Perched on a skinny spit of land between the Indian Ocean and the lush jungles of Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park is a prime example of an entirely new generation of luxury tented camps. Opened early this month, Wild Coast Tented Lodge eschews traditional breezy, safari-style accommodations, instead featuring 28 otherworldly tented cocoon suites—each boasting vaulted ceilings and double-height glass façades that offer panoramic views of the jungle outside.
The third property in Resplendent Ceylon’s collection of uniquely designed boutique hotels and camps dotted throughout the country—which also happen to be Sri Lanka’s only three Relais & Chateaux resorts—Wild Coast strikes a delicate balance between rugged safari living and the luxe creature comforts modern travelers have come to expect. Each of the contemporary colonial-style suites feature plush four-poster beds and comes complete with freestanding handmade copper bathtubs perfect for taking a soak in after days spent tracking wild elephants or the illusive Sri Lankan leopard with the property’s team of dedicated naturalists.
For an even more indulgent way to experience the bush, guests can check into one of the four beach-facing suites, which, in addition to boasting sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, offer glittering plunge pools. Of the tents that don’t feature plunge pools, 16 are clustered around natural watering holes where guests can watch wildlife—like sloth bears, jackals, and peacocks—come and go from the comfort of their private decks. And, if they need a dip themselves, they can head to the property’s mesmerizing free-form pool that winds around the restaurant and lounge.
After the sun goes down on days filled with visits to the property’s leopard conservation station (the only one in the national park) and ancient Buddhist sites, guests can head to the resort’s open-air Ten Tuskers bar and Dining Pavilion. Designed to look like the boulders that dot the beach outside, the bamboo-clad space serves rotating menus of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, much of which is inspired by the Malay community villages skirting the park. If guests aren’t quite ready to retire to the comforts of the camp, dinner can also be served alfresco on the property’s sand dunes, where guests can watch the sun go down over the Indian Ocean as they enjoy a crafted cocktail.