Perched atop the bluffs near the southern tip of Sri Lanka, Cape Weligama provides the perfect idyllic getaway. It is the third instalment of the Resplendent Ceylon luxury resort franchise, which was the brainchild of Merril J. Fernando, the owner of Dilmah Tea. The incredible welcome we got at Cape Weligama will surely make the warmth and hospitality of the Emerald Isle rival its most famous export in the years to come.
Cape Weligama’s ideal location overlooking the Indian Ocean suits those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The entire experience is built around the pool and garden concept. Thirty-nine villas of various sizes are built in carefully manicured walled gardens, centred around semi-private pools. The Ocean Pool Villa and the Duplex Two Bedroom Cape Pool Villa enjoy private 15m pools. Each of the villa complexes is named after a famous writer or explorer of Sri Lanka—Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta, Arthur C. Clarke, to name a few. All around are incredible views of the Indian Ocean, with heady multi-hued skies above, and blue green waves crashing against the promontory below.
Cape Weligama is associated with Relais & Châteaux. Needless to state, the dining experience is nothing short of spectacular. The main dining room overlooking Weligama bay offers a variety of cuisines for every palate. We developed a particular weakness for the local Sri Lankan fare—the baked crab and the Jaffna goat curry were standout dishes. The Chef’s Table experience at Tableau is not to be missed. Chef Vinnol took incredible care of all our gastronomical needs throughout our stay. For those who enjoy their seafood, the resort is happy to organise a trip to the local market to buy the pick of the morning’s catch to be lovingly prepared for lunch or dinner.
Enjoy a floating breakfast in the pool
Our experience at Weligama was curated by our butler, Ishan, who took service to a whole new level. Being able to make a request or place an order through WhatsApp was a first. Given this kind of pampering, we were quite happy to kick off our walking shoes and spend almost the entirety of our stay within the resort itself. But for those who are more inclined to adventure, Cape Weligama has a lot to offer. The must-do is a whale watching excursion. Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to sight the blue whale, the largest animal known to exist, or the sperm whale, the largest toothed whale in the world, or various species of dolphin that abound in the seas around Cape Weligama. Its signature Ocean Safari experience is guided by a naturalist and includes a scrumptious breakfast on board. November to April are the ideal whale watching months, characterised by calm and clear seas.
The Ibn Batuta Garden Pool
Weligama also happens to be the surfing capital of South Asia. A long sandy beach with consistent waves makes it the ideal place for beginners who want to learn how to surf. The Borderlands adventure centre, which is a 5-minute walk away from the resort, offers a gamut of activities including kayaking, snorkeling, surfing and surfboarding. The resort is a short hop away from the old Dutch fort at Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Children will never be bored at Weligama. The large Cove Pool is specially constructed for kids and young adults, with three sections of varying depths. The culinary experience also extends to children. At the time we visited, the annual Christmas pudding was just being prepared and the kids had a blast mixing in all the ingredients for the mammoth, end-of-year dessert. But for me, the best part of the entire experience was enjoying tea every evening on the terrace of our villa with a book or some board games, watching the sun slide past the horizon, rediscovering the joy of savouring every moment. A true slice of serendipity.
Photographs: Resplendent Ceylon
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