Discover the historic sights of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle, including ancient capitals and the mighty rock fortress of Sigirya before a week of pure relaxation enjoying the Maldives' soft white sands and clear water.
3 nights Cultural Triangle including breakfast and excursions; 7 nights Kurumba including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers.
12 days from £2,365pp
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On the beach - 8 days
The Maldives’ original private island resort, Kurumba offers contemporary style in a beautiful location. The hotel is set in lush tropical gardens on the edge of a white sandy beach and represents exceptional value for money.
You could easily just sit back, soak up the views and feel the sand between your toes at Kurumba, but with crystal-clear water, rich corals and abundant marine life on the surrounding reef it is well worth snorkelling or learning to dive while here. There are eight different restaurants to choose from as well as the option of private dining under the stars. The spa features an extensive range of treatments and nightly entertainment such as live music and traditional bodu beru dance, offering an insight into local life and culture. You can also take a walk with a horticulturist or learn about local cuisine in a cooking lesson. Unsurprisingly, there is a wide variety of water sports available and two separate pools for children.
Superior and Deluxe rooms offer excellent value, comfortable accommodation while the spacious, modern bungalows and villas either face the sea or are set in their own gardens.
Before the beach - 4 days
An area rich in history and home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle is an extraordinary place to explore. Visit the ruins of the once powerful cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa where the remains of elaborate monasteries and palaces can be seen. Explore the religious monuments at Mihintale, where Buddhism was first introduced to the island, and climb the spectacular Sigiriya Rock Fortress. In nearby Minneriya or Kaudulla National Parks elephant, deer and wildcat can be found.
An ideal base from which to explore the Cultural Triangle, Cinnamon Lodge has a delightfully traditional architectural style. The 150 rooms sit within two-storey chalets and all have a veranda or balcony overlooking the lake or garden.
180 rooms, 8 restaurants, 4 pools
Kurumba is the original private island resort in the Maldives, dating back to 1972, when the Maldives opened up for tourism. It's not difficult to see why they chose this photogenic, palm-filled island, edged with curves of white sand and coral reefs just offshore.
The resort is one of the larger ones in the Maldives, with 180 rooms and a wide range of facilities and restaurants. There's a definite buzz to the place, and plenty of people to meet and swap stories with.
Activities for children, adults and honeymooners are available here, so whether you want to lie languid under a palm tree on the beach, are planning to explore every inch of the undersea world, or want to work on your serve, you'll find something here.
The resort has a kids’ club to keep younger guests entertained, and there are two children’s pools. The wide range of facilities and activities on offer here makes this a great resort for families — there’s also an impressive daily activity schedule. All accommodation options can fit at least two adults and one child, with interconnecting rooms also available.
Kurumba is set on a tropical island in the north Malé Atoll, conveniently located a ten-minute speedboat ride away from the airport and Malé. The pearly-white sand beach stretches in a narrow band around much of the island, and is backed by the coconut palms (or ‘Kurumba’ in native Dhivehi) after which the resort is named.
Kurumba is only ten minutes by boat from Malé which makes it a nice, short transfer from the airport but does mean there are views over to Malé to the southeast, and will see boats and seaplanes pass by.
Kurumba is excellent value for both couples and families, whilst still offering the paradise-island beaches you’d expect in the Maldives and a reef just offshore which is ideal for snorkelling. Its proximity to the airport makes it a good option for those who would rather avoid a lengthy transfer, although you may occasionally hear plane noise.
The resort has a range of rooms, bungalow and villas; all options are spacious, with some located close to the beach for ocean views and others set in the private, dappled shade of the coconut grove.
Amenities include air conditioning, safes, satellite TVs, minibars and tea/coffee facilities. Private outdoor space is also included, while the villas also come with their own pool or Jacuzzi. A number of the rooms can be interconnected to accommodate groups of friends or families.
The superior rooms are good-value accommodation, and are either downstairs with a terrace, or upstairs with a private balcony. The bedroom leads to a bright and spacious open bathroom, with indoor and outdoor showers.
Superior rooms are available as double or twin share; they can accommodate additional beds or cots, and interconnecting rooms can be arranged. These rooms are suitable for families, or couples seeking a good-value larger room.
Deluxe bungalows dot the island, and are nestled among the tropical foliage, just a short stroll from the beach. The large outdoor balcony with daybed is ideal for quiet afternoons enjoying the sea breeze. The bedroom is spacious, with an indoor daybed and flat-screen TV.
The open bathroom has two wash basins, a glass-walled indoor shower, a freestanding bathtub and an open-air shower.
Beachfront Deluxe Bungalow
Beachfront deluxe bungalows are located just a few short steps from the beach, on the west side of the island, offering panoramic ocean and sunset views. If your dream is to wake up, have a cup of coffee, and take a few steps to the sea for a swim in the warm clear water, then this is the ideal room.
These rooms are well appointed, and have a large terrace with a daybed just steps from the white sandy beach. There is a spacious bathroom, complete with two wash basins, a glass walled shower, a freestanding bathtub and an open-air shower.
Guests staying in the beachfront deluxe bungalow have the option of enjoying premium à la carte breakfast at Thila that’s served with a glass of bubbles.
The Private villas with Jacuzzi are located on the beachfront on the east side of the island and are consistently the favourite choice for guests seeking spacious comfort and privacy.
Featuring a large bedroom with an adjoining sitting room and veranda just steps away from the beach, the villa also has a spacious bathroom, a glass walled shower, bathtub and open courtyard complete with a rain shower and an outdoor garden Jacuzzi. Guests staying in the Private villas enjoy the option of having premium à la carte breakfast at Thila.
Deluxe pool villa
The spacious deluxe pool villas feature a large bedroom, sitting room and a veranda that leads on to the white sand. The private courtyard features a swimming pool, complete with a Jacuzzi, set in a peaceful garden. There is also a daybed pavilion with a thatched roof for relaxing in the shade, and a sundeck with loungers.
The rooms are large and open, allowing for spacious living. Thoughtful touches include a Nespresso coffee machine, i-Home docking station and a DVD player.
Garden pool villa
Garden pool villas are set in tropical gardens. These villas have a large bedroom and a sitting room, separated by sliding doors, perfect for families and couples who want a bit more space. Large open bathrooms feature a glass-walled shower, separate bathtub and an open courtyard, complete with a rain shower and a private outdoor plunge pool.
There’s a large wardrobe and a private bar, ideal for getting a drink to go laze by the pool. The living space lounges can be used for additional beds, or as a space to relax and read a book or watch a DVD.
Presidential Pool Villa
The presidential pool villas are tastefully appointed to ensure your privacy and comfort. There is a master bedroom on the upper level, with a king size bed overlooking the beach. This level also features a walk-in dressing room, bathroom with a separate glass-walled shower, central marble-sided bathtub and outdoor shower.
The downstairs space offers a large lounge room with a private bar, television and sound system facilities. The ground floor veranda leads out to the beach and lagoon.
The royal residence is a two-bedroom suite with two swimming pools and a spacious sundeck overlooking the beach. The entrance is through a courtyard that has a bridge spanning an ornamental pool, with thatched pavilions and daybeds each side.
Inside, you'll find an entrance hall and a large sitting room. On either side the room opens in to the two wings of the royal residence.
Each wing comes with a walk-in dressing room, bedroom with a king size bed, veranda leading on to the beach, and a large, luxurious bathroom leading to a private courtyard, with swimming pool, Jacuzzi, outdoor shower and shaded king size daybed.
Beach villa with jacuzzi
The private villas with Jacuzzi are located on the beachfront on the east side of the island, and are a popular choice for guests seeking spacious comfort and privacy.
Featuring a large bedroom, with an adjoining sitting room and veranda the villa is just steps away from the beach. There’s also a spacious bathroom, glass-walled shower, bathtub and open courtyard, complete with a rain shower and an outdoor garden Jacuzzi.
Guests staying in the private villas enjoy the option of having premium à la carte breakfast at Thila.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
The resort presents a wide variety of activities, including water sports such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, wakeboarding, parasailing and jet skiing, snorkelling and diving lessons. On land you can join wine tasting, cocktail mixing classes and painting lessons with a Maldivian artist.
Further facilities include two swimming pools in addition to the children’s pools, a gym, three flood-lit tennis courts, volleyball, ping pong, snooker, air hockey, board games, a DVD library and an orchid nursery.
The PADI-certified dive centre is on site, and very professional. It uses modern diving equipment from Aqualung and SCUBAPRO, and a wide range of PADI-certified courses are available.
The Maldives are ideal for divers, with the warm waters on the reef varying between 26-30°C (68-86°F) and the diving can reach depths of 30 m (98 ft). The aquatic life is abundant: you can reasonably expect to spot species such as sweet lips, trigger fish, butterfly fish, porcupine fish, sea turtles, sharks and manta rays.
Food & drink
Eight restaurants and four bars serve a variety of cuisines and beverages, including local Maldivian, Italian, Indian, Japanese, Middle Eastern and Oriental dishes. Pastries and light snacks are available during the day from Thila, a contemporary restaurant and grill, and the poolside café. Breakfast is served at Vihamana, with buffet-bars and live cooking stations.
For drinks, Kandu is an open-air bar with an overwater deck where you can enjoy fine wines and live music, Athiri is the place to go for cocktails on the beach and Kalhu is a modern karaoke bar.
Weekly wine tasting is included on a complimentary basis and there are also optional wine gastronomy dinners each week.
Kurumba's spa, the Veli Spa, is hidden among mature tropical gardens. Its contemporary styling and stone and wood construction lend it a calming air, perfect for relaxing with a massage or treatment.
Locally sourced coconut oils and herbs are used to create the spa products, which are used in treatments such as the Akarakaraa Theyo Dhemun, the resort's signature massage.
Location: Cultural Triangle
Once known as the ‘Land of Kings’, the Cultural Triangle is an extraordinary region. North from Kandy the area includes the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the cave temples at Dambulla and the mighty rock fortress of Sigiriya. Often overlooked amidst the cultural treasures is the area’s natural wealth, with wild elephant in abundance.
For any visitor with an interest in history or Buddhism (the island’s major religion) it is well worth basing yourself here for at least three nights to explore the area. There are plenty of good hotels and all have swimming pools, at their cooling best after a day’s exploring.
Accommodation: Cinnamon Lodge
Located only 30 minutes from the main sites in the Cultural Triangle, Cinnamon Lodge has recently been refurbished and is set in 12 acres of landscaped gardens replete with botanical splendour. Its nearby wooded parkland and lake behold a plethora of endemic flora and fauna.
Recreation and entertainment abound with boating, tennis, badminton, birdwatching as well as occasional live music in the evenings. There are 150 rooms in two-storey chalets which follow the traditional architectural style with columns and verandas, cooling terracotta floors and clay tiles on the roof.
Each has en suite bathrooms and a veranda or balcony overlooking the lake or garden. The room interiors follow a traditional colour palate of ochre, saffron and olive green with antique bed heads, couches and planter's chairs.
Day by day
Overnight flight to Colombo.
On arrival you will be met by our representative who will drive you to Cinnamon Lodge. Set among beautiful gardens, this hotel is well placed for exploring the Cultural Triangle and is located only 30 minutes' drive from the area's key sights.
Your driver will meet you at your hotel and take you for a visit to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress followed by an excursion to see the cave temples at Dambulla, dating as far back as the 1st century BC.
Today your driver will take you to see the fascinating ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Later in the afternoon you will proceed to a national park for a safari searching for the wild Indian elephant.
Your driver will pick you up at Cinnamon Lodge and drive you to the airport for your flight to the Maldives.
On arrival into Malé Airport you will be met by a representative from Kurumba Island and taken to your speedboat transfer.
The next few days are free to relax on the beach or try some snorkelling or diving. There are five house reefs with a variety of marine life including reef sharks.
Another day at leisure. Why not take a sunset dolphin cruise where you can watch these beautiful creatures play in the sea.
Days 8 - 11
A speedboat will take you from Kurumba to Malé for your international flight home.
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