Written by Heather who stayed at Cape Weligama with her husband on a holiday to southern Sri Lanka
Cape Weligama is a resort for people who don't do resorts. It's elegant, luxurious, and above all personal, with the biggest rooms you'll probably ever have the pleasure of sleeping in.
I hesitate to call Cape Weligama a 'resort'. It's so much more than that, with exclusivity and style in abundance, and a unique personal touch that makes it feel rather like a boutique hotel. We were exhausted after spending the previous night on a whale watching catamaran in Mirissa, so were looking for somewhere to retreat and relax. Cape Weligama proved to be just the ticket.
Just 30 minutes from Galle, this luxurious beach resort is perched on top of a dramatic headland overlooking the Indian Ocean. The 12 acres of immaculately landscaped grounds are home to 39 bedrooms in a mixture of suites and villas, which create a pleasing allusion to a traditional Sri Lankan village. We loved that each suite is named after a distinguished explorer or writer whose journey through Ceylon reflects the spirit of the resort. The rooms are all set in lush tropical gardens with their own terraces, some with sweeping sea views, others with two bedrooms, and a few with private infinity pools.
To us, accommodation is just as important as the destination, and we were more than happy with our Cape Weligama experience. The bedrooms here are huge. Enormous. The biggest we've ever come across on our travels, and even the lower category rooms were comparable to a small apartment. People often say size doesn't matter, but boy did we enjoy luxuriating in all that space. There's no such thing as a 'standard' room here. They're all superb.
We spent the afternoon scampering between the two pools, with the odd cocktail in between for sustenance. Our favourite was the moon-shaped infinity pool which was great for gazing out over an endless sea, drink in hand, whilst pretending to swim. Lower down the estate is the cove pool, which with lots of quirky angles and shallow sections is perfect for families.
There are stunning views from pretty much everywhere on the estate, which is dotted with palm trees and winding pathways. It does take several minutes to walk from one side of the resort to the other, but there are golf buggies available which will trundle along to give you a ride around if you like. Although we do recommend walking if you plan on indulging in their afternoon tea - it's seriously good stuff! Speaking of which, there's an air-conditioned gym and platforms for Pilates and yoga if you're feeling like burning off a few calories.
Dining at Cape Weligama is a real experience, with multiple restaurants, each offering something different. We loved tucking into the catch of the day and lingering over the wine list up at the Ocean Terrace Restaurant, but the icing on the cake had to be the decadent Ceylon High Tea which is served each afternoon in the Cape Club. A bit of old England right here in sunny Sri Lanka, with the most comprehensive tea menu we've ever seen. Having said all that, one evening when we were feeling rather lazy we did order a sneaky bit of room service, consisting of gourmet burgers and chips. Just as delicious as all the posh nosh.
Cape Weligama is the sort of place you could happily stay and never leave the grounds, but we do urge you to explore the local area. The beaches aren't crowded, and there are private cruises, as well as fishing and dolphin watching trips available. If you're feeling like a bit of culture, head to the historic fort town of Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is only half an hour away by car. Or if you fancy something a little different, the hotel can arrange a tour of a local cinnamon estate where you'll learn how the spice is grown, harvested and distilled to make cinnamon oil using traditional methods.
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