IS­LAND SANC­TU­AR­IES

Look to Her­i­tance Ho­tels & Re­sorts for a Sri Lankan so­journ with a unique edge.

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Ar­chi­tec­turally unique re­sorts that blend in with their nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment are a re­cur­ring fea­ture of Her­i­tance Ho­tels & Re­sorts, whose port­man­teau name re­flects the Sri Lankan brand’s mis­sion to pre­serve its her­itage and leave a valu­able in­her­i­tance to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. In ex­press­ing the lo­cal fla­vor and warmth, Her­i­tance en­cap­su­lates the ser­vice ex­cel­lence that parent com­pany Aitken Spence and its ho­tels have in­her­ited from 140 years of trust and re­li­a­bil­ity.

On the south­west coast of Sri Lanka, the re­fur­bished Her­i­tance Ahun­galla was once the Tri­ton Ho­tel, a cre­ation of the emi­nent late ar­chi­tect Ge­of­frey Bawa and the first five- star beach re­sort in the coun­try when it opened in 1981. Its 152 rooms are a de­light, while guests can en­joy sump­tu­ous buf­fets at Jute Res­tau­rant, take a dip in the beach­front in­fin­ity pool, and be pam­pered at Diviyan Spa. Another Ge­of­frey Bawa– de­signed prop­erty is the Her­i­tance Kan­dalama in the heart of Sri Lanka’s cul­tural tri­an­gle. The 152- roomed ho­tel is built around a mono­lithic out­crop, of­fer­ing panoramic views to­ward Dam­bulla cave tem­ple and the im­pos­ing rock fortress of Si­giriya. Na­turelovers can choose from an ar­ray of out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, from of­froad cy­cling and horse rides to bird-watch­ing tours on foot or by boat. His­tory buffs will also find the prop­erty an ideal base for day trips to the an­cient cap­i­tals of Polon­naruwa and Anu­rad­ha­pura.

Over­look­ing an or­ganic tea plan­ta­tion in the hill coun­try around Nuwara Eliya, Her­i­tance Tea Fac­tory is Sri Lanka’s high­est ho­tel at an el­e­va­tion of 2,000 me­ters. The for­mer 1930s tea fac­tory now has 50 rooms and suites af­ford­ing panoramic views of the es­tate. In line with its his­tory, two un­usual ex­pe­ri­ences are avail­able on site: guests can pluck their own tea and have it pro­cessed at the ho­tel’s mini tea fac­tory, or dine in a 1930s nar­row­gauge rail­way car­riage.

The new­est ad­di­tion to the brand is Her­i­tance Ne­gombo, which opened last year on the caramel sands of the west coast, just 20 min­utes’ drive from Ban­daranaike In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Its 139 rooms make the most of the In­dian Ocean sun­set with their own pri­vate bal­conies, and are cra­dled in palm- shaded grounds tra­versed by a la­goon- style swim­ming pool. Guests can look for­ward to sun­down­ers at the top- floor venue See Lounge along­side a bevy of din­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing seafood res­tau­rant The Big Fish, in­ter­na­tional all- day buf­fets at Blue Tan, and sev­eral out­lets at The Banyan just across the street.

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