Colombo has a new swagger to its step. For a long time, the ho-hum Sri Lankan capital was thought of as purely a one-night stop-over before the country’s visitors headed to the hills (literally: the 2.5-hour trip from downtown Colombo to mountain town Kandy is one of the coolest train rides in the world). Still, times have changed. A recent study by MasterCard claimed it was the fastest-growing tourist town in the world (Chengdu was second; Abu Dhabi, third). At the same time, the city has seen a new wave of hotel openings that have given the city’s would-be escapees more reason to stick around. So far, the new Shangri-La Hotel Colombo has the splashiest allure. Set on the Galle Face Green coastal strip, there’s a lot to like: 500 rooms and suites and 41 serviced apartments and amazing Indian Ocean views. Even better is the food: Kaema Sutra has become the city’s latest it-restaurant thanks to celeb chef Dharshan Munidasa’s respun Sri Lankan classics. And then there’s the pool. We do like the pool.