Signature checks in to… Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort
Soak up the beauty of Sri Lanka (or the infinity pool) at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, writes Howard Shaw.
Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort is a heavenly, indulgent escape with its beautiful pool and surrounding gardens a standout. Hidden away on a rocky outcrop in a secluded stretch of Sri Lankan coastline, the resort exhibits the charm of island life in a setting of coconut plantations and ocean views.
Traveller: Howard Shaw
Room: Deluxe Ocean View Room
Address: Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Goyambokka Estate, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Date: October 2017
Best for: a spectacular poolside setting beside the Indian Ocean
The Signature factor
Hit the reset button with pampering spa treatments, yoga and mindfulness practices on the beach and the tailored Dining by Design experience, which is an opportunity for private dining in an intimate setting curated for you.
Boasting expansive views of the Indian Ocean from its private corner of the island, the resort offers a secluded getaway in a prime beachfront location. There are 152 rooms and villas available, some of which boast their own private plunge pools. Coupled with tennis courts, a poolside bar, wine cellar and a kids’ and teens’ club, this is a great getaway for anything from business trips to family vacations.
On arrival, we were greeted by Sri Lankan musicians and singers and assigned our very own butler, Isuru, who escorted us to our ocean-view room. Check-in was conducted on an iPad, which also featured a WhatsApp connection to our butler. This five-star resort has one of the most spectacular views across its infinity pool. I love the service at the pool, where guests are given a small wooden box containing water, sunscreen and – most importantly – a red and green flag, which summons the wait staff for your next cocktail or pool snack. We arrive at lunchtime and indulge in a light lunch at the pool bar, followed by a refreshing dip in its pristine waters.
The Deluxe Ocean View Room is spacious with a king-size bed, luxury bathroom including a rain shower and tub, and a spacious 11-square-metre balcony equipped with daybed and dining furniture. From here, I have a garden view and glimpses of the Indian Ocean to accompany afternoon drinks from the room’s own wine fridge. Waking in the morning I am greeted by views of swaying palm trees and the ocean beyond from the comfort of my bed. Further amenities include a Nespresso coffee machine and, of course, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property.
The Beach Pool Villa features a spacious 64-square-metre interior, including a master bedroom equipped with king-size bed, daybed and private desk. Positioned directly along the shoreline, the suite’s living room opens onto a deck and private pool, palm trees and an unimpeded view of the ocean, which nearly greets you at the doorstep. With an abundance of natural light, large separate bath and complimentary BOSE sound system, the suite makes for a rejuvenating stay with unparalleled privacy.
On my plate
Dinner Thursday night is at the teppanyaki-inspired beachside restaurant, Verele. The buffet breakfast in Journeys caters for all tastes, my new favourite being the egg hopper with fish curry and dahl. The buffalo curd and treacle is also a must-have.
In the evening, we enjoy cocktails at the bar alongside Il Mare Italian restaurant. We sample one of its award-winning signature cocktails, Amarac (smoked) with lime. After, we venture to Journeys restaurant for dinner, where we enjoy Sri Lankan folk music and a traditional meal from the fabulous buffet selection.
Donna, my partner, enjoyed a consultation with Dr Sampeth Perawattha, the Ayurvedic doctor, followed by a 90-minute massage treatment while I toughed it out on a lounger by the pool. The spa offers a menu of Ayurvedic and reflexology treatments to be enjoyed across four single and four double treatment rooms, in addition to a facial treatment room boasting personally prescribed treatments and a beauty salon.
A typical day in at Anantara Peace Haven could include a dip in the swimming pool, visits to the gym and tennis courts, holistic yoga sessions along the beachfront and award-winning cocktails. For families, the Children’s and Teens’ Club gives parents an opportunity to enjoy a break as professional staff entertain with arts, crafts, games and movies. In particular, I’d recommend making use of this time to enjoy a cooking class at Spice Spoons, where you can learn in depth about Sri Lanka’s culinary culture.
About 20 minutes from the hotel, we are ready to brave the waves under the expert guidance of Steve from Tropicsurf, who assures us that this beach is perfect for novice wave-riders such as ourselves. His first-rate guidance, complemented by the beach’s natural beauty, made for an exciting and rejuvenating day out of the resort. Anantara’s luxury SUV, with its own private Wi-Fi, gets us safely to and fro in style.
I wish I could take home…
The surfboard. I could be on my way to becoming a regular pro!
Room for improvement
Considering the size of the resort, the buffet was prone to overcrowding. Try having your meals at Journeys outside of peak times in order to avoid the buzz.
The full teppanyaki experience had been available during our first-night dinner at Verele.
Where to find Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort
The resort is located on the south coast of Sri Lanka, 1.5 hours from Yala National Park, the place to see leopards and elephants.