Vivanta by Taj in Bentota, Sri Lanka is the perfect paradise getaway for anyone looking to mix relaxation, revelry and pure indulgence!

W   hen a long weekend of relaxation and chill-time calls out, there’s one place close enough to the Gulf for short flying time, yet far enough for a completely heaven-like experience. Of course, we’re talking about the beautiful Sri Lanka.

Not only is it the home of tea, herbal healing and exotic fruit and vegetables, Sri Lanka’s beaches are known to be some of the best in the Indian Ocean region – and that’s no lie. When we arrived at the stunning Vivanta by Taj in Bentota (a sleepy beach town around 90 minutes from the capital city of Colombo), there was an air of calm that immediately set in. Its beachfront location is picture perfect, with lush green gardens extending out onto a golden-sand shoreline, hugged by the glistening waters. This postcard image is made all the more amazing with a palm tree-lined path, vendors selling fresh coconut and other tasty snacks, traditional clothes and a chance for you to try out a number of watersports including surfing, paddle boats, parasailing and so much more.

Small - Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, Sri Lanka - Pool 2The hotel itself is straight out of a luxury travel brochure with serene, light-filed corridors, delicious dining options and plush rooms. When we step into the main lobby, the high, wood ceiling catches our attention. We’re greeted with a warm ‘Ayubowan’ and friendly smiles, a choice of refreshing juice or iced tea, a cold towel and a pretty lei (a fresh flower wreath that is put around the guest as a necklace). First impressions? Magic!

Vivanta by Taj is inspired by the cerulean waters and spices of the region. Its architecture draws from local carved influences and its location boasts the most spectacular oceanfront views. There are 160 European-styled rooms and suites alongside a high energy bar called Tease, a majestic Jiva Spa and, of course, a sprawling garden and beach – all of which should please anyone who wants pure bliss with a touch of revelry. This same laid back yet sophisticated vibe carries on into the restaurants; The Palms, Sea View, Shack and Oriental Pavilion where food is crafted with creativity and quality.

Small - Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, Sri Lanka - FacadeWhether you’re planning to stay at Vivanta by Taj for your entire trip or visit for a beach day (which we highly recommend!), opt for the Deluxe Delight Garden Terrace room. Why? Because you’re practically on the doorstep of the beach. Located on the ground floor, these signature rooms come with a private sit-out area that opens out to lovely green lawns leading straight to the beach – it took us barely a minute to get from the room to the sea – winner! We also loved the designer bathrooms with the truly fabulous rain shower – just what you need after a quiet day of catching the rays.

Speaking of… the main attraction here is the idyllic beach; whether the waves lure you in or you take a seat to sunbathe, there is no place that will give you such a sense of tranquility as you’ll get here. We divided our time between the beach and unwinding by the mesmerising pool – the views from here are incredible. Word of advice: grab a lounger facing the ocean in time to watch the sunset – that’s going to be your most like-worthy instagram shot!

Small - Vivanta by Taj - Bentota, Sri Lanka - ShackWhen you need to feast, head to The Palms – the resort’s All Day Dining venue which features everything from mouthwatering Sri Lankan delicacies to Indian curries, healthy salads, yummy multi-cuisine appetisers and exquisite desserts. The lunch buffet is just as impressive as any 5-star offering you’d find in the Gulf – we literally went back for third helpings – it was THAT good!

What makes Vivanta by Taj stand out? Firstly, the location is unlike any other beachside setting that we’ve experienced in Sri Lanka. Team this with excellent facilities, friendly service and a true sense of local hospitality meets world-class comfort, and you’ve got yourself a signature Vivanta experience that will not only leave your globetrotting friends envious, but will surely be the start of your new travel affair with this charming destination.

GO: Fly with Qatar Airways to Colombo via Doha (www.qatarairways.com). Visit www.vivanta.tajhotels.com for reservations and more information.