Category: Asia

Elephants, Leopards and Monkeys, oh my! Glamping Adventure at Yala Sanctuary

 

Off-roading in a safari vehicle down a bumpy, winding dirt road on the outskirts of Yala National Park, I wasn’t sure what to expect when we arrived. I was in Sri Lanka, heading to a safari camp, Yala Sanctuary. Half an hour earlier, we had been picked up from Tissamaharama by Dinesh.

I wanted to be adventurous and stay in the park. I wanted to go camping, but not in a rustic way. Glamping definitely fit the bill for me. Yala Sanctuary is a new safari camp that opened in November. It looked magical, and I knew I wanted to experience it.

When we arrived at the camp, we were greeted with a roadway lined with tiki torches and a beautiful straw tent. We were greeted with the cutest coconut drinks, and immediately felt like we were at home.

Before opening his own camp, Dinesh worked in the park as a guide and at other parks. He’s passionate about animals, and takes great pride in his work. (more…)

Unwinding at Le Grand Galle Hotel in Sri Lanka

After a whirlwind trip in Sri Lanka, where half of my travel party ended up getting severely sick from the flu (and in once case,hospitalized), I was more than looking forward to my stay at the Le Grand Galle hotel by Asia Leisure for our last two days on this tropical island.

Le Grand Galle is located in the town of Galle, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It has a stunning location, perched on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the historic Galle Fort. This 5 star hotel is brand new, with beautiful design elements and a relaxing pool.

We arrived in Galle well after dark (after driving 4 hours from Columbo), and were immediately impressed by the service that we received and the property itself. The hotel lobby was large and airy, with a beautiful view of the pool.

We had a deluxe room on the second floor, with views of the pool and the Indian Ocean. I could hear the waves lapping at night, it was very peaceful. The room itself was spacious, with a huge soaker tub, king sized bed, Japanese toilet and a balcony.

View from the balcony

The bathroom was open concept, but you could regain privacy by sliding the Japanese stye door shut. It was very stylish and gave the room a nice aesthetic.

Because we had arrived late, we had ordered room service for dinner with a pot of strong Sri Lankan tea for dessert.

Salmon Cakes
Australian Beef Cube Roll on creamy polenta

In the morning, we headed down to the restaurant for the buffet. I loved the breakfast buffet because they had so many options.

At the grill, you could choose to get a custom omelette, crepes, pancakes or eggs benedict.

There was a large selection of fresh baked breads, juices, nuts, pastries and more.

My favourite part of the breakfast was the fresh fruit. You could request a bevvy of fresh fruits that would be carved up and served to you right there, or brought to your table. They had delicious pineapples and mangoes.

After breakfast, we headed to town to explore Galle Dutch Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a storied history, and was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese and then built up by the Dutch in the 17th century.

You can easily walk to the fort and hang out on the walls taking in the view of the sea. You can go into the fort to check out all of the shops and restaurants. I bought some jewelry with Sri Lankan gems, and also some spices from the lovely Galle Fort Spices.

I enjoyed walking around the town, but it was hot! When we went back to the hotel, we decided to go for a dip.

The hotel has a small private beach that was amazing! We hung out there and dug our toes into the sandy beach and swam in the warm Indian Ocean. Then we switched it up and visited the pool.

Paradise.

In the evening, hotel guests can choose to dine at Blue, a Japanese inspired seafood restaurant, or dine at the hotel’s restaurant. The food features fresh seafood, housemade breads and traditional Sri Lankan dishes.

There were also stunning desserts with unique flavours.

All in all, I had an amazing stay at Le Grand Galle. The staff were friendly and professional, the amenities amazing and the location can’t be beat! If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Sri Lanka, I would highly recommend that you stay here.

 

 

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