The insiders' guide to Sri Lanka

A luxury trip with local guides
4 HOTEL STAYS
13 DAYS, 12 NIGHTS

from

£2,229 (US$3,020)

per person, including transfers

(based on two people sharing)

here for you 24/7

Call Smith24 on 1 800 464 2040
or
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Highlights

  • Stay in luxury and boutique Mr & Mrs Smith hotels throughout your trip (we’ll always try to get you the best room or suite)
  • A whistlestop tuk-tuk tour through Sri Lankan capital Colombo
  • An amped-up afternoon tea with a view in Sri Lanka’s leafy interior
  • Stay in a serene eco-lodge set over acres of paddy fields and forest
  • Lunch with a local family in Kandy
  • A private tour of Unesco site Galle Fort led by a knowledgeable local

Destinations

An inside look

Get truly acquainted with Sri Lanka on this trip through the bustling city of Colombo, the Cultural Triangle, the hilltops of Kandy and sunny shores of Tangalle in the south. Local guides and insiders will show you the country as they know it, adding insight as you go. This itinerary can be tweaked to fit the unique Sri Lankan experience you're looking for. An extra night here, a tea-tasting session there, flights to and from Colombo: our Smith24 team have the local know-how to make anything happen.
After you touch down at the airport, an English-speaking driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in a luxury car.
Bandaranaike Intl Arpt (CMB) Colombo

1 Hour

Colombo

Days 1–3: Colombo

Both colonial and cosmopolitan, Colombo's urban, beachy ambience shows Sri Lanka at its cutting-edge. Here, take in temples, meander in museums, dine on kottu roti and egg-hoppers, and – to really get a feel for the city and its people – explore a local market for the myriad smells, sights and sounds of Sri Lanka's captivating capital.

Style

History-steeped designer haven

Setting

Chi-chi Cinnamon Gardens

Room

Executive Suite

Start your Sri Lankan tour in style at Paradise Road Tintagel in Colombo. Decorated by designer Shanth Fernando, the hotel exudes sophistication throughout; from its 10 individually-designed suites, to the sultry bar and courtyard pool. This centrally located hotspot is a short stroll from the Independence Square, our favourite local restaurants and the city’s bustling markets.

Smith Extra

A beach bag and a scented candle from Paradise Road

Day 1

On your first day in Sri Lanka you're left to your leisure. We recommend a stroll to Independence Square to see the Memorial Hall, or to the Cinnamon Gardens district, where you can view elegant historic monuments; from there it's an easy wander to the left-as-it-was Geoffrey Bawa house (where the country's pre-eminent artist lived) and a triumvirate of art and history museums.

Day 2

Today's guided tuk tuk tour delves into Colombo's past, spirituality and vivacious present.

Private tuk-tuk tour of Colombo's historic quarter

Your local guide will pick you up in a tuk tuk to take you on a private tour of Colombo. Along the way, you'll stop at sacred sites like Captain's Garden and Gangaramaya temples, pass by the Dutch Hospital, whizz through Independence Square, barter your way through flea markets in Pettah and then head to Marine Drive for a tea tasting.
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Day 3

Fit in some last minute sightseeing in Colombo before your private chauffeur arrives to take you through the mountains to the Cultural Triangle.
The drive inland from Colombo to the green, hilly area dubbed the Cultural Triangle is long, but you'll be driven there in air-conditioned comfort. You'll pass by dramatic mountain vistas, wild jungles and lagoons; and, you might spot the odd monkey or wild elephant.
Colombo

4 Hours

The Cultural Triangle

Days 4–5: The Cultural Triangle

Rising from thick greenery, a huge pair of lion's feet still at its base, decorated with frescoes depicting concubines: the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is perhaps the best-known of the Cultural Triangle's ancient treasures, but the colourful cave temples of Dambulla, the dagoba-dotted archaeological site Anuradhapura (founded in the 5th century BC) and cradle of Buddhism, the Mihintale Sanctuary, show the area's rich history. When not immersed in local history, you can hike, bike and play 'spot the elephant'.

Style

All creatures great and small

Setting

Rice paddies and ponds

Room

Nikawewa Villa

Set within 58 acres of green fields, rice paddies and patches of wild forest, Ulagalla Resort is a natural beauty.Embrace the great outdoor spaces of the luxurious hotel – especially the pool of your private villa – and always keep one eye peeled for monkeys, peacocks and elephants roaming the retreat. There's also the chance to try the chef's signature Wallawa chicken curry.

Smith Extra

A free activity for two (archery, kayaking or a nature walk)

Day 4

Anuradhapura was a seat of power in Sri Lanka for more than 1,000 years; as such, its impressive ruins and still-standing archaeological wonders have been rubber-stamped by Unesco and lured in those who dig a shapely dagoba. Spend today digging up the past by sighting the former kingdom's ancient pools, Buddhist monasteries and holy mountains.

Day 5

Tea for two? It's a resounding yes when you'll be hiking your pinkies daintily up in the dramatic surroundings of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Afternoon tea by Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Take afternoon tea alfresco at the Boulder Garden (part of the ancient Sigiriya fortress) close by. Your local guide will take you to a secret spot for the best views of the mighty rock and its surrounds. Take a seat (boulder) around a stone table and enjoy traditional sweet treats and panoramic views of Kandalama Lake and a glorious sunset. You'll see why 5th-century King Kasyapa insisted on settling his lofty digs here.
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From the heart of the Cultural Triangle, it’s a long drive up into the Kandy mountains (about an hour’s drive south from Kandy city). Your private driver will take the wheel and your luxury car will be blissfully air-conditioned.
The Cultural Triangle

4 Hours

Kandy

A little extra

To break up your journey, ask your driver to stop near the Dambulla Cave Temples – colourful, cavernous spaces of Buddhist worship. Other notable sacred sites – ancient Hindu temple Nalanda Gedige and Aluvihara Rock Temple – are en route too.

Days 6–8: Kandy

Despite its sweet-sounding name, this mountainous region of Sri Lanka is best known for its hilly stepped terraces, the Temple of the Tooth (housing the namesake Buddhist relic) and – most notably – its fruitful tea plantations. So, rainforest rambles, hill hikes and strolls around Bogambara Lake all end in a refreshing, fragrant cuppa.

Hotel

Taylors Hill

Style

Just a spot of cool

Setting

Loolecondera’s heavenly hills

Room

Lipton

From the outside, Taylors Hill looks like it belongs in rural England, but inside, it’s filled with colourful furnishings and whimsical knick-knacks with island charm. Built over 100 years ago as a tea planter’s home, the hotel is set within three acres of lush green gardens with a pool, croquet lawn and tennis court.

Smith Extra

A take-home tea gift pack with two tins of your choice

Day 6

Fill up on a Continental or hot Sri Lankan breakfast before hopping back into your chauffeured car and heading south towards the culture-crammed city of Kandy.

Day 7

Welcome to Kandy, where the tea flows freely. Today, you're free to sit and sip, or you could visit the Loolecondera Tea Factory, the country's very first. Follow the sound of ringing bells to the colourfully decorated Hindu kovils (temples) dotted throughout the green hills, then follow your nose to the bloom-packed Peradeniya Botanical Gardens.

Day 8

Today you'll engage all your senses on a tour of a planter's estate.

Plantation walk in Kandy

Get a glimpse of local life at a plantation in Galagedara. Your host will show you around his family’s estate and regale you with stories of his ancestors, who settled on the island more than 150 years ago. See cinnamon plots, vanilla and pepper vines, fruit and spice trees, and the odd wild boar or macaque monkey. The tour ends with a typical planter’s lunch prepared in traditional style: on an open (wood-fired) hearth.
Your driver will load you and your luggage into your luxury car and take you on a 90-minute drive to Polgolla Reservoir Airport where you’ll board a seaplane to Dickwella lagoon, just a 15-minute drive from your stay.
Kandy

2.5 Hours

Tangalle

Days 9–13: Galle

Galle’s history dates back centuries. This Dutch-colonial city was once a strategic port and centre of maritime trade; today, you’ll find Unesco-listed buildings and a carefully preserved fort, with beaches in reach at Talpe, Dalawella and Unawatuna.

Galle’s history dates back centuries. This Dutch-colonial city was once a strategic port and centre of maritime trade; today, you’ll find Unesco-listed buildings and a carefully preserved fort, with beaches in reach at Talpe, Dalawella and Unawatuna.

Style

Serene Sri Lankan

Setting

Tranquil tropical gardens

Room

Plantation Suite - Garden

A veiled four-poster in each of its eight suites, antique teak furnishings and pin-drop quiet gardens leading to a hillside tea estate: Kahanda Kanda epitomises Sri Lankan poise. This tranquil residence is a five-hour drive from Taylors Hill (ask the Smith24 team to secure a seaplane transfer if you'd like a swifter ride), but once you've been welcomed in by owner George, this Tangalle stay will put you at ease.

Smith Extra

A cooking class for one-night stays; a cooking class and head-and-shoulder spa treatment for two nights; a cooking class and deep-tissue treatment for three or more nights, plus a bottle of champagne for GoldSmiths. Treatments are with a male therapist

Day 9

Sip a final cuppa on the lawn, taking in the countryside views before you leave Kandy for the coast.

Day 10

The Dutch-colonial city of Galle is a half-hour drive away along the Hambantota region's surf-ad-model coastline. You'll head there for a day trip in the town, where a guide will show you its mighty fortifications and more…

Galle Fort tour

Guided by Galle resident Atheeq Maharoof – who knows his fortifications from his fundament – you'll discover the history and secrets of the Unesco World Heritage Site, Dutch-colonial Galle Fort (a 30-minute chauffeured drive away). The 17th-century stronghold was once a trading outpost for gems, spices and teas; the actual spoils may be long gone, but there's still many a valuable treasure to be found on the cobblestoned streets.
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Day 11

A 20-minute drive away, Unawatuna beach has several dive centres where you can hire gear and join guided excursions; alternatively ask one of their expert guides for their favourite snorkelling spots. To the south, the golden sands of Weligama Bay beckon sunbathers and surfers alike.

Day 12

Today is yours to spend as you wish: take an escorted bike ride through paddy fields and down the coast to Wijaya Beach for a refreshing swim and cocktail. Or for something more adventurous, visit the last large rainforest in Sri Lanka, Kanneliya Rainforest.

Day 13

After one last night at the hotel, you’ll be driven back to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport (two-and-a-half-hours away) to catch your flight home.
Say poyvituvarukiren (goodbye) to Galle's beaches and colonial buildings, hop in your chauffeured car and enjoy your last glimpses of Sri Lanka on the long drive to the airport.
Tangalle

3.5 Hours

Bandaranaike Intl Arpt (CMB)

When to go

Unless you like getting caught in the (heavy) rain, visit Sri Lanka between December and March to avoid the monsoon season on the west coast; April and May are quieter but you may experience a storm or two. Close to the equator, the island's temperatures remain fairly constant throughout the year, at around 26-30 degrees on the coast and around 20 degrees inland, near Kandy.

Getting there

Book flights to and from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport – the arrival and departure point of your Sri Lankan sojourn. Our Smith24 team are on hand to help with travel arrangements, if needed. All inland travel is included: a private driver will pick you up and drop you off at the airport, and chauffeur you between each hotel in a comfortable air-conditioned sedan. The journey from Kandy to Tangalle is by seaplane.

Packing tips

Fully charge gadgets to make long journeys fly by; pack hiking boots for traversing the Cultural Triangle and binoculars (all the better for seeing Sri Lanka's diverse fauna).

MORE THAN A TRAVEL AGENT

We’re the travel club for hotel lovers – and we go above and beyond to tailor-make trips worth writing home about. From booking through to check-out and beyond, we'll ensure you have a trip to remember

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FAQs

  • How can I trust Mr & Mrs Smith's hotel choices?

    A hotel or experience has to be genuinely special to make it into a Mr & Mrs Smith itinerary. The Smith team has to have ensured that any inclusions meet our high standards before they'd consider adding them to our exclusive packages.

  • How do I book?

    Either call us on 0330 100 3180 or get in touch using one of the inquiry forms attached to the itineraries.

  • Do I need to pay a deposit, and when is the full amount due?

    Costs vary depending on your chosen itinerary; however, all require a 50 per cent deposit on booking to secure your place. The balance must be paid 30 days before your planned arrival date.

  • What's the cancellation policy for itineraries?

    Please refer to our terms and conditions page for our full cancellation policy.

  • What if I want to add on a few extra nights or arrange a special meal? Can I add on a waterskiing lesson? I've always fancied that… And can we stay in the honeymoon suite instead?

    We may have to get back to you about the waterskiing, but no problem; we can create a bespoke itinerary for you, and our travel specialists can recommend some of the area's more unique activities.

Terms and conditions

What's included
The package includes all accommodation in Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotels; and all applicable taxes.
What's not included
International flights and car hire, visa fees, airport taxes or insurance. Any items which are not mentioned as included in the itinerary. Any increase in government taxes. For the Timeless Tuscany package, car hire is included, but guests will be responsible for drop-off fees if delivered to a different end point than Florence Airport, refuelling charges, delivery and collection, extra insurance, additional driver costs, admin fees, tax and parking.
General conditions
The price for this itinerary applies for each guest. All prices are in GBP and are subject to change, depending on what time of the year you travel. All prices are subject to any revisions to taxes or tariffs.

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Price information

Best-price guarantee

Found your stay for less elsewhere? We'll match the price and give you a £50 voucher.

Free Smith Extras on arrival

From a bottle of champagne, to a spa treatment or a cookery class, you’ll get a little extra thank you with every booking

Here for you 24/7

Personal service from Smith24, our in-house travel specialists, 1 800 464 2040

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