The Frangipani Tree, Thalpe, Southern Province, Sri Lanka.
There I was, stuck between a rock and a hard place. I wanted to swim in the ocean, to cleanse myself of my misgivings in the salty sea, but I also wanted to lounge in the infinity pool, sip a fruity cocktail (without being judged), and swim a few laps without fear of being drowned by an octopus. One of the great conundrums of our time.
I decided that I would get crazy and do both. In the ocean I was pounded against the rocks by the angry surf (I may have misjudged its power), but I did manage to have my carcass hauled out of the water by the legendary stick fishermen of the Southern Coast, so I consider it a win.
I spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool at the Frangipani Tree, one of the most remarkable hotels I have ever visited. The pool and the setting on the southern coast alone make it a place worth checking out - the immaculate, open concept villas, outdoor infinity showers, and brilliant seafood restaurant push it into a whole other category altogether.
3-day packages during the high season begin at $750, but can be combined with a night or two at The Fort Printers, the Frangipani Tree's sister hotel in nearby Galle.