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We are saddened and shocked by the attacks that took place on Easter Sunday and share our deepest sympathies with those affected. Sri Lanka has remained a peaceful island for the past decade and the attacks were unrelated to previous civil unrest in the country that ended in 2009.

Our security has been significantly tightened by the authorities and despite the sadness the situation is normalising on the ground. The military and police are geared to control terrorism. There is a feeling of camaraderie in the country as everyone comes together – irrespective of race, religion or caste – to support one another during a difficult time.  Muslim mosques are open for Christian prayer. Buddhist priests are supporting churches and mosques. The Catholic Archbishop has been praised for preaching amity and forgiveness. Everyone is united against terrorism and in hope for a strong future ahead.

It is heart-warming to see the global outpouring of love towards our country and we are very grateful for the thousands of past visitors who have expressed their support and intention to revisit. International travel advisories continue to advise against non-essential travel but progress has been made on the ground where curfews have been lifted and daily activities resumed. We expect that the travel advice will be reviewed in the coming weeks as the situation stabilises. Our resorts are operating normally and we look forward to welcoming guests – old and new – to Sri Lanka in the future.

For any further information, please contact us on reservations@resplendentceylon.com or +94 11 774 5730

Some relevant article links:
https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-travel-warnings-are-not-the-way-to-beat-terrorism-11705595?fbclid=IwAR33t8qw2CeV4xVv_akWjMTUEwYahrC0I9MTdAFLya4DdguDGAOcA39ZGWY

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These bombs were not for Sri Lanka…

We offer our deepest condolence to those affected by the Easter Sunday outrage.

This barbaric attack is connected to geopolitics that had very little to do with Sri Lanka. The attackers took advantage of the relaxed security after our conflict that ended ten years ago. Security has now been stepped up and many arrests made.

Despite wanting to hit back at the West for the setbacks in Iraq, tight security there made a multi-target attack on a soft target like Sri Lanka tempting.

Much of the alarm leading to travel warnings was due to clumsy handling by the government soon after the attack – this situation has now improved. The interviews with officials were mishandled and made the situation seem far worse.

The Muslim population of Sri Lanka is prosperous and moderate. They had reported the radical group to the authorities repeatedly without any action being taken.

A characteristic of conflict areas are no go areas where rebel groups retreat to and rearm.
Sri Lanka is a small island and there aren’t places to hide. There is no supportive community for radicals. Now that the gloves are off, many tipoffs are coming in from the traditionally moderate Muslim community, from where the radicals had been expelled.

The military and police are well geared to control terrorism from experience. They just didn’t get the go ahead before. The security is now very tight. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

The mastermind behind the attack died in the attacks. He would have known that repeat attacks would not be possible once the element of surprise was lost.

We expect traveller advisories will be reviewed in the coming weeks as the situation stabilises. Our resorts are operating normally; visitors can again expect a safe, memorable holiday amongst the warmest people eager to showcase their beautiful island. Sri Lanka will bounce back; we will not give in to terror! It is heart-warming to see the global outpouring of love smothering the heinous acts of hate.

There is no civil unrest. All religions are working closely together. Muslim mosques are open for Christian prayer. Buddhist priests are supporting churches and mosques. The Catholic Archbishop has been lauded for preaching amity and forgiveness. All Sri Lankans have come together unlike never before.

We have withdrawn our general cancellation policy; you are free to cancel without cost even on the day of arrival. This has reassured many.

As you may know, the hotel attacks were in Colombo for maximum impact. One could travel directly from the airport to our resorts, which are in remote areas.

Do contact us if you have further concerns reservations@resplendentceylon.com

Some relevant article links:
https://news.sky.com/story/sky-views-travel-warnings-are-not-the-way-to-beat-terrorism-11705595?fbclid=IwAR33t8qw2CeV4xVv_akWjMTUEwYahrC0I9MTdAFLya4DdguDGAOcA39ZGWY

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The “Yala Complex” (informal definition) is a contiguous expanse of jungle that includes the 5 sectors (or Blocks) of Yala, as well as Lunugamvehera national park.

  • Block I (adjacent to Wild Coast Lodge) and the most frequently visited block/sector.
  • However, Block 5 and Lunugamvehera National Park (we use the east entrance of LNP) are also viable options and used at various times of the Year.
  • Bundala National Park is also visited frequently. While it’s a birding-focused park due to its number of lagoons, there is adequate biodiversity (except Leopards) to keep guests engaged by our guides and performed extremely well throughout 2018 in terms of sightings to drive guest engagement.

So, what happens during September, October, November:

The drought takes effect from July into October, before the monsoon rains in November/December. As a result, Block I is often closed to “rest” the park in September and October. During those months, our rangers venture to Block 5, Lunugamvehera and Bundala.

Lunugamvehera National Park delighted Wild Coast guests in 2018, during Block 1 closure, due to the multiple herds of elephants that venture onto the lake bed in the afternoons. As the waters of the Lunugamvehera reservoir recede during the drought, the grasslands on the banks of the lake are lush and guests are privy to rich insights into detailed behaviour of elephants (as explained by our rangers). Also, Sri Lanka experiences lowest visitation volumes during these months, thus vehicle traffic to our national parks is quite low which supports a quality, guided experience. Other game is also visible to round out a quality game drive. The only catch is that the drive to Lunugamvehera is around 40 minutes from the Lodge. However, we feel it’s worth it for the quality experience.

Block 5 has seen impressive leopard sightings in the past couple of years. However, leopard sightings can vary from season to season based on the rains, deer and prey populations and their movements, and the territorial dynamics of individual dominant cats. So we cannot predict what kind of sightings can be expected months ahead. However, the biodiversity in Block 5 is similar to Block 1, and also includes slightly more diverse terrain/ecology that Block I — providing a slighter richer “wilderness experience”, as explained by our rangers. What we recommend for Block 5 is to throw in the “Jungle High Tea” option, so the game drive starts early and breaks for tea on the banks of one of the canopy-covered streams inside the park.

The WCL Ranger Team offers an overall “Wilderness Experience” rounded out by our guided Nature Walks that are really interesting in terms of “tracking” and seeing smaller animals intimately on foot, as well as visits to ancient jungle monasteries like Sithulpawwa, bike ride to explore our rural neighborhood intimately and the junior ranger program.. So guests would never be short of experiential activities.

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Travel – which ironically, is the cornerstone of Sri Lankan gastronomy – along with a vibrant migrant community and an endless collection of Instagram-worthy dishes, have finally brought the magic of Sri Lankan food to international acclaim. And, BBC Good Food recently listed Sri Lankan cuisine as the #1 food trend to watch out for in 2019. (We also strongly recommend a visit to Sri Lanka to delve deeper into the flavours, ingredients, recipes, and global influences that make our food unique and delightful!) Discover our delicious interpretations of modern Sri Lanka cuisine at Resplendent Ceylon’s three Relais & Chateaux resorts – Tea Trails, Cape Weligama and Wild Coast Tented Lodge, together with a memorable holiday.

Click here to read the full article

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Bloomberg magazine is the go-to source for the most relevant, insightful, and analytic information on capital markets, global economies and wealth. It’s Pursuits section reviews the world’s most tasteful, exclusive and luxurious experiences (and brands) for a sophisticated, intellectually curious readership.

While Sri Lanka as a destination has received much coverage in recent years, most of the focus has been on the same attractions – heritage sites, beaches and warm smiles. Recently however, Nikki Ekstein – an experienced writer and Bloomberg’s travel editor – dug deeper.

What she discovered was a Sri Lanka in the midst of redefining itself through the leadership shown Resplendent Ceylon and its founder Malik Fernando to evolve towards creating collections of evocative experiences that are carefully curated and linked through narrative, connectivity, conservation, and empowerment.

Here’s what she had to say:

1. Sri Lanka

There are so many reasons we travel: to get away, to expand our horizons, to spend time with family, to relax. Sri Lanka delivers on any of those counts, but it also goes so much deeper.

Sure, the beaches in Galle are as pristine as those anywhere in Southeast Asia. A safari drive through Yala National Park can get you leopard and elephant sightings, plus up-close-and-personal time with majestic peacocks and feisty macaques. And a lazy day in tea country can unlock meaningful conversations about civil war, social progress, and the power of tiny white-tipped plants to transform economies and lives. Seaplanes-and resorts by the trailblazing luxury hotelier Resplendent Ceylon-connect all these disparate locations into a tight and mesmerizing web, with facets so distinct it’s unclear how they all fit together on a single island.

It turns out that the connective tissue, though, is exactly what makes Sri Lanka so special. All around the country, tourism is unlocking tremendous opportunity; locals are invested in preserving and showcasing their culture and the natural assets they’ve been blessed with, and travel industry trailblazers such as Malik Fernando are giving them the toolkit and platform to do just that. It’s impossible to visit without becoming invested in the country’s upward mobility, to be moved by the community development and conservation initiatives pushing Sri Lanka forward, or to resist the temptation to extend your itinerary to see even more. Its abundance-of experiences, of generosity, of optimism-left me recharged, reinvigorated, and uplifted. In an era when so many of us travel just to get away from the daily grind of work and politics, nothing could be more impactful.

Read Nikkis’ full article at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-13/the-five-places-that-stole-my-heart-in-2018

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nikki Ekstein (@nikkiekstein) on Jan 16, 2018 at 8:08am PST

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Bloomberg magazine is the go-to source for the most relevant, insightful, and analytic information on capital markets, global economies and wealth. It’s Pursuits section reviews the world’s most tasteful, exclusive and luxurious experiences (and brands) for a sophisticated, intellectually curious readership.

While Sri Lanka as a destination has received much coverage in recent years, most of the focus has been on the same attractions – heritage sites, beaches and warm smiles. Recently however, Nikki Ekstein – an experienced writer and Bloomberg’s travel editor – dug deeper.

What she discovered was a Sri Lanka in the midst of redefining itself through the leadership shown Resplendent Ceylon and its founder Malik Fernando to evolve towards creating collections of evocative experiences that are carefully curated and linked through narrative, connectivity, conservation, and empowerment.

Here’s what she had to say:

1. Sri Lanka

There are so many reasons we travel: to get away, to expand our horizons, to spend time with family, to relax. Sri Lanka delivers on any of those counts, but it also goes so much deeper.

Sure, the beaches in Galle are as pristine as those anywhere in Southeast Asia. A safari drive through Yala National Park can get you leopard and elephant sightings, plus up-close-and-personal time with majestic peacocks and feisty macaques. And a lazy day in tea country can unlock meaningful conversations about civil war, social progress, and the power of tiny white-tipped plants to transform economies and lives. Seaplanes-and resorts by the trailblazing luxury hotelier Resplendent Ceylon-connect all these disparate locations into a tight and mesmerizing web, with facets so distinct it’s unclear how they all fit together on a single island.

It turns out that the connective tissue, though, is exactly what makes Sri Lanka so special. All around the country, tourism is unlocking tremendous opportunity; locals are invested in preserving and showcasing their culture and the natural assets they’ve been blessed with, and travel industry trailblazers such as Malik Fernando are giving them the toolkit and platform to do just that. It’s impossible to visit without becoming invested in the country’s upward mobility, to be moved by the community development and conservation initiatives pushing Sri Lanka forward, or to resist the temptation to extend your itinerary to see even more. Its abundance-of experiences, of generosity, of optimism-left me recharged, reinvigorated, and uplifted. In an era when so many of us travel just to get away from the daily grind of work and politics, nothing could be more impactful.

Read Nikkis’ full article at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-13/the-five-places-that-stole-my-heart-in-2018

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nikki Ekstein (@nikkiekstein) on Jan 16, 2018 at 8:08am PST

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Our Chef and the Winemaker Dinner series featured celebrated Michelin star Chef Bernd Bachofer and Kai Schubert of Schubert Wines, New Zealand, with guests indulging in beautifully crafted cuisine with perfectly paired wines. At Wild Coast, an intimate crowd reveled in the beauty of nature, food and wine on the beach, under a starlit sky. Tableau, at Cape Weligama, set the scene for an unmatched performance by Chef Bachofer who delighted guests with a live performance of his finely tuned craft.

The Chef and the Winemaker dinner series will continue to feature world class acts when Sri Lankan gourmets can escape to one of Resplendent Ceylon’s Relais & Chateaux boutique properties, where food is already at the helm of culinary offerings on the island.

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Ranked No 28, by Conde Nast Traveler readers

It is fitting that in the same week Cape Weligama celebrated it’s 4th anniversary, that it was voted amongst the Best Resorts in the World – as No 28, by Conde Nast Traveler readers, the first time a Sri Lanka resort made this coveted shortlist.

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Our Chef and the Winemaker Dinner series featured celebrated Michelin star Chef Bernd Bachofer and Kai Schubert of Schubert Wines, New Zealand, with guests indulging in beautifully crafted cuisine with perfectly paired wines. At Wild Coast, an intimate crowd reveled in the beauty of nature, food and wine on the beach, under a starlit sky. Tableau, at Cape Weligama, set the scene for an unmatched performance by Chef Bachofer who delighted guests with a live performance of his finely tuned craft.

The Chef and the Winemaker dinner series will continue to feature world class acts when Sri Lankan gourmets can escape to one of Resplendent Ceylon’s Relais & Chateaux boutique properties, where food is already at the helm of culinary offerings on the island.

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Cape Weligama in the top 10 and Wild Coast Tented Lodge in the top 20

Media Release – 17 October 2018

The premier global luxury travel magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, has unveiled the winners of its Readers’ Choice Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. The 31st annual Awards ranked the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines, airports, and cruise lines in the world. Nearly half a million readers rated their travel experiences to provide a full snapshot of where and how we travel today.

https://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/asia/asia-top-resorts

Two Resplendent Ceylon resorts made the cut in the Asia list, Cape Weligama in the top 10 and Wild Coast in the top 20 within a year of opening. This achievement is especially remarkable given the small number of rooms at both resorts and that voting is by past guests.

Cape Weligama is a sumptuous resort along Sri Lanka’s palm fringed southern shores. Thirty minutes east of Galle, its 39 villas & suites inhabit 12 tropical acres atop a singular promontory rising 40 metres above the Indian Ocean. Wild Coast Tented Lodge sits on a secluded beach on the edge of Yala National Park. 28 vaulted “Cocoon” tents and 8 “Urchin” tents for kids offer the comfort of a luxury hotel with the excitement of an authentic safari experience. Together with the iconic Ceylon Tea Trails tea bungalow resort, the trio of Resplendent Ceylon resorts lead the way in attracting luxury travellers to Sri Lanka.

Conceived by the Fernando family, Sri Lankan tea producers & founders of Dilmah Ceylon Tea, Resplendent Ceylon’s collection of small, luxury resorts offer the discriminating traveller a remarkable circuit across Sri Lanka, with a range of authentic experiences, while contributing towards local communities & the environment through the MJF Charitable Foundation & Dilmah Conservation.

This “best of Sri Lanka” circuit features distinctively original resorts, connected by a thread of peerless service. They are the sole Sri Lankan members of Relais & Chateaux, the global fellowship of individually owned & operated luxury hotels and restaurants.

The first property, Ceylon Tea Trails opened in 2005 comprising five colonial style tea planters bungalows located in Sri Lanka’s tea country and the second property, Cape Weligama, a coastal beach resort overlooking Weligama Bay opened on the south coast in 2014. Wild Coast Tented Lodge, opened in 2017 on a secluded beachfront site on the edge of Yala National Park. Further Resplendent Ceylon properties are planned in the Cultural Triangle near Dambulla and on the East Coast near Trincomalee.

Cape Weligama Wild Coast Tented Lodge

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