FOR WILDLIFE-SPOT­TING

Friday - - Travel -

Just four hours from the Mid­dle East, Sri Lanka of­fers idyl­lic palm-fringed beaches, an­cient tem­ples, his­toric cul­tural sites and plenty of wildlife. Stay at the Why House, a fam­ily-friendly bou­tique ho­tel just two min­utes from the beach with cot­tage-style ca­banas and a huge pool.

The Main House has pool toys, board games, vol­ley­ball and bad­minton and a great kids’ menu. Ex­pe­ri­enced babysit­ters are avail­able, and the ho­tel is just a 15-minute drive from the Unesco world her­itage-listed fort at Galle, where whale and dol­phin-watch­ing cruises are on of­fer from Novem­ber to April. Day trips to sa­fari in Yala and Uda Walawe na­tional parks can also be ar­ranged.

The low-down: Six nights in a Main House Suite (sleeps two adults and two chil­dren) on a half-board ba­sis cost from Dh9,181, in­clud­ing taxes, air­port trans­fers and a Sri Lankan cul­tural show (why­hous­es­ri­lanka.com). Flights from Dubai to Colombo cost from about Dh1,180 with Sri-Lankan Air­lines. A two-hour train jour­ney takes you from Colombo to Galle.

Whale and dol­phin-watch dur­ing a cruise from the Galle Fort, then head to the Yala na­tional park to meet the Sri Lankan leop­ard

The fam­ily-friendly bou­tique ho­tel Why House’s cot­tage-style ca­banas are sure to im­press

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