Resplendent Ceylon, which currently runs three Relais & Chateaux properties in Sri Lanka, will be opening an elevated resort (including a swimming pool on its roof at tree top height) at Dambulla in 2022. 

The company also plans to build 25 ‘tree houses’ at its original resort, Ceylon Tea Trails in Hatton, to add to the five historic tea planters’ bungalows that are there already. Malik Fernando, managing director of Resplendent Ceylon, was in Auckland this week visiting travel trade, media and architects. He says the portfolio has grown from one resort to what will eventually be five (there is another on the drawing board at Nilaveli). 

This has come about because guests at Tea Trails are seeking similar experiences in other parts of the country. ‘Tea Trails came about with the tea connection and it opened in 2004 when the conflict (involving the Tamil Tigers) was still happening. We opened Cape Weligama, near Galle, in 2014 and also Wild Coast Tented Lodge in Yala. ‘Sri Lanka is a place to be explored, people don’t just stay in one place. Now 50% of our guests do all three.’ The new boutique resort at Dambulla, close to Sigiriya, will have 36 rooms and suites.

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