Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page > Proposed itinerary for a honeymoon in Sri Lanka
Notices

Proposed itinerary for a honeymoon in Sri Lanka

Reply

Jul 5th, 2013, 02:50 PM
  #1
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
Proposed itinerary for a honeymoon in Sri Lanka

Hi everyone,
We are going to the Maldives and Sri Lanka for our Honeymoon in October. Our proposed itinerary is as follows:

7 nights in the Maldives (W Hotel)

Oct 16th - Arrival in Colombo airport at 6:30pm - sleep at the Tintagel or the Walawwa?

Oct 17th - Vil Uyana Hotel (Forest Dwelling)

Oct 18th - Vil Uyana Hotel (Forest Dwelling)

Oct 19th - The Kandy House (Ultra rooms)

Oct 20th - The Kandy House (Ultra rooms)

Oct 21th - The Tea Trails (Garden Suites)

Oct 22th - The Tea Trails (Garden Suites)

Oct 23rd - The Tea Trails (Garden Suites)

Oct 24th - Depart to Dubai at 2:10 pm

3 nights in Dubai

We are still in doubt if we should sleep at the Walawwa for the first night or at the Tintagel, in Colombo. Option 2 would be interesting to do a city tour in Colombo and to know the city, but we do not know if it is worthy. What would you recommend us to do?

We would like to visit the most interesting sites and thought of: Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla cave temples and the main temples in Kandy (including the temple of the Tooth). We would also like to do some bike riding / water rafting in the Tea Trails. We would like to know your opinions about that, please. We also love to have time on our own to stroll around and relax.

Thank you so much and all the best,
gpm
gpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2013, 04:15 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
Skip Colombo and stay as close as possible to the airport. Do not spend more than one night in Kandy. Instead, spend it in the Cultural Triangle or at Tea Trails...
Craig is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2013, 04:20 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
Stay near the airport, don't bother with Columbo.

You need another night in the cultural triangle, so I agree with Craig, take it away from Kandy (though we loved the Kandy House).

Have you decided which bungalow to request at Tea Trails?

Have a wonderful trip!
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2013, 05:24 PM
  #4
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
Thank you. We might sleep at the Walawwa instead of Colombo.
We are thinking in staying the 2 nights in Kandy as we would not like to stay just 1 night in one place. But we can leave relatively early from Walawwa to the Cultural Triangle and stay there for 2 and half days.
We do not know which bungalow to request at Tea Trails. Any recommendations?
gpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 5th, 2013, 08:00 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
What do you want to do/see/experience in the cultural triangle? You don't really have time for much. ANother day would be helpful.

I understand not wanting a single night stay anywhere, as I don't like those as well.

Any chance you could get another day to add to Sri Lanka? Cut a day from Dubai, for instance, or reduce your time in the Maldives by a day?

I like having water view, so we chose Castlereigh. It was lovely. We also visited Summervile and that also had some view of the lake. Personally, I would choose one of those two. All of the bungalows are lovely.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 6th, 2013, 03:16 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
We visited all 4 bungalows at Tea Trails and thought Castlereigh was the best.
Craig is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 6th, 2013, 08:28 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1
Hi;
in your itinerary no beach holiday first day you can add Negambo (jet wing blue) or last day at bentota & do'nt forget to visit elephant orphanage & world's end

All the best
naturetravels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2013, 08:20 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
Hey, nature, you must have missed the fact that they will have spent a whole week in the Maldives before arriving in Sri Lanka, so no need for a beach in Sri Lanka.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2013, 01:23 PM
  #9
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
Exactly. As we will have 7 days in the Maldives, we thought of doing the interior of Sri Lanka and not visit the beaches.
We will see with our agent if we would replace one night in Kandy House with one night in Vil Uyana. We will also request to be placed at Castlereagh bungalow.
Regarding excursions, we thought of: Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla cave temples and the main temples in Kandy (including the temple of the Tooth). We would also like to do some bike riding / water rafting in the Tea Trails. Is there anything you would recommend or not recommend?
Thank you so much again,
gpm
gpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2013, 01:37 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
I think your plan for the cultural triangle is a good. one. To be honest, the only things worth seeing in Kandy IMO at the botanical gardens and the Temple of the tooth. Avoid all the spice gardens on the way to Kandy - they just want to sell you ointments.

While I guess you could do bike-riding at Tea Trails, it's really a much better place for walking than riding. The roads are narrow and not in good repair, and the trails through the tea fields are walking trails. Tea Trails offers all-day excursions to do rafting. None of the excursions offered tempted me away from Tea Trails. Relax and enjoy your time there.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2013, 02:10 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
As one who has done some mountain biking, I think the area around Tea Trails would be excellent for that - hilly, rugged but not too rugged trails. If you are serious mountain bikers, you won't be challenged, but otherwise, the mountain bike would be the way to go. My wife, however was not into it, so we just had some great hikes while we were there. As Kathie said, your plan for the cultural triangle is good. And I concur that the Temple of the Tooth and gardens are the only worthwhile things in Kandy. Do take in the evening cultural performance near the temple after you visit.
Craig is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2013, 02:32 PM
  #12
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
Thank you. One more question: Vil Uyana has BB, half board and full board options.
Our agent advised us to book as a BB, as there are many restaurants in the area; the rate increases 20 USD per room per night for half board and 36 USD per room per night for full board. What would be your recommendation?
gpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 7th, 2013, 03:36 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
We have not stayed at Vil Uyana but if you have a driver on call and are looking to save money, you might save by eating out. Assuming half board includes dinner however, I would go for that and definitely do lunch on my own. After a long day of touring, it's often easier and more pleasant to eat in, especially if your hotel has a good restaurant (which I have no way of knowing).
Craig is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 8th, 2013, 08:54 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I agree with the advice above so far. I have a few other comments on your itin.

Dubai – I am sorry, but I don’t get spending 3 nights in Dubai and sacrificing Sri Lanka or the Maldives for that. Unless one of you has to do business in Dubai, I would not spend any time there other than transit through the airport. There is little to do and see in Dubai. If you want the Middle East, then go to Jordan and see Petra. Sorry to be blunt, but Dubai is one of those places that has a great press but I don’t get the point of it at all. If you want to shop, go to Singapore, Hong Kong or New York, which are far, far more interesting, places into the bargain.

Maldives – a wonderful place, lovely people and great beaches, water colour, snorkeling and diving. The W is on a very small island, even by Maldives standards (none are huge), so don’t expect to be able to take any walks. Concentrate on water sports and getting out in boats for day trips to snorkel/dive.

Sri Lanka – Another great choice, lovely people, food, scenery, ambience. Bear in mind that in October you are going to be in the rainy season. (Sri Lanka gets both the winter and summer monsoon, but the winter one is more substantial.) It can make walks a bit muddy. Bring a small umbrella you can walk with, and have shoes that can get wet and muddy. In my experience there in the winter monsoon, the clouds build up in the late afternoon and then there will be showers and rain toward sunset and overnight, so do your walks, etc in the morning and then by tea time it may be clouded over but who cares then – an excuse to stay indoors by the fire and have a whiskey with the tea…

Tea Trails – truly one of my favourite places in the world. I spent 5 nights there last November. I stayed at Castllereigh, but visited all the bungalows. I do think Caslereigh is the best, but I also like a water view. If that is not as important to you, then Norwood would be a close second because their grounds are really lovely. It is “in the tea” more than the others, as you are really up in the tea fields. Tientsin probably has the best walks (although Castlereigh has some good ones too), so be sure to go there for a day and have lunch and take a walk or two. They have an amazing garden, with fountains and little hidden bits all over (and a sand tennis court.)

The bungalow you stay in will arrange for you to spend time in other bungalows and will arrange for transport and will give you the menu for meals at the bungalow you are visiting. You just tell them the night before or even in the morning what it is you want to do. If the bungalow you are visiting is not full, you can also get use of a room if you want to shower and change.

For Castlereigh, I actually think the best room is the Palmer Room, which is a Deluxe Room. It has French doors to a private lawn, lots of windows and great water views. After that, I would take any other Deluxe Room. The Garden Suites do not have any views; their attraction is their outdoor patio with table and loungers, but honestly you don’t use it that much and not having a view to me was a drawback. The website is a bit misleading when it says that the Garden Rooms have a “tea field view” -- the tea field starts about 10 feet up above a wall. You view is of the wall and your small garden. (I stayed in both types of rooms during my stay in Casltlereigh and far preferred the Palmer Room). I also found the Garden Rooms a bit dark.

Summerville to me is like somebody's really nice weekend house (if they had a large staff including cook, butler and gardeners). It is the most “homey” of the bungalows as it is small. Only 4 rooms. But NONE really heave a view. None have lake views.

I did not bike there, but met some French girls who did. They were not wild about it. The small private roads are extremely rough and potholed. You would not want to bike on the public roads, as there is no shoulder and the trucks and busses will be whizzing past. But see how you feel when you get there and you may want to try biking. I agree you would want to focus on walking.

Tea Trails offers a "tea experience" where you tour the tea factory with their expert and do a tasting. While interesting, you can also walk to the Dunkeld tea factory near Castlereigh, go in the front door and poke around until they find an English speaker who will give you a tour. The explanations are quite similar, although of course not as detailed, but you can also do this in 15-20 minutes and include it on a walk (esp. to Norwood from Castlereigh, a delightful walk) If you have limited time, you might want to do this on your own rather than taking the 3-4 hours which the tea tasting tour takes. (Neither tour will ask you to buy any tea, these are not sales tours, I don't even know that you could buy tea, as they are wholesalers for the most part.) The tasting offered by Tea Trails takes place at the factory very near Norwood, so if you don't stay there, then going there for breafast first or lunch afterwards can work, or go on to Tiestien from there. Or walk downhill to Castlereigh from the tour. (I prefer the Castlerigh to Norwood direction, but I prefer uphill walks generally.)

Be sure to stop and see the absolutely delightful little Anglican chapel on the Summervile-Castlereigh road from Hatton. It's in a spectacular spot, and the chapel and cemetary are interesing.

Colombo – I actually like Colombo quite a bit. If you are interested in late 19th cenury or early 20th centure architecture, this is a good place to go, because they have a bit of it which is still untouched because of the long civil war. Your itin above looks very crowded, and you probably don’t have time, but if you end up having time (by taking out Dubai, for example), I think it is worth half a day to see it. I absolutely would spend time in Colombo over any time in Dubai. Contact Colombo City Walks, see http://colombocitywalks.blogspot.hk/ or email Ruvi Johnpillai-Forbes at [email protected] or [email protected]. This is a husband and wife team who do an excellent walking tour of the “colonial” parts of the city, include a great market tour where you can sample the local street food. Have a drink facing the sea at the Galle Face hotel as the sun sets, have a good meal in town somewhere, and head out after the traffic has slowed down a bit.

I am going to be spending 2 weeks in the Dambulla area starting next Friday, including 3 nights at the Kandalama, and can post some more about that when I return.
Cicerone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 9th, 2013, 07:53 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
Cicerone, I do hope you will come back and tell us about your two weeks in the Dambulla area!

I agree totally with Cicerone on Dubai - I wouldn't want to spend any more time than was necessary to change planes. I don't know how they have convinced people that it's such a great place to visit. If you can cut your time in Dubai, it would make your time in Sri Lanka less frenetic.

I also agree with Craig that it makes sense to have half board while you are at Vil Uyana.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jul 10th, 2013, 04:27 PM
  #16
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
Thank you so much!
gpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2013, 04:59 PM
  #17
gpm
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 152
We might do the following then:

Oct 16th - Arrival in Colombo airport at 6:30pm - sleep at the Walawwa (Garden Suite)

Oct 17th - Vil Uyana Hotel (Forest Dwelling)

Oct 18th - Vil Uyana Hotel (Forest Dwelling)

Oct 19th - The Kandy House (Ultra rooms)

Oct 20th - The Kandy House (Ultra rooms)

Oct 21th - The Tea Trails (Garden Suites)

Oct 22th - The Tea Trails (Garden Suites)

Oct 23rd - The Tea Trails (Garden Suites)

Oct 24th - Colombo (Tintagel)

Oct 25th - Depart to Dubai - 2 nights there

Oct 27th - Back home in the morning

What do you think of this revised version?
Again, thank you so much for your help!
gpm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 11th, 2013, 05:05 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,778
You really need another night in the cultural triangle. I know Cicerone recommends a day in Columbo, and I usually agree with her. But others on this forum who have visited regretted spending time in Colombo. Either cut Colombo or cut another day from Dubai. Otherwise, you will be sorry you did not spend adequate time exploring the historic treasures of the cultural triangle.
Kathie is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:17 AM.