indian Ocean. Decorated with eye-poppingly pretty patterns, printed fabrics and intricate lattice work, each room is an ode to texture and taste.
There’s only one word for how beautifully designed this property is: wow. This is the type of resort that surprises you around every corner. Even something as ordinary as dinner turns into a master class in design, with six different dining rooms to choose from. It’s a heady affair, with the seafood and mimosas fuelling this well-earned indulgence.
Speaking of indulgence, did we mention there are six different dining rooms, including one restaurant dedicated entirely to buffet-style dining? Of all the dining rooms available, however, Rock Salt is our personal favorite.
Giving you an interactive kitchen experience, Rock Salt introduces the concept of stone-age cooking to Sri Lanka; each table is given its own, real red hot lava rock and a choice of the choicest raw meats. There’s something indescribable about cooking your own food, to your own taste, on a rock that was probably formed millions of years ago. Like the Big Bang on a plate.
Once dinner was done, we were officially off duty, and it was time to kick back and relax. Lounging around on a pool chair – in our personal pool, remember- watching the curtains wafting gently in the sea breeze gazing out at the ocean. Only a few things compare to falling asleep to the sound of the waves – but you know what? We can’t think of a single one of them right now.
If you’re the type of person who loves having their breath taken away every two minutes, welcome to Beruwala. This is where your homing signal leads to.
Images: Malika Monga, Cinnamon Hotels