We ended our two-week visit to Sri Lanka with a four-night stay at The Frangipani Tree located in the town of Thalpe, which is about 15 minutes by tuk tuk from Galle Fort. Staying here is the perfect ending to an eventful trip, allowing us to lie back and enjoy the postcard-perfect surroundings. Time stands still in this slice of paradise. The 9-room boutique resort occupies a small plot of land bordering the edge of the beach, making it feel like an exclusive, almost private resort. Most other guests are couples who, like us, spent most of the day lounging by the pool. Unfortunately, the ocean at the resort is not suitable for swimming as the surf is rough, so the ocean was heard more than seen. At first, we were disappointed by the unsuitable beach but the charms of the resort were slowly made apparent to us over our relaxing stay. Our room, Olive Ridley Upstairs 1, offers a great view of the ocean. The bathroom, in particular, is something special—large windows opened up to views of rolling waves and the occasional stilt fishermen. The room, while spacious is quite basic but by no means uncomfortable. There are plenty of sitting areas to take in picturesque views (plus a sunrise view to the east). One of the highlights of our stay is the food. Whether it was lobster curry or western-influenced seared tuna, every dish was delicious. The staff were really accommodating in taking our requests for local dishes too. We had no qualms about having every meal at the resort (the prices are reasonable), and looked forward to meal times. Order the Sri Lankan breakfast the night before—you will get a platter of mouthwatering roti, hoppers and string hoppers with prawn or fish curry. Perhaps the best thing about Frangipani Tree is the abundant wildlife we were able to observe from the comfort of our deckchairs. Thanks to a local who was hanging out by the beach, we were told about the sea turtles 2 metres from the shoreline sticking out their heads for air. There is also a resident kingfisher, a sandpiper, a monitor lizard and a family of squirrels. And for 6 months out of the year, you get to witness a natural phenomenon where thousands of swallows come to roost on the property’s coconut trees. We were told that the birds have been coming here for the past 25 years. We got so accustomed to the languid pace of life and the abundance of natural beauty of the place that we were extremely sad to leave!
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