Santani, the Luxurious Asian Wellness Resort Winning Awards

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Santani, the luxe wellness resort winning piles of awards in Asia

In the digital era, being Instagram friendly is one of the most important aspects of a resort or retreat, and Santani Wellness Resort in Sri Lanka has this one sorted.

Image of cabin on a hill at Santani

The architecture and location of the place is one of the many highlights, particularly the use of natural light and the surrounds within the tropical jungle within which it sits.

Located outside Candy, a town about 5 hours drive from the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, this wellness resort is designed for relaxation and yoga, and the majority of the structures are wooden and concrete. It all sits in the middle of a lush, tropical Sri-Lankan forest.

There are no schedules here apart from the one set by the rising and falling of the sun.

When I was there, (fortunate for me), lauded Indian yoga instructor Sushant Pandey was in residence, and I was lucky enough to be able to work with him throughout my stay.

He’s a man who (amongst man other things) has taught Russian scientists to increase their productivity – through yoga and meditation.

This is the place to go to be pampered in nature and to escape the world.

The food is unbelievably good, and consists of 3-4 course meals at every sitting, and the chef meets with every guest every day to tailor the menu to suit their precise meal requirements.

Unlike many retreats, the menu has alcohol.

Meals are served in a stunning, calm, elegant space where shoes must be removed and natural light pours in. There are spectacular views across the surrounding green fields, at all hours of the day, sunrise and sunset.

The sauna and spa area are incredible, and encapsulate that indoor, outdoor feel, with a hot spa and massage rooms overlooking a tropical jungle where monkeys play.

Hearing monkeys at play whilst being massaged is quite a treat. The therapists have been hand-picked and are exceptional.

There is a deliberate strategy here not to put you into a schedule

“We believe living a highly scheduled life is the root cause of the stress, people are already under in their day to day lives.  And if we have one here,  there’s no difference to your daily life,” explained Vickum Nawagamuwage, the CEO/founder of Santani.

“The expansive, open style rooms with bathrooms with no roof have either a garden view overlooking a paddy field, or are mountain view chalets which have a view of the mountains.

Renae Leith-Manos at Santani Health Retreat in Sri Lanka.

“The concept of the rooms are open rooms, places that help make you feel more comfortable with yourself. Once you are in that space of your own, you take yourself as what you are.

“In regular daily life, there’s always a door, a block but here at Santani you are not blocked by doors & windows at every step. It’s just in the mind, it’s just a mental block and we have removed the physical one.”

Days consist of morning yoga, long walks through the rain forest, the occasional wild pig wandering onto your path on the property, monkeys dancing in the trees and afternoons by the gorgeous swimming pool overlooking the view.

A bonus of a stay are the fabulous global people also looking for inner peace at this five star yoga retreat. Most were open with their stories and journeys, which was enlightening and another fulfilling aspect of my days there.


Renae travelled to Santani, Sri Lanka with Health & Fitness Travel,  who organised every step of her sensational yoga retreat; 1300 551 353.

Renae  Says:

Who should Stay here: Solo travellers, couples, groups of friends.

Who shouldn’t Stay here: Children – this is not a place for children.

Location: About 4 hours  drive from Colombo Sri Lanka – try and book the train in advance or a light plane.

Best culinary delight: The food is out of this world.

The Highlight: The architecture and tropical jungle setting.

The lowlight: It’s quiet – you have to be ready for that, but that is why you go.

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Renae is a luxury hotel consultant travels the world looking for the ultimate travel experiences for her audience of women over 35. She has more than 25 years experience as a degree qualified journalist writing for many magazines, newspapers and digital platforms. Renae spends her time professionally speaking, coaching CEO's and GM's and eating dark chocolate.

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