Situated on Sri Lanka’s south coast, overlooking Weligama Bay, is the 5-star Cape Weligama Resort.
A resort that’s laid out in a village style over an Indian Ocean headland, expect butler-attended villas designed by architect Lek Bunnag that sit alongside luscious gardens and pools — the showstopper being the 60-metre, crescent-shaped pool that comes complete with an infinity edge that curves around the cape, allowing for impressive views of rugged cliffs and Indian Ocean.
Other highlights include in-villa spa treatments with homegrown spices, two on-site restaurants that offer both casual and upmarket dining, three bars including The Surf Bar for locally inspired cocktails, and then there’s the dive centre for the adventurous.
Malik Fernando, Managing Director of Resplendent Ceylon tells us more about the Cape Weligama and its highlights.
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Whale watching: Weligama is famed for its whale watching and the property offers guests the chance to get up close and personal which these majestic creatures. From December to April each year, when the south coast waters are calmer, we have an Ocean Safari experience where we take guests out on a catamaran to spot the immense marine biodiversity that we are lucky to have an abundance of in Sri Lanka. This experience is guided by a naturalist who will give informative commentary on the whales, their migration patterns and behaviour. There is also a possibility of seeing other marine wildlife such as dolphins, turtles, types of fish and birdlife on the excursion.
Architecture: Cape Weligama was devised by revered Thai architect Lek Bunnag whose former projects include none other than Four Seasons Lankawi, Maia Seychelles, Pangkor Lautang and Ritz Carlton Phulay Bay. His mastermind design means that the property features infinite 270-degree panoramas of the Indian Ocean from every curvaceous corner.
Cultural sites: Our Rural Bike Ride experience is available on demand and gives our guests the special chance to explore Weligama as the locals do. During the course of this scenic trail, guests can take a ride through the leafy back-roads of a typical southern village that lies inland from Weligama. The trail snakes its way alongside lush rice paddies, rubber and cinnamon estates, small-holder plantations and home gardens, places of worship, rural homes. We have also recently launched a cultural tour of the region which includes visits to local pottery sites and other highlights in Weligama.
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Helicopter trips: Guests at Cape Weligama are also able to explore the island by helicopter. With a packed picnic breakfast, they depart Cape Weligama to the cultural triangle. Depending on guest preference, visit either Sigiriya – the 8th wonder of the world, Dambulla Cave Temple or Pidurangala rock. Then, fly over the heritage city of Kandy, with a fly-by past the famous Adam’s Peak and World’s End at Horton Plains National Park en route to Cape Weligama’s sister property, Tea Trails. Touch down at Dunkeld Estate, home of Ceylon Tea Trails where a delicious lunch will be served at Dunkeld, Summerville or Castlereagh bungalows.
Surfing: Cape Weligama is sought-out by surfers the world over given its location at the heart of the southern surf circuit. We have customised programmes for any keen surfer, from total beginners who want to get a taste of surfing, to those who have surfed before but struggle to catch waves with confidence, all the way to the advanced surfer looking to improve their style. All the surf coaches are International Surfing Association (ISA) certified and both private and group lessons are available. Alternatively, for the more seasoned surfer, surfboards are also available for rental.
Family welcoming: Cape Weligama is a family welcome property, and our Jungle Nook is open daily and offers parents the chance to relax and have peace of mind as their children are taken care of by the property’s diligent child-minding team. They are taken very well care of and entertained with well entertained with toys, wondrous story books and fun filled drawing sessions while television facilities are also available.
Villas: Cape Weligama is home to 20 villas which some of which are the largest in the whole island. Each of them feature a large terrace with dining and in-room spa facilities, spacious walk-in wardrobes, Sonos wireless audio, handmade Ophir toiletries, a steam room and large bathrooms with twin vanities and a stone tub. As mentioned, some also have private or semi-private pools.
Dining: We have a dining venue for every occasion at Cape Weligama. Our signature cliff-edge al fresco restaurant Ocean Terrace served up the freshest seafood and Sri Lankan favourites for breakfast lunch and dinner. Meanwhile, the more intimate Tableau offers an immersive Chef’s Table dining experience for up to 12 guests and The Cape Club provides our guests a relaxed venue to enjoy traditional Ceylon high tea and sunset cocktails. We also have dining experiences on offer such as the Heritage Breakfast which has been designed specifically for the traveller who is curious about authentic local fare. There are a mix of sweet, spicy and savoury options available and key dishes include famous items like hoppers and pittu in addition to other highlights which aren’t often seen on most commercial menus such as ‘mung-kiri-bath’ (milk rice with added mung-beans) and ‘habala-pethi’ (parboiled flat rice flakes that are soaked and infused with coconut and sugar!)
Sister properties from sea, tea, and safari: Sri Lanka is an extremely diverse island with terrain coastal shores, verdant jungles and rainforests and lush tea plantations. At Resplendent Ceylon, we offer our guests a journey through tea, sea and safari with Cape Weligama’s sister properties Ceylon Tea Trails in Hatton and Wild Coast Tented Lodge in Yala National Park. We also have plans for new properties which will even further diversify itineraries with us.
Philanthropy: As a company, we ensure that we give back to Sri Lanka. At Resplendent Ceylon, 15% of our profits are channelled into our two charitable foundations. The first is the MJF Foundation. I’m proud to say that through the foundation we have awarded over 250 educational scholarships to members of tea making families, provided livelihood assistance to 1,008 families, supported over 220 individuals through the Small entrepreneur Programme and provided holistic development programmes for children across the island. The other percentage is fed into Dilmah Conservation, which focuses on biodiversity conservation, environmental education, as well as research and development in the areas of sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and heritage conservation. Within Dilmah Conservation is the Centre for Climate Change Research and Adaptation is the first private sector facility of its kind in the world. Its purpose is to research and identify practical solutions to help tea, rice and other farmers understand and adapt to the reality of climate change by bringing climate scientists, entrepreneurs, and farmers to bridge the divide that exists in understanding the threat that a changing climate poses, while discussing solutions and opportunities in climate-smart agriculture and innovation.
See more of Cape Weligama Resort on resplendentceylon.com.