Sri Lanka has been a dream destination of mine for years. Ever since first seeing photos of the enchanting mountainous rail systems and the raw untouched beaches, I wsnted to visit. When the Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort and Spa invited me to visit their newest beachfront hotel I could barely contain my excitement! This was my third time visiting a Shangri-La location and I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to end the trip than wiggling my toes in the Indian Ocean. The more I researched Sri Lanka, the more I wished I could have spent more time there as it truly is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever laid my eyes on. I highly recommend staying for atleast two weeks.
From the minute I stepped off the plane in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city, I felt like I had landed in a National Geographic documentary. We were greeted at the airport by our driver who drove us down the coastline of the Island to the resort. We were told during the drive that usually when people visit and stay with the Shangri-La they typically fly into Colombo and spend a night or 2 at the Shangri-La Colombo hotel before transferring to the beach hotel in order to see both locations (the urban city of Colombo and the more rural southern part of the country.) Our drive was filled with cultural and historical information provided by the driver and we were treated to a mini tour while zipping along the newly built highway. Situated on the southern tip of the Island, the Shangri-La Hambantota is located along the ancient spice route used by early European traders exploring the Orient. Surrounded by beaches and nature preserves, the Shangri-La Hambantota allows it’s guests to explore one of Asia’s most interesting and historical destinations.
Pulling into the resort’s incredible palm tree lined entranceway was a breathtaking experience. It felt like we were driving up to a tropical palace with literally thousands of palm trees decorating the expansive fully landscaped estate. A world class golf course winds it’s way through the grounds providing beautiful scenery set against the crashing waves of the ocean. We were immediately greeted by our host who allowed us to check into our room before giving us a full tour of the property in order to make sure we were able to fully enjoy everything the hotel had to offer.
The hotel has three incredible pools, two for families and one adults only pool. Each of which having it’s own food options and poolside refreshments. On the first day, we relaxed by the main pool and had the most delicious king coconuts paired with local treats. I was smitten with the flavor combinations and couldn’t get enough of the use of spices in their cooking. I brought back a local cookbook and have been honing my Sri Lankan cooking skills ever since ;-).