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01/12/16 - Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka

A quiet retreat or spirited getaway

The 300-room beachfront Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort & Spa opened 2 June on a 145-acre former coconut plantation on the southern coastline of Sri Lanka.

Showcasing the essence of the tropical setting is the resort's open-air lobby - made of natural materials and dotted with local handicrafts. Upon arrival, guests are met by turquoise sea views, the sound of breaking waves and Indian Ocean breezes before they are whisked away by electric tuk-tuk to their private guestroom.

Beginning at 48 square metres, the guestrooms feature louvered shutters and polished wooden floors that lead to balconies suited for admiring the ocean vista or the resort's lush garden - where peacocks can be spotted roaming the grounds early mornings. Handwoven rugs and ocean blue-coloured panels complement the modern luxury style, and spacious bathrooms are accessorised with stone-clad bathtubs and rain showers.

Each of the 21 suites, ranging in size from 96 to 240 square metres, provides the ultimate in privacy and butler service. Thoughtfully designed with a balcony and oversized rattan furniture to lounge in, the interiors reflect the island's beauty through vibrant colours and look out to the emerald green hues of the fairways or Indian Ocean. All guests can stay connected with free Wi-Fi.

Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort & Spa is the first of two Shangri-La hotels in Sri Lanka with the second hotel - Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo - slated to open next year. The group operates two other resorts in the Indian Ocean - Shangri-La's Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius and Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives.