Recovering from a 20-year civil war, Sri Lanka is attracting a fashionable crowd with its palm-lined beaches, rugged hill country, and mountaintop fortresses. Adrian Zecha is developing two Aman properties, including one in the colonial town of Galle set to open next month, and Christina Ong is scouting locations for a COMO hotel in the same area. A 17-room house in Bentota designed by the great Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa has been converted into a luxury boutique property, Club Villa. Two other Bawa escapes (Kandalama, overlooking the fifth-century Sigiriya fortress, and Blue Water, near the beaches of Wadduwa) are used as backdrops for photo shoots as often as they are for British celebs escaping the limelight. The Pearl of the Orient has earned back its nickname.
THE FACTS Amanresorts, 800/477-9180; www.amanresorts.com. Club Villa, 94-34/227-5312; www.club-villa.com. Kandalama, 94-11/230-8408; www.aitkenspencehotels.com. Blue Water, 94-38/223-5067; www.jetwing.net.