Explore the beautiful countryside around Kandy, discovering tea plantations and small villages, before spending a week by the beach on a secluded Maldives island.
3 nights Kandy, including breakfast & excursions; 7 nights COMO Maalifushi including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers.
12 days from £3,995pp
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On the beach - 8 days
Hidden away in the remote Thaa Atoll in the southern Maldives, COMO Maalifushi feels a world away from anywhere. With an emphasis on wellbeing and a sublime spa, it is an ideal destination to escape, relax and unwind.
A secluded tropical island paradise, COMO Maalifushi is set among mature jungle yet its chic design and refined elegance offer all the comforts and sophistication of an urban retreat. There's a large pool that meanders around clusters of palm trees, an open air yoga pavilion and an illuminated viewing deck where you can sit with a cocktail after dark and watch rays, sharks and turtles swim by. Dining here is a highlight with two restaurants serving exceptional meals with an emphasis on using the best local ingredients in inventive ways. With a large house reef and colourful coral garden it's a wonderful place to snorkel. There's also a dive centre on site and a wide range of water sports but perhaps most impressive of all is the overwater COMO Shambhala spa with its enormous treatment rooms and mesmerising sea views. Despite the sophisticated atmosphere, children are made very welcome with a lively children's club for under 12s.
Rooms are extremely spacious and bright with pale woods and white linens, floor-to-ceiling windows and luxurious but understated decor. The garden rooms allow children to play safely outdoors while couples will enjoy the beautiful over-water villas, all of which have private pools.
Before the beach - 4 days
Sri Lanka's second largest city is surrounded by rolling hills, tea plantations, spice gardens and small villages, all virtually untouched by tourism and incredibly scenic. This tranquil region is ideal for exploring on foot or by bike. Visit the Orange Field Tea Factory in the company of its amiable owner who passionately explains about tea growing and processing, visit Kandy's renowned Royal Botanical Gardens with their impressive collection of exotic trees, orchids and spices, or discover the ornate Temple of the Tooth, which protects Kandy's most sacred relic.
Set in the countryside 45 minutes' drive from Kandy, the Ellerton is a small hotel with a charming colonial air. The rural setting is perfect for walking and biking and with just eight rooms and spectacular views, it offers peace and tranquillity in a superb setting.
65 rooms, 2 restaurants, 1 pool
The award-winning COMO Maalifushi is set in a spectacular location in the remote southern Thaa Atoll. It's one of just two developed islands in the atoll and offers a first-class luxurious stay. Plentiful mature jungle and palm trees create a tropical feel to the island, complemented by stunning panoramic vistas across white sands and turquoise seas.
With a mix of spacious and stylish land and over-water suites and villas, this is a laid-back, boutique resort designed to reflect Maldivian culture, offering a barefoot-chic style. The large panoramic pool provides an impressive centrepiece overlooking the beach and ocean, while the pool bar and restaurant is ideal for families and couples alike. There's also a fine dining Japanese restaurant built over the ocean, offering the best sunset views and fabulous cocktails.
The two house reefs provide accessible snorkelling, with a dive centre and plenty of water sports on offer for those wanting to make the most of the island location. Meanwhile, the relaxing signature COMO Shambhala spa allows you to indulge in a soothing treatment. Whether your focus is on pure relaxation or enjoying the variety of activities on offer, you won’t be disappointed with this piece of Maldivian paradise.
The island is very family friendly, running a complimentary kids' club for those who are between the ages of 4 and 12. Younger children need to be accompanied by an adult. It’s open daily from 9am to 6pm and schedules activities such as nature walks, palm leaf folding, crafts, storytelling, crab races, sand castle building and talent shows. The restaurants are flexible regarding children’s food and babysitting can also be arranged with 24 hours’ notice.
COMO Maalifushi is located in the remote southern Thaa Atoll, an hour's seaplane flight from Malé Airport, fringed by a soft, white sand beach which runs along the whole circumference of the island, providing plenty of spots for peaceful relaxation.
This beautiful spot is a really special, lesser-known hideaway. It’s perfect for those who are looking for luxury, but also has a laid-back style, offering everything you need but without any fuss.
Accommodation consists of 65 comfortable but simply decorated suites and villas built across the island and over the house reef lagoon. There are 11 room categories, all of which have private outdoor space. Each option has a king size bed or twin beds, free Wi-Fi, a satellite TV, DVD player, minibar, Nespresso machine and an en suite bathroom with bath tub, shower and COMO Shambhala toiletries. You'll also be provided with complimentary fruit and bottled water.
These spacious (101 square metres), private one bedroom suites are nestled in the shade of the property’s gardens, but with direct access to the beach, making them ideal for couples or families with small children. The suites have floor-to-ceiling French doors opening onto their own terrace, which comes complete with a pool. The bedroom has a living area and an outdoor bathroom.
Offering 116 square metres of living space, these king bed villas have their own access to the beach, as well as private pools. They're elegantly decorated and have large windows to make the most of the island setting, with French doors opening from the bedroom to the terrace and pool.
These are over-water suites built along their own jetty, with spectacular views of the Maldivian sunrise. Offering 107 square metres of space, they feature a large bedroom with a living area and wide doors that open to a terrace, which comes complete with private plunge pool and loungers. They have direct access to the turquoise lagoon, which is excellent for snorkelling during high tide. The en suite bathroom features a sunken bathtub and outdoor shower.
These 120 square metre spacious villas are built off walkways over the water, offering direct access to the lagoon. They have a private pool, sundeck and full-length windows overlooking the sea, making them great for watching the sunset. The bedroom has a separate dressing area and the bathroom features a sunken bathtub and outdoor shower. The large and airy sitting area can double up as a sleeping area for children.
Two Bedroom Beach Suite
These are similar to the one bedroom Beach Suites, but offer an extra 30 square metres of space with its second bedroom. Featuring an extra shower room, a king size bed and twin beds, these are ideal for families.
Two Bedroom Beach Villa
These 145 square metre villas are the same as the one bedroom Beach Villas, but with a second, smaller twin room.
Two Bedroom Beach Villa
Perfect for families, this 1,178 square metre duplex beach house has its own private lawn. Surrounding its large private pool is a secluded sundeck complete with sun loungers and furniture, allowing you to eat, drink and watch the sunrise and sunset in privacy and comfort.
COMO Maalifushi Beach Villa
The 116 square metre Beach Villas have their own access to the beach, as well as a private pool. They offer one bedroom with a king size bed and are elegantly decorated, with large windows allowing for plenty of natural light and lovely views out to sea. French doors allow access from the bedroom to the terrace and pool.
COMO Maalifushi Pool Villa
This large, 213 square metre over-water villa has two bedrooms and is filled with natural light. It sits on its own secluded jetty, featuring a private pool and sundeck.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
There's plenty to do on COMO Maalifushi to keep everyone as busy or relaxed as they choose. On land there's the 44 metre free-form pool, which sits between the bar and restaurant and has been designed to weave around ‘islands’ of palm trees. There’s also a library, a games room, a gym, a shop, free bicycles and daily complimentary yoga sessions.
The snorkelling over the two house reefs is fabulous and a highlight of the island. Snorkelling equipment, catamarans, windsurfs, kayaks and paddle boards are all provided on a complimentary basis. Those who like more adrenaline-fuelled activities can try waterskiing, wakeboarding or scuba-diving. Sunset cruises and private boat hire are also popular among guests and there is a surfing school operating from the hotel with a premier break suitable for all levels about 25 minutes boat ride from the hotel (those interested in surfing lessons should be aware lessons cost approximately $300-400 per lesson).
COMO Maalifushi has its own PADI dive centre. You can take a 'Discover' scuba lesson if you're new to the sport, and there are various open-water and advanced diving courses available, as well as nitrox dives. There are 20 local dive sites and three scheduled boat dives each day, which are between 10 and 45 minutes away from the resort. Shore diving is also possible on the house reef, as well as night diving.
Food & drink
The food is of an excellent standard and beautifully served, with an emphasis on local produce. There are two restaurants and one bar on the island. ‘Thila’, meaning 'underwater island covered with abundant marine life', is the aptly named pool and lounge bar and the heart of island life. It has a pool table and board games, a great drinks menu and specialises in salads, wood-fired pizzas and fresh seafood.
Madi, the restaurant next door, serves all-day international, Maldivian and healthy COMO Shambhala cuisine (a selection of raw, steamed and grilled dishes). It also holds themed nights each week, including a local Maldivian seafood barbecue — bodu beru — and a thali evening focusing on South Indian specialties.
Tai is the island’s Japanese fine-dining restaurant, serving fresh seafood with a range of sashimi and sushi on offer. It’s set over water and makes a scenic spot in which to enjoy a cocktail at sunset. Please note that Tai usually closes a couple of times a week in low season and once a week in high season.
There are also options to dine-in in your own suite, or you can choose from a wide-range of stunning ‘destination dining’ choices around the island for a more intimate dining experience.
The beautiful and extensive COMO Shambhala Spa specialises in holistic wellness and Asian-inspired therapies, including signature massages, facials and reflexology. There are eight over-water, ocean-facing treatment rooms, as well as a steam room, sauna, pool, open air yoga pavilion and fitness centre.
Stronghold of the Sinhala Kings and capital of Sri Lanka’s hill regions, Kandy is perhaps the most beautiful and romantic city on the island.
Surrounded by green hills and with a large lake in the town centre, Kandy combines the sophistication of a modern city with the timeless appeal of ancient temples.
Temple of the Tooth
The most famous is the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth, where a simple wooden structure contrasts with the lavish golden roof and exuberant Buddha statues. The temple houses the tooth of the Buddha and bustles at night with pilgrims attending a lively ceremony involving several drummers.
Sri Lanka has a majority Buddhist population and their main festival, the Esala Perahera, is a ten-day pageant that transforms Kandy during July or August. Timed in accordance with the lunar calendar, it is a wonderful spectacle with dozens of robed elephants, dancers and musicians thronging the streets. The dates are announced about a year in advance. In festival times, a stay in Kandy is an assault on the senses.
Outside Kandy, there are two particularly fascinating places to visit.
The nearby botanical gardens are renowned worldwide, bringing together countless species from every part of the island.
As night falls, cultural shows take place in a number of venues around Kandy. Offering a snapshot of music and dance on the island, they may conclude with a dramatic fire walking demonstration.
Kandy is also a good place to shop, with gems and jewellery especially good value.
Two or three days here are needed to explore the many facets of this holy town and the beauties of the surrounding area. Centrally located, Kandy is easily accessed from Colombo, the Cultural Triangle and Nuwara Eliya. If travelling on, a scenic train journey runs from Kandy up to Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of the tea country.
Ellerton is a small simple hotel sitting on its own hilltop in the centre of Sri Lanka. It was built over 100 years ago for the manager of a major tea estate and it preserves the character and tranquillity of the colonial days.
Although rural, with views in all directions, Ellerton is only 15 miles (30-45 minute drive) from the World Heritage city of Kandy, with its renowned botanical gardens and other tourist attractions.
The property has eight bedrooms in total, located both in the main house and also in newer blocks in the garden with spectacular views over the valley below. Two of the rooms in the main house also have adjoining rooms perfect for families. Please note that Garden Rooms are not suitable for children.
Day by day
Today you will board an overnight flight to Colombo.
On arrival at Colombo airport you will be met by your private driver/guide who will transfer you to Kandy by private vehicle. The journey takes approximately 4-5 hours excluding any stops you may like to take along the way.
Once at Ellerton you may have time for a quick exploration of its scenic surroundings with a walk along one of the trails. Or you may prefer to simply relax and enjoy the peace and superb setting.
Today your private driver/guide will take you to the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth, housing the tooth relic of Buddha, then continue onto the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Do make sure you visit the orchid and spice house, which are a slightly further walk away from the main garden, but well worth it.
Visit the Orange Field Tea Estate today. Only 20 minutes from The Ellerton, the estate is only open to visitors staying at the hotel so you will have a very different, more intimate experience here than at the many more commercial tea factory tours. Watch the tea being sorted, weighed and packaged and of course sample it if you like.
This evening you will enjoy a performance of traditional Kandyan dance.
Today driver/guide will take you back to the airport in time for your 90 minute flight over to Malé International Airport in the Maldives.
On arrival you will be met by our representative and shown to the seaplane for the hour flight to COMO Maalifushi. This is a great way to arrive as you get great views of the reefs and stunning waters for which Maldives is rightly renowned.
Your first full day at leisure at beautiful COMO Maalifushi. The two house reefs are excellent for snorkelling or there's a host of water sports to try as well as over 20 dive spots nearby. Or you could simply relax at the excellent COMO Shambhala Spa in one of the overwater treatment rooms.
If you'd like to get out and about why not take the hotel's cultural excursion to the nearby island of Guraidhoo to see a bit of local life? Or take a beach picnic to one of the nearby islands?
Day at leisure.
Today you will transfer back to Malé Airport by seaplane in time for your international flights home.
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