Grace & Sam Robertshawe
Sri Lanka 8 nights & Maldives 6 nights
November - December
Overall review: WOW. From the moment I first spoke to Reece about planning our dream honeymoon, he was amazing. Having already spoken to some other companies, I was blown away by how helpful, friendly, knowledgeable and understanding he was - I knew he was going to give us the honeymoon that we were dreaming of!
The personal touches were amazing and really made the experience - it was so easy; not having to worry about organising anything was brilliant (especially as we had a whole wedding to plan at the same time), it was priceless.
Our trip was out of this world. We spent 9 days in Sri Lanka before going to the Maldives for 6 days, which was the perfect blend of adventure and pure relaxation. From Dambulla and the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka down to Madulkelle tea plantation, then Kandy and back to Colombo - Sri Lanka was amazing. Not at all what we would thought it would be - the people there are incredibly friendly and we felt safe everywhere we went. The culture, the sights, the food, the hotels, the landscape - it was like nothing we'd seen before and we loved being able to explore different parts of such a beautiful country.
Moving onto the Maldives, we stayed at Atmosphere Kanifushi - words can't describe this island. When you see pictures in the magazines of the Maldives: white sands, turquoise sea, you think 'that can't be real'. IT IS. It felt like we were in a dream on the island, like something out of the 'Truman Show' because it was so incredibly beautiful, absolute paradise! The hotel was all-inclusive which was perfect; all of the restaurants were amazing; the wine list was out of this world; daily snorkelling excursions were fantastic to different reefs, but the snorkelling at the end of the jetty of the island was actually our favourite. The seaplane journey there and was was incredible fun as well.
Reece was on-hand for anything we needed at anytime throughout our honeymoon as well - even when we arrived at the airport in the Maldives and a storm was looking to delay our flight, I was messaging him frantically on Whatsapp and he was so helpful. Luckily we made it across to our hotel that evening!
I cannot recommend Reece & Claire enough for anyone looking for their perfect trip to Sri Lanka & the Maldives - their first-hand experience, knowledge and expertise were absolutely priceless and they made everything so incredibly easy for both us - their recommendations were amazing.
This really was a trip of a lifetime and we can't wait to go back!! Magical!
Hotels: The hotels were AWESOME.
We stayed in Sigirya, Madulkelle, Kandy, and Colombo.
Sam's favourite was Sigirya which was utter luxury - it was quiet and had a really boutique feel; the bungalow itself was over the rice paddies and was just glorious. Food was delicious and the pool was lovely, overlooking the lake.
My favourite was the tea planations - it was in the middle of nowhere, over 1000m up the side of a mountain with views straight out of Jurassic Park. It was completely magical - we stayed in a tarpaulin tent (but a really fancy one!!) on the side of the mountain overlooking the Knuckles mountains range; we got up at 5.30am to watch the sunrise from our room which was spectacular. It felt very remote (which it is!) which was lovely, and the staff were incredibly friendly. The food at the restaurant was gorgeous and they do lovely cocktails.
Kandy was perfect - much more modern than the first 2 places but was a great base for exploring the city; we loved having drinks on the rooftop bar in the evening overlooking the city. Also really easy to grab a Tuk-Tuk from the hotel to take you to restaurants in the city in the evening. We went across to 'Slightly Chilled' which across the river which was a really affordable, fun Asian restaurant - very casual, the food was delicious and really nice people there.
We would have loved to stay longer in Colombo as it was absolutely beautiful - unfortunately we couldn't do much exploring as a huge storm came in, but didn't matter as the hotel was great! We got a wonderful welcome reception at the hotel with canapes and drinks - the view across the sea in the morning at breakfast was amazing, and the 'crow police' were hilarious (chasing the crows away).
Atmosphere Kanifushi was to-die-for.
Best hotel ever - can't wait to go back. The all-inclusive options were better than we could have ever expected and the beauty of the island is indescribable. We loved getting bicycles and exploring the island each day. I don't even have anything else to say about this resort, everything about it from staff to food to the villas were wonderful!!!
Chauffeur-Guide: Ruchi was an absolute top lad! We loved him :) and have been whatsapping him since to keep in touch. He kept us sane travelling round Sri Lanka and was so friendly and helpful. His knowledge of the country was second-to-none and he made everything so easy for us. We loved learning from him, and teaching him some things too! It certainly would have felt like half a trip without Ruchi!
Excursions: SRI LANKA
Fab. We walked up Sigiriya Rock at 7.30am with stunning views; our trip to Polonnaruwa ancient visit was fascinating; Madulkelle was an excursion in itself and the tea factory tour was so interesting; Temple of the Tooth was beautiful.Our authentic Sri Lankan cookery course was amazing!!
The wild elephant safari - don't even have words. Just, oh my god - they are incredible. We saw about 100 elephants from our jeep safari grazing in the wild, inc. lots of babies, and I almost cried - it was the best experience ever, they are so beautiful.
We made the most of the daily snorkelling excursions at the resort to different sites and
Best memory of the trip: Oh my goodness, too many! We have to narrow it down to three things:
1. Sting rays in the Maldives - there were three rays that would come up the beach around 4pm everyday waiting to be fed, and they were magical. We got in the water with them and they were so friendly. Never experienced anything like it.
2. Sri Lankan cookery course - we visited Dushi's house and she took us through a course teaching us how to make authentic Sri Lankan food. We picked up ingredients at the local market and made five dishes back at her house including vegetable curries, Dahl and brown chicken curry. We made our own coconut milk (!) and then ate it all afterwards. It was absolutely delicious and such an amazing experience to see how different Sri Lankan cooking is to English cooking, but also Indian cooking!
3. Elephant Safari in the national park. Just wow. The Jeep ride was so cool, and then we saw about 100 elephants in the national park which was just breathtaking.
How was the trip overall: Excellent
Could we have served you any better?: Absolutely not! Reece went over and above to make sure that our trip was perfect and could not have been more helpful :)
Any ideas on what we could do differently to make our travel service even better?: I genuinely have no suggestions on how the service could have been any better. It was GOLD. Every little thing was perfect, and loved the travel itinerary put together for us beforehand - it was our bible! I printed it off and bound it...!!
Good enough to recommend?: Yes
Would you travel with us again?: Yes