I recently had the fantastic opportunity to go to Sri Lanka and Dubai with Gold Medal Travel.
I had such a great trip in totally contrasting places that I thought I should share my experience.
Our 1st hotel in Sri Lanka was the Chaaya Village in Habarana which is located in the middle of the island. This hotel is in an area of flat swap like land a lot of green trees a lot of rain this time of year and lots of wildlife making it perfect for animal lovers.
One of the highlights of our trip was climbing the famous tourist sights, Sigiriya Rock fortress. The rock itself is set in beautiful gardens and is over 660 ft high. We climbed this which is a series of steep steps made of moonstone and high staircases. We all felt a great sense of achievement though once we completed it. Our guide was brilliant and made easy work of it all, running up and down the steps in flip flops!!!
We had the opportunity of visiting a spice garden, a lot of Sri Lankan people believe in the power of natural medicines. We were all given a tour of the herbs and spices grown and were even treated to a foot massage with natural red oil they produce which was definitely needed after all those steps!!
Another highlight of the trip was a visit to the Temple of the Tooth which is a Buddhist temple where legend has it that the tooth of Buddha is contained. The place was very peaceful and the religion must be respected by removing shoes and covering shoulders and legs.
Are 2nd hotel was just outside the very busy Kandy a bustling town located but in the hills like staying in the jungle really. The sound of the crickets was amazing!!!
This hotel was a lot more luxurious and elegant, as you walked down into the restaurant it had steps all the way though and a stunning pool area by the river. Stunning views of the pool, river and jungle area.
The next day we were all really excited as we were heading to the famous Elephant Orphanage in Pinnewela to see the elephants. The elephants were amazing and well worth the visit to take pictures and there is even an opportunity to help wash them.
After this unique experience we headed to the Capital city of Colombo which is really changing. On one side you have the British influenced grand old buildings and the other side overlooking the sea you have new tall modern buildings. New hotels are being built on the sea front.
We soon arrived at the very beautiful and grand Taj Samundra. This hotel is very elegant with beautiful wood, marble floors and chandlers. This hotel has a real sense of luxury and had a bath tub, separate shower, dressing gown and slippers.
We also had the pleasure of visiting Negombo a popular tourist resort which has fantastic wide sandy beaches. We were shown around the Mount Lavina hotel in Negombo one of the oldest on the island built in 1806 and stepped in history. The Mount Lavina is colonial style and I would say for older clients looking for a comfortable hotel with history.
Another hotel the popular Jetwing hotels are The Jetwing Blu hotel and the Jetwing beach in Negombo.Jetwing Blu which is right on the beach, modern and funky best suited to younger clients.
The Jetwing beach is bigger, more elegant and best suited to couples that like more luxury.
After lunch here it was time to head back to the airport for our flight again with Emirates to Dubai this is to stay at the Atlantis the Palm.
As you drive the 40 min transfer from the airport to the Palm the Atlantis looks like a giant glittery gateway!!! We arrived in the dark and were all blown away and totally overwhelmed! This hotel reminds me of Disneyland as it was so extravagant and over the top!. We had a beautiful room located on the west tower which is quieter apparently. The East tower has the aquarium in shops and restaurants.
Over the next two days we were treated to meet the Sea Lions, swim with the Dolphins, team building treasure hunt, and use of the amazing waterpark and gala dinner on Nasimi beach.
I really did enjoy staying at the Atlantis and would highly recommend it to families and couples. I thought it was out of this world! Breakfast and dinner are expensive at this hotel so it’s definitely better to go half board.
Sri Lanka and Dubai make a great twin centre destination either doing a tour then beach stay in Dubai or maybe longer beach stay in Sri Lanka then city stay in Dubai for 3 nights.