Entering a New World: Exploring Sri Lanka and MICE travel

Compared to neighbors the Maldives, Sri Lanka is often overlooked as a luxury travel destination. However, this tropical island has an abundance to offer in terms of luxury travel. With its rich history and unspoiled beaches, Sri Lanka is a paradise for those looking for authenticity and culture on their vacation. If you are planning a vacation or corporate trip to this beautiful country and want to experience its unmatched luxury, Sri Lanka offers unique accommodation and adventure routes. At Asia Bespoke Tours, we have years of experience in curating luxury experiences in Sri Lanka, showing that it is possible to have the trip of a lifetime in this incredible paradise.

MICE & Sri Lanka

The volume of MICE travelers to the island nation of Sri Lanka has been steadily increasing over the years and is expected to rise in the years to come. The wide range of sites and activities available throughout the nation makes Sri Lanka an excellent candidate for MICE tourism. Sri Lanka boasts an array of diverse features and is easily reached due to the relatively compact size of the island.

On January 12, 2022, a webinar was held virtually in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau as part of the Economic Diplomacy measures carried out by the Sri Lankan Embassy in Indonesia to promote Sri Lanka as a MICE destination. During the one-and-a-half-hour session, 25 Indonesian travel agents participated and demonstrated a strong interest in Sri Lanka for MICE tourism.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Indonesia and ASEAN Yasoja Gunasekera emphasized that Sri Lanka is an ideal location for Indonesians to organize meetings, incentive travel, conventions, and events and emphasized the easy access available through direct flights to arrive towards a destination that offers such a rich diversity of experiences.

It should be emphasized that the MICE sector accounts for around 11% of all visitors to this island country. Significant MICE-related events have long taken place in Sri Lanka; this is due to the nation’s top-notch venues and amenities, which include ideal settings for sizable conferences and business training programs as well as scenic sights for incentives.

Sri Lanka offers facilities for corporate training programs and natural settings for exclusive incentives. There is a wide range of the very best luxury boutique hotels and villas for a unique experience and modern infrastructure to organize international conferences and events of all sizes making it exemplary for MICE-related travel.

The commercial capital of the nation, Colombo, is home to three exposition and conference centers with cutting-edge amenities that can accommodate sizeable conferences with up to 2,000 guests as well as sizable exhibitions. Sri Lanka has become known as one of the most affordable locations for such events in the conference and incentive sector.

Sri Lanka’s key strengths include an abundance of international luxury brand hotels, a strong hotel and hospitality infrastructure, favorable climate and a speedy online visa process.

Critical to meetings and incentive travel though is the luxury resorts and experiences. Sri Lanka is the most unique nation in the world for luxury experiences as there is a unique balance between culture, food, and high-quality luxury stays. Below we describe a few of these experiences.

Luxury Accommodation:

There is an abundance of luxury accommodation across the nation. A few examples of resorts that we work with consistently are below – they are safe, secluded, adults-only, and luxurious.

Sri Lanka is a country known for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, and there’s no better way to experience both than by staying at one of the country’s luxurious accommodations. One of the most notable options is Santani, the first and only purpose-built wellness resort in Sri Lanka. The name, which comes from the Sanskrit word for “in harmony with,” reflects the resort’s philosophy of helping guests achieve balance with nature and themselves. Set on a former tea plantation within a pristine forest, Santani offers a secluded and restorative destination spa with 18 rooms designed for natural ventilation and air-conditioning free. Guests can roam around the tropical jungle and fertile rice fields, practice yoga or meditate along the Hulu River, and receive effective wellness treatments without any artifice.

Another luxurious accommodation option in Sri Lanka is Anantara Kalutara, located only 10 minutes from the town of Kalutara and an hour south of the capital Colombo. With a unique setting between the Indian Ocean and Kalu River, the resort boasts coastal, river, and lagoon frontage, and all 141 guest rooms, suites, and pool villas immerse guests in stunning views. Private balconies and terraces overlook lush gardens, the ocean, or lagoon, and all guest rooms come with a wine humidor as standard. The resort has interconnecting, disabled, and poolside guest rooms available, and suites are set apart by an elegant lounge. The one-bedroom Presidential Suite boasts a private plunge pool and sundeck. The resort features two swimming pools, a fantastic spa, and a choice of three restaurants.

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa is another remarkable option for luxurious accommodation in Sri Lanka. Overlooking the southern coast of the country, the resort spans 53 hectares, making it the largest resort in Sri Lanka. It boasts 300 spacious rooms, including 21 suites, all surrounded by stunning tropical gardens. The resort is home to an 18-hole golf course, an expansive spa, and an artisan village that celebrates local arts and crafts. Visitors can explore Asia’s most fascinating nature sanctuaries, including the Yala and Bundala National Parks, and enjoy a mosaic of activities and unique curated expeditions to help absorb the diversity of the island at its best.

Cape Weligama is another resort with a remarkable history and stunning views. Situated on a singular promontory rising high above the Indian Ocean, Cape Weligama offers 39 private retreats designed by one of Asia’s most celebrated architects, Lek Bunnag. The hotel’s dining venues capture Weligama’s iconic sunsets, as does the large crescent-shaped infinity pool that appears to flow seamlessly into the shimmering sea. Guests can enjoy stunning panoramas and elegant swells unfurling onto the sun-kissed sand while experiencing trade winds that carried legendary explorers like Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, and Fa-Hsien past Sri Lanka’s soaring southern cliffs on some of history’s most celebrated nautical journeys.

In summary, Sri Lanka offers a range of luxurious accommodations that allow guests to experience the country’s cultural heritage and natural beauty in unique and memorable ways. From Santani’s wellness-focused philosophy and secluded location to Anantara Kalutara’s unique setting between the Indian Ocean and Kalu River, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa’s natural beauty and wildlife, and Cape Weligama’s stunning views and history, each resort offers a distinctive and unforgettable experience for visitors seeking a luxurious and restful oasis in an amazing cultural country.

What to Explore in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Six are cultural and two are natural sites. This is more than most other Asian countries.

Cultural Natural

Explore rare animals and plants in the country’s many nature preserves. The most popular national park in Sri Lanka is Yala National Park, and it is easy to understand why. Yala was established as a wildlife refuge in 1900, and since then, it has gained a reputation for having an exceptional variety of wild species. Although there are many different animals at Yala, the elephants, leopards, and sloth bears continue to be the most well-known.

Visit the coastal city, Galle. The seaside city of Galle, which is 130 miles from Colombo, is known for its Dutch architecture, boutique hotels, and vintage shops. Visitors to this idyllic tropical hideaway in Sri Lanka can unwind on the area’s pristine beach or take advantage of the area’s diverse marine life.

Dambulla Cave temple. Visit the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex that towers 160 m over the surrounding plains in Sri Lanka.  There are 80 documented caves in the surrounding area with major attractions spread out across the caves including historical statues and paintings.

Sigiriya Rock Visit. Sri Lanka’s most iconic rock is a must-visit whether you were looking to climb the rock or just to enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding it. Sigiriya Rock is climbed by thousands of tourists a year, combining their love for history and panoramic views.

The Train Ride from Colombo. A train ride from Colombo to Kandy and up into tea plantations is truly one delightful experience where one can picture the picturesque countryside in a classic journey.

Sri Lanka holds many cultures and is a destination famous for its warm hospitality, exotic fruits, dramatic beaches, lush deep green forests, hill-top hideaways and eight epic UNESCO sites all make it the ideal recipe for fun and luxury leisure. To learn more about custom luxury experiences offered by our expert destination management team reach out  to us at Asia BeSpoke and we will offer you with the best service to best match your needs.


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