Letter from The Indian Ocean – SRI Lanka


Greetings from the Indian Ocean,

As I sit and sip Ceylonese tea here at Amari Galle, I am reminded of the lengthy and intimate history of this warming beverage. Sri Lanka’s tryst with tea began in 1867 when British-born James Taylor planted the first crop of Ceylon tea, which is now renowned worldwide. Still one of the world’s top tea-producing countries, Sri Lanka celebrates 150 years of Ceylon tea showcasing as many as 28 different grades from various elevations, from the highlands of the central province to the lower-lying southern province where I am located at Galle.

The Amari Galle recently opened and has me in a fantastic locale where I can celebrate the rich history of Ceylon tea by indulging in the signature Galle Ceylon Retreat Package at Breeze Spa. The treatment, designed exclusively for Amari Galle. The decadent treatment starts with a full body tea leaf scrub infused with aromatic cinnamon and vanilla, followed by a massage that combines Thai and Ayurvedic techniques. These are some of my favorites. In a state of total relaxation and in love with the fragrances that lingered on my body and wafted up to my nostrils, I strolled back to my suite. With direct sea-views from my suite, I settle in on my terrace with a cup of Ceylon tea and the sound of the waves, as I sink deeper into a state of total relaxation. 

Tomorrow is another day for me to explore tea plantations and ancient Buddhist ruins. Sri Lanka is one of my new favorite destinations. I will have to explore and share field notes with you after my trek. There is a slight chance that I may get caught up in ta and follow the trail that Amari has created. I’ll fill you in if I end up in China sipping a soothing cup of osmanthus tea at their Amari Yangshou or in Malaysia having some Teh Tarik, the local expression for ‘pulled-tea’, the country’s iconic drink, at Amari Johor Bahru. Whichever direction the wind takes me, I will keep you posted.

Pinkies up,

Gina Hines


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