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 DestinAsian’s annual collection of the year’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 Ceylon—the hospitality arm of Sri Lanka’s premier tea brand, Dimlah—has created some beautiful resorts in the highlands of Bogawantalawa Valley and at Weligama on the island’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 beds providing serious creature comforts.
Meals unfold in a domed and gravel-floored restaurant pavilion where arched openings frame views of the Indian Ocean; it’s an atmospheric setting for tasty Sri Lankan dishes like buffalo curd–marinated kingfish and pol roti with dhal and curry. But the real attraction is the wildlife. Yala is home to elephants, spotted deer, mongooses, remarkable bird life, and—the animal everyone wants to see—leopards, and stays here include two game drives a day. Leopard sightings are by no means guaranteed, but the lodge’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 the October/November 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2018: Wild Coast Tented Lodge”).