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Luxury Travel

esplendent Ceylon, creators of Tea Trails in Bogawantalawa, is to launch four resorts

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in Sri Lanka as the country continues to open up to tourism development. The 12-acre Cape Weligama resort

Stir it up in Sri Lanka checking in R

The company behind Sri Lanka’s Tea Trails is planning to expand with four new resorts on the cards. April Hutchinson reports

will open in October on a clifftop in the south of the island, with 40 villas and suites. These will be arranged in “wattas” – gardens with two or three villas around a pool, to be named after explorers who have visited the island – and “walauwas”, meaning “mansion” in Sinhalese and named after artists and writers who lived on the island, such as Arthur C Clarke. Other planned projects include

the Wild Coast Camp, Yala; the Red Rocks Beach Camp, Trincomalee; and a fourth project yet to be named. The camp at Yala, due to open in

November 2015, will have 28 tents, as will the Red Rocks Beach Camp, which is due to open in March 2016. The final project will be a lakeside development in the cultural triangle near Sigiriya. Work is also under way on a fifth

bungalow at Tea Trails, with the refurbishment of a 120-year-old tea

Suite success in Florence: Rocco Forte’s Hotel Savoy in Florence has opened its new Repubblica Suite, a presidential-sized two- bedroom suite, with four balconies overlooking the Piazza della Repubblica. The suite has been filled with antique furniture and contemporary artworks while a small library has also been added.

Garden suite at Tea Trails

planters’ bungalow, Dunkeld, due for completion next November. Thai architect Lech Bunnag,

whose projects have included Maia Seychelles, Oberoi Mauritius and Four Seasons Langkawi, is behind the design of Cape Weligama. “There is nothing else like this

in Sri Lanka,” said owner Malik Fernando. “We also hope to offer seaplane transfers from Cape Weligama to Tea Trails, which will save a four-hour road trip.” Cape Weligama will have a seafood

market, or “pola”, from which guests can choose fresh fish for their meal,

and a Japanese restaurant, Misaki, while gourmet carts will pass by the pools. Ceylon High Tea ceremonies will reflect the island’s heritage and the owner of Resplendent Ceylon, Dilmah, the growers and makers of single-origin Ceylon tea. Like its sister property Tea

Trails in the central highlands, Cape Weligama will be a Relais & Chateaux member.

■More luxury sector updates in our round-up on London’s luxury hotels on p35, and 60 seconds with Explora on p38

Have you signed up for ttgluxury’s Luxpo?

MORE THAN 26 companies have signed up to be a part of Luxpo, the luxury travel event being launched by ttgluxurythis September. Luxpo will bring together leading

luxury travel sellers to meet luxury-focused suppliers on September 4 at the InterContinental London Westminster. The firms so far involved include:

A&K; Altitude Luxury Travel; Ananda in the Himalayas; Anantara; Atmosphere Kanifushi Maldives; Beachcomber; Birmingham airport; Blue Waters &

16 17.07.2014

Cove Suites; Celebrity Cruises; Compagnie du Ponant; Crystal Cruises; D-Hotel; Exeter International; Gran Canaria tourist office; Holland America Line; ITC Luxury Travel; Loews Regency New York; Lux Resorts; Marbella Club Hotel; Mark Warner; Per Aquum; Puente Romano Beach Resort; Seabourn; Silversea; Viceroy Riviera Maya; and Viceroy Sugar Beach. Editor of ttgluxuryApril Hutchinson said: “I am delighted with the response we have had so far and look forward to welcoming

other interesting showcase partners. “We have handpicked agents to

make sure we are bringing together the best available, as we know they and our impressive list of suppliers stand to benefit from these targeted one-to-one meetings.” Places are limited for agents and

any interested in attending should contact To become a showcase partner, contact

■Go to

More for London: Mondrian London, on the South Bank, has opened reservations ready for its September 30 debut. Meanwhile, Reignwood Investments has taken visionary hotelier Grace Leo (GLA Hotels) on as vice-president to help oversee Ten Trinity Square, a Grade II former Port of London Authority building in Tower Hill, which will include a hotel. The capital is projected to host 18.7 million international visitors this year.

Taj pulls out of Sydney: Taj is selling its Blue Sydney hotel for £17.5 million to Hind Hotels & Properties Group, which will turn it into an Ovolo hotel. Ovolo has also taken over Hotel 1888 in Sydney and Oaks on Lonsdale in Melbourne and has other hotels in Hong Kong. The deal is due to complete by the end of October.

Fresh look in the park: Vila Vita Parc in Portugal has revealed the results of a contemporary refurbishment across the hotel, including new deluxe rooms, suites and a penthouse. New state-of-the-art in-room technology includes 42-inch interactive TV systems with Wi-Fi speakers.

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