We love luxury hotels. Whether we are traveling as a couple or a family we always look for somewhere luxurious to stay. But what makes a hotel luxurious?
Wandermust Daddy and I have very different opinions about what makes a luxurious hotel. For him it’s all about the shower. For me it’s all about the bath. But we both agree that open bathrooms with a view are the bees knees!
I am going to start with a disclaimer – that despite the sheer number of superlatives I am about to use in this review, I promise I have no affliation and was not paid or given products to do this review. I genuinely feel this strongly about this hotel.
Buckingham Place on the South Coast of Sri Lanka, is literally the best place I have ever stayed at. So much so I am reticent to tell others about it. However unfortunately for us babies aren’t allowed so we won’t be going back for a while. Buckingham place is a couple of hours down the new highway, you reached a small village called Rekawa. As the main road ends, your taxi takes you down a dirt road, wide enough for only one car, that snakes around padi fielda before eventually arriving at the gates to Buckingham Place and entering paradise.
The name is full of whimsy as is the owner, Nick, who doesn’t want stuffy guests but guests that will see the beauty and fun of life in Sri Lanka. He can be often found in the dining room, talking happily to guests with stories from his life both before and after he moved to Sri Lanka.
When you think of Sri Lanka, you don’t really think of cities. Temples, elephants, tea plantations and beaches are the first things that spring to my mind but Galle is definitely worth a day trip.
Galle is a colonial town on the Southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It’s fortress, one of the must dos when in Galle is a world heritage site and is a must do for any visitor. Unfortunately during our visit to Galle there was torrential rain but it didn’t stop us walking around the fort.
What surprised me about Galle was how European it felt and how good the shopping was. It had some genuinely interesting shops, not just shops filled with tourist tat. Our favourite shops were Stick No Bills, a shop dedicated to vintage travel and movie posters. It also had a small exhibition which was definitely worth a visit if you are a travel poster fan as I am. My other favourite was Barefoot Boutique where you could buy lots of artisan products from the area. We purchased some beautiful batik placemats. We also purchased some local Sri Lankan coffee which is a must for any visitor.
Another thing that surprised me about Galle was the variety of religions. We enjoyed visiting the Church of Galle along with the many Buddhist shrines we past on our journey there.
We stopped for lunch a the beautiful Amangalla Hotel. One of the most colonial places I have ever visited. I thoroughly recommend stopping there for a Club Sandwich and a G&T.
We also had to make a pilgrimage to the Galle cricket ground for my cricket fanatic husband! Thank goodness there wasn’t a game on or else we wouldn’t have got to the fort!
We combined our visit to Galle with a trip to the nearby Virgin White Tea Plantation where you can sample a variety of teas in beautiful surroundings. Virgin White refers to the method of tea picking based on an ancient Chinese tradition. Virgin White Tea is never touched by human hands and all pickers where gloves and use golden scissors. It was very interesting to see. Our guide was very knowledgable about the tea making process and while perhaps not as striking as tea plantations around Kandy was definitely worth a visit.
Galle is definitely a must for anyone visiting Sri Lanka.
If you enjoyed this post and are interested in finding out more about Southern Sri Lanka you may also want to check out these posts:
In celebration of #elephantday I thought I would share with you an adventure we had when we were just a Wandermust Couple in Sri Lanka! I had never been on safari, so when I got the opportunity to go to Sri Lanka before our upcoming Africa trip, I couldn’t help but feel like we were getting a warm up; an opportunity to test our safari gear, test photography etc. However this was a gross underestimate of how amazing Sri Lanka is!
We were looking at possible trips to Yala or Udewalawe National Park but eventually decided on Udewalawe for a number of reasons. Firstly we had heard that Yala, was the more popular of the sights and sometimes you could be fighting with a number of other jeeps to get close to wildlife. Also, despite having fewer elephants, the smaller park size meant there were greater chances of getting a great elephant sighting.
So off we went. We had literally been in the park for four minutes when we came across our
first elephant who was more than happy to put on a show, showering himself with water right next to our car. If I had been worried about not seeing elephants, ten minutes inside the park had dispelled any concerns. We must have seen about 50 elephants during our 4 hours in the park. My personal favourite was watching a family of elephants heading into a pool of water to cool off in the midday sun. I couldn’t have asked for a better shot!
On our trip around Udewalawe – we never saw another car and felt like we were really alone with nature. A big shout out has to go to our guides whose eagle eyes caught things we never would have. Other than elephant we saw numerous birds, and I am sure if we had got there earlier in the morning we would have seen even more.
Unfortunately we never saw any leopards which are notoriously difficult to spot – but I will certainly be returning for another shot!
Safaris in Sri Lanka, can rival that of Africa, especially if you are an elephant fan. A recommendation for anyone travelling to Sri Lanka!