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Review of Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort

Imagine a secret hideaway located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Indian Ocean and you will find Anantara Peace Haven, one of Sri Lanka’s most luxurious five-star resorts situated on the southern coastline at the tip of the island. This nine-hectare property offers 152 beautifully designed classical rooms and villas, blending Sri Lankan cultural nuances with Anantara tropical indulgence.  

There are six restaurants, lounges and bars including a cliff top Italian restaurant – Il Mare to Teppanyaki-inspired cuisine with a Sri Lankan twist at Verala or Journeys for international fare. For special evenings, try out the Dining by Design service with a butler served meal in a hand-picked location or experience the Harvest Table, a farm to table culinary experience with a sustainable meal in a treehouse overlooking the resort’s rice paddy field. You can also learn how to cook Sri Lankan curries at the Spice Spoons cooking class. 

Other facilities include a central split level 25 metre swimming pool; a well-equipped fitness centre; a Yoga and Meditation Pavillion with scheduled group classes; the Joli Kids’ and Teens’ clubs for entertaining the offspring; tennis and badminton courts and a Library for retreating to a quiet space. Activities include learning to surf, stand up paddleboarding, cycling, nature walks and more. For other guests however, the spa is their target so for expert pampering, head to The Anantara Spa with its eight treatment rooms split between single and double occupancy; a facial treatment room; a beauty salon; relaxation areas and a whole treatment menu full of delight overseen by a Resident Ayurvedic Doctor.

9 / 10

The Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort is set amidst a nine-hectare estate which tumbles gently down an emerald, green hillside through a coconut plantation to a golden, sandy beach and manicured gardens. Nestled on a rocky outcrop at the southern tip of the island on Sri Lanka’s beautiful rugged southern coastline, the resort is located just outside of the old fort town of Tangalle near Goyambokka and enjoys a secluded beachfront position which at the same time, is very accessible. 

A road trip from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport in one of the resort’s luxurious chauffeur driven cars will take approximately two and a half hours (around 220 kilometres) whilst Mattala International Airport is around one and a half hours away (approximately 70 kilometres). A private helicopter or Cinnamon Air Flight can also be chartered flying from Bandaranaike to Dickwella, a 10-minute drive to the resort. 

The concierge team can arrange any number of excursions around the resort including surfing at one of the nearby beaches; taking a boat trip to watch whales, dolphins and turtles in season; visiting the nearby Mulkirigala monastery, one of Sri Lanka’s national treasures dating back to the third century or, further afield, there is the second largest blowhole in the world, Hummanaya with water sprays reaching 25 – 30 metres in height. There are also trips available to the family owned Handunugoda Tea Estate, visiting a working cinnamon plantation or seeing the island’s largest Buddha at Wewurukannala Vihara. 

Sri Lanka is also known for its wildlife safaris and two national parks are located within easy reach of the resort – Udawalawe National Park where herds of elephants peacefully graze and Yala National Park which is home to the largest number of leopards on earth, co-existing with storks, fan-tailed peacocks, monkeys and crocodiles.  Other experiences include the Bundala National Park, 6,200 hectares of natural beauty and Kumana National Park, an exotic bird sanctuary.

9 / 10

There is a variety of accommodation available from rooms overlooking either the ocean or the tropical gardens and villas allowing a greater sense of privacy and luxury. 

There are three types of guest room available – the Premier Beach Access Room at 45 square metres of living space with an 11 square metre terrace, the similarly-sized Premier Ocean View Room and the Deluxe Ocean View Room with a 49 square metre interior and an 11 square metre balcony of terrace. The colour palette is neutrally smart and relaxed with dark wood accents with comfortable colonial furnishings, Nespresso machines, separate showers, twin vanities and bathtubs and a handy wine humidor. The deluxe rooms have the best position with views of the ocean available from multiple viewpoints. 

Villa wise, there are four categories ranging from the Garden Pool Villa, the Ocean View Pool Villa and the Beach Pool Villa – all offering 97 square metres of space whilst the fourth, the Two Bedroom Pool Villa is the largest at 237 square metres, perfect for accommodating four adults and two children. 

These villas feature welcoming plunge pools and twin loungers with a terrace perfect for al fresco dining. For easy transportation, each villa offers its own bicycles. There is also a Villa host to look after you, arranging treatments, excursions and more plus DVD players and Bose sound systems. The Beach Pool Villa has a large pool for refreshing dips and a landscaped patio to soak up the sun’s rays. The two-bedroom pool villa is differentiated by the amount of space it offers allowing for a large shared central living space, a butler pantry, a dining room and both bedrooms enjoying their own en-suites. The inside space flows easily outside to the pool terrace with its outdoor shower for rinsing off.

10 / 10
Service & Facilities

Apart from the sandy beach and the glorious split-level pool at the resort’s heart, there is a wide array of facilities and activities on offer at the resort including morning meditation, cycling and the Joli children and teens clubs to keep the family happy for kiddies aged four and above. There is also a well-equipped fitness centre; tennis and badminton courts; Movie nights; a yoga and meditation pavilion with a range of group classes; a Library for some quiet time and surfing at the Anantara Surf Centre by Tropicsurf. There are also gift shops and Clef d’Or travel and excursion concierges for arranging trips out to see the area. For getting around the resort, there are complimentary tuk-tuks and bicycles. 

For expert pampering, head over to the award-winning Anantara Spa which offers a wide range of trusted therapies from Sir Lanka, Asia and from the West in a serene and relaxing environment. The menu includes reinvigorating scrubs and wraps, massages, custom facials and ancient Ayurvedic and tailored wellness programmes. For bespoke wellness programmes, book a session with the Resident Ayurvedic Doctor. 

The signature treatment is the Ceylon Retreat taking just over two and a half hours. It starts with a foot ritual with refreshing black tea and lime before adding in a purifying green tea and exfoliating salt scrub before being enveloped in a rehydrating coconut cocoon with jasmine and an Ayurvedic massage. 

The Spa’s spacious facilities include four double and four single treatment suites, a facial treatment room, a beauty salon and relaxation areas. There are female and male changing rooms each with steam rooms. 

Outside the resort, there’s a wide range of excursions ranging from visiting the local fort town of Tangalle, to going on safari or visiting the second largest blowhole in the world. One of the most popular activities is going on Turtle Watch, seeing the volunteers tirelessly protecting the mother turtles and their eggs or watching a baby turtle making their inaugural entrance into the ocean.

8 / 10

The Asian hotel brand Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has perfected its vision of a thoughtfully designed luxury resort and this property is ideally designed for couples and for larger family groups. There is everything you can possibly want to enjoy a wonderful holiday in luxurious surroundings. 

An oasis sitting on the Indian Ocean, guests could simply decide to spend all their time here, cocooned in indulgent luxury, enjoying a wide range of dining and activities, custom arranged by the resort’s efficient and courteous staff. For the more curious however, there is plenty to keep you going with anything from wildlife safaris to temples, market visits and turtle watching and cultural tours to the Dondra Head Lighthouse, built from stone imported from Scotland, making it one of the tallest in Southeast Asia. 

Anantara is also concerned with the environment and here, has chosen to make it part of the resort itself from the Peace Haven Nature Walk, to protecting endangered turtles and to undertaking organic and sustainable farming, helping both the local community whilst at the same time, envisioning an interesting guest dining experience. There is certainly much to be admired at this stand-out property.

9 / 10
Restaurants & Bars

There are a whole host of dining options at the resort from cliff-edge dining to poolside casual, serving a wide range of cuisines including celebrating Sri Lanka’s vibrant flavours. 

Journeys is the all-day dining restaurant overlooking the pool and Indian Ocean, serving an international menu from across the globe. Verala meanwhile is about Teppanyaki-inspired specialist seaside dining with the chefs performing their dextrous cooking skills whilst preparing succulent meat, fish and seafood dishes served with Sri Lankan flair. 

The signature Italian restaurant Il Mare features spectacular view of the ocean through gently waving coconut palms atop the cliff-side. Enjoy handmade pastas, risottos and authentic seafood complemented with fine wines curated by the resort’s Wine Guru. You can even select your own fish with the chef, bought fresh that day by local fishermen. 

If wine is a priority, specialist connoisseur degustation menus with tapas-styled creations can be paired with fine wines at El Vino in the company of the resort’s chef for up to eight people. 

For casual dining, head to the Poolside Bar for refreshments and light bites served all day long either on loungers or in the shady environs of the bar itself. 

The afternoon is all about tea at the Lobby Lounge which is a traditionally Ceylonese environment, perfect for high tea with boutique and single estate highland teas or evening cocktails with snacks and shisha. 

Private dining has been raised to an art form by Dining by Design for bespoke private dining served by a personal butler. All you have to do is to choose the perfect spot – either a secluded stretch of beach, on the cliff side or in-room – the resort does the rest. 

If you love cooking, then the Spice Spoons cooking class is for you. Take a tour around the bustling market and fishing port before returning to the resort for a step-by-step cooking class to blend and balance traditional Sir Lankan recipes.


With properties across Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, Anantara is committed to preserving the world’s most beautiful destinations. They aim to preserve and nurture their host communities and environments, operating in a way which is beneficial to the locals and sustainable for the generations to come. They believe in grassroots involvement in the local community as well as matching guest donations to organisations that provide vital services such as child welfare and wildlife protection.

Each property is committed to water and energy conservation, minimising water consumption in all areas of the hotel. Waste management is also a priority with resorts reducing, re-using and recycling solid waste, implementing composting programmes and purchasing long life, durable products which are able to be recycled. The group works with local communities, offering opportunities for the locals, promoting cultural awareness with their guests and integrating indigenous culture into everyday experiences. Where possible, the group will employ members from local communities and will source environmentally and culturally sustainable products and services.

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort has a number of other initiatives in play as well. 750 square metres of resort land has been designated for use as a rice paddy field with traditional methods used to sow and harvest. The resulting produce is both shared with the local community and used for a unique farm to plate Harvest Table sustainable dining experience for guests at the resort. The rice is combined with freshly caught fish to create a three-course meal served within a treehouse, overlooking the paddy field.

The resort employs Nature Gurus at the resort to take guests on an hour and a half’s walk around the resort’s grounds to explore its rich biodiversity and there are also naturalist guides to take guests on a variety of nature trails outside of the resort.

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort has collaborated with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to help and protect globally threatened marine turtles. The project helps the resort’s naturalist “Eddy” maintain the turtle nests on the resort’s beach and is funded by Anantara Dollors for Deeds programme – the resort matches every donated guest dollar. Just recently, the resort helped the 9,000th nestling launch into the sea. Eddy also conducts scientific research, publishing papers regularly. The lighting at the resort is kept low and unobtrusive for nesting turtles on the beach.

The resort also recycles all its grey water and uses it in the resort garden.

What We Love

  • Wildlife: From the moment you check-in to the sad check-out you get that feeling that you are being watched. And indeed you are – not by the Staff – but by the diverse collection of animals that also call Anantara Peace Haven their home. From the cheeky Grey Langur monkeys to the timid Black-naped Hares and peaceful Monitor Lizards, these are the spies ensuring that you are having a great time! At certain times Olive Ridley and Green Sea turtles will hatch and head into the Ocean. Yala Nature Reserve is two hours drive and is home to leopard, elephant and crocodiles.
  • Accommodation: With 152 rooms & villas, there are many options on offer at the resort. The Ocean Pool Villas are superb. While they lack “total” privacy – as they are on the beach – they offer swathes of space, enormous bathrooms, beautiful bedrooms, large private pools and views of the Indian Ocean. Expect all the usual amenities but the fresh-tea-making facility is a particular delight. Lovely.
  • Spa: The Anantara Spa at the resort is immense! Following the Ayurvedic school, guests can expect a plethora of excellent treatments from highly-trained and skilled aestheticians. It is certainly one of the finest spas in Asia.   

    Varun Sharma

What They Love

  • Location: The resort is scattered through 21 acres of tropical gardens fronted by a secluded beach and beautiful rocky outcrop. Centrally located to cater to cultural, nature, local experience lovers with a chance to explore the local region. Nestled beneath shady palms, with the waves of the Indian ocean lapping at its sandy shore, it’s every bit the picture perfect beach retreat.
  • Restaurants: The main venue is Journeys, which allows you to enjoy a variety of flavours from around the world. For a more unique experience, there is the oceanfront restaurant Verela, a teppanyaki restaurant with a local flavour. Another favourite dinner setting is the edge of the rocky outcrop, where you will find the award-winning Italian specialty restaurant Il Mare. The resort also offers a farm-to-table dining experience which includes a walk along the organic paddy field and farm.
  • Resort: Home away from home with 152 air-conditioned rooms including 32 villas with private swimming pools featuring minibars and flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Private bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers feature rainfall showerheads and complimentary toiletries.

    Roberto Simone
    General Manager
    Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort

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