Picture this: your own private plunge pool overlooking the Indian Ocean. A short walk away is your own cinema with popcorn machine. In the courtyard you'll find a free fruit stand, free cheesecake stand, free tea stand. You can go and visit the free barber, or go for a free yoga session. How about a visit to the library with more than 1,500 books. Head to the London-style phone booth under the coconut trees and call anywhere in the world for free. Or if you like writing, just pop to the in-house post shop and send a free postcard.
All resorts try to do it: become a destination in themselves. Underneath the Mango Tree (or UTMT for short) has absolutely nailed it.
The all inclusive feel - you get countless extras included in the price.
The private beach right in front of the resort.
Every turn has a meticulous little detail - you can spend hours discovering them all over the resort. From little outdoor chess boards built into the side of rooms, to the popcorn machine with paper bags made out of old school books.
The exceptional food, even surpassing the level of some fine dining restaurants in Europe
The quirky design - it's a colour explosion!
This is undoubtedly one of the most chic and decadently luxurious resorts in Sri Lanka - where the overall concept revolves around wellbeing, relaxation and rejuvenation.
The resort has a large ayurveda spa and at the centre of the grounds sits an infinity pool. The entire resort has almost 300 coconuts trees and splashes of purple, pink, yellow and orange everywhere. Just walking to the restaurant is a complete visual feast. The colour scheme works incredibly well and reflects the character and soul of the resort perfectly.
Set amongst lush tropical trees and a sprawling green 'gardenscape', the ocean is pretty much on your door strep. It’s hard to decide whether to stay in your own private pool, take a dip in the 25m infinity pool, spend the day at the spa, or head down to the warm Indian Ocean.
At the beach you can play in the surf, lounge in the sun (or under a coconut tree), and then enjoy delicious cocktails at the fully stocked beach bar.
Walking into the room is like an exciting colourful maze. From your luxurious bed - turn a corner into the bathroom, and you'll find a huge mango shaped bathtub. Turn another corner and you'll find a modern indoor shower. Around the next corner another outdoor shower overlooking the Indian Ocean and coconut trees.
The attention to detail is incredible. For example the shampoo comes in a sleek glass bottles with a sealed lid. The shower has a bottle-opener where you pop open your shampoo, like a beer bottle!
One of the many highlights of UTMT is the seemingly endless amount of activities.
Jump into the warm Indian ocean and surf the waves on the complimentary boogie boards. Spend the day lounging in the refreshing pool between ayurvedic treatments; take part in a yoga class with internationally trained yoga instructor - Geda. Or just relax in one of the many hidden hammocks dotted around the grounds with one of the books from the huge in-house library.
Then after a hard day relaxing, head to the beach bar for the evening!
If you can possibly tear yourself away from all this, here's a few more options.
Whale and dolphin watching tours
Day trip to the Sri Lankan rainforest
Head to the historical town of Galle for the best Ceylon tea in Sri Lanka
Go on the most beautiful bird watching tour of your life and take a boat trip on Koggala Lake
Take a surf lesson
Spend the day with elephants, leopards and other exciting wildlife at Yala National park
The UTMT restaurant is a fusion of European fine dining meets the best that Sri Lanka has to offer.
The breakfast is delicious with fresh fruits, smoothies and juices, bakery items, house-made granola, eggs to order and an Ayurveda section. At your table you'll find a printed UTMT newspaper, complete with the latest world news.
Dinner was also delicious, our favourites being a fresh tropical mango salad and delicious fish and chips that even us New Zealanders couldn't fault. There are also cooking classes available for those wanting to learn the secrets of Sri Lankan curries.
There's also a full ayurvedic menu for those undergoing treatment.
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by receptionist Sahara who already knew our names!
The service is impeccable, led by the European managers Alex and Tina - both of whom are incredibly friendly and always on-hand to help out. If you're lucky, you'll meet a staff member called 'Lucky' - who has the biggest smile in Sri Lanka.
It is very hard to create a family-feel with dozens of staff and 22 rooms - but Underneath the Mango Tree does exactly that.
There's three movie showings per day (pick your own movie) at the in-house cinema - make sure to get some popcorn from the machine!
Daily tropical fresh fruit is served every afternoon in the main courtyard.
Then head into the main building where you'll find daily house made cakes and a huge selection of Sri Lankan teas.
Not only is there a library with 1,500 thousand books, there’s also Ebooks and iPads available!
There’s a children's play area with every sort of toy and book you can image to keep your little ones happy.
Dulce de Leche (thick caramel sauce) is available for breakfast
An in-house seamstress who creates beautiful unique clothes is also happy to custom make items for you; just show her a picture in the morning and you'll have your dream outfit by the evening.
Save 5% when booking through the UTMT website
There's more but we really couldn't give it all away!
From Colombo International Airport by private car takes just over 3 hours.
You can also travel by train or air-conditioned bus to Matara and then take a taxi or tuktuk to UTMT. This would take a bit longer of course.
Prices start around $207USD (€196) per night including breakfast and many extras.
For more information head to the Underneath the Mango Tree website.
For the latest specials, click on the link below to go through to UTMT's booking page on our preferred site: Agoda