Perched on craggy cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean, it's hard to imagine a more ruggedly beautiful setting than that of Cape Weligama. The sound of waves rolling into shore melts away everyday troubles on arrival, lulling you into a perpetual state of relaxation for the duration of your stay.
With 39 suites and villas scattered over 12 acres, the resort feels like a bountiful seaside village. Architect Lek Bunnag has eschewed the typical Bawa-inspired architecture of Sri Lanka, instead drawing influence from the island's history as voyagers' stopover. Terracotta-roofed dwellings (each named after an explorer) complement Weligama's remote allure, while the clifftop setting ensures ocean views wherever you go.
This a place to while away the days. Soak up the sun at the crescent-shaped pool, visit the spa for a Sri Lankan spice scrub or head to the lookout for magnificent panoramas. Watching the tropical rain thunder down from the refuge of your veranda refuge is as thrilling as it is refreshing, perhaps only surpassed by the joy of wandering east or west across deserted stretches of sand. Of course, there's plenty to entertain - big-game fishing, whale watching and Weligama's great surf - but for us, it's all about switching off and enjoying luxuriously lazy days.
Cape Weligama's suites and villas are dotted across the 12 acres of tropical gardens, providing privacy and solitude. All have large terraces, oversized stone baths and steam rooms, while villas benefit from semi-private pools. The rooms themselves are some of the most capacious around, with beds big enough for entire families and elegant, beach-inspired interiors. Expect deep blues and untreated wood - and don't be surprised to find an iguana scampering across your lawn in the morning.
What's for breakfast?
Freshly baked pastries and tropical fruit drizzled with lime, plus an extensive menu of local and international dishes. It's a tough call, but skip eggs Benedict with hash browns in favour of hoppers and prawn curry.
How about lunch and dinner?
Cape Weligama has two restaurants: Ocean Terrace is a dramatic, wooden pavilion with sweeping views of the sea, while Ocean Grill is a 12-seater steakhouse which requires advanced booking. Dishes draw influence from local, western and wider Asian cuisines, executed with both refinement and flair. As you'd expect, the seafood is especially good - go all out with just-caught crab and lobster.
Is there a bar?
Yes, there are two. The Cape Club is the main bar, a breezy pavilion set adjacent to Ocean Terrace. It's adorned with memories from Ceylon's early sporting history and is the perfect place to enjoy drinks at sunset. Be sure not to miss the Arrack and tea-infused cocktails (they also serve a fantastic high tea). The Moon Bar, tucked away by the pool, is a great spot to take respite from the hot afternoon sun, and they set up a big screen for film nights and sporting events.
Free wifi, gym, spa, diving centre, swimming pools, Sonos, TV and DVD Player, film library.
Things you should know
The sea can be rough and the currents are strong, so you might not be able to swim from both beaches all year round - check with staff before diving in.
Within a short walk you can find...
The beaches to the east and west of the hotel make for gorgeous walks at sunrise or sunset, especially if you enjoy long stretches of deserted, golden sand. Weligama itself - a lively little fishing town - is a short drive away, and Matara and Galle are both easily accessible via taxi or tuk-tuk.