Lake Koggala, Sri Lanka

Tri

Rates from (ex tax)$292.79

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD325.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Intelligent design

Setting

Undiluted Lake Koggala

Space to think – that’s the luxury of Tri, a sustainable luxury hotel in Sri Lanka, where three-quarters of the property is surrounded by Lake Koggala. Its exemplary green credentials are showcased in living walls, green roofs and entirely local materials used in the hotel’s bright rooms and villas (some with plunge pools). Local culture and natural beauty are harmoniously combined, with Quantum Yoga (developed by Tri’s co-founder, Lara Baumann) and Ayurveda treatments in an inspiring landscape.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A free dhoni boat excursion to Cinnamon Island, for a 'cinnamon experience', where guests learn how the spice is grown, harvested and prepared

Facilities

Photos Tri facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Eight villa suites and three rooms; two villa suites can be booked as a pair for families.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in: 3pm, or earlier if the room is free.

Rates

Double rooms from $292.79, excluding tax at 11 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD325.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates are half-board and include a huge gourmet breakfast as well as lunch or dinner. There’s a two-night minimum stay (three in high season), and all rates include service charges and government taxes.

Also

Owner Rob Drummond worked closely with award-garnering Raefer Wallis of Shanghai’s A00 Architects to ensure the design and build tread as lightly as possible. The resort's spiral layout is lifted from the Fibonacci sequence, but we’re sure you already guessed that. If you want to come home with a new party trick, ask the hotel to arrange tuk tuk-driving or stilt-fishing lessons.

At the hotel

Free high-speed WiFi; six acres of grounds; a library of art, design, architecture and travel books; a projector for screenings; a yoga <i>shala</i> for Quantum Yoga classes, and personal trainers. In rooms: minibars in some suites, free bottled water, Spa Ceylon toiletries; three of the villas have private plunge pools too.

Our favourite rooms

Rooms in the Water Tower are cosy cabins with glorious views; the tower’s cinnamon-wood cladding makes it look somewhat like a high-end haystack – trust us, that’s a good thing. The Lake Villa’s private pool is both view blessed and shaded from fellow guests by a smattering of greenery; it’s ideal for a spot of late-night skinny-dipping.

Poolside

The resort’s glimmering lake-edge infinity pool has ionising filters, and its panoramic green-and-blue views are really rather lovely.

Spa

Each guest has a bespoke plan of yoga classes and spa treatments, involving Lara Baumann's unique Quantum Yoga approach. Classes are held in a <i>shala</i> floating above the bamboo grove, and treatments take place in two elevated rooms. Post-pampering, stop by the steam cavern, or head to the sheltered relaxation area, with a gently trickling fountain, white flowers and bamboo. Ayurvedic massages are tailored to individual needs, where guests can choose their preferred oils and pressure, and shirodhara (a soothing water massage) and cleanses are offered too. Active types can hop on an exercise bike, follow a 'holistic parkour circuit' around the lake (accompanied by a personal trainer, on request), or learn how to climb a coconut tree with the aid of a rope.

Packing tips

Bring binoculars to spy on the scores of birds fluttering about their lakeside habitat. Don’t forget eye masks and earplugs if you’re a light sleeper who likes a lie-in – the glorious dawn chorus is loud and proud.

Also

The hotel is not best suited to guests with mobility issues.

Children

Tri is better suited to families with older children; only children 12 years and older are permitted at the resort. In rooms, a sofa can be made up as an extra single bed (US$75 a person, each night).

Eco‐friendly

Sustainable materials and building practices are exemplary: water is solar heated and transfers are by old-fashioned fishing boat. Tri’s entire philosophy is based on going local – from team members to ingredients in the kitchen and the art displayed. A carbon-consulting company in Colombo was enlisted to conduct a comprehensive biodiversity report.

Food and Drink

Photos Tri food and drink

Top Table

Tri invites you to try out lots of private-dining locations: at the top of the Water Tower, on the private jetty, by the pool or under a banyan tree.

Dress Code

Stylish sarongs and loose-fitting linens.

Hotel restaurant

The six-course dinners are reason enough to spend time at Tri. The Cambodian chefs working under Neil Wager’s expertise have a knack for crafting local ingredients into a pretty-as-a-picture plate, which is as flavourful as it is fancy. The menu of fresh, light ingredients and clever takes on Sri Lankan classics changes daily and reflects Tri’s focus on health and wellness. There’s also a lighter lake menu and, if you choose private dining in the Water Tower, excellent mezze awaits.

Hotel bar

Order an Arrack Sour – a local take on a Whisky Sour – and sip lakeside.

Last orders

You’re encouraged to eat and rise early, as dawn here is so beautiful. The latest you can order the six-course feast is 9pm.

Room service

Light snacks and the lunch menu are available in your room (and breakfast, too, if requested the night before. A magnificent spread of rice and curry makes a memorable banquet of local spices and flavours.

Location

Photos Tri location
Address
Tri
Aladuwa Watte, Pelessa,Thiththagalle
Ahangama
80650
Ahangama
Sri Lanka

Planes

Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo is roughly a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. Cinnamon Air operates an air-taxi service, with seaplanes landing on the lake from destinations throughout Sri Lanka. Call our Smith24 Team on 03300 376 891 to arrange flights and transfers.

Trains

You can occasionally hear the coastal train from the hotel – it runs directly from Colombo to Galle and is cheap and offers great views.

Automobiles

No sane holidaymaker drives themselves around Sri Lanka; drivers are inexpensive to hire. The hotel is only 15 minutes from the Southern Expressway and 85 minutes from the Colombo Expressway terminal. You’ll need to give your taxi driver the number of a contact at the hotel so that they can navigate you in.

Other

Arrival by boat promises a true ‘ta-da!’ effect. Your transfer can liaise with the hotel to take you to the locally made dhoni, steered by Sinhala-speaking Douglas who’ll escort you to the hotel from the water.

Worth getting out of bed for

Lake Koggala is a screensaver-worthy setting (one that you stare at longingly when you’re craving a holiday) and a dream base for exploring the best of Sri Lanka. Since Tri is perched right on the lake, it’s ideal for boat trips and bike rides; and it's only a short taxi ride from soft sandy beaches, and Galle Fort’s shopping and culture. Time within the ramparts of this citadel will walk you through a unique Portuguese, Dutch, British and Sri Lankan heritage. The hotel’s guest-experience team can arrange trips to temples and stupas, museums and workshops, tea plantations and cinnamon producers, as well as chaperone you on tours to meet local artists, craftspeople and curators. We also recommend a private guided tour of Galle Fort with Shanjei of Galle Fort Walks (+94 077 228 3001).

Local restaurants

The hotel’s culinary delights will beckon you back for seconds (and thirds), but if you’re looking to shake things up with a special meal in Galle, tell your driver to hotfoot it to The Fort Printers on Pedlar Street (+94 91 224 7977); its courtyard is cool and quiet, and the chef’s lightly seared yellow-fin tuna, super-fresh sashimi and meaty lobster dishes are delicious. Fellow Smith stay Amangalla (+94 91 223 3388), a 35-minute drive away, has a classically kitted-out dining room (crisp white linens, sparkling cutlery, impossibly polite staff) and a menu with Sri Lankan and European picks. George Cooper’s boutique hotel Kahanda Kanda (yet another Smith stay) on Habaraduwa Dikkumbura Road (+94 91 494 3700) is a fabulously stylish spot for lunch, too.

Local cafés

Galle’s Royal Dutch Café (+94 77 177 4949), on Leyn Baan Street, is flamboyantly fronted with palm fronds and columns. The old-school eatery’s frontman is lifelong Galle resident and well-renowned storyteller Fazal Badurdeen, who’ll happily spin a few yarns as you sip spice-infused tea. If you’re entertained, he offers walking tours of Galle Fort, in between whipping up heavenly home-made cakes. 

Local bars

Historic Galle is hardly a dance-till-dawn destination; however, it’s not totally bereft of nightcap-worthy spots. The Living Room by TPV (+94 71 289 3939) – named after owners Thomas, Patrick and Vadim – has a zoo’s worth of animal sculptures, colourful local artwork and hirsute lampshades; TPV owns a Scandi-accented boutique in Galle Fort, and here there’s an edit of their home curios, art and costume jewellery on sale. They also support a local animal charity so expect to see some friendly canines wandering about. If you prefer your bars bijou and boho over sleek and styled, pile into the comfy cushion room at Koha Surf Lounge, a 30-minute drive away.

Reviews

Photos Tri reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Lake Koggala hotel in Sri Lanka and unpacked their sarongs and cinnamon, a full account of their eco, yoga and culinary adventuring will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here’s a quick peek inside Tri in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province…
 
Arrive by dhoni and, as you float across Lake Koggala, it won’t be until the last minute that you’ll spy the hotel. Built around a natural plateau that wears a banyan tree as its crown, the hotel’s green roofs and cinnamon cladding keeps the suites hidden amid the abundance of foliage. The natural spiral of the landscape echoes the Fibonacci sequence, which in turn inspired Tri’s intriguing layout. The Main House is the open-air jack-wood lounge with cushion-filled cubbies and sunloungers for sunbathing and meditating by a 21-metre infinity pool. Suites are all spaced out along the edge of the water – three-quarters of the land is surrounded by Lake Koggala – and inside, the stylish spacious bedrooms have floaty Tallentire House curtains that deliberately do little to come between you and the light reflecting off the lake. Three elevated suites are housed within the water tower, and the remaining eight villas are dotted down a spiral path, offering sunrise and sunset views, private gardens and terraces or plunge pools. Wake to exotic birdsong bright and early, and from your private balcony you can admire dawn’s pastel colours on the glass-like water without anyone else in sight… and if that’s not meditative enough, get ready to stretch yourself: owner Rob Drummond’s wife is renowned yogi Lara Baumann. Tri’s yoga shala is a suitably special setting to practice her Quantum Yoga, and the calendar includes visits from natural-health practitioners and therapists from around the world. No matter how active you fancy being, between the spectacular setting and the healthy six-course feasts, you’ll leave feeling entirely indulged and edified.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Tri’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The peace and quiet, the yoga, the incredible breakfast. A trip to Galle is a must.

Don’t expect

Too many frills – the villas are beautifully simple.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Apr 2017

We loved

Everything. The views, the rooms, the food, the amazing staff, especially Oliver. What a perfect stay.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Mar 2017

We loved

The magical setting – it instantly de-stresses and uplifts. The beauty of the lake is the closest to the elixir of youth I've ever found. Great to go to the nearby tea estate – special white virgin tea with the highest level of antioxidants in the world and a lovely place to sample various teas. Definitely walk there or back to get a great flavour of the local area and meet the super friendly locals.

Don’t expect

Lively nights. It is all about peace and beauty.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Feb 2017

We loved

Absolutely everything. The staff, the incredible food, the view, the rooms, the yoga, the wildlife. Idle Bikes bike ride around Koggala Lake was well worth it.

Don’t expect

Lively nights – the whole hotel closes down by 10pm as people tend to rise early and go to bed early.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Jan 2017

We loved

The peace and quiet, the spectacular setting, the friendliness of all the staff and, most of all, the food. Go to Poonies in Pedlar Street; Galle is a great place for lunch.

Don’t expect

...TV in the room or muzak anywhere.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Nov 2016

We loved

The location.

Don’t expect

Night life.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Oct 2016

We loved

Pretty much everything. Service, facilities and food were all outstanding throughout our stay. Aside from the on-site activities such as yoga, there is a range of great things to do nearby: a Cinnamon Island visit is a must, and so is a visit to the Herman tea plantation where you can enjoy free tours. On the beach front, shun the overcrowded and over-developed Unawatuna for the hip and quiet Wijaya beach, which is closer to the hotel.

Don’t expect

Lively evenings, evening activities

Rating

Stayed on 30 Apr 2016