Philip & Christine Reddall
Sri Lanka 26 nights
January - February 2019
Overall review: We travelled as a middle aged couple! (We note most of Invite to Paradise customers are on honeymoon!) But wow! what an experience! When we saw the package that Reece had put together, we were so excited. But actually doing the trip was way over and beyond our expectations. The diversity of each place we stayed;, the amazing chauffeur guides, and the sights we saw will be etched in our memories for ever. Other people we talked to along the way were hugely jealous of all that we had seen and done. Many of them had travelled with some of the really well known, expensive travel agents, but their itineraries were not a patch on ours.
Hotels: We stayed in 7 different hotels.
Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, amazing colonial hotel. Delighted and surprised to find that the room allocated to us allowed us fully included drinks and snacks in the Long room between 17.30 and 19.00 each evening.
The Heritance, Kandalama, built into the side of a hill so that it looked like part of the scenery. Amazing place. Expensive drinks, but such an experience.
Jungle Beach, Trincomalee, amazing breakfasts. Loved the jungle facing room.
Ozo, Kandy. This was the most “ordinary hotel’ but we had a fantastic view from our 4th floor balcony. Food not the best, but so easy to go out and find places.
98 Acres, hill country. Spectacular views. Wonderful evening meals.
Cinnamon Wild, Yala. Right in the heart of amazing wild life.
Chauffeur-Guide: We had 3 Chauffer guides during our 4 week trip. Should have been Nishantha, then Mohan, but Nishantha’s father was ill so he had to leave us after just one day. Ruchi took over and he was responsible for the majority of our touring. He was wonderful. Despite having awful toothache and a swollen lip, he couldn’t do enough for us. He was a safe, courteous driver, and he aught us so much about the country. He always stopped once or twice along the road to buy us various fruits. He made sure they were ‘good’ and would have have them peeled or prepared for us to munch along the way. The king coconuts! Wonderful! Nishantha came back to us for the middle few days, then we had Mohan. All 3 were brilliant and we wouldn’t have wanted to travel any other was through Sri Lank. Our only ‘complaint’ was Mohan’s car that had heavily tinted windows in the back. This made sightseeing from the car very hard as everything was distorted. Not ideal for sightseeing along the way. Big Thankyou to all of our guides.
Excursions: Wow! Where to start? So many. Dambulla, Sigiriya, Elepant safari with the most amazing guide - so close to these manifest beasts, village life, tea plantation, Yala safari - saw a leopard reall close to us, Watched an elephant chase a crocodile away in the watering hole! A huge troop of cheeky monkeys and their families playing on the path on our way back to our room. Must have been 30 of them!Reece had booked us to go on a whale watching boat, but we did not like the way they chased the whales. So I researched and found out that just down the road in Galle, a company took people up in a Cessna for a 45 minute aerial whale watching experience. This was AMAZING. To watch these beautiful giants from above was simply awesome. I could have done this trip again and again.
Best memory of the trip: So hard to select, but here are a few of the highlights. The whale watching from the plane. Going into the first temple in Columbo and arriving at the same time as the temple elephant arrived to take his offering. Daily king coconuts. Wonderful Ayurvedic massage in roadside hut! Washing the elephant in the river. Watching a family of wild boar troop past our room in Yala. Seeing the elusive leopard. Helgas Folly! The lovely, friendly, Sri Lankan people. The food!
How was the trip overall: Excellent
Could we have served you any better?: Can’t think of one single thing that you could have done to make it any better. Reece was always available to contact for advice/problems if needed, both before out trip, and during our trip.