Head off the beaten track to this under-the-radar Sri Lankan hideaway, where river meets the ocean.
Anantara Kalutara Resort is a stunning beachfront retreat on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka – just an hour and a half from Colombo. The vibe is off-grid tranquillity, infused with a slice of laid-back luxury. Based on a blueprint conceived by Sri Lanka’s famed architect Geoffrey Bawa, a huddle of low-slung, terracotta-roofed buildings sit at the tip of a narrow peninsula, wedged between ocean and river.
The resort is located at the point the Kalu Ganga river flows into the Indian Ocean, so you can go river cruising one day, then embark on lazy beach hangouts the next. The beach is a seemingly untamed sliver of sand that’s removed from the crowds. Back at the heart of the hotel, you’re not short on food and drink options – three excellent restaurants span cuisine from Sri Lanka to Europe, Asia, Arabia – and beyond. You could even book a lantern-lit dinner right on the beach or facing the lagoon for a romantic experience.
Rooms are decked out in a creamy colour palette, accented with vibrant pops of turquoise and Sri Lankan wall art. Pick a Deluxe Lagoon View Room for a tranquil haven – with its freestanding terrazzo bathtub, private balcony and lush vistas – or go all out with a One Bedroom Anantara Suite for uber-slick digs with ocean views, an al fresco dining space and your own villa host to hand. Couples should book a Pool Villa for a little sanctuary with private enclosed garden and plunge pool.
On the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, 1 hour’s drive south of Colombo
Good to know
Minimum stay: 5 nights 27 Dec-05 Jan for Suite and Villa guests; 3 nights 27 Dec-05 Jan for other guests; no departures on 31 Dec. Compulsory Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve dinners, supplements apply.
141 rooms and suites
3 restaurants, 3 bars
Breakfast at Olu.
Meal upgrade options (per person per night)
Half Board from £36 • Breakfast and dinner at Olu • Credit for dinner at à la carte restaurants Full Board from £62 • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Olu • Credit for lunch and dinner at à la carte restaurants All Inclusive from £155 • Breakfast at Olu • Lunch and dinner at any restaurant (opening hours vary) • Daily high tea • Selected drinks (11am-11pm) • Minibar refilled once per stay • 1 x spa treatment per stay.
*Denotes local charge