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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Fernando

Postcards from Paradise #PRTravel

We asked our #PRCommunity to share their Sri Lankan travel experiences, favourite local spots, hideaways & destinations as a way to support #StayLocal and share the beauty of our island island-home. PR Founder & Design Director, Annika shares her #PostcardsfromParadise!

My husband and I love discovering and re-discovering Sri Lanka, before Covid and now. We both believe we live in Paradise and enjoy exploring it's many treasures. We have enjoyed staying in places with a more relaxed vibe and of course, also do enjoy indulging occasionally!

We enjoy eating local when travelling, both in Sri Lanka and overseas. We have such great local ingredients here and Sri Lanka definitely wins the 'Best Breakfast Award'.

Spending time in the great outdoors is always healthier and now safer too and considering we are considerably less crowded than many places in the world, we feel like we can travel and be responsible as necessary.

Sri Lankan properties and people are doing such a great job at protecting one another with all the safety precautions in place and strict rules with quarantine.

It's a time to enjoy and celebrate and take care of one another, so travelling local is just another way to share, support one another and love oneself too.

What new places have you discovered in Sri Lanka?

Leopard Safaris, Yala – I've been to Yala many times before, but I really loved the family experience with Noel Rodrigo's Leopard Safaris. Pasi is amazing with children and the kids enjoyed so many activities - like jungle walks, river baths, bonfires, nature games & quests. I can't believe it was just 2.5 hours to the expressway exit! To top it off some amazing leopard sightings....

Dots Bay House, Hiriketiya – I needed to visit this hyped-up beach. I love the bay and even though I visited off-season, the Sri Lankan sea still welcomes and refreshes you. Dots' has a great chilled vibe and I learned to like Pittu for breakfast, loved the cocktails and Nawodh's special crab dinner! I have to admit we slept so well without the AC and my skin and lungs thanked me in the morning.

Camping at Kumana – We went camping with good friends recently in Kumana National Park, S/S/S outdoors, zero connectivity, in touch with nature in such a unique way. It was truly magical, I also hadn't been to Kumana before. The drive was shorter by the new highway extension, and we stopped in Arugam Bay for brunch on the way back home at Pottuvil Makkal Hotel - what a treat! It's gal-siyambala season, so made sure to buy some from a street vendor.

Living Heritage, Koslanda – 80 acre property near Diyaluma water fall, with just 9 rooms.... we discovered this spot on a drive back from Haputale and immediately booked a mid term break stay here - so we are looking forward to stay here soon!

Santani Wellness Resort, Kandy – My fellow March-born BFF and I gifted each other 2 nights at this award-winning property. We made a journey of it starting with a train ride starting at Colombo Fort. It was such a beautiful trip, and the last one before lockdown in March. The highlight was the yoga and spa experience and the beautiful beautiful spaces.

What places are you rediscovering in Sri Lanka?

Bentota – I'm a bit biased here having The Villa Bentota as base and I've enjoyed so many visits over the years. I love Bentota, it's so close and you can even do it in a day. It is also a great base to visit Lunuganga and Brief and even enjoy water sports. My son took his first steps here, so it's a special place to return to.

On the same belt of beach, I really really love Rock Villa and The Muse by my cousin, Taru and there is just a special feeling on this private belt of boutique hotels. The beach, even in season is empty, so now you can even just pretend it's private!

Sugar Beach, Mount Lavinia – We are both working, so it's rare we are able to travel, especially at the moment. Sugar Beach is just 20 min away and it's a great Sunday beach plan for us. We love pizzas, juices and churros of course. If we get there early enough, I love the brunch menu.

Nilaveli Beach Hotel, Nilaveli – This place is magical. The hotel fills you with nostalgia, the staff have been there forever and there's a simplicity, sense of freedom and spark about it. The beach is unparalleled and we had great whale and dolphin spotting with Brian Fernando's Scuba Lanka - they just went the bit extra, even sent us a little Go-Pro video of our boat ride out. I love this hotel and stretch of beach, the sand is powder and the sea is just a giant swimming pool in season.

A new discovery in the area was Memo's – the vibe was cool, we enjoyed the Italian food and the kids loved the indulgent milkshakes.

Wijaya Beach, Galle – We all know this place and can return again and again. The giant rockpool, when in season has sea turtles swimming at our ankles. Best pizzas, passionfruit cocktails, we love to stay there... and to complete it, yoga & massage at Sri Yoga Shala – one would think you were in Ubud, Bali but no even better, right at home in Sri Lanka!

77 Leyn Baan Street, Galle Fort – I think this is the first project I have designed for clients, which I've had the privilege to enjoy staying in and experiencing as a guest too. Of course, I enjoy and feel comfort in the ambience, and I know the level of luxury of the bathrooms and details... but it's a place which has converted me to love to stay within the Fort walls, when I used to always prefer to be on the beach.

Now managed by Taru Villas too, it's lovely to have those service touches which add to the whole experience.

What Sri Lankan locations are on your bucket list?

Polonnaruwa – I haven't been for many years and want to see the stunning architectural ruins.

Karpaha Sands, Kalkudah – I've heard so much about this place, need to go.

Yala Wild Tented Safaris – I think it is an amazing time to experience it.

Back to Borderlands – We enjoyed our trip so much a couple years ago and need to go again. I need to better my record on the beer crates too, so I have a challenge for myself.

My husband also did the Mahaweli Expedition with Wade and is still working on me to do it with him, after our recent camping trip... I'm tempted!

Pidurangala Rock – I've climbed Sigiriya a couple of times, it's time to look at it from a different angle!

The Knuckles – I'm a bit of a beach bum, so usually the coast wins as a destination, but I have to prioritise this.

Wilpattu – I'm on a bear hunt!

Favourite travel companions?

My husband and son, my travel-easy-Sri Lanka-loving Mum, orthopaedic pillow, essential homeopathic remedies and board games!

Discover more about our #PRCommunity's Sri Lankan travel experiences our on our Instagram Stories!

We'd love to hear about your favourite local spots, leave a comment below!


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