Destinations

Your Cocoon Awaits by the Indian Ocean

Wild Leopards and Private Pools in Sri Lanka's Yala National Park

By Sarah Freeman ·
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Oh, Sri Lankan tea farmers.

Always doing crazy things, like farming tea. In Sri Lanka.

But this is about a different kind of Sri Lankan tea farmer.

The non-crazy kind that opens a luxury camping site in the proverbial middle of nowhere called Wild Coast Tented Lodge.

It's a secluded, safari-friendly retreat tucked into Yala National Park, somewhere between its abundance of leopards and a particularly beautiful coast off the Indian Ocean, now open from the family behind Sri Lankan tea colossus Dilmah. Take a look.

You'll occupy one or more of the 36 arched, fabric-walled cocoons seamlessly blending into the surrounding rock formations. You'll finally feel like you've gotten away from it all. Your private pool won't detract from that sensation. Nor will catnapping in your four-poster bed or just kind of zoning out in your copper tub. You'll find you really thrive on vacation.

But just in case you need to crank up the relaxation, there is a spa that catches ocean breezes. It's got kind of a weird penchant for lathering you in local Ceylon tea and cinnamon oils and stuff. Hey, different strokes.

For dinner, sit within an enchanting bamboo pavilion that overlooks the freeform pool. Or go for a more secluded meal in the beachside garden. Wherever you might enjoy local seafood stew and beef tenderloin simmered in coconut cream more.

This is going to be a tough call.

Sarah Freeman is often accused of hiding secrets in her hair. She can make any cocktail, as long as that cocktail is a rye Old Fashioned, and has never met a saison she didn’t like.

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