The Buckingham Story
Nick Buckingham’s relationship with the island is a love at first sight kind of thing. He first set foot in Sri Lanka back in 1997 and knew he had stumbled upon something truly special. A paradise island with old fashioned ways and new ideas waiting to happen.
Nick’s enchantment with paradise strengthened and his connection to the island grew deeper, with each passing day. Settling on this hidden gem of a property in 2002 he went on to build the property of his dreams, infusing the island’s south coast charm with his unique personality. The result? Buckingham Place, a thoughtful boutique hotel in Tangalle to take your breath away.
Today, Nicks continued enchantment with hidden corners of this island and the good-heartedness of its people have helped shape Buckingham Place and the soul with which it operates. Nick is living his dream in paradise and offering others a chance to experience it with him.
Near the end of a two week budget holiday at the end of 1997, thanks to an epiphany if you like, I became utterly mesmerized by this islands chaotic beauty and its peoples’ great charm. From that moment my head, heart, body and soul took root here… ‘Six little wooden cabanas and a little wooden house with a hammock on the veranda, amongst windswept palms of a tropical beach’ seemed a perfect mid-life crisis solution! It was an idyllic dream, to combine imagined but hitherto elusive creativity with, loafing around under the sun all day through the autumn of life – or so I thought!
On 1st October 2010, long after that first epiphany, my idyllic dream morphed into a hotel proper, ultimately, with a team of 50 at its heart plus, a regular clientele to keep me entertained - many of whom have become my friends. But fellow dreamers it wasn’t plain sailing! Only family and friends know the degree to which my resolve was tested and my life repositioned, and at last know better than to ask, when are you coming home? They know I'm already here.
I’m extraordinarily lucky, lucky to have pulled it off and to be living the dream on an island this beautiful.
Welcome to Paradise, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Since creating his retreat, Nick continues to inspire others to create theirs, and while here, enjoy some of the best Sri Lanka has to offer with a certain style and panache! His hotels’ hospitality centric ethos and spectacular location, combine to offer unashamed feet-up time with a taste of local culture and, adventure should one seek it. Designed with flair, his timeless hideaway has only 16 suites (and bedrooms) plus Nicks, all of which harmonise perfectly with their breathtaking setting. Most, benefit from elevated south-westerly views over the vast Rekawa Lagoon – its tranquil waters home to abundant birdlife and subsistence fisher folk. While in residence be adventurous or, simply chill out with a great book by the garden pool – you won't be disturbed.
Ready for your sumptuous breakfast? Wander over to the heart of the property, Oceanfront. Your long lazy breakfast ends only when you resist no longer, a dip in its 33m ocean view infinity pool. Whether sipping cocktails in the pool or dining next to it under the stars, you’ll want nothing more than to linger longer then repeat daily. An iconic film, a spontaneous musical moment perhaps, add extra magic on occasion - as if any evening at this hotel needs more magic?
Buckingham Place and Oceanfront will continue to evolve. On Nick’s watch however, his colourful sanctuary will remain pretty much what it was meant to be; a small but broad church, real homely, vibrant (maybe a little quirky even?), but above all, an incredibly happy, friendly place to be. His charming ‘beach boutique’ is without doubt, the ultimate answer to elitist pretenders and the charmless mainstream.