The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

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.

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