Travel & Life
Our Sri Lankan Getaway - I
SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, COLOMBO
When you think of taking a small, yet luxurious break from your everyday mundane routine, or when you think of an escape to a new, yet familiar destination, you think – Sri Lanka.
As all perfect destinations go, Sri Lanka has all the ingredients for a great getaway. From sweeping tea gardens to buzzing beaches; from city life to quaint corners full of Dutch history; not to mention the rich wildlife and an even richer traditional cuisine.
On our recent visit to this beautiful country, we had the pleasure of staying at the beautiful Shangri-La properties, and started off the first leg of our trip at The Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo.
A short 2 and a half hour flight from Mumbai, we reached the hotel at night and experienced what could have possibly been the quickest check-in procedure ever. With its high ceilings, marvelous crystal chandeliers, paintings and art pieces, the hotel lobby was nothing short of spectacular! With a winning first impression that set the tone for the rest of our stay, we knew we were in for a treat.
About the property…
Equipped with world class facilities and services, this luxury property is situated in the heart of the city overlooking the Indian Ocean and boasts of:
– 500 luxurious guest rooms and suites, and 41 serviced apartments.
– A long list of dining and bar venues
– A would renowned spa – CHI
– 24 Health Club and one of the largest outdoor swimming pools
– The largest hotel conference and event facilities in the region, catering up to 2,000 guests.
On the Itinerary…
We woke up the following morning to the view of the Ocean in our Horizon Club room, ready to explore the city after a grand breakfast at all day dining restaurant – Table One
Guided Heritage City Walk With Mark Forbes
The first half of our afternoon was spent walking around the historical parts of the city, listening to fascinating stories of the past and learning about their relevance today. The Dutch Hospital, The Old Parliament Building. The Khan Clock Tower, The Colombo Dutch Museum were some of the more prominent stops among others, all of which were at a walking distance from the hotel.
Tuk Tuk Safari Experience
After a delicious lunch at the famous Shang Palace, we then left for our Tuk Tuk ride to continue exploring the city in true Colombo style. The hotel organised these super quirky and swanky tuk tuks with all kinds of features including charging points, speakers, lights, and our favorite one- a cooler for Nariyal Paani of course! Some of the stops included the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, Independence Square, Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple and the most picturesque Temple of Sri Kaileswaram.
Dinner and Drinks at Capital Bar & Grill
On our return from zipping around the city, we had some time to rest and freshen up for an evening of cocktails and dinner at the hotel’s trendy Capital Bar & Grill. Serving the city’s most extensive selection of whiskey, we sipped on some beautifully aged cocktails mixed by the resident mixologist and relished some signature seafood grilled to perfection.
Pool and Spa Time
The next day called for some sun time by the pool and some major relaxation and rejuvenation at the spa. We absolutely loved the modern vibe of the outdoor pool. It’s pops of yellow and blue made for some pretty great photos too. This was followed by the most relaxing spa session at the famous CHI spa, where we opted for the Signature Asian Blend Massage.
High Tea at the Sapphyr Lounge
With post swim hunger kicking in, we then walked into the Sapphyr Lounge for high tea and snacks. Flooded with natural light, elegant interiors and a pianist to add to the old world charm, we spent all afternoon gorging on some yummy pastries, puffs, sandwiches an sipping on Ceylonese tea in our beautiful Noritake tea cups.
Cocktails & Dinner at Kaema Sutra
Our final evening in Colombo ended on a high note as expected, at the Sri Lankan themed bar and restaurant Kaema Sutra. A culinary collaboration with Celebrity Chef Dharshan Munidasa and Sri Lankan born Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, the restaurant serves up Sri Lankan cuisine with a twist, using the island’s aromatic spices, rich ingredients and traditional cooking techniques.
Not to mention it’s quirky decor and cocktails glasses that kept us CLICKING and CLINKING through the night.
We then checked out of the hotel the next morning, on our way to the Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa. Stay tuned for the next post to read all about it.