With the new peace cemented, Sri Lanka is the latest hotspot on the travellers trail. There I have bumped into many friends and familiar faces last spotted on the W1 cocktail party circuit including Gillian Anderson and Paul Simon. If you want to go unseen, I escape to a little beach retreat in Sri Lanka in the still undiscovered and less fashionable coast north of Colombo.
I have been coming to Sri Lanka for nearly 15 years and love everything about it from the egg hoppers for breakfast (egg baked in a sort of rice flour pancake) and to the jungly hinterland, the Buddhist vibe and the welcoming eccentricity of the people. Alandkuda is four mud hut cabanas and two villas made from saffron coloured polished cement and covered in palm-frond cadjan. You get used to the lack of hot water. Outdoor showers pour from bamboo pipes concealed in the top of palm trees and taps made from shells release water into old beaten copper sinks. The most spectacular feature is the swimming pool, a forty-metre strip of jade coloured water surrounded by polished samara cement, stretching straight from the ambalama towards the sea and the horizon and lit with fibre optics at night when the pinholes of light in the pool reflect the constellations of the night sky above.
My sister went out on one of the daily boat trips organised by the hotel and motored between a group of 5,000 dolphins; babies and mothers riding alongside, pirouetting at the prow, rocking and ricocheting off the waves. She said it was one of the best experiences of her life. I missed the 6.30am boat call on that day and went out two subsequent mornings where, instead, I was lashed by rain and basked about on high metallic seas. It brought all out my latent feelings of sibling injustices.
Bazaar Travel Editor Catherine Fairweather scopes out the world’s most stylish hotpots – harpersbazaar.co.uk