Plan a quick getaway to Sri Lanka
Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle is exactly the slice of paradise you might be expecting
Like a local
Try a tour of Tangalle village and the Mulkirigala cave temple. Just a drive away are three national parks, a turtle sanctuary and Mirissa harbour for whale watching.
The only thing you need, apart from great food and a sunny beach? Massages that go on forever. The Anantara spa is entirely luxurious, with a range of standout Ayurvedic therapies—try the pinda swedana, in which hot herbal poultices are swept over your body to soothe muscles, leaving you with a deep sense of warmth and calm. I finished off with a heavenly outdoor rain shower, the sun on my back.
There’s something about the air in Sri Lanka that soaks right into your body, making your muscles involuntarily relax, your city-hardened face soften. And the almost-new Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle, with its private sands, curated food experiences and ocean-spray views, might make it very difficult to leave. The resort is about a three-hour drive from Colombo airport (good for a snooze), or a 40-minute seaplane ride to Dickwella. The 21-acre coconut plantation gives you plenty of space to yourself. Try one of the sprawling villas with their own plunge pools for maximum privacy. Tangalle.anantara.com
Dining by design
Anantara Tangalle is proud of its curated private dining—for good reason. You can have a romantic table set up on a cliff top, by the water’s edge or in the forest. A sudden bout of rain forced us indoors, but the super-fresh seafood and non-stop wine made up for that. I love the idea of packing a gourmet picnic basket and heading to the tea estate on a cool day. Hot tip: Their restaurant, Il Mare, has the best tiramisu ever.
A short drive away, Galle has a Pondicherry-meets-Goa vibe. Here's how you should explore the city:
1. Start your walk around Galle Fort at the beautiful 18th-century Amangalla hotel. Its shining teak floors, grand verandah and fragrant white tea will cast a spell.
2. Drop into Stick No Bills, a poster shop that sells vintage prints and postcards describing Sri Lanka ('Ceylon') as something of a paradise (which, let’s face it, it is).