Imagine waking up to the babbling blue waters of the ocean, the heady scent of coconut appams and onion chutney wafting into your room, as you hear the faint folksy melody of a ukulele playing somewhere in the distance. Sounds like heaven? Well, rejoice because you can find this right here on earth, on a sun-doused private island off the southern coast of Sri Lanka nestled by the Indian Ocean.
An island with nothing on it but an exquisite 1920’s mansion and nothing between it and the South Pole. It is 2.5 acres of tropical fantasia. Once I arrived I never wanted to leave. I fantasized about staying and being the recluse that I am, I could have stayed perpetually. I thought about it seriously, the romantic that I am; I would paint and write and eat and sleep all day. But wouldn’t I go mad? Wasn’t I already mad? It is Taprobane Island and it is impossibly romantic, I cannot say the words enough-there aren’t enough words in the English Dictionary to aptly describe this place: it is the personification of fairytale romance. My room, with its Dutch Colonial furnishings, Indian and Sri Lankan tapestries, old frames, custom toiletries; was indeed made for royalty-made for me. And the manse itself, sprawling with wicker furniture, old world paintings, lush tropical foliage, fountains, garden paths to get lost in, wooden beam ceilings, four poster beds, en-suite bathrooms, verandahs for every fancy, 5 staff to cater to each and every whimsy… I could go on and on. I could not part with the melancholy of saying goodbye. Nevertheless, as tangible and concrete as it was, Taprobane Island was a facade hiding behind it the reality that anyone who goes, must eventually, leave. So I bid adieu to my staff boys and joined my escort upon whose shoulders I would sit as he waded through the Indian Ocean to take me back to shore. I have nevermore felt like a Princess. After my captivating weekend on an island haven, I realized my Sri Lankan reverie was coming to its closing chapter. But I had one last treat in which to relish. My much loved and preferred way to end an evening is with a cup of tea so what better way to end my Sri Lankan dream than at Tea Trails? Tea Trails-a Relais & Chateaux member: the world’s first tea bungalow resort atop a 1250 meter mountain in the Ceylon tea region of Sri Lanka. Only four bungalows, each with 4-6 rooms, bookings are made far in advance as luxury like this is rare and inaccessible Alas, accommodating the thought that this was the last morsel of my time in Sri Lanka was honestly painful. I felt tender and vulnerable-moist eyed and just purely sad. This was like losing a long lost love all over again. It was like the feeling I got when I was 7 years old leaving Bombay and all my school friends to move overseas to America. I realized something not long ago. Why do we all want to be in love, be loved, fall in love so badly? Why do the richest, most successful people in the world seek it so much? What is it about love? I figured out that the reason we want to feel in love and fall in love is because it is the closest thing we have to magic. And for me, my summer in Sri Lanka, was truly, madly, deeply in all it’s quintessence: Love and Magic.Located in Colombo’s most posh neighborhood at 65 Rosemead Place, Tintagel is a lovely maison estate with 10 uniquely designed suites, each with it’s own decor and style.Conde Nast says, “Colombo has never had it so chic”. My favorite part about Tintagel was The Library, a private lounge with 500 leather bound books-if I had the time, I could spend days and hours in there, reading, perusing old literature and sipping tea in a truly British fashion.
Love could be born here. In fact, I dare you to go with a man or woman of your choice and not fall in love. And for the eccentrics like me-this castle in the sky can only be accessed by wading from shore through the Indian Ocean. A weekend at Taprobane Island was like my own dream of a certain ‘Je ne sais quois’ which I always imagined. My time at Taprobane, what caprice.