Ever heard the phrase “on island time”? It’s basically when the pace of life slows down and there is no set time for anything. No schedules, no routine, you can be early or late. You just kick back and let life take on it’s own pace.
We recently holidayed in Sri Lanka – were I was born and lived till I was three before making the move with my parents to Australia. So it’s a favourite place for me to keep going back to with my own family.
Everyone and everything in Sri Lanka is basically on Island time, so just let go of all your schedules and enjoy the journey!
Not many people know of the delights of this gem – a little tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean where it is summer all year long, the exchange rate will almost always work in your favour, it’s easy to get around and the locals are friendly and helpful.
During our last holiday to Sri Lanka, we stayed at a magical little placed called Dolphin Beach Resort and we could have stayed there for months on end. It was the perfect spot to unwind, indulge and explore… and we did plenty of it. We took our watches off and turned off our phones – we were on Island time where the pace is slow and there is no other option but to relax.
Here are some highlights from our stay. It was difficult to narrow down the hundreds of photos we gathered from the week there, but I’ve painstakingly chosen my favourites. Enjoy!
The resort is located a 3hr drive from the nation’s capital, Colombo. There are some stunning rural and coastal scenes along the drive there… and it’s not uncommon to see an elephant or two casually strolling down the road.
You’ll arrive at Dolphin Beach Resort through an unassuming village area that is not overdeveloped like most beach resort locations around the world. The whole resort is built on the sandy shores of an unspoilt peninsula of Alankuda Beach on the North-West coast of Sri Lanka.
The actual resort comprises of beautiful and spacious permanent tents. So you could call it camping, but I call it glamping (glamourous-camping). The air conditioning, wifi, fridge, luxury inclusions and all the mod-cons make the stay a little more luxury than the imagery that tents and camping evoke.
The smallest details have been considered with unique touches in each of the one and two bedroom tents. They are the perfect mix of and opulence, with the authentic charm of being made from locally sourced materials by artisans in the area. Each tent comes with it’s own porch lounge area, an outdoor spa bathroom and a little sandy courtyard under the palm trees complete with a hammock – an island essential. Each area is private and far enough away from the next tent so you feel immersed in your own experience.
The guest areas and facilities echo the same vibe – beach chic, modcons, every comfort considered and lovely repurposed and eco touches throughout. Sometimes you go on a beach holiday and the resort gets lazy by relying on the actual beach to take your breath away and not enough effort is put into the actual stay. This place is just divine – beach or not – but the beach certainly helps.
The Ice lounge is the perfect place to recline with a cocktail after a dip in the beach. We used it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after dinner drinks and it was the kind of place that took on a new personality depending on the time of the day, paying homage to the effort and detail put into the decor and lighting. The thatched roof and simple structure, rustic lanterns and comfortable sun beds and lounges – heavenly!
As the name suggest, the seas around the resort are teaming with different dolphin species and whales too depending on the season. The resort offers boat rides (I loved the names) to see large pods of wild dolphins at play.
About an hours drive away is a national park were you can go on safari drives with a driver and guide. There are kilometres of untouched forest, waterways and plains to explore and we saw so many amazing local critters in their unspoilt surrounds.
For those that are after a selection of activities, they also offer snorkelling, fishing, kite surfing, water skiing and wind surfing, kayaking and cycling. We would have loved to take part in all of these, but I’m afraid that lazing around took up all of our time.
Now, I know décor features as a highlight on every post I write, but being there are having all these beautiful pieces around me everywhere I looked was driving me a little loopy… in a good way. I had to stop myself from being transfixed on weathered wood, the rustic pieces, the beachy inspired bits and pieces.
I hope this little family get away of ours has inspired you to visit the resort. The staff were so accommodating, the food was authentic and bountiful and the whole experience was magical. Not at any point did I want to change a thing. You won’t be disappointed – quite the opposite actually – you’ll never want to leave. The only remedy is to keep going back, and we certainly will.
Looking forward to bringing you more amazing places I’ve visited throughout Sri Lanka.
If you enjoyed this post, then you may also like to take a look at our fashion writer Indi’s post on Summer Resort Wear – the photos were shot on location at Dolphin Beach Resort.