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Shangri-La Hotels And Resorts Invites Guests To Explore Sri Lanka, The 2019 Must-Visit Destination

February 19, 2019 Hotel News No Comments

The untouched golden beaches, dense jungles and vibrant cities of Sri Lanka are this year’s must-visit destination, according to Lonely Planet’s ‘Top Countries for Travel’ in 2019. Holiday seekers need look no further than Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo and Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa for the perfect Sri Lankan retreat.The two properties are ideally located and provide unique opportunities to experience the best the destination has to offer.

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Golf Resort & Spa spans 58 hectares, making it the largest resort in Sri Lanka, and boasts 274 spacious rooms and suites, all surrounded by stunning tropical gardens. Located along the historic Spice Route, Hambantota is known for its natural beauty and allows visitors to explore Asia’s most fascinating nature and wildlife sanctuaries, including Yala, Udawalawe, Lunugamvehera and Bundala National Parks, all which are within easy reach of  the resort.  Among their more famous residents are the world’s largest concentration of leopards and majestic elephants, sloth bears, spotted dear, peacocks and crocodiles.

The region offers the best place in the world to see blue whales. Boasting the largest blue whale aggregations that come to feed on blooms of plankton, whale-watching at Dondra Canyon is truly an awe-inspiring once-in-a-lifetime experience. Dolphin lovers will not be disappointed too as they can also be spotted there. Wildlife enthusiasts can also take in the stunning scenery through a river boat safari along the Walawe river, bursting with wildlife. As the sun sets, guests can watch tropical birds, monkeys, buffalos, and impressive white-bellied eagles reserve their night-time spots on the trees bordering the river.

To fully immerse in Sri Lankan life, guests can try their hand at traditional arts, such as wood carving, mask making and batik painting, led by local craftsmen in The Artisan Village, located at the resort.  It is a space dedicated to supporting local art communities with the best regional talents, and comes alive with regular traditional dance and music performances in the evening.

For those seeking the buzz of a vibrant city, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo offers guests unparalleled access to a bespoke collection of cultural and historical experiences.  Thanks to its magnificent architecture, mixing colonial style with modern buildings, bustling markets and picturesque coastal setting, Colombo was recently named the ‘must-photograph’ destination of 2019 in a study by Huawei.

Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo is the perfect spot to relax after a busy day exploring the city.  Situated at One Galle Face along the Galle Face Green promenade – the most exclusive address in Colombo – the hotel offers uninterrupted Indian Ocean and city views from its 500 guestrooms and suites and 41 serviced apartments.  It also serves as a gateway to the capital through an array of exciting immersive experiences.

Guests are invited to zip around the lively streets of the city in true Sri Lankan style with the tuk tuk safari, an experience that should not be missed.  Colourful and characterful, the classic tuk tuks draw up right outside the hotel to take guests on an exploration of the city’s best local sites – from the bustling outdoor bazaar of Pettah to impressive colonial buildings and traditional temples.

In celebration of the country’s affectionate nickname, ‘Gem Island’, the concierge at Shangri‑La Hotel, Colombo can arrange a Sri Lankan gemstone session with a local expert to let guests gain a unique insight into the precious gems of Sri Lanka.

Guests can also embark on a guided sunset Colombo city walk, which includes visits to prominent historical spots and the most hidden and discreet gems of the city.  Meanwhile, art aficionados can visit the city’s famed ‘Art Street’, which comes alive on weekends with talented artists lining the streets, showcasing their paintings of various styles and tastes ranging from traditional to contemporary.

At the end of a busy day, with the prime location offering unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean, guests can sip cocktails infused with local spices and herbs in one of the elegant bars before a lavish dinner at one of five innovative restaurants and bars.  These gastronomic offerings make Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo the most sought-after dining destination in the city.

Sri Lanka’s bold, colourful flavours are having their moment, too, as the country’s cuisine is heralded the top food trend worldwide for 2019 by BBC Good Food.  Sri Lanka offers a rich melting-pot of cuisines influenced by its unique position in the Indian Ocean, between Eastern and Western cultures.  Visitors can expect warming, deeply spiced curries packed with pulses and grains, crispy and light hopper ‘pancakes’, fresh coconut and fish.

Shangri-La hotels’ beautiful restaurants are the ideal way to experience traditional, authentic Sri Lankan cuisine created by award-winning chefs, including celebrity chef Dharshan Munidasa, who founded the new-age Sri Lankan bar and restaurant Kaema Sutra at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo.

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