Matthew and Hannah Fordham
Sri Lanka 12 nights & Maldives 6 nights
July - August 2018
Overall review: Trying to sum up our honeymoon into words is rather tricky! It's safe to say it was the holiday of a lifetime and one that we will remember for years to come. Spending 12 nights in Sri Lanka, travelling around and soaking up the culture was the perfect pairing with a very chilled out 6 nights in the Maldives. From temples, caves and incredible architecture to spotting elephants and leopards on a safari, our itinerary had the ideal balance and we felt like we saw the best of Sri Lanka. We absolutely loved our driver Ruchi and he, without a doubt, made our trip what it was!
Hotels: The hotels were absolutely stunning and we blown away each time we walked into our room! The staff at all the hotels were so friendly, welcoming and helpful and arriving home we were miffed when we were not handed a face cloth and delicious ice tea!! Our highlights included, Jetwing Vil Uyana which is a luxurious hotel in Sigiriya where we had an amazing villa on stilts in the middle of the paddy fields. We had our own plunge pool which was a welcome sight after a long day exploring and the bath inside the villa was big enough to fit a small family in. Another highlight was the 98 Acres hotel in Ella which had the most amazing views both from our room and from the bar/restaurant area. It was at this hotel that we had a private cooking lesson with the head chef which was such an amazing experience and we were able to eat the 4 curries that we had made afterwards.....we are looking forward to attempting these at home! Finally, our Escape Water Villa in the Maldives was paradise! With a two person bath looking out onto the ocean, our own plunge pool and direct access into the sea from our villa we were in bliss. The seven restaurants meant that you never got tired of eating the same thing and the food was out of this world. We had the pleasure of enjoying the resorts house reef on a daily basis and even went on the Discover Scuba Diving course which was fantastic. Overall, every single hotel was incredible and felt truly spoilt thorough our trip!
Chauffeur-Guide: One of our highlights from Sri Lanka was meeting Ruchi, our driver. Arriving in Colombo we were greeted by his infectious grin and after placing flower garlands over our heads he led us out to his air conditioned car and straight away we knew we were in very good hands. We were blown away with Ruchi's knowledge of all the places we visited and his passion for Sri Lankan culture and history was captivating. When we arrived at our hotels/excursions Ruchi made the whole check in process painless and allowed us to relax and enjoy without any hassle. Every morning he provided us with cold bottles of water and on a couple of occasions he stopped off during our drives to allow us to try different local fruits which was fantastic. We would highly recommend Ruchi to anyone travelling to Sri Lanka and we are looking forward to keeping in touch with him as we genuinely made a good friend.
Excursions: We absolutely loved both of the safari's, especially the leopard safari in Yala. We saw so many different animals including crocodiles, deer, elephants and we were very lucky to be able to see a leopard! We enjoyed trekking up to the top of Sigira Rock and the views at the top are incredible....definitely worth all of the stairs. We did this climb in the morning and I think it would have been nice to enjoy this view at sunset. In the Maldives we absolutely loved trying diving for the first time and we loved it so much we now want to become qualified!
Best memory of the trip: It is impossible to pick out a highlight from our trip as there were so many! I think one moment that will stay with us was at Cinnamon Wild Yala. We decided one evening that we were going to splash out on a private BBQ on our own balcony which overlooked the hotel's watering hole. Whilst tucking into our starter we were interrupted by an elephant walking through the hotel grounds which was a slightly surreal experience! Later on in the meal we were joined by 3 crocodiles who were laying at the foot of the balcony and we were allowed to feed them our lobster shells after we had finished our meal. Being that close to wild animals was a once in a lifetime experience!
How was the trip overall: Excellent
Could we have served you any better?: We wouldn't have changed anything!
Any ideas on what we could do differently to make our travel service even better?: It would have been nice to spend more time in Nuwara Eliya as they call it 'Little England' !!
Good enough to recommend?: Yes
Would you travel with us again?: Yes