Family first travel in Sri Lanka…with Spell’s Elizabeth Abegg

Creating time away with friends and family is now a priority...the island was a perfect escape

After a gruelling 10+ hour flight via Singapore, arriving in Columbo called for luxury and a bit of TLC. We booked into The Wallawwa mainly because of the gorgeous pool in the lush tropical surrounds. After arriving at almost midnight we woke to a lovely breakfast, croquet in the garden and hours in the hotel pool (and then back to our room to swim in our own private pool!) before we headed off on a 9 hour shuttle bus to our final destination at Arugam Bay. It was worth it to leave feeling so rejuvenated and well cared for.

Arugam Bay is first and foremost a surfing town. It’s tiny (think Bali 20 years ago!) and humble with lots of friendly souls around. The beach is HOT (we were there in September, and I suggest brining your own shade like an umbrella or one of those shade tents because by 10am the sun is so hot you need to retreat to the shade of your hotel!)

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Elephants roam the national parks freely and we hired a tuk tuk (which they call 3 wheelers) for our whole 2 week stayed and just drove ourselves around, which meant we bumped into a few elephants along the way. Once we had to literally reverse up 100 metres to avoid an elephant trampling us! One day the owner of our hotel took us to a little temple and it was lovely to see the towns folk just doing their thing, washing clothes in the same river as crocodiles as the sun set.

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Hideaway Bay , Arugam Bay was our home for 2 weeks. And I was hesitant to share it with anyone because I don’t want anyone else to go there! But with an attitude of generosity and abundance I share this gem with you… it was home. And when I say home, it was heart. Love, family. Something special happened for us here. The (clean!!) food was the best we’d had in the country. And the owner Sharon is warm and maternal and looked after each of us like her own family. What a special place. Oh and you’ll live in the pool here, or the yoga pavilion…

The third leg of our journey was spent at Fort Bazaar Hotel inside the Fort in Galle.

The hotel was grande and old worldly, but the rooms were freshly renovated and classic white, we felt so safe and looked after here. The warm pumpkin soup on the room service menu was deliciously spicy and came served inside a fresh coconut.


The spa I had at the Z spa was beyond divine. Check that they’ve completed the swimming pool which was being built at the time we stayed.

Galle fort was gorgeous, though you probably don’t need more than a few days to shop and take in the sights. Some lovely vintage shopping, though mainly indian relics.

Huge thanks to lovely Lizzy for sharing these beautiful holiday moments with us!

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