Sri Lanka's Best Escape Is the One Farthest from the Beach

Tri, a stunning new eco-resort in Sri Lanka, is a gateway to the island nation's underexplored interior

Lake views and bungalows at Tri. (Courtesy of Tri)

Travelers began returning to Sri Lanka after the country's 25-year civil war ended in 2009, but most headed for the beach. Now British photographer Robert Drummond and his wife, Lara Baumann, are luring visitors a mile into the serene interior with Tri, which sits on six lush acres on the north shore of Koggala, the country’s largest natural lake.

The property is a collection of eight sleekly designed stand-alone suites—with plants growing on their rooftops—and a main house with a 40-foot tower; every bedroom has a view of the water. At sunset guests head to the tower’s rooftop terrace to sip beetroot cocktails before tucking into a seven-course meal of local delicacies like lake oysters with papaya ceviche or cinnamon quail with pickled mung bean sprouts. In the morning, Baumann teaches yoga classes on a treetop platform floating above a nearby bamboo grove. She developed her own method, Quantum Yoga, and has clients with names you’d recognize.

Can’t touch your toes? Explore the lake by kayak or go fishing while balancing on a stilt like locals do. It’s tougher on your core than any asana. 

Access

Cinnamon Air ­operates seaplanes from Bandaranaike International—the country’s main airport, in Katayunake—that land on Koggala Lake. Tri’s boat captain will scoop you up. Rooms from $248, including meals.

Climate

Avoid monsoon season (May to July). December to April brings dry, sunny weather, with lows in the sixties and highs in the eighties. 

Detour

Galle, a walled city (and Unesco site) fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century, is a 25-minute drive away.

Local Flavor

Start the day with hoppers, a Sri Lankan breakfast staple—pancakes made from coconut milk and rice flour, then filled with eggs and local fish. 

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