Asia, Countries, Deals

OLCOTE, a palatial Sri Lanka retreat

We’d not recommend storming the head of state’s pad, instead we’d prefer to flag up my pal’s OLCOTE, a palatial Sri Lanka retreat.

All that said, you wouldn’t surely deny the impoverished Sri Lankans having a pool party at the Prez’s expense.

As we’ve witnessed in the TV footage of the Sri Lankans dive bombing into President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s swimming pool.

Tess de Kretser is a pal from Dublin days and without doubt the best-known Sri Lankan in Ireland.

From her days married to Ryanair’s Cathal Ryan whom she bore two of her eight children.

Tess of the Dublinvilles

Hostess with the mostest: Tess de Kretser

Tess’s story is one from the derring-do pages of adventure books having skipped her parents’ home in Sri Lanka to join a airline and see the world.

And more, much more of which we relived over lunch in Ballsbridge and a cultural night in Iveagh Garden Hotel.

All of which we’re raising here to remind ourselves how important we are as citizens of the world to crisis-hit countries.

Tourism is the third biggest contributor to Sri Lanka’s economy.

On the ball: In the Maldives with a Sri Lankan pal

But it has been hit badly by perceptions, post the 2019 bombings, Covid and now the cost-of-living crisis.

And we are in danger of overlooking, or never hearing of Sri Lanka’s charms.

Or its people whom I got to know and play football and cricket with in the Maldives

Marco’s fave island

Sit down and relax: Sri Lankan culture

But don’t just take my word for it (well, do) but the most famous explorer of them all, Marco Polo, was transfixed by the island.

And he called it: ‘the best island of its size in the country.’

Had it been available to Marco in the 12th century he would surely have stayed in OLCOTE.

Or Our Little Corner of the Earth as Tess christened it.

Our Little Corner

Ya dancer: The colour and peace of OLCOTE

Tess describes OLCOTE as the perfect marriage of Sinhalese traditional culture and modern luxurious accommodation.

And you can rely on a team of private staff, the Olcote shuttle, gourmet chefs, European wines perfectly chilled and your every need catered for, you can expect the holiday of a lifetime

As you can see by the pictures.

The extended house and suites we’re told are surrounded by lush gardens, fruit trees and quiet spaces.

And hammocks (I would hope so), herbs and vegetables abound. While monkeys (and cheeky monkeys) often visit.

Sweet suites

A corner of Ballsbridge: In Sri Lanka

It’s good of Tess too to name the eight suites after places in Dublin, including my own working stomping ground of Ballsbridge.

Although I would be prepared to stay in Sandymount, Killiney or Dalkey.

Now, of course, OLCOTE has all the wellness and yoga that you would need, while they will put on excursions to surprise and delight.

Prices start from €2,500 for two people staying a full week, with all expenses, transfers, food and entertainment included.

Olcote can comfortably home 16 people at a time and you and your pals can book the whole shooting match as a oner.

SriLankan Airlines will fly you non-stop from London Heathrow to Colombo with flying time 11 hours.

Plenty of time to fit in a few films.

And you’ll be feeling nice and relaxed by the time you get to Sri Lanka.

Ready to chill out at OLCOTE, a palatial Sri Lanka retreat.



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