Set above a boulder-strewn shoreline near the entrance to Yala National Park, its 28 cocoon-like tents are arranged in paw-shaped clusters around water holes where wild boar and langur monkeys can be spotted having a morning drink.
From an intimate tented camp in the green foothills of Bali to a converted 19th-century Jesuit retreat in Tamil Nadu, our editors and reviewers have roamed the Asia-Pacific region to bring together DestinAsianâ€™s annual collection of the yearâ€™s top hotel openings. Read on to discover which new properties stood out from the rest in terms of service, setting, amenities, and a singular sense of style.
Resplendent Ceylonâ€”the hospitality arm of Sri Lankaâ€™s premier tea brand, Dimlahâ€”has created some beautiful resorts in the highlands of Bogawantalawa Valley and at Weligama on the islandâ€™s sun-kissed south coast. So it comes as no surprise that the latest addition to its portfolio, safari-chic Wild Coast Tented Lodge, is a knockout too.
Set above a boulder-strewn shoreline near the entrance to Yala National Park, its 28 cocoon-like tents are arranged in paw-shaped clusters around water holes where wild boar and langur monkeys can be spotted having a morning drink. Inside, the suites are roomy and restful under their taut, high-ceilinged membranes of white PVC, with hand-woven rugs, campaign furniture, freestanding copper bathtubs, and gauze–draped bedsÂ providing serious creature comforts.
Meals unfold in a domed and gravel-floored restaurant pavilion where arched openings frame views of the Indian Ocean; itâ€™s an atmospheric setting for tasty Sri Lankan dishes like buffalo curdâ€“marinated kingfish and pol rotiÂ with dhal and curry. But the real attraction is the wildlife. Yala is home to elephants, spotted deer, mongooses, remarkable bird life, andâ€”the animal everyone wants to seeâ€”leopards, and stays here include two game drives a day. Leopard sightingsÂ are by no means guaranteed, but the lodgeâ€™s guides ensure an entertaining and informative safari experience regardless.
94-11/774-5730;resplendentceylon.com; doubles from US$894, all-inclusive.
This article originally appeared in theÂ October/November 2018Â print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śThe Luxe List 2018: Wild Coast Tented Lodgeâ€ť).