Standing in complete stillness with my arms outstretched and my front knee at a 90º bend, I take a moment to appreciate the zephyr passing through Tri’s open air yoga studio. I can feel a bead of sweat making its way down the bridge of my nose, lingering at the tip before dropping down and hitting the mat with a tiny splash. At the end of class, I decide to lay in savasana on the warm, wooden floors with my eyes wide open, unwilling to give up the panorama of the surrounding verdure.
20 kilometres south-east of Galle, tucked away at the end of a winding road, lies Tri – a stylish, modern oasis in Sri Lanka’s Sabaragamuwa Province. Perched on the edge of the country’s largest natural lake – Lake Koggala – this sustainable boutique property is a welcome antidote to the nation’s growing portfolio of luxury chain hotels.
Upon arrival, I encounter a seemingly ancient, storybook Banyan Tree, and breathe in the scent of the willowy lemongrass lining the spiral pathways. Looking around, it’s easy to see that Tri’s architecture is mindful of the landscape. Sunken villas with green rooftops facilitate an unobstructed view of the lake, local materials like jak wood are used in abundance within the property, and most common spaces are al fresco, letting the outside in. Even the cantilevered plunge pools play a role, reflecting the hazy sky and further highlighting the presence of nature. At the heart of the hotel is a three-storey water tower encased in recycled cinnamon sticks. This is where all paths, designed using the Fibonacci sequence, converge.
From the striking first impression of the infinity pool – with its long laneway and a single palm mirrored on the surface – to the addictive house made ‘Tri mix’ of cashews, vegetable crisps, and dried chilies, each detail of the property is the unified vision of founders Rob Drummond and Lara Baumann. As photographer and creator of Quantum Yoga, respectively, Rob and Lara have imbued their retreat with a refined sense of aesthetics and a focus on wellness. You can spend your days reading in the beautiful library enclosed in floor to ceiling windows; treating yourself to an Ayurvedic spa; or going on off-site adventures to neighbouring Cinnamon Island. And dining at Tri is a particularly memorable highlight. Featuring a menu of Sri Lankan classics that have been reinterpreted with your health in mind, you can request to have all meals catered to complement your Ayurvedic type.
On my last morning, I woke up at sunrise, slid back the linen curtains, and opened the villa’s balcony doors. Stepping out onto the deck, I took in the quiet, stillness of the lake at sunrise. After time spent in the peaceful haven of Tri, I felt a lightness of being. Standing there, my eyes were as eager as they were on day one at the yoga studio, still unwilling to give up the view.