I was in Sri Lanka for a much needed holiday the last 10 days. I had to actually work a couple of days of my vacay but it was totally worth it. Sri Lanka is such a beautiful country. Colombo is like any other large city in the world. But the people are the nicest I have ever met. They are always smiling and are eager to help at a moments notice. The tuk-tuk drivers reminded me of the ones back home – out to fleece one of as much money as they can but the drivers in Colombo fleece very politely and even smile while at it…such a welcome departure of the outrageously rude drivers in India 😜 In Colombo we stayed at the Colombo Swimming Club. A functional place with a very nice pool that had a railway track running alongside it! I thought this was pretty cool. The city has some very nice restaurants. I went to the Barefoot Cafe and the Cricket Club. Very nice places. But I would recommend ordering Sri Lankan food over any other cuisine. While other cuisines are not badly made, the Sri Lankan food is made infinitely better. And it’s so very yummy too.
The night life in Colombo is a lot of fun. The Sky Lounge, Margarita Blue and The Taj Samudra are some of the places I went to. The Sky Lounge is an open air bar at the top of Knightsbridge. Crazy good view, not very crowded and expensive drinks. The Margarita Blue is close by. A small bar, live music, lots of energetic dancing. These 2 places shut by 3am. The Taj Samudra is a discotheque. Open till 4am, techno and club music, lots of dancing and cheap drinks. We made friends with the bartender and got a bunch of free shots. And a recommendation to go to R&B which is open till 5am! Didn’t make it to R&B as we were quite hammered at The Taj Samudra.
After Colombo, we embarked on a 3 hour drive to Bentota. Here we stayed at The Taj, Bentota which is a lovely property with awesome views, a very nice pool and a decent bar. The food is average and that is the biggest disappointment. I just chilled in the pool the entire time we were there. We hit the bar on our last night there and had a blast. There isn’t much to do in Bentota so don’t go there expecting anything wild.
A special shout out to whoever made the cool animals from bath towels at the hotel every morning. Very creative.
On the way to Bentota we made a quick pit stop at Kitulgala. Known mostly for river rafting and similar water related adventure sports, we stopped at a musty hotel where the famous Hollywood movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was shot. They served up some delicious Sri Lankan lunch which was probably the best meal I had in Sri Lanka. We loved it so much that we decided to stop at the same place again on our way to Columbo from Nuwara Eliya where we went next from Bentota.
At Nuwara Eliya, we stayed at a lovey property called The Tea Factory. Nuwara Eliya is approx. 6000 feet above sea level and the temperature change from Bentota is stark! It’s very chilly and different from the sunny climes of both Colombo and Bentota. I did not venture out much but the hotel itself is very interesting as it used to be an actual tea factory in the days gone by. Be sure to sample some of the Pekoe tea. It’s superlative.
Overall, Sri Lanka was a wonderful experience. I take away some very good times with family, great Sri Lankan food and lots of alcohol from the holiday. Looking forward to similar and better good times in the future.