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Taprobane

"There was nothing between me and the South Pole," the Count de Mauny-Talvade would reminisce to his guests about the first time that he visited Taprobane, a small island floating just off of the coast of Sri Lanka. Despite its nickname of "she-devil's island", the Count constructed an octagonal neo-Palladian pavilion here in 1922, which, restored today to its original glory, can now be yours for the night. Architecturally stripped down to the necessities, the space seems to sigh out a zen tranquility on par with the constant shhh of the sea. The full staff is welcoming but discreet-- padding barefoot across stone floors, lighting the numerous candles at sunset and preparing the table with heavy silver for an unforgettable dinner of coconut curry on the South Veranda.