The Geoffrey Bawa Architecture Tour
4th – 13th July, 2020
Lovers of good design, boutique travel and gourmet food will find this trip stimulating and rewarding.
In 2019 Sri Lanka was ranked top destination for travel by Lonely Planet. We will experience the rich contrast between the pristine beaches of the Southwest Corner and the historical High Tea country.
Sri Lanka is a land where modern cutting edge architecture lives comfortably beside ancient ruins and lost civilisations. Boutique villas and fine dining rub shoulders with village culture and traditional ways.
Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa is known worldwide as the innovator of Tropical Modernism and considered to be Asia’s Frank Lloyd Wright. This trip is ideal for architects, decorators or anyone who appreciates good design.
The itinerary focuses on the best of Bawa’s work, from residential to his large hotels. We also see and experience the best of Sri Lankan architecture, boutique hotels, world class beaches and the excellent local cuisine.
Best of Sri Lanka Tours specialise in small groups and have an emphasis on good company and interesting conversation.
Day 1: COLOMBO
Check in the day before we depart. Since many flights arrive late at night, some guests prefer to book an extra night. This can be arranged with an extra night at a discount rate if you choose to arrive early.
Day 2: COLOMBO
After breakfast we visit #11 Bawa House. Bawa purchased four adjoining terraces which he used as a house and studio. It has been kept it the original condition. Nearby is the impressive Galle Face Hotel where we have morning tea/light lunch. Then a tour of the city before dinner at the Galleria Paradise Road. This was Bawa’s main working office and is now a successful restaurant and Gallery.
Day 3: BENTOTA
In the 1970s Bawa was commissioned by the then burgeoning Tourism Authority to design a “Tourism Village”. The idea, before the arrival of cheap air travel, was to take the train and guests to walk to one of the five hotels in the complex. We stay at one of the two completed Bawa designed hotels.
Day 4: BENTOTA
Lunaganga was Bawa’s weekend retreat and passion project. Over years he built a number of villas as well as completely remodelling the land to fully encompass the views over the lake. In the afternoon we take the colourful coast road on to Galle in time to the ramparts walk, the fort walls of this ancient trading port. Our hotel is the fabulous Jetwing Lighthouse.
Day 5: GALLE
The next morning it is 1.5-hour drive to have lunch at the fabulous Claughton House. Some say that if Bawa is the Frank Lloyd Wright of Asia, this is his Falling Water. We have time to visit Hirikitiya Beach – a perfect crescent shaped, picturesque tropical beach.
Day 6: KANDY
Our longest day on the road is five hours from Galle to Kandy. We visit the tooth temple at night where the Lord Buddha’s tooth is kept.
Day 7: DAMBULLA
The Dambulla Lake Hotel is a new modern, Bawa inspired hotel. We check in and then visit the cave temples, statues and dwellings that were carved in to the rocks, some as early as the 1st century BC.
Day 8: DAMBULLA
The Heritance Kandalama is Bawa’s most famous building. It is moulded into the side of a cliff and covered in jungle. The afternoon is left open for guests to choose: Ayervedic massage and spa, the elephant park or visit a local village and see traditional building methods.
Day 9: DAMBULLA to NEGOMBO
We need an early start to climb famous Lion Rock – Sri Lanka’s most popular and memorable activity. Back to the hotel for breakfast, shower and the drive to Negombo. Our beach hotel is also a Bawa creation and a short drive to the international airport.
Day 10: NEGOMBO
Shuttle to the airport. If your flight is late at night, we can request a late check out so you can have another relaxing day at the beach or around the pool.