Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle review | spa resort Sri Lanka
Family-friendly beach resort with a serene ayurveda spa
The quick read: This is a luxury family-friendly spa resort with unexpected soul set in a landscaped 21 acre coconut plantation on a secluded beach in Southern Sri Lanka. Unusually for this part of the coast, the sea here is swimmable most of the time. You can also expect serene architecture, a relaxed vibe, an ayurveda spa with a resident ayurvedic doctor, optional daily yoga classes, a kid’s club and three restaurants which include an award-winning Italian eaterie on a cliff.
How was it for us: The warmth of the Sri Lankan staff felt genuine here and my husband, six year old daughter and I quickly relaxed into days spent by the large, two-tiered pool and at the pretty beach, where a lifeguard helped guide us to the safest places and times to swim. This part of the Sri Lankan coast is notorious for its huge waves and strong current, so it was refreshing to actually have a beach where we could swim safely. My husband Tom also went on a fabulous morning surf outing at a neighbouring beach led by Tropicsurf – read about his adventure.
Other highlights during our stay were our 1.5 hour-long deep tissue massages at the spa, which were preceeded by a delicious foot scrub with sea salt and black tea and carried out by Thai and Balinese therapists. Turns out, they were two of the most thorough and deepest deep tissue massages we have ever experienced – quite a rarity for a resort spa. After, we relaxed in a tranquil courtyard garden with decently strong ginger tea. All three of us also liked our spacious ocean view room – understated and tasteful private villas are also available.
More on the spa: All manner of rituals and therapies are on offer, including traditional Ayurveda treatments supervised by a resident ayurvedic doctor. You can also come for three to seven day retreats for Weight Loss, Yoga Joint Mobility, Muscular Tension & Strains, Yoga High Blood Pressure and Headaches, and book yoga, meditation, Pilates and tai chi classes. For those in need of sleep, try the In-Room Slumber Guru Experience, which includes a candlelit bath and soothing essential oil massage, a choice of night time refreshments and music, and at bedtime a personal pillow choice with a mist spray, eye mask and ear plugs.
What’s queenly: The reasonably-priced Barefoot shop on site – a collection of hand-made and stunningly colourful bags, notebooks, toys, clothes and other useful things usually only found at Barefoot’s signature shops in Galle and Columbo. Similar concessions at Maldivian resorts we’ve seen are three times the price. Needless to say, we bought quite a few things to take home.
What’s lowly: Elemis treatments are on offer at the spa, which for us detracted from the authenticity of the otherwise Sri Lankan, ayurvedic focus.
Insider tip: Before your treatments leave time to use the steam rooms, which you’ll find in each changing room.
Price: Nightly rates start from £185 for an Ocean View Room on a bed & breakfast basis.
Travel tip: If you’re flying from the UK to Sri Lanka, Holiday Extras offers trusted Meet and Greet services at all major UK airports. To book a week’s Meet and Greet parking at Heathrow Airport from £47.92 , visit HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 1313 777.
Reviewed by Caroline Sylger Jones
© Queen of Retreats