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Living off the land in winter
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Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka

Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka

Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka

The latest addition to Sri Lanka's boutique lodgings is a clifftop resort on the south coast.

Dilmah Tea is expanding from its base in the manicured tea terraces of Sri Lanka's central highlands to the Indian Ocean, opening a clifftop beach resort next month.

Cape Weligama has 40 villas and suites on five hectares of beachfront on the south coast, 30 minutes' drive east of Galle and about two hours from Colombo on new highways. Cape Weligama is part of an ambitious plan to create a trail of small luxury resorts around the island, says Malik Fernando, the managing director of Resplendent Ceylon, Dilmah's hospitality arm. His father, Merrill J Fernando, is the founder of the single-origin tea company.

Ceylon Tea Trails, the company's first resort, is an obligatory stop on high-end Sri Lankan itineraries. Its four colonial-era tea planters' bungalows are linked by walking tracks in working tea estates near Hatton. Restoration work is under way on a fifth bungalow, Dunkeld, which will bring the number of Tea Trails rooms to 26 by November next year.

Also due to open next November is a tented camp called Wild Coast Lodge on a secluded beach in the renowned leopard habitat of Yala National Park, in the island's south-east.

The company's fourth project, due to open in March 2016, is a 28-tent camp near the north-east seaport of Trincomalee, called Red Rocks Beach Camp. Fernando says another two locations are under review.

Guests at Cape Weligama will be able to choose fresh fish from an in-house "pola", or seafood market, and high tea will be a highlight, naturally.

Cape Weligama rooms from $538 a night, including half-board and drinks.


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