Embark on a 26-day-long tour that is sure to leave you with enough incredible memories to last a lifetime. Start your journey in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, India and explore urban life in a world removed. Explore the countryside of Sri Lanka on a walking tour of the tea plantations. Appreciate the natural wonders of Southern Asia on multiple safari treks. And spend the last days of your adventurous tour unwinding in the stunning and tranquil Maldives.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
Touch down in Mumbai, India’s most affluent locale. Your driver will be waiting to take you to the luxury Taj Mahal Palace & Tower. Check in, rest and feel refreshed. The rest of the day is yours to explore your surroundings and relax before the busy days ahead.
Today your private guide will take you on a whirlwind tour of bustling, vibrant Mumbai. Starting with the Prince of Wales Museum and a look to India’s fascinating past. Next up, Victoria station, the historic railway station is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finish off the tour with a visit to the markets of Malabar Hill. Take in the colors and chaos of the space with its many foreign sights, scents and sounds. Enjoy dinner at one of your hotels on-site fine dining restaurants.
Wake at your leisure and enjoy a delicious breakfast at the hotel. Today you will transfer to Cochin. Check in at one of three recommended hotels - Brunton Boatyard, Vivanta by Taj Malabar or the Malabar House. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring the hotel and surrounding sights.
Today you will explore Cochin Bay, and take the Colonial Cochin Tour. The winding, narrow streets of this southern city will transport you back in time. Take in the charming blend of colonial architecture and native aesthetics as they meet in a beautiful fusion of culture.
Rise and shine early this morning, before visiting Cochin’s famous Jew Town, Paradesi Synagogue, and the beautiful Dutch Palace before packing up and transferring to Kumarakom. Check in at the luxury Kumarakom Lake Resort.
Kumarakom is home to a rich ecosystem of mangrove forests, paddy fields, coconut groves and a plethora of exotic bird species. Take a boat through the backwaters and visit the Bird Sanctuary. Round off the day with a sunset cruise.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to Chennai. Check in to the Leela or Park Hyatt hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Today you will visit the country’s most impressive artesian commune, the Cholamandal Artists’ Village. Next, learn of the region’s social-political landscape with a visit to the Government Museum. Last stop on today’s tour is the city’s oldest railway station, the Southern Railway Terminus. Spend the evening relaxing at your hotel.
Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast before your departure to Bangalore, India’s third-largest city. Check in to your suite at the Taj West End Hotel. Rest, refresh and relax for the rest of the day.
You will spend the first half of the day exploring Bangalore, the country’s tech hub. Visit Lal Bagh botanical gardens, home to India’s most extensive collection of tropical plants. Next see the Dodda Basavana Gudi, or Bull Temple and the Bangalore Palace. Depart for Colombo and check in to the Tintagel or Uga Residence.
Start your day off with a spiritually-inspiring visit to the Gangaramaya Temple. Continue on to the Seema Malakaya Temple, a temple in the middle of a lake only reachable by a small bridge. Take a tour of the National Museum and stop at the historic military fort. As the sun begins to set, head for the local markets and shop for some traditional trinkets or try some of the local foods.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before departing for Dambulla. Check in to the Heritance Kandalama. Spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful area, and admiring the cliffside architecture of your charming hotel, lounge by the pool or treat yourself to the world-renowned Six Senses Spa with an Asian, Swedish or Ayurvedic massage.
Today explore Dambulla’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Dambulla Cave Temple and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
Take a half-day trip to the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, yet another UNESCO site of the beautiful region. An afternoon departure will bring you to Kandy, Sri Lanka’s cultural capital. Check into the Earl’s Regency Hotel, and relax poolside or explore your surroundings and get a good night’s rest.
Today you’ll explore the city of Kandy, tour the Bahirawakanda Monastery and experience life through the eyes of a Sri Lankan monk. Visit the Temple of the Tooth and be amazed by its adornment in tiny white lights. Today transfer to Ceylon and check in at the Ceylon Tea Trails hotel, where each room and suite comes with a personal butler. Have your personal butler draw you a bath and relax.
The region is known for its tea and sprawling estates - today you will take the Ceylon Tea Trail working plantation hike. Feel refreshed after a tea tasting at the plantations. Return to your suite and enjoy the exclusive royal treatment offered by your hotel.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast before a half-day trek up Adam’s Peak, a sacred space of worship for centuries. Next, on to the stunning coastal city of Galle, where you will check into the Amangalla hotel. Enjoy the five-star treatment you will receive at this historic hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing.
Begin the day with a spectacular experience – take a whale watching tour! Next check out the Ancient Port of Galle, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Round off the day of incredible sights with a visit to the Yatagala and Rhumasala temples.
After breakfast depart for Tangalle. Here you will experience the unique opportunity to view baby sea turtles hatching on a remote, isolated beach. Check in to the Amanwella resort before taking a local cooking class and learning some of the secrets of the delicious Sri Lankan dishes.
Today visit the impressive Mulkirigala Rock temple, standing 676-feet tall. This unique temple is unlike any other in the world. Make your way through the winding cave temples of Mulkirigala. Enjoy a relaxing evening at the luxury hotel.
Today embark on an exciting safari through Yala National Park on a full day tour. This wildlife sanctuary is home to a rich array of aquatic bird species, tropical plants and many natural wonders. Return to your hotel for a good night’s rest.
Today depart for the final destination on the tour, the stunning Maldives. It’s time to unwind. Fly in to the capital of Male, hop on a speedboat, and cruise to the paradisiacal Kaafu Atoll. Check in to one of our recommended luxury resorts: Four Seasons Kuda Huraa, One & Only Reethi Rah, Baros Maldives, Huvafen Fushi or Velassaru.
Start your day with a relaxing and invigorating yoga session on the soft beach sand. After breakfast, you’ll take an unforgettable sea plane flight through the Maldives, giving you an epic view of the country’s stunning scenery. In the afternoon, you may enjoy some leisure time on the beach. Toast the sunset aboard a Dolphin Cruise, and enjoy a tasty beachside dinner.
A leisurely beach morning can be broken up with snorkel sessions through the vibrant reefs that line the shores of Kaafu Atoll. Later on, give parasailing a try, and enjoy yet another bird’s-eye view of the exquisite beaches that surround you. In the afternoon, you’ll unlock the secrets behind Maldivian cooking. Relax afterwards with an indulgent spa treatment, to help you wind down for the evening.
Keep your zen vibe going with some early morning Tai Chi. Mid-morning, you’ll learn all about the pink corals that add such color to the surrounding crystal waters from a resident marine biologist. You’ll even get to replenish the coral population by planting some yourself! Laze the afternoon away on the beach. Return home to freshen up ahead of a romantic private beach dinner tonight.
Say goodbye to the Maldives today, as you’re whisked away by speedboat to Male, where you’ll be assisted with check in for your international departure flight for your onward travels.
For over a century, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower has been the haunt of India's elite, and has played host to princes, kings, maharajas, presidents, CEOs and countless celebrities. Built in 1903, it is an architectural marvel, bringing together Moorish, Oriental, and Florentine styles. Inside, the hotel showcases contemporary Indian art framed by vaulted alabaster ceilings, onyx columns, graceful archways, hand-woven silk carpets, crystal chandeliers, and an eclectic collection of furniture. There are 519 rooms and 46 opulent suites with panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India. The Taj's excellent dining options include Golden Dragon - voted the best Chinese restaurant in Mumbai; Masala Kraft - Indian cuisine with a contemporary twist; Souk, which has stunning views of Mumbai from its rooftop location and serves Middle Eastern cuisine; The Zodiac Grill, where a special menu is offered for each month's star sign, and the stellar Wasabi By Morimoto - Mumbai's first contemporary Japanese restaurant, helmed by the Iron Chef himself. There is also the Harbour Bar, Mumbai's first drinking establishment, and the Insomnia nightclub, filled with "Bombabes" and their millionaire boyfriends. Guests can unwind at the luxurious spa, the fitness center, equipped with cardiovascular and weight training equipment, steam shower and sauna and swimming pool, or with a game of badminton, squash, tennis or billiards. The hotel also has a private yacht available for day trips on the Arabian Sea or to nearby Elephanta Island. There is a business center with wired and wireless Internet access, secretarial services and cell phones and laptops for hire. Wi-fi available throughout the hotel. The Taj Mahal Palace is 45 minutes from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM).
Set in a restored boatyard dating from the Victorian era, the Brunton is located at the tip of Fort Cochin. Designed in the style of early Dutch and Portuguese buildings, with whitewashed walls, a sloping tile roof and terracotta floors, the Brunton features twenty-two rooms – all of which face the sea, and are fitted with antique furniture and high royal beds with steps to climb up to them. Dining options include the History Café, which serves a fusion of Dutch, Syrian, Indian and Keralan cuisines in a room paneled with warm woods and teak crossbeams; the Terrace Grill serves the best of that morning's catch; and lastly, the Armoury Bar, which overlooks the harbor and features a selection of teas and classic cocktails. The hotel has a small pool next to the sea, an Ayurvedic center with massage and healing treatments, and a steam room, but does not have a fitness center. There is no business center, though there are secretarial services and Internet access. The Brunton Boatyard lies approximately 30 minutes from the airport in Cochin (COK).
The charming Malabar House, voted Best Boutique Hotel by Time magazine, dates back to 1755 when Dutchman Jan Herman Clausing owned it. Spice traders, tea merchants and bankers subsequently occupied it before being turned into luxury accommodations. There are 17 rooms and suites, divided into Deluxe Rooms, Roof Garden Suites and the Malabar Suite; all have tiled floors and are decorated in vibrant color schemes with antique objets d’art. In-room amenities include televisions, direct dial telephones, safe deposit lockers, coffee makers and mini bars. The property’s restaurant, Malabar Junction, serves delectable seafood prepared in Indian and Mediterranean styles and if the weather is nice, meals or drinks can be taken in the courtyard, which often hosts local dance or musical performances. Upstairs from the restaurant is Divine, a wine bar focused on Indian wines. Malabar House is in the heart of historical Fort Cochin, opposite St. Francis Church and 3 minutes walk to the Chinese fishing nets. The property is a 1.5-hour drive from Nedumbassery Cochin International airport.
Located on the banks of Lake Vembanad, Kumarakom is a beautiful retreat on the backwaters of Kerala. The building that houses Ettukettu, its principal restaurant, was commissioned by King Marthanda Varma as a gift to his martial arts teacher, and dismantled from its original location before being reassembled at Kumarakom. The 115-seat restaurant offers multiple cuisines, including continental, Chinese, Mughlai, North Indian and traditional regional dishes. Ayurmana, Kumarakom’s Ayurveda spa, has an extensive menu of massages, therapeutic and beauty treatments, while the fitness center has a wide array of cardio machines and free weights. Thattukada is a traditional Kerala teashop. Kumarakom is approximately 1.5 hours from Cochin airport (COK).
Designed by the architects of New York’s George Wong Designs, the Park Hyatt offers its guests a modern, international aesthetic, accented with fine Indian textiles. Built beside the governor’s residence with a pool overlooking the the Guindy National Park, the hotel contains 201 rooms, with 20 suites, across seven floors of the hotel’s 11 stories. For dinner, take a seat at The Flying Elephant. Designed to be an unforgettable dining experience, The Flying Elephant spans 6 interaactive kitchens on 3 themed levels, including a bar, dance floor, and family dining room, each serving a rotating menu of Indian delights as well as international fair. The Park Hyatt Chennai was named “The Best New Hotel of the Year” at the HICSA conference in 2013 and is approximately 20 minutes from the Chennai Airport (MAA) by car.
For luxury, elegance, and a panoramic view of the Bay of Bengal, look no further than the Leela Palace Chennai, a five-star hotel in Chennai, India. Its design and architecture inspired by the Chettinad Dynasty, the hotel exudes a classic regal opulence, from the Royal Entrance through the Lobby Promenade, following along to the Grand Staircase, all the way to the Royal Ballroom. Sitting on 4.8 acres, the glorious seafront property looks out to where the Adyar River joins the Bay of Bengal, a view guests can take in from the Sea View Courtyard, or a sea breeze they can enjoy from the outdoor pool. With over 300 rooms and luxury suites, the hotel provides guests the option of a sea view or a stunning vista of the nearby city center. This 11-storey hotel also features several world-class dining options, including China XO, for Chinese cuisine, Jamavar, its signature Indian restaurant, and The Cake Shop, for all things sweet. To further indulge, guests will soon be able to relax in the saunas, steam rooms, and treatment rooms of the in-house luxury spa - the world-renowned ESPA.
The dramatic and sultry Tintagel property is located in central Colombo, close to Colombo Town Hall, National Art Gallery and Sinhalese Sports Club. The hotel was previously home to three of Sri Lanka’s political leaders, making it an important structure of national heritage. This unique and intimate hotel boasts ten high-ceilinged suites with timber floors, lavishly decorated with a unique blend of color, texture and atmosphere. The spacious bathrooms feature rain showers, bathtubs and large vanities. All rooms include complimentary WiFi, LCD TV screens with DVD/CD players, a minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities and Egyptian cotton bedding. Selected suites come with a private courtyard or a balcony. There are a range of dining facilities including an alfresco restaurant, a chic indoor restaurant offering international cuisine, a private dining room and a bar with black leather lounges and bronze tables. Other facilities and services of the hotel include a spa with optional in-room service, swimming pool, gym, steam room, library and courtyard.
In prime position next to the lake and nearby Buddhist shrine, Uga Residence screams old-world elegance in modern Colombo. Nestled on a verdant avenue, this perfectly-appointed Victorian mansion offers an escape and some peace and quiet within the bustle of the city. Guests can relax in their luxurious suites, bedecked in rich materials and textures, or on their private terraces; alternatively, they may enjoy tranquil walks in the shady gardens. Relaxation and reinvigoration are close at hand with massages available on request and the hotel pool awaiting with cooling waters in a sunny courtyard. A la carte dining is a sumptuous affair at the poolside restaurant, where guests may begin with a cocktail from the adjacent bar and continue with wine from the cellar to accompany the gourmet delights on offer.
Designed by famed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, the unique Heritance Kandalama hotel is set into a cliff face among dense tropical forests, flanked by the Dambulla rock temple and Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The hotel’s buildings were planned to blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment and are covered with hanging vines and flowering plants. Each of the 152 rooms faces either Kandalama Lake or the forest – even the bathrooms were planned to showcase the view – and is decorated in an elegantly simple contemporary style. The Kandalama is the first Green Globe 21-certified hotel in Asia, and the first hotel in the world to be awarded the prestigious LEED Green Building certification. There are three restaurants to choose from, including the Kanchana Café, which has won multiple awards. Among The Kandalama’s amenities are a pool, business center and fitness center, while the world-renowned Six Senses Spa has a location here that offers Asian, Swedish, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic massage.
Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon, is one of the world's historic centers of tea production, replete with rolling green hills and genteel plantation homes. Ceylon Tea Trails, run by the Dilmah Tea Company, has restored four classic colonial bungalows built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj. These historic houses offer guests the unique experience of life on a working tea estate in the highlands (elevation here is over 4,000 feet). The bungalows range in size from four to six rooms and two have their own pools. Summerville and Castlereagh are situated opposite each other on the shores of the Castlereagh Lake, Norwood is at the other end of the valley about 15 minutes away by car and Tientsin is about 30 minutes away in the next valley. Maintained trails with beautiful views run between all the bungalows, and through the surrounding hillsides and plantations. Each house comes with its own manager, chef, butler and houseboys; in-house massage appointments can be arranged. Meals and afternoon tea are prepared by your private chef using gourmet ingredients and produce grown right on the property, and can be served indoors or on the lawn.
Located in the center of a preserved 17th-century Dutch Fort, the sumptuous Amangalla resort is also a beautifully restored UNESCO World Heritage site that perfectly captures the charm of the historic trading port of Galle. Amangalla has 17 rooms, eight suites and the Garden House, a two-story house with treetop views. Rooms are decorated in a style that blends luxurious contemporary amenities with a perfectly rendered colonial-era aesthetic. Sri Lankan curry and other traditional dishes are served in the dining room, and the Veranda is a cool spot to have a drink during the day; the fort's Zaal (Dutch for Great Hall) serves light meals and a classic afternoon tea. The pool is located in the resort's gardens and has five shaded pavilions where you can relax post-swim. A library with Internet access houses information on Sri Lanka and the history of the Fort. The Baths, Amangalla's spa, offers Ayurvedic massage, hydrotherapy pools, and a steam room and sauna, among other treatments. There is also a garden pavilion for yoga practice or meditation. There is no fitness center. The resort is roughly a four-hour drive from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).
Situated in the midst of a coconut grove on a secluded bay, the Amanwella resort is one of the world's most exclusive beach retreats. The resort sits on a perfect crescent of white-sand beach and is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, national parks and exotic wildlife and a 5 and 1/2 hour drive from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB). There are 30 suites, each equipped with a plunge pool, terrace, and floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides. A number of ocean suites are located further down the hill and have uninterrupted views of the coconut palms and the beach. The Amanwella restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, and uses its location next to the ocean to cook up fresh Asian- and Mediterranean-style seafood. The Pool Terrace also serves meals in a more laid-back setting. When not enjoying a safari, snorkeling, or swimming in the pool, there is a library with Internet access and reference books on Sri Lanka. The spa offers massages and traditional therapies using local, natural ingredients, which can be given either in the spa's suite or in selected garden locations. There is no fitness center.
In your villa at the One & Only Reethi Rah, it’s easy to feel like you’re in a far corner of the earth. The resort, which first opened in 2005, makes the most of the Maldives’ reputation as a perfect palm-trees-and-beaches tropical escape. Each villa is situated for maximum privacy and comes with an overwater perch or private beach access. There are four restaurants and bars with world-class menus and drink lists, as well as 24-hour in-villa dining. The excellent ESPA offers a wide range of holistic healing and beauty treatments, and includes underwater treatment rooms, couples’ rooms, a relaxation lounge, saunas, steam rooms and a Japanese-style onsen. There is a full service fitness center, every imaginable type of water sport, including big-game fishing and private sailing cruises on a fleet of beautifully maintained wooden Maldivian dhonis, and an open-air, overwater yoga pavilion. If in the midst of all this, you still must stay connected to the outside world, all villas are equipped with high-speed broadband Internet access.
Huvafen Fushi describes itself as a "living dream," and this is a title that is indeed hard to argue with. Occupying a private resort island in the Maldives, the resort’s 40-some private bungalows and pavilions offer stunning views of the Indian Ocean, and all are fitted with private plunge pools. It goes without saying that the beds and furnishings are top quality, and luxurious bathing facilities, such as oversized tubs, rainforest showers, and even Jacuzzis, are the norm in this tropical paradise. Many of the accommodations are located directly above water, as are a number of its restaurants, which serve fresh seafood and flavors of both Western and Asian inspiration. There is also an underground wine cellar cum restaurant on the island that boasts over 6,000 different wines. Of course, a sommelier is on hand to help guests make sense of it all. In terms of activities, there is a surreal spa that features two underwater treatment rooms. Guests can enjoy looking out upon a marine landscape as treatments are administered, though there are also aboveground treatment rooms. Naturally, water activities abound here, and the aquatic center provides equipment and guides for scuba diving and snorkeling expeditions alike. There is also an overwater water gym, and yoga classes are held daily.
The Baros Maldives is the perfect spot for relaxation and pampering. The resort has its own private white-sand beach for lounging and splashing in the turquoise water. The beach is surrounded by a crystal-clear lagoon in the Indian Ocean. The luxury villas are constructed from timber and each has its own private balcony. Treat yourself to one of the many spa treatments or unwind in the steambath. The resort offers yoga classes, diving classes and diving excursions as well as an on-site marine center with a resident expert marine biologist. See the incredible beauty of the Maldives without even having to leave your resort. Choose from three different exquisite restaurants with delicious food, and relax at either of the two bars. The resort is world-renowned for their restaurants. The Baros Maldives Resort and Spa is only a 25-minute boat ride from the North Male Atoll Airport.
An escape into an exclusive oasis in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean: welcome to Velassaru in the Maldives. This luxury island resort, located a 25-minute speedboat ride from Malé airport, is a private paradise, featuring fine dining, indulgent spa treatments, world-class diving and snorkeling, and a little home-away-from-home just steps from the crystal clear waters. Guests may choose the accommodation of their dreams: from Deluxe Bungalows to Beach Villas and Ocean Water Bungalows to Lagoon Water Bungalows, each room provides luxury, privacy, and elegance - many with the option of a private pool for the ultimate hideaway. By day, enjoy yoga instruction, relax at the spa, explore the ocean, or simply sit back and soak in the incredible surroundings; by night, wine and dine at any of the five dining options and then dance the night away at either (or both) of the two luxury bars. Guests may also take advantage of the incredible location by partaking in the resort’s optional excursions, such as a seaplane tour, a sunset cruise, or a nighttime fishing expedition. After all, in this epicenter of paradise, anything goes.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands – a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
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