Located on Lake Koggala (about 40 minutes from the city of Galle on the southern tip of Sri Lanka), Tri Lanka is a property that’s all about indulgence. The team here hasn’t cut any corners – fluffy towels, extraordinary views of the lake, dreamy amenities that you’ll no doubt want to pop into your carry-on bag on the way home…it all comes together to create a pure, tranquil, luxurious retreat.
Unlike a number of new properties that mow everything down in order to build according to their design plans, Tri embraces what is already there and only seeks to complement it. Owners Robert Drummond and his wife Lara Baumann worked with A00, a Shanghai-based architecture and design firm that focuses on sustainability, to create a retreat that respects the environment by working around the land instead of trying to mould the land around a particular vision. It’s new, beautiful, and modern but also manages to quietly balance slick trendiness with a zen mindfulness.
When you arrive at Tri Lanka, you’ll find it difficult to focus on anything except the stunning infinity pool that sits outside and the view of Lake Koggala with its glass-like surface just beyond it.
But once you regain focus, you’ll notice the aesthetically pleasing design of this luxury retreat, where clean lines and the use of natural materials are abundant, and wide windows leave as little as possible between inside and out. The property was designed using the Golden Ratio, with the cinnamon wood-clad Water Tower at centre of the spiral and the other structures unfurling from there. As you walk around outside, you’ll catch wafts of fragrant passionfruit trees and lemon grass and hear a soundtrack of humming insects and the occasional bird cry.
There are 11 suites and villas, ranging from the cosy Water Tower rooms (there are 3) to the generously sized Tri Villa with a private plunge pool, which is where I stayed. Staying true to the eco-chic vibe, the rooms all have a warm and organic feel whilst also employing the philosophy of “less is more”.
Making use of local materials, there are natural wood furnishings, breezy cotton curtains, luxuriously soft sheets, and a few thoughtfully placed pieces of decor. My villa had two balconies, perfect for viewing both the sunrise and sunset, and the bathroom had a generously sized rain shower and a deep bathtub perfect for a long, relaxing soak.
You are also provided with a mobile phone that you can use to contact the staff, even if you decide to go out to Galle. What you won’t find are TVs or stereos – you’re here to unplug, after all.
Breakfast is served from 7 to 10am and dinner from 7 to 9pm, with lunch time being more flexible. All of the food here is prepared from fresh, local ingredients that transform into flavorful dishes with Sri Lankan flair.
The cuisine is a direct reflection of Tri’s dedication to health and wellness and luxurious simplicity and the menu features a lovely variety of dishes alongside tasting menus and curries. The tasting menus are highly recommended but if you’re in the mood for something lighter or simpler, a-la-carte dishes are also available. For a memorable experience, you can have the staff set up a breakfast table for you out on the jetty. There’s something very special about being able to sip on a fresh fruit smoothie whilst watching the rippling water of the lake in the early morning.
Level of exigency
From the moment I arrived, I experienced nothing short of excellent service. The Tri staff greeted me and deftly scooped up my (rather heavy) suitcase and ushered me up the stairs where Oliver James, the general manager, was waiting to greet me. Everyone I met was ready with a sincere smile and helping hand, including the lovely Douglas who manned the boat that zipped me across the lake to Cinnamon Island! I have to give a special shout-out to Oliver for being particularly fantastic by going out of his way to assist me with a few things like being my personal photographer (the downside of travelling solo).
Tri Lanka is sexy, sleek, and beautiful, and has just the right amount of luxury without feeling pretentious. And when you wake up to catch the sunrise and take in the quiet moments of those early morning hours, you’ll be so glad you decided to stay here.
Stay from February 5th to 7th, 2017 – Sponsored media visit.
Tri Lanka – Book
Galle, Sri Lanka