Habarana, Sri Lanka
Sprawling over 37 acres of former farmland replanted with 2,000 trees, award-winning Cinnamon Lodge is a 5-star resort surrounded by nature. Some 138 species of birds, two primate species and other wildlife inhabit the lush grounds, which are criss-crossed by private nature trails. Built on a replica of the foundations of the nearby Ritigala ruins, an ancient palace turned monastery, Cinnamon Lodge updates the concept of a royal retreat for the 21st century, with luxurious private cottages and suites featuring modern luxury amenities. We are accommodated in 334-square-foot deluxe rooms fitted with plush king-size beds on elevated platforms—a nod to the ancient customs of Sri Lankan kings, who elevated their beds to reflect their position in society. Furnishings also include a divan, dresser and mirror, and table and chairs, and individual veranda or balcony for private relaxation. Each room's warm ambience is heightened with glossy hardwood floors, timber beams and bright accent colors in orange, rust and gold. Spacious bathrooms have separate baths and showers—and you may enjoy the added luxury of calling ahead to have your tub filled and ready on your arrival. Guests also enjoy personal butler service, as well as the option of in-room spa treatments. Dining at Cinnamon Lodge is an indulgence for the senses, as chefs craft creative menus featuring fusion cuisine inspired by Sri Lankan specialities with international influences. The lodge's own organic farm supplies many of the vegetables and herbs used daily in cooking, as well as livestock for locally produced meats.