Honeymooning in Sri Lanka, Part 1. Shangri La Hotel Colombo | UK WEDDING BLOG

facebook-profile-picture By Rebecca

Oh Sri Lanka. A magical, varied, chaotic island in the Indian Ocean. An island covered in palm trees, home to temples, national parks, elephants & leopards, tuk tuks and tea plantations. It’s a perfect honeymoon spot, combining beaches with adventure, culture & delicious food. An ideal spot in it’s own right or you could combine with The Maldives. We split our week’s stay into two parts; the first couple of nights at Shangri La Hotel Colombo. A brand new property in the capital.

We arrived to the sun setting and a sea of green lush palm trees either side as we were chauffeur driven into the city. The hazy high rises ahead of us. Colombo is still very much under construction but well worth a stop as your introduction to Sri Lanka. The hotel is a 45 minute drive from the airport and a perfect base for a few days luxury whilst exploring the bustling city.

The Shangri La Hotel Colombo is a destination in itself with a rooftop pool, smart trendy restaurants & a relaxing spa. Although the city below won’t get you feeling the real Sri Lanka. For that you want to visit Shangri la Hambantota but that’s a 5 hour drive away. Which makes stopping in Colombo a very worthwhile mini break in between your flight and onward journey to the rest of the country. We arrived in the evening, had one full day in Colombo then left early the next morning & it was perfect. Just the right amount of time. This would also be a fab resort to combine with The Maldives {remember this dream resort?} as you can fly direct into Colombo then connect easily to the Maldives after a stay in Sri Lanka first. It’s a very popular honeymoon combo and for good reason, you’re getting culture and wildlife for some adventurous travel & then a paradise beach island to flip and flop.

The hotel itself is slick and beautifully designed. We’ve stayed in a few Shangri La properties now and have come to understand that Shangri La guarantees luxury but still with enough personality. Each property is completely different too which I like. This, being in a city, is a high rise with 32 floors and will eventually be part of a larger development with a mall & apartment blocks to be built next to it.

The lobby sets the tone, with pristine marble floors & a waterlily chandelier {designed by the architect as a nod to Sri Lanka’s national flower}. Along with an ever-changing impressive floral display that greets you.

Our room was on the 24th floor, perfect for watching the sunset {if you ignore the construction below, a new port city is being built} full of modern luxuries, and a bed you sink righttt into.

 Food plays a huge part in Sri Lanka’s culture and at Shangri la Colombo this is reflected. There are three amazing restaurants to choose from. Our favourite was the international buffet {one of the best we’ve ever seen} which served definitely the most amazing breakfast we’ve ever experienced with literally anything you could think of plus all the fresh coconuts you could ever wish for. There’s also Kaemea Sutra, owned by a celebrity chef & bollywood star it feels exclusive. I loved the wall filled with traditional Sri Lankan masks & it had a buzzy bar & atmosphere, the city lights visible outside. It serves traditional Sri Lankan food with a modern take, you have to try the world famous hoppers {like a crispy pancake bowl with different flavours}.
 There’s a luxury lounge area with a piano where you can try a traditional high tea {tea tasting is big out here}. Or a beautiful, upmarket Capital Bar & Grill. There’s even fun press for champagne buttons and beautifully tiled floors {we have this thing with tiles!}.

Table One is where you’ll find the buffet for breakfast & dinner. I’m still dreaming of it.

A fresh juice bar!

Decor goals.

The city below may be chaotic but the rooftop areas of the hotel are a serene oasis. There’s a lush jungle lawn area and  an impressive pool surrounded by padded loungers to soak up some sun. And order cocktails from the poolside bar.

When the heat got too much we retreated to the spa for the most heavenly couples massage we’d had for an age, and we practically floated out. Although be aware that Sri Lanka and Ayurvedic practice tends to mean men get a male therapist {something my husband’s not a fan of!} so you can ask to switch.

 We couldn’t leave without experiencing Colombo so we joined a local walking tour that the hotel recommends with Mark Forbes, a local. We were shown around the old Colombo, with its colonial buildings and tuk tuks a plenty. On the way back to the hotel we stumbled across a humbling fruit and veg market as it was closing up for the day, just us, there are so many memorable experiences to be had.

We got up early on our last morning to make the journey to Hambantota. We’d heard great things about Galle, a historic Dutch fort town that was just a short detour off the highway so asked to stop there for an hour. The town is a world heritage site and we loved wandering around, watching the fisherman, discovering pretty quiet streets, small boutiques and old retro cars.

Also, traditional fishermen on stilts!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ETDUUESkm4&w=560&h=315]

You can find more on the Shangri La Hotel Colombo here.

We can’t recommend Sri Lanka enough! Part Two coming up next, Shangri La’s Hambantota & elephant safaris!

R <3 xx

{We were guests of Shangri La Hotel Colombo but as always all opinions are 100% our own and we’d never recommend anywhere that we didn’t truly love}

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