Sri Lanka in Style


To follow on from the sneak peak into my trip, I thought I would highlight some of the great resorts and hotels that we uncovered along the way, and give you a little taste of what’s on offer at this incredible destination.



More than just the necessary gateway to your Sri Lankan adventures, Colombo is emerging as a destination in it’s own right. With it’s port having been a key link between trading in the East and West for centuries, there is a strong colonial influence that remains intact, and combined with the current contemporary influence that is starting to trickle in, you will find a stunning blend of colonial heritage and cosmopolitan lifestyle.

Where to stay:

Galle Face Hotel (Heritage)

An iconic Colombo landmark, the Galle Face Hotel dates back to 1864, and has been loving refurbished to it’s former glory. Located on the waterfront, if you’re looking for a truly grand and historic experience, the Galle Fort Hotel is sure to impress.

Uga Residence (Boutique) 

If finding calm in the heart of bustling Colombo is more your style, then Uga Residence is your home away from home. The property is a restored Victorian townhouse, which once welcomed British governors, Indian maharajas, European nobility and the cream of the colonial Ceylon society, and is ranked as one of the best boutique hotels in the city.

Elegant, contemporary and comfortable, this property is beautifully understated, oozing with the warmth and genuine hospitality that Sri Lanka is all about.


Galle Fort

While the Galle area itself stretches from it’s beaches, to the contrasting lush jungle further inland, we chose to concentrate our short visit to the Galle Fort area, a UNESCO site and the oldest living city in Sri Lanka.

Built back in the early 1500’s, Galle Fort was the hub of Sri Lanka’s trade, and is an incredible fusion of European and Arabic cultural and architectural influences.

Step back in time and wander the narrow, cobble stoned streets of Galle Fort, and uncover stunning colonial architecture, galleries, museums, markets, restaurants and more! You can even catch a game of cricket at Galle International Stadium, which is said to be one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.

Where to stay:

Amangalla (Historic)

Once a fading landmark in Galle Fort, the New Oriental Hotel, It has been restored & turned into the best of both worlds. A hotel that’s at once top-shelf luxe boutique and yet an authentic Sri Lankan cultural experience.

The hotel reeks of its surroundings & though the rooms are indeed luxurious, their contemporary décor is visibly colonial-inspired.

From the pool deck and library to the understated spa, and the elegant colonial dining room, this property is another great choice for an immersive Galle Fort experience.

Fort Bazaar (Boutique)

I fell in love with this stunning boutique property ‘Fort Bazaar’, which is fresh and contemporary, with chic understated interiors.

With a vibrant bar, restaurant, spa and pool (coming soon), it’s the perfect oasis in the heart of Fort Galle to explore the many sights and beaches.


The Galle Fort Hotel (Historic & Boutique)

The Galle Fort Hotel is another boutique beauty, and a UNESCO recognised site, that is the perfect balance between history and luxury. It’s a restored 18th century Dutch villa that has been RAF headquarters, a post office and a merchants mansion.

Today it’s 14 suites each have their own distinct style, and the grounds offer a little sanctuary, perfect to relax in their courtyard with a good book, or chill poolside under the 400 year old pillars.

One for clients looking for something a little more iconic and traditional, with the comforts you’d expect from a luxury boutique property 🌿

Sri Lanka’s Southern Coast

Easily accessible whether you are travelling west from Yala or south from Galle, the Southern Coast has palm fringed beaches, small bays, friendly laid-back locals, and cultural highlights, plus it is a lot less developed than coastal regions closer to Colombo, making it a true wonder and a must visit on any Sri Lankan journey.

Where to stay:

Cape Weligama (Laid back, Beach luxe!)

Cape Weligama on Sri Lanka’s Southern Coast is the sister property to Ceylon Tea Trails, and is a benchmark for luxury Sri Lankan beachfront resorts.

Perched on a cliff top with views of the palm fringed coastline, the property has a range of suites & villas to choose from. Some with their own plunge pools, and larger suites for families. Cape Weligama also boasts a crescent-shaped infinity pool with panoramic views across the Indian Ocean, as well as a variety of international dining venues.

What makes this property stand out though are the beautiful people who welcome you with their big hearts & bigger smiles. You are more than a guest, you are their family and they will go to great lengths to look after you 💕


Amanwella (Contemporary, beach luxury)

While we didn’t stay in Tangelle on our trip, we called in for a visit to Amanwella, a contemporary seaside resort near the fishing village of Tangalle in southern Sri Lanka, on route to Yala National Park.

Amanwella is a romantic retreat on a secluded stretch of sand, with a palm-fringed beachfront setting. Ideal for lazy days and chilling in the sun.

Kahanda Kanda – Boutique

Set amidst the palm fringed jungle and tea plantations of southern Sri Lanka, Kahanda Kanda is a hidden gem where culture, wellness and luxury combine. They boast 10 luxury villas (3 with private pools), featuring beautiful art and antiques.

This property is a sanctuary where guests can indulge in serenity, privacy and personalised five-star service, and yet be central enough to explore the surrounding beaches and attractions.

Yala National Park

YALA is among the oldest and best known of Sri Lanka ‘s National Parks, and it is an ideal place to spot the “big four” of Sri Lankan wildlife, the elephants, the sloth bear, the illusive leopard and the wild buffalo. Yala is also situated along a stunning coast line, with coral reefs and sandy beaches.

What better way to experience the national park than by going on ‘Safari!’

Where to stay:

Chena Huts by Uga Escapes (Safari Lodge)

Chena Huts by Uga Escapes, located in Yala National park, is a luxury Sri Lankan safari experience, that offers a unique beachfront location, only minutes from Leopard & Elephant territory.

Chena Huts offer an all inclusive experience, that provides you with a beautifully appointed villa (with a private plunge pool), all meals, top shelf spirits, 2 x daily game drives, nature walks and more!

It’s a fantastic addition to your Sri Lankan itinerary If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the national park & experience some of the country’s best nature & wildlife experiences.

Hill Country

While there is much more to Sri Lanka’s Hill country than we got to experience in our short time, the beauty of the region took my breath away. Think tea plantations, misty mountain walks, fire place snuggles, river rafting, Buddha’s tooth and more!

Notable locations would include Kandy, Ella, Adam’s Peak, Nuwara Eliya and more!

Sadly, I’ll need to go back to experience more of this incredible part of the country, but for now, I did get to indulge in one of the regions best known locations….

Ceylon Tea Trails

Ceylon Tea Trails is a selection of restored colonial era tea planters bungalows, set high in Hill Country, amongst Sri Lanka’s oldest tea plantations.

Each bungalow offers period furnishings, gracious butler service & gourmet cuisine, and it’s ‘make yourself at home’ philosophy is what sets this experience apart from the rest. It’s not just another hotel on your journey, it truly feels like you’re visiting family or old friends.

With plenty to do (or nothing at all), it’s the perfect addition to any itinerary, and to immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s hill country, enjoying high tea by the lake, strolling through the tea plantations, and sipping your gin & tonic where a noble Raj once sat is a noteworthy experience.


Anuradhapura – The Cultural Triangle

Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle is a treasure chest of some of the island’s, if not the world’s, finest ancient monuments and encompasses the world heritage sites of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla & Kandy, so If you are a traveller that appreciates culture, heritage and the ancient history, then this is the place to experience while in Sri Lanka.


Where to stay:

Ulagalla by Uga Escapes (Eco Resort)

A boutique eco resort,  with individual private pool villas, set amongst 58 acres of lush greenery. You are given your own bikes which you ride to the 150yr old manor house, where the main restaurant, pool and spa are situated.

You can then head out on daily excursions hosted by the property or with some of the local tour guides. The property is great for keen bird watchers and nature enthusiasts!

With Ulagalla conveniently located between Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Dambulla, it becomes an ideal location to explore these ancient cities, wildlife and many other attractions of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle.



So, there you have it. A glimpse into our journey and a selection of the properties that we were able to experience along the way. There were some more that we also checked out, but i didn’t want to bombard you (too much), so I’ll save those for next time.

If you are interested in planning your own trip to Sri Lanka, please get in touch as I now have some fabulous insight to the destination, including tips and contacts to get you around safely, and to ensure that you are able to make the most of your time, while experiencing all that you can, based on your personal interests.

I have access to exclusive rates and amenities, and with personal contacts on the ground in Sri Lanka I will be able to flag you as a VIP, ensuring your stay at each property is made a little extra special.

My email is

Thanks for stopping by. I hope that I have inspired you to look at Sri Lanka as one of your next travel destinations.

Kate xx

One & Only Resorts, Ultimate Family Experiences.

Having just completed a few days in Sydney at ‘Luxperience’, a luxury travel industry exhibition, I am inspired more than ever to highlight to you (and wet your appetite) for some of the worlds key luxury destinations and experiences, along with some of the amazing offers and exclusive amenities that I am able to access as a part of SmartFlyer and as a Virtuoso affiliate. (Who doesn’t love a little travel inspo!)

So, I thought I’d start with our wonderful travel partners ‘One & Only Resort’s, and pinpoint some of the ultimate family experiences on offer from within their resort collection around the world.

From Australia to Dubai, Mexico to the Maldives, there is a beautiful family escape just waiting for you at One & Only resorts, and with their dedicated ‘Kids Only’ programs, Mum & Dad will be able to take advantage of some time alone, in some of the worlds most beautiful destinations.

Check out a few of my favourites from their portfolio below, and hopefully it inspires you to start planning your next family holiday.

Don’t forget to look out for the exclusive amenities that you’ll receive when you allow me to plan it for you, so if you are inspired, please contact me on

Kate xx

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My smart move into the world of ‘SmartFlyer’


Well, as another financial year comes to a close, and I gather up my faded receipts (I know, I really need to get with technology), I want to thank you for once again being a part of my journey, and allowing me to be a part of yours.

As an independent travel ‘stylist’, I don’t take your support for granted. I know that when it comes to booking travel, you have a plethora of choice, so I am honoured that you have chosen me to work with you to make your travel dreams a possibility.

Now, what’s business and pursuing your passion without change? It’s time for a shakeup.

You may have started to notice that some of my personal business branding has switched from Riche Travel to Smartflyer Australia, and I’m about to explain what that change is all about….and it’s exciting!

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#throwbackthursday and reflecting on a life well travelled (So far)

It’s #throwbackthursday and we all just loveeeeeeeeeee digging out those old photos and stories, so I figured it was a great opportunity to share a post that I’ve written, where I have spent some time reflecting upon my ideas about bucket lists and my life well travelled, so enjoy!

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A little place called SoHo, New York City!

I’m on a mission this year to post on my blog more frequently, as I love writing and sharing my travel experiences, but sometimes life just get’s in the way. When I say ‘life’, I refer mostly to work, going to the gym or yoga, or seeing friends, so it’s definitely not all bad.. just busy.

My goal is to write 1 post a week (starting from when I landed back in Australia), so last week was all about conversations with strangers on chairlifts, and this week it’s all about New York and my visit to SoHo.

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DO talk to strangers… Especially on a chair lift!!

I’m writing this as I sit here in L.A, enroute to Sydney after yet another journey around the world, and I can’t help but reflect upon some words of wisdom that I have taken away from conversations had with people I’ve met along the way, and to be honest I use the term ‘met’ loosely.

See, I’m talking about those random people that you share a chair lift or gondola with for those 8 to 15 minutes when you’re ripping around a ski field. Strangers, who you no doubt share a common interest with, but otherwise would never have spoken to.

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Music … My favourite travel accessory!

Have you ever found yourself in a moment where you’ve heard a song and it’s instantly transported you back to a specific time, place or event?

I had one of these moments the other day, and upon hearing the song it sent me zooming back, to a day in 2001 when I was sat perched on a bench, at the back of a Greek Island ferry. All of a sudden I was sun drenched, brown as a berry, and a slightly naive 21 year old again, out exploring the big wide world of ours.

What was the song? Nelly, ‘ride wit me’. You know the one (Hey, must be the money!)’.

‘eeeeeeeeek’ tragic i know and definitely NOT one of my finest musical moments (I do pride myself on having a decent taste in music), but it DID get me thinking about how music is basically a time machine to past experiences and while you can’t be on holidays all the time, you can attempt to re-live some of those epic moments at the push of a button.

And that’s why MUSIC is my ultimate and must have travel accessory.

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From Vegas to Yosemite – A breath of fresh air!

road to yosemite

Firstly, I’ll be posting my Yosemite ‘Must do’ list shortly, so if you’re pressed for time and can’t fathom reading the full post, stalk the photos and maybe that will be inspiration enough.

Secondly, to clear something up… Yosemite National park isn’t where Yogi Bear lives. That would be Yellowstone National Park (If indeed a fictional character lives anywhere at all). You would be surprised at how many Yogi bear jokes were made when I said I was heading to Yosemite, so I thought I’d nip that clarification in the butt right away. Haha.

Now if you’re still with me, allow me to share my Yosemite national park experience with you….

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5 tips to beat Jetlag (seriously!)

world mapJet Lag. It’s a painful reality for most long-haul travellers, and for us Aussies it’s seemingly unavoidable since the majority of our international destinations are on average over 14hrs in travel time, with often multiple time zones to cross before we reach our destinations. (Yawn! Why haven’t they invented teleportation yet?)

Over the years I’ve definitely had my fair share of Jet lag. I remember sleeping through a whole afternoon and evening in Paris, after laying down for a ‘nap’, only to wake up the next morning. Needless to say, upon realising I’d slept for about 15hrs and missed my 1st night in Paris (1 of only 3), I was gutted! Rookie error or what?

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The Great Wall of China, all to yourself!

If you’re like me (and let’s face it, almost anyone with a craving for travel), The Great Wall of China, as one of the worlds most iconic travel sites is undoubtedly on your travel ‘wish list’. It’s definitely up there with the likes of the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids of Egypt or the Taj Mahal, and although I’d never really thought of China as a destination that I’d be personally NEED to visit, I have always wanted to see the Great Wall of China.

I’m lucky enough to have visited China twice now, and after a failed attempt of experiencing the wall in all it’s glory, due to heavy rain and fog (as below), I was hopeful that on my return journey this year, I’d be able to witness the iconic wall that I’d seen in so many images. That seemingly never ending stone structure, snaking it’s way up and over the mountainous terrain, and stretching out across the horizon and fading off into the distance.

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There’s more to New Zealand than sheep & hobbits! (Take 2)

Well…. It appears some spammers got the better of this post, so i’ve had to delete it and re-post! If anyone has any advice for avoiding the SPAM that comes through on here, please let me know…..

Otherwise, here is my post on all things New Zealand…. Take 2!

For this week’s blog I posted the task to my Facebook audience to suggest a travel related subject for me to inspire them about, and the chosen subject is ‘New Zealand, Must do’s’.

There was just 1 response to my call out for suggestions, so Megan… this one’s for you! 😉

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5 tips to staying fit & healthy when travelling!

You don’t HAVE to get the Heathrow Injection!

Posting about staying fit and healthy over the Easter long weekend seems crazy, considering I am about to inhale a hot cross bun and a small army of Cadbury mini eggs, but I always get asked about staying healthy while travelling, so I’ve taken some time to think about it and I thought I’d post it for everyone to read.

Living an active, healthy life is important to me and I try to continue that philosophy while I’m travelling too. We’ve all heard the stories about those travellers who gain 20kg’s upon setting foot in Heathrow Airport (also known as the ‘Heathrow Injection’), and I know of plenty of people who work out HARD prior to a big trip, knowing that they’ll likely gain a few kg’s, but I believe that you can travel for weeks, months and even years on end and not pile on the pounds, as long as you make the right choices.

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about long gym workouts every single day, or skipping local ‘must have’ favourites (like gelato in Florence for instance), so check out my personal Top 5 tips for staying healthy whilst travelling!

 1. Choose active adventures

This is probably the simplest ways of staying healthy whilst you’re away. Not only will active adventures help you keep off any extra unwanted weight, they’ll allow you to make the most of your holiday by experiencing things you may not get to experience in your day to day life!

There are some amazing trips and destinations all over the world that are designed for active people, and that specialise in certain NICHE areas. Activities like skiing, snowboarding, surfing, hiking and biking are just the tip of the iceberg. Even simple walking tours in your favourite city could be an option or signing up for an overseas Yoga retreat (or sunrise class at your Vietnamese beach resort)….. It all encourages you to keep moving, and will ensure that you stay physical and healthy on a trip overseas.

Just a handful of companies that offer ‘active travel’ itineraries include:

Personally I ensure that every trip has some kind of active component and as the above examples show, It can be as complex as a hike to Mt Everest Base Camp or as simple as adding a city tour by bicycle one day, and a Kayak around the lagoon the next. So, as much as we all love a chilled out beach holiday every now and then, I urge you to choose an active holiday every once in a while… or at least make some time every day to get moving!!

 2. Pack your own healthy snacks for the journey 


Have you eaten that sugar loaded plane food lately or been stuck in transit with nothing but McDonald’s or 7 Eleven for company? Don’t get caught out! Pack healthy snacks that you know will satisfy you during those long flights or car journeys and avoid the convenience of salty, fatty snack foods and soft drinks.

On a recent short trip I toasted a couple of bags of natural almonds and walnuts in sea salt, and baked a few batches of almond meal cookies, that I took with me on my travels. Not only were they the perfect go to snack when I needed a little something to get me through, but it was relatively small in size, and didn’t take up too much room in my luggage.

There are so many yummy, healthy and natural snacks you can make yourself, so get inspired!! Check out this awesome selection of recipes that ‘Girl Meets Nourishment’ has put together, and get preparing!

Trust me, plan ahead, and don’t get caught out. That’s when reaching for a bag of crisps is going to be the only option.

3.  Fresh is best!

We all know fresh is best, so I urge you to seek out the local delicacies based on the environment that you are in, and try to eat what items or products would be most readily available to the restaurateur or chefs in that location.

For example, when in areas that are on the ocean (like Thailand, Indonesia, the Caribbean etc..) seek out fresh, local seafood or the ‘catch of the day’. Chat to the chef’s and find out when the catch was brought in or if they’ve had it frozen. If you’re in the middle of the country, and you’ve got yummy veggies or delicious organic Beef to feast upon, go for it! Use your surroundings as a guide to what you eat.

An awesome example of this was a great Café in Rarotonga that I stumbled across called the Moorings Fish Café. They prepare the menu daily based on what seafood they were able to catch that morning on their daily fishing run. They only had so much and they’d shut up shop when they sold out, so nothing went in the freezer, and It was all prepared fresh daily. Loved it!

If you can, another great idea is to immerse yourself in the cuisine and do a cooking class on your travels. Not only is it a great day out, but you’ll learn a skill and see exactly what’s going into your food!

Keep it simple… Think logically about where you are, and what would be the freshest, most available products and stick to those. If there is a local delicacy, try it! Chances are it’s something they prepare daily and will rarely cause you any real harm.

4. Self-catering accommodation can save the day

I know that most of us won’t want to cook whilst on holidays, but trust me if you have accommodation that has a kitchenette or even just a microwave it can save the day if you’re struggling to find something healthy and decent to eat.

On my recent trip to The Cook Islands it was hard to find anything open after 2pm that wasn’t a fast food place, so a pot of water to boil some eggs and a cuppa served its purpose to fill myself (and my always hungry boyfriend) up, until it was time to hit the restaurant for dinner.

Most destinations are catering more and more to clients looking for that balance between self-cater, and restaurant variety. Even luxury properties are offering self-contained ‘villa’ style accommodation, which personal chefs (the works!) so there is truly something for everyone.

  1. SLEEP!

hammock life

Sleep is the most UNDERRATED health benefit in the world, and ensuring that you get enough sleep whilst you travel is vital.

I know jet lag and time zones can make it tricky, but try adapting to any time zones as quickly as you can, and ensuring that you are still getting your 7-9hrs a sleep a nite.

Not only will it ensure that you are fresh and ready to get the most out of the experiences the following day, but there are commonly known links between sleep and your immune system, so this is one of the BEST ways to protect against picking up any nasty travel flu’s, as the LAST thing you want whilst travelling is a cold. So hit the sack!


I guess to wrap all of this up, my final thought would be enjoy everything in moderation!

As I mentioned right at the start of this post, I’m all for getting out and enjoying your indulgences whilst you’re away, after all FOOD is a huge part of your overall travel experience and can sometimes be the BEST part of a city or cultural experience, but remember to enjoy all things in moderation.

There is nothing wrong with eating a slice of steaming hot, spicy, cheesy, New York style pizza (or 2) whilst in New York, just don’t have it everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Balance your meals (like you would at home) and ensure that you are also drinking loads of water. This combined with an activity or two every day and you’ll escape the dreaded holiday weight gain, and there will be no need to safety pin your shorts back together when you’ve busted out of them!

What are the travel health tips you live by? I’d love to hear all about what you guys do to stay fit and healthy on the road!!!

Thanks for reading!

Kate xxx