HOME AND AWAY
THERE are charming retreats galore in up-country Sri Lanka. Away from the bustle of Colombo and the chic villas of the southwest coast, the emphasis is on small getaways, often located beside nature reserves or within cooee of heritage treasures. Cinnamon Lodge at Habarana is one such oasis, set across 11ha of forested land in the heart of the country’s so-called cultural triangle of Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Guests stay in two-storey chalets radiating from the main Dutch colonial-style building, with its frangipani-bordered pool and, for my stringhoppers, the freshest buffet food in Sri Lanka. Cinnamon Lodge has its own dairy, orchard and vegetable farm and, truly, a refrigerated dessert room in which little girls in party frocks are squealing with delight during my visit at the prospect of passionfruit mousse, mango cheesecake and glass dishes piled with marshmallows and lollies. The astonishing 5th-century Sigiriya rock fortress is a 15-minute drive from Habarana, and then it’s back to base camp for a reviving feet and hands treatment at Cinnamon Lodge’s Azmaara Spa. Travel with Aitken Spence, local operator for Australia-based Wildlife Safari. More: 1800 998 558; wildlifesafari.com.au.