Sri Lanka’s time to shine: The trending destination for 2017
Leading travel writer Matthew Scott looks at why Sri Lanka has become an in-vogue destination for discerning travellers.
According to the latest report from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, tourism on the island is at an all-time high after a surge in visitors between 2009 and 2015.
Some of the key findings from the report reveal:
• There was a 17.8% increase in tourists between 2014 and 2015.
• A total of 1,798,380 visitors flocked to the island from all over the world.
• Visitors are staying longer, with an average stay of 10.1 nights.
• Room occupancy rates have increased to 74.5%.
But what has spurred this surge in popularity? How is it improving touristic infrastructure? And why is now a better time than ever to visit Sri Lanka? Those looking to rent a Sri Lanka villa, and those that hadn’t thought about it as a holiday location, will be fascinated to learn more about the enticing destination.
The spectacular island, which is just 25,000mi2, has eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a fascinating history. Approximately 70% of the Sri Lankan population follows the Buddhist religion, which is partly defined by compassion, morality and kindness. This attitude is reflected in the population’s treatment of foreign visitors; the welcoming attitude of the locals, from the in-house staff at the luxury villas to strangers at the local market, is both humbling and inspiring. Adults can leave their children with in-house child-minders, safe in the knowledge that they are in safe hands. Meanwhile, one of the villa’s staff will happily provide a tour of the local area.
The island is particularly popular with yoga enthusiasts, who head to the villas and beaches of Sri Lanka to unwind and practice their hobby. Yoga retreats are becoming increasingly popular in the island’s luxury accommodation. It may be because yoga relaxes the mind and body, perfectly complementing the more active pursuits available, such as surfing and exploring. Most luxury villa rentals in Sri Lanka benefit from scenic swimming pools, meaning guests can find true relaxation. Finding inner-balance has never been so beautiful!
It is no secret that Sri Lanka is a culinary giant, with a vast array of rich flavours dominating a tantalizing cuisine. Delicious fish curries and kottu roti are commonly consumed and shape traditional dining experience. Nowadays, however, the island has redefined its attitude towards food: while customary dishes still dominate the island’s immersive dining experiences, western cuisine is being introduced to the menu at luxury villas. Many of the properties’ private chefs have enhanced their skills with training from western chefs. Guests can enjoy both traditional Sri Lankan curries and Mediterranean salads, cooked to perfection in the comfort of their luxury villa rentals.
A prime spot in the whole of Asia for catching a glimpse of wildlife, Sri Lanka offers an incomparable safari experience. Almost 100 of the island’s parks are designated as protected areas for the preservation of wildlife. The best of these national parks include the Yala, Uda Walawe, Wasgomuwa and the Sinharaja Rainforest Reserve. From subtropical rainforests to savannas, the ecosystems of Sri Lanka and varied and beautiful. Elephants, leopards, crocodiles, flying foxes, porcupines, jackals, dolphins, deer and even bears can be seen on or around the island.
Luxury Sri Lanka Villa Rental: Stella Beach Villa
With the increase of visitors to Sri Lanka comes an improvement in the island’s guest accommodation infrastructure. While many travellers still use hotels, the most indulgent experiences are certainly found in the luxury Sri Lanka villa rentals that have been developed in line with an increase in demand and remain affordable. Architecturally, the island’s new villas resemble the contemporary villas of the Mediterranean islands, like Ibiza: straight lines, open-plan living, authentic motifs and neutral, minimalist interiors characterize Sri Lanka’s very best property rentals. Teams of in-house staff attend to visitors’ every request, making for the complete holiday experience.
Stella Beach Villa is an example of a luxurious and private beach villa in Sri Lanka. The property sits on a private 400m stretch of beach with excellent surf. Many palm trees offer an enhanced sense of privacy, while a surrounding wall and nightly security ensure your safety. No neighbours. No traffic. Just pure tranquility. From just $500 per night, 10 guests can live in paradise at Stella Beach Villa. There is a 20m outdoor swimming pool with a large sun terrace, 2 acres of land, barbecue facilities, TV and Wi-Fi, and air conditioning. The villa is also child-friendly, with an optional pool fence. Property owners are now going the extra mile to fulfill the requirements of international guests.
Five-star concierge services come as standard with the best luxury accommodation, making holidays to this part of the world entirely stress-free. Visitors have everything taken care of from before the holiday until the moment it ends. From child-minders to personal chefs, drivers, yoga instructors, cleaners, tour guides and many more, staff are on hand to see to your every request.
A recent guest at Stella Beach Villa, Rumble Romagnoli commented on his experience of Sri Lanka: “Sri Lanka is certainly the place to be in 2017. The people are charming, the food is delicious, and the coast and countryside are very interesting. The Sri Lankan government is making huge efforts to build up airport connections, and improve roads to allow for safe and efficient passage to the undiscovered pockets of this exotic, and culturally fascinating island. If you are looking for a ‘manageable’ India, great surfing, or just a delicious curry, Sri Lanka is for you.”
What do the experts think?
George Burdon – the founder and director of Dynamic Lives, a leading villa rentals company in Sri Lanka – commented on the emerging popularity of Sri Lanka as a destination for discerning travellers in 2017: “In recent years, Sri Lanka has transformed into the complete holiday destination. The stunning island offers both soft adventure and affordable luxury: in the morning, visitors can go on safari or explore the fascinating Lion’s Rock – a UNESCO-listed ancient rock fortress – and in the afternoon they can relax by their private pool at their luxury villa. Rental properties are becoming increasingly luxurious; Stella Beach Villa, for example, combines contemporary styling and authentic charm – much like the architectural style in Ibiza.
“The island also benefits from some of the best surfing in the world, with spectacular beaches and consistent waves. In-house staff are friendly and offer unrivalled service, whether preparing sumptuous food – both traditional and Mediterranean – or catering to the requests of their guests. Every whim is catered for on the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.”