In an era that seems to be defined by social networks and relationships, there’s a new generation of travelers who are seeking a different kind of connection. I didn’t know that I was one of them until I stayed at Sri Lanka’s Tri Resort – the island’s first fully environmentally sustainable hotel on the banks of Koggala Lake. Here, the guest experience is centered around wellness and nature, enhanced with the friendliest hospitality and delicious local fare prepared with ingredients right from the garden.
Tri Lanka consists of eight modern villas with floor to ceiling windows and dip pools that provide amazing views of the jungle canopy and lake. From afar, the villas appear completely camouflaged, their roofs adorned with living gardens, vines and edible plants that blend right into the jungle’s dense greenery. From an arial view, the eight villas create Fibonacci’s golden spiral with a water tower at its center.
I woke up to the sunlight gently warming my eyelids through the windows, which were covered in condensation from the humidity outside. The only audible sound was from the birds, ready for breakfast. It was rare to hear such a stillness.
In the morning, guests can take a Quantum yoga class on the shala, (a special type of yoga developed by Tri’s co-founder, Lara Baumann), or read a book in the light-drenched glass library. There was no yoga on the morning I was there, but I was able to catch the sunrise over the lake which was equally as nourishing for my soul.
As the afternoon sun grew warmer, we departed on an unforgettable boat ride to “Cinnamon Island” – a tiny island in the center of the lake where a family of Sri Lankan cinnamon harvesters have lived for generations. Here, they showed us how the staple Sri Lankan spice is harvested and produced. We sat for hours, sipping cinnamon tea and eating fresh mangos. Eventually it was time to head back and seek recluse in the shade near the resort.
Back on the mainland, we climbed the narrow spiral staircase of the water tower, (constructed from recycled cinnamon bark) to a enjoy a cocktail above the canopy with breathtaking views of the Koggala.
Oddly, I have no pictures of the sunset. Actually, I have few pictures of Tri at all. It’s only in hindsight that I realize that my stay at Tri helped me to rediscover the connections that had been missing in my life – the ones offline. Though guests, such as myself, may not visit the resort looking for anything other than vacation, they’re bound to leave with a greater connection to the landscape, the locals, the culture, and most importantly – to themselves.