“Sipping sundowners in a private pool overlooking some of Sri Lanka’s most stunning natural scenery…luxurious retreats don’t come much more tranquil than Tri!”
Visited in March & July 2021
A tranquil lakeside haven famed for its hip design credentials and strong eco-ethos, Tri is a magical retreat for foodies, wellness lovers and style-conscious travellers.
Lauded as Sri Lanka’s first modern hotel with a sustainable focus, Tri’s 11 distinctive suites and villas nestle within six acres of verdant gardens on the shores of Koggala Lake.
Embracing a forward-thinking design approach, Tri’s owners employ natural materials to create cool, contemporary structures which sit harmoniously upon the tropical hill site. Tendrils of vines descend from rooftops, trees tower overhead and the gardens teem with birds, butterflies and scampering Sri Lankan squirrels. International design aficionados have long been buzzing about Tri – and for good reason.
Spend indulgent days enjoying sumptuous spa treatments, poolside chats and brilliant boat tours, before kicking back with cracking cocktails and tucking into a menu of fresh, seasonal delights. Sri Lanka’s lively south coast may be just minutes away, but Tri is an oasis, lulling its guests with hazy morning mists and birdsong floating on the evening breeze. Whether you’re into food, design or wellness, this is a destination unlike any other on the island.
Expect swish, minimalist design and soothing tones throughout Tri’s 11 spacious rooms, suites and villas. Crafted from locally sourced natural materials, including recycled jack and cinnamon wood, these thoughtfully built hideaways also feature roofs planted with native creepers and sedums.
Situated in a converted hilltop column at the heart of the property, cosy water tower rooms offer a bird’s eye view of the hotel and lake beyond. Head to the top floor for spectacular sunset panoramas.
On our first visit, we stayed in a spacious Lake Suite, with a big bed facing the water. The lovely private terrace is perfect for morning coffee or evening cocktails, with fluttering birds and passing fishermen for company. The interior vibe is fresh, airy and bright, with white polished concrete, billowing drapes and patterned Tallentire House cushions. The enormous, solar-heated rain shower was a real treat, too.
Keen to step things up a notch? Try a Lake Villa like we did for our second stay. Sitting slightly further from the hub of the hotel, these are the ultimate luxury escape. Some even feature private plunge pools – and if you’re travelling with children, there’s a two-bedroom Family Villa with its own swimming pool.
Drinking & dining
Come to Tri hungry: the menu brims with delectable dishes, all of which put seasonal ingredients centre-stage. Sri Lanka is blessed with some superb produce – and Tri’s proximity to water ensures that there’s plenty of great seafood on offer, too, including shrimp straight from the lake.
We feasted on big breakfasts of tropical fruit, curd and homemade granola, followed by Sri Lankan pol roti and sambol – or poached egg and mushrooms – in the lake-facing restaurant. Light lunches of spicy cuttlefish, garden-grown crunchy kankun and babaganoush then set us up perfectly for lazy poolside afternoons.
Climb to the top of the cinnamon-clad water tower with an arrack sour for a superb sundowner setting, before ambling back to the restaurant to devour generous dinner dishes. There are culinary creations aplenty, but the pan-fried sea bass, prawn kotthu and Sri Lankan thali were particular stand-outs.
We also enjoyed more than one evening meal on our private terrace. Arrange ahead with the team to savour scrumptious food in seclusion, accompanied by a bottle from the well-stocked bar. There are certainly worse places to polish off a rich chocolate pudding!
Facilities & activities
Tri’s spectacular, 21-metre infinity pool has to be one of our favourites in Sri Lanka. Snooze on a sun lounger, sip tea – or something stronger – at the poolside bar, or simply float the day away as tropical birds flit overhead. With Koggala Lake stretching out beyond the striking palm tree at the foot of the pool, it’s a top spot to relax in tranquility.
Whether you’re travelling as a couple or as a family, don’t miss the opportunity to tour the water on the hotel’s private boat. Guided trips last around 45 minutes, with the option to hop off and explore an island filled with cinnamon. Surrounded by an abundance of wildlife, it’s a wonderful way to get closer to life on the lake.
Tucked away on the other side of Tri’s gardens is a yoga shala – offering superb treetop views – as well as a library stocked with architectural tomes, quirky novels and fun magazines. The spa, hidden below, is surrounded by leafy tropical vegetation; sweat it out in the stream room, before sinking into a fabulously restorative full-body massage. A range of calming oils are available to ensure the 60-minute treatment really hits the spot.
More active travellers can borrow the hotel’s mountain bikes to follow a suggested loop through nearby villages and paddy fields. It’s a great way to get your bearings – and an activity that’s sure to include some intriguing encounters.
For a longer excursion, take a three-wheeler to the popular surf breaks of Kabalana and Ahangama, just 20 minutes away. You’ll also find hip cafés and eateries to sample, as well as small shops, fruit-filled markets and an excellent cross fit gym at PALM. Fancy a trip to the chic boutiques and restaurants of Galle Fort? Those are a 40-minute drive away.
Things we love
• The fantastic eco ethos and outstanding architectural design, from the infinity pool to the superb suites.
• A real sense of tranquility and immersion in nature.
• Terrificfood and top tipples crafted from fresh local ingredients.
• The brilliantly attentive team!
Things to note
• Tri welcomes children above the age of 12; daybeds can be converted into sleeping spaces in most larger suites and villas.
• The hotel is situated 15 minutes from the main coast road, down a rough track; speak to the team about arranging a ride to the beaches, bars and boutiques of Ahangama and Kabalana – and don’t forget to arrange a pick-up time for the return journey!
• A mobile phone can be found in each room – carry this with you for super service: the exceptionally helpful team are never more than a call away.
When to visit
Sri Lanka’s south coast — fifteen minutes from Tri — is in season from November to March. The island is at its hottest in April, while monsoon rains are expected in May/June and October. Travel outside these times for glorious warmth and consistent sunshine.
Location & information
The journey from Bandaranaike International Airport to Tri takes just less than 2.5 hours by car via the expressway. See our travel tips for further info.
There are also regular train services running between Colombo and Ahangama, via Galle. Contact the hotel team in advance if you’d like to arrange a transfer.
Tri Hotel Koggala by Reveal Koggala Lake Ahangama, Sri Lanka