Not a soul would expect such a resort in the middle of a tropical rainforest. But here it is.
KITULGALA, SRI LANKA: This was set out to be a kind of experiential escape. Like the first sight of an elephant in the wild or feeling exhilarated by an unforgettable excursion far away from tourist hordes. A chase for moments that truly make a remarkable holiday. That´s why I went to Palmstone Resort in the middle of nowhere near the mountain. For a few days off at a real hideaway in the green, wild jungle of Sri Lanka.
Located somewhere between capital Colombo and the Central Hills, I surprisingly arrived in Palmstone. I mean to my surprise, because the white, main building was not on the map and mostly covered by compact rainforest. No other than my local driver could even find the final road leading up to this luxury hotel.
All the sounds from the forest
I believed rainforest was the quietest place on earth. Well, until I reached Palmstone and appeared to all the sounds of living in rainforest. Here were insects with sound, birds singing like choir members who disagreed what to sing and not to forget echoes and the heavy sound from a nearby waterfall. That said, all the sounds made me relaxed and felt like welcome to a new and all-green world.
Suite close to a waterfall
My suite had a spacious bedroom and a sitting space overlooking the lush gardens and the waterfall or river. I could enjoy jacuzzi overlooking the river, en-suite bathroom more spacy than my living room back home and a King -sized bed so soft that it felt like sleeping on a cloud. And my bed was close to the green wild jungle – and all the sounds and whistling.
Foody journey in a jungle
All guests came together for outdoor served breakfast, lunch and dinner in the evening. Each meal at Palmstone Resort stood out as elegant and a culinary delight. It was like exploring a foody journey in the rainforest. A mix of European and Sri Lankan with balanced flavour and aromas. My favourite was the signature dish, named “Three in One” – a meal with grilled prawns, mullet fish and beef.
A mix of activities
You can always ask what do in a tropical rainforest? Since Kitulgala is the adventure capital of Sri Lanka, you can enjoy some thrilling activities. Such as rafting or kayaking down the majestic Kelani river, swim in a waterfall or walk to the prehistoric Beli Lena caves. Birdwatching would be another activity where over 50 rare species of birds can be seen – not only attended by sound and song.
The prehistoric Belilena caves not far from Palmstone hotel
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Make it Happen!
Touch Down: Sri Lankan Airlines flight from London to capital Colombo takes more than 10 hours. A car from Palmstone Retreat pick guests up at the airport for a 2-3-hour drive to the hotel. Palmstone in Kitulgala, a small town in the south western part of Sri Lanka, approximately 95 km or 2-hour drive from Colombo.
Stay: Palmstone has three luxury chalets. Blends into their natural surroundings and combine comforts and tasteful interiors inspired by local architecture
Eat: Palmstone offers private dining facilities. Guests can choose to dine in the privacy of their rooms, or in several romantic locations along the resort.
Play: Palmstone do not sell alcohol, but guests are free to bring their own. Colombo´s nightlife includes pubs, live music and roulette rolling at the casinos
Mini Guide: From Citlali town, you must navigate 6kms on a country road to reach the property. Some may find this road challenging and you can ask for shuttle service from the town. Rates from February to December: From 250 USD for two persons. Most important; Sri Lanka is a safe place without any no-go-area or large amount of criminality. The daytime temperature in Sri Lanka is between 26 and 28 degrees celsius.