I had the pleasure of staying in not, 1, not 2, but 3 Cinnamon Hotels in Sri Lanka and dining at a couple of others! Nothing says luxury and pampering like Cinnamon! Here’s my review:
Each hotel has its own unique features, but each also shares some commonalities. My favourite was the welcoming upon arrival. Each guest is greeted with a washcloth, scented with cinnamon! Scentsational! Sorry…couldn’t resist. Once you were cleaned up, you were greeted with a tropical drink, really setting the scene for your stay.The streets of Colombo are busy and noisy, but Cinnamon provides respite.
Another feature that I loved was not only the gorgeous swimming pools found in each hotel but the welcoming lounging areas by the pool. I’m not much of a swimmer, but will happily sip a cocktail by the pool…which I did…every single night I stayed at Cinnamon. Hey, I was there for work and was networking…don’t judge!
Every meal I had at Cinnamon was from the buffet, which I was worried might get boring after a few days, but it never did as the Cinnamon buffets are seemingly endless! There is a heavy focus on local Sri Lankan food, which I loved, along with some more familiar international food.
Travel tip: If you are celiac, ask for gluten-free bread. It may not be on display, but when I asked at the Cinnamon Citadel in Kandy, I was given hot piping, fresh from the oven gluten-free bread. It was so good I ate all four pieces!
Centrally located in the heart of Colombo, it’s one of the city’s most luxurious hotels. Located on 7 acres, and overlooking Beira Lake, it takes you away from the hustle and bustle into pure bliss! I didn’t check out the AZMAAR Spa, but after reading about Clelia’s experience who called it one of her most relaxing experiences of the year, I’m so sorry I didn’t. I really missed out!
Travel tip: You’ll also want to check out the floating boat on the lake near the pool and see if it’s possible to have dinner or a drink on it. Our group of bloggers, in Sri Lanka for TBCAsia, hosted by Cinnamon, was lucky enough to have the entire boat to ourselves as we cruised around the lake!
I would best describe Chaaya Village as earthy and nature-inspired. You reach these cottages via a tree-lined path and dine in a covered, but an open-air restaurant. Rooms are simple but spacious and clean.
Travel tip: Take some time to explore the 27 acres and the gorgeous lake, which lies just beyond the pool.
Wildlife tip: Be on the lookout for the hugest squirrels you will ever see, aptly named Giant Squirrels and my personal favourite, Toque macaques – a species of monkey endemic to Sri Lanka! If rustic isn’t really your style – although it is nice rustic, then check out the neighbouring and more luxurious Cinnamon Lodge Habarana. I didn’t stay there, but did enjoy a nice dinner there.
What to Do in the Area: You’ll definitely want to check out Sigiriya (that famous rock Sri Lanka is so well-known for and Kaudalla National Park, famous for its huge elephant herds which number in the hundreds.
While I enjoyed my stay at all the Cinnamon Hotels, this one was my favourite! I LOVED this hotel! The open-air lounge overlooking the pool was my favourite spot in the entire hotel, and with the ocean so close by, you could hear the waves! The pool is gorgeous and in addition to the large buffet, this hotel has its own dessert room, where desserts are kept at a cooler temperature. I kid you not!!! I’m not normally a dessert person, but I went back for seconds…OK, thirds…
What to Do in the Area: Go for a walk along the beach, which is just steps from the hotel or takes a day trip to Galle, a Dutch colonial town in which the Old Town and Fortifications have UNESCO status and which Adventurous Kate calls her favourite place in Sri Lanka! I really liked it as well, but my favourite place definitely goes to Yala National Park – more on that later!
In conclusion, if it’s luxury you’re seeking, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts in Sri Lanka is your place. Just reminder to take time to smell the….cinnamon!
Note: I visited Sri Lanka, where I was a speaker at TBCAsia, hosted by Cinnamon Hotels. Many thanks to Sri Lankan Airlines for my return flight between Colombo and Frankfurt, Germany, and to Mobitel for ensuring I always had WiFi access. (I highly recommend purchasing a SIM card from them). As always, all opinions are my own.