Balai Isabel

Dinner at the Kandalama Hotel and the opening of the Raffles and Fairmont Hotels in Manila tonight

So here I am in the middle of nowhere in exotic Sri Lanka, at the iconic Kandalama Hotel.

A Travelife sort of hotel…

I had a spa treatment just before dinner — something called a Sri Lanka Herbal Compress treatment — and then our entire group of readers and friends sat down at a very long table in the restaurant for a nice and relaxing meal.

We flew Thai Airways
to Sri Lanka via Bangkok.

The girls styled this photo for fun at Pollonaruwa today…

It’s a really great group of people.

Some knew each other prior to the trip, and others didn’t. But everyone is getting along famously and it’s been non-stop laughter and jokes. Just like traveling with friends.

Scroll down to read more…

Someone said: “It’s amazing how your groups just jell so nicely.”

All the groups are really fun. And the answer why is simple, really.

That’s some of our readers and friends
at the entrance of the ancient Dambulla Caves yesterday…

People who read Travelife and who follow us online via our blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all similar types of people.

They love to travel, they love the good life, and they can tell a travel magazine with real soul and passion, from other travel magazines that just look like glossy advertorials and press releases, or a bunch of articles based on freebies.

Travelife editors have been traveling exactly the way they’ve been writing way before a Travelife came into the picture. They’re real, and real passionate, travelers first. We’re also passionate about the world in a way few other magazine editors are.

Lots of travel magazines have sprouted up in the last 12 months. But there really is only one Travelife.


In fact, everyone was seated on the terrace having pre-dinner drinks while I was having my spa treatment.

And when I finally was through and I’d joined the group, the first thing they said was: “Guess where we’re going next?

Of course I wanted to know.

Someone said: “We’ve planned a Travelife trip to Cuba. Without you, since you were at the spa.”

And someone added: “But can we still use the Travelife name?

Not one to back off from a couple of witty remarks either, I replied: “Only if you promise to send me photos we can turn into marketing materials…”


Then we all went to dinner.

One side of the table — the La Salle side, actually, as everyone tonight somehow sat according to school — talked about politics and how to make the country better. We kept hearing words like “NGO” and “financial restructuring” from that side of the table. And this is over dinner on a holiday.

Meanwhile, our side of the table was talking about the realities of someone’s very interesting life.

I can’t blog about it because all his friends are Travelife friends on Facebook, but I can tell you that we had a very good time tonight discussing it.

Tom Meyer, Raffles and Fairmont Hotels MD
gave the opening remarks tonight

Being in Sri Lanka has been great fun, but unfortunately it’s also meant that I missed the grand opening of the Raffles and Fairmont Hotels tonight. Black tie. 7 PM on Feb 7.

One big, nice party…

I think I already posted the very interesting invitation they sent on this blog, with a pop-up illustration.

Fortunately, Travelife was well represented at this important event by general manager Gel Bayona, director of sales Irynn Constante and associate editor Carlo Velasco.

Stylish decor all over
The bubbly was certainly pouring freely tonight

They’ve sent me photos from tonight, which I’m posting here.

The Raffles and Fairmont Hotels put on a spectacular show

Good night from Sri Lanka, having great fun and living my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife. Going to climb a mountain tomorrow.



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