The Wordrobe’s editor Sophie Ritchie lathers on the Factor 50 for a stay at this Sri Lankan five-star resort
Nestled by the glimmering waters of the Indian Ocean and surrounded by lush rural countryside awaits Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa, a beautifully manicured beach resort scattered with palm trees and leprechaun green grass.
An expansive five-star property located on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, this is a place designed with very little else but total relaxation in mind. With 300 rooms (including 21 suave suites) Shangri-La Hambantota offers palatial paradise in abundance.
From the swift check-in to the army of friendly staff, it’s a well-coordinated property that aims to cater for every whim and fancy. Some are more extravagant than others – one prior guest even requested to bring his pet tiger along for a stay.
As well as being accommodating (bar that occasion) it’s also vast, boasting Sri Lanka’s sole resort golf course, as well as four restaurants and bars. Not that you’ll do much walking during a visit – there’s more sun loungers, day beds and pillow-clad swings than you’ll find in Ikea.
Space to Unwind
Rooms are large and suites even more so. Wide windows offer sprawling views of the pristine golf course, others with the chance to gaze at tropical gardens. The most coveted of course, have surrounding ocean scenery to enjoy – with water stretching out endlessly into the horizon.
Interiors are modern throughout – think sleek and contemporary, mingling Sri Lankan style with luxury furnishings. The little details count – such as the rooms’ clever air conditioning that switches itself off if a balcony door is opened.
Book the Janapathi Suite for something special (it’s enormous, completed with its very own massage room and outdoor jacuzzi).
Whether you’re looking to sink your teeth into traditional Sri Lankan cuisine or sample flavours of global cuisine, the two main restaurants, Sera and Bojunhala offer it all, with produce sourced as locally as possible.
The former is ideal for a more refined dining experience, with pretty hanging foliage and a menu filled with Hawker Street style cuisine.
Bojunhala is an all-day dining buffet restaurant with a difference. Feast your way through endless stations piled high with dishes, desserts and decadence. From curries to noodle stations, there’s bound to be something to tempt your palate.
However, if you’re in the mood for something sublime, speak to the concierge and book the unique Dine by Design experience. Guests can enjoy a bespoke four-course banquet with pairing wines – but it’s not the menu that makes this special.
You’ll enjoy the meal in your very own private gazebo, set up on either the golf course or sandy beach. Surrounded by fairy lights, fire torches and exquisite scenery, it’s as romantic as they come. Just remember the bug spray, of course.
A Walk On The Wild Side
When not dining or reclining, there’s plenty to try. Don’t miss a visit to the Chi Ayurveda Spa for a holistic treat. With a menu designed to cleanse and remove toxins, book a traditional Ayurveda treatment to immerse your body in a natural pampering session.
For the golf lovers, the 18-hole course is perfect for wiling an afternoon or two away whilst the large gym boasts a selection of state-of-the-art machines, weights and classes. Take a dip in the pools, or embrace your inner child with two waterslides.
Adventure seekers can book half-day safaris at the Yala or Udawala national parks for the chance to spot leopards and elephants. For something a little closer, try a river safari to get up close and personal with birds of prey, crocodiles and water buffalo all found along the nearby Walawe river on an expert-led boat trip.
The Wordrobe Verdict
If you’re after nothing but sand and sanctuary, check into Shangri-La’s Hambantota property to depart feeling refreshed and relaxed. Sunbathe in style, dine in delicious fashion and enjoy Sri Lanka’s coastal beauty at this hedonistic haven.
Make it happen
Rooms start from £179 per night. To find out more or make a booking, click here or phone (94 47) 788 8888.