All our Sri Lanka collections:
Despite its wonderful ancient treasures, jungles full of elephants and gorgeous beaches known for their fantastic surfing conditions, Sri Lanka is still a destination-less-travelled. War and natural disasters have plagued this beautiful, green land, but now's your chance! Before everyone's done it! Come before the best places to stay in Sri Lanka get too well known and you can't get a bed in one for love nor money!
Sri Lanka is as varied as it is beautiful and exotic, and the best places to stay in Sri Lanka are just as varied.
Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle has eight impressive World Heritage Sites packed into one small area. The triangle is at the island's heart, including:
And that's only mentioning the highlights of this one small triangle. As well as the monuments and temples which survive in Sri Lanka's ancient capitals, there's the colonial experience to explore, and what about the history of the tea trade? Even riding one of the old tea trains is a historic experience, as well as a potentially hilarious one.
Kandy is Sri Lanka's second largest city, so an easy hub to head for. It's grown up around a misty hill in lush tea growing country. Busy and colourful, in Kandy you'll be surprised by impromptu street markets, sudden tropical rain storms and the deliciousness of the food.
Kandy is also one of the best places to stay in Sri Lanka if you want to get close to an elephant. There are numerous elephant spotting tours and safaris, and you can get closer still at an elephant orphanage, like the one at Pinnawala.
Or there's the beaches: white and often sans-footprints, Sri Lanka's beaches are lovely all the way around the island. There are also plenty of spots offering good diving, snorkelling and surfing opportunities.
Before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th Century, Galle was a small village, but they quickly turned it into a major spice port, building an impressive fort, now considered the best example of a fortified port built by Europeans in South-East Asia. The Dutch arrived in the 17th Century, and added to the fort, as well as building their homes and churches, so now Galle is a beautiful mix of local and colonial architecture. Today the fort is full of bijou boutiques and cafes and boutique hotels. It's a hang out for writers, artists, poets etc..
The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Sri Lanka are all ideally placed for getting to know this extraordinary island, whether you've come for culture, beaches or a bit of both.
Elegant rooms feature capacious four posters and modern bathrooms. There is a huge infinity pool overlooking a private stretch of beach and surrounded by sun loungers and sofas. A tasty European and Sri Lanka menu is served and Ayurvedic treatments can be enjoyed at Ceylon spa. Great value.
Luxury resort with stunning Indian Ocean views on Koggala Beach. Stylish interiors feature full length windows for maximum views, and contemporary Sri Lankan furnishings. Excellent facilities include three restaurants, infinity pool and Ayurvedic spa. Perfect for beachside relaxation.
A true home. Havelock Place Bungalow provides an excellent alternative to the large, five star hotels Colombo has to offer. Rooms feature cosy comforting quilts, classic striped wallpaper and decorative quirks like whicker baskets for storage. The hotel's restaurant is very popular so book ahead!
Centrally located with colourful interiors - add to this an attractive price and Cinnamon Red attracts a fun, young crowd. Rooms are decorated with splashes of the hotel's signature red and feature good sized modern bathrooms. Cuisine is top notch including adaptations of Sri Lankan dishes.
Simple yet chic this unassuming little cluster of wooden cottages has been welcoming guests for years. Ideal for travellers or couples on a budget, seeking some relaxation. There is a popular bar where guests congregate plus a beach restaurant serving tasty Sri Lankan dishes. Great value.
Recently opened this modern wellness resort is ideal for individuals, families our couples seeking relaxation. Private villas allow for ultimate privacy, whilst a popular kids club means grown up can leave the little ones behind. Dine on Italian dishes at Il Mare or fusion cuisine on the beach.
Alankuda,, Kalpitiya Peninsula
Chic resort with over a mile of private beach front. Eco-chic cabins are decorated in a simple yet comfortable style. There is a stunning infinity pool with ocean views and plenty of al fresco dining spots. Fresh fish dishes are on the menu everyday. Popular with families, couples and kite surfers!
Ilanthadiya, Kalpitiya Peninsula
Luxurious tented beach accommodation specialising in dolphin trips and water sports. Nine eclectic tents are dotted around luscious grounds and there are plenty of chic, shady lounge areas to relax. There is a tasty Sri Lankan à la carte menu but chef Nalin is happy to take requests.
With just six bedrooms this 1930s tea planters bungalow, complete with stunning views, provides a charming stay. Explore the tea terraces, relax by the pool or enjoy a cooking lesson. Sri Lankan dishes can be enjoyed in the restaurant or al fresco. A quintessential tea estate experience.
Basil Fawlty meets Kubla Khan in Helga Blow’s decadent chic home. A red 1930s building surrounded by jungle. Dark muralled rooms full of historical paintings, photographs and antiques. Home cooked food and a well stocked bar. A truly eccentric stay that should be on everyone's 'to visit' list.
Former plantation houses set amidst 15 acres of gardens. Interiors are colonial and boutique in style with Geoffrey Bawa distinct monochrome floors. Bedrooms are decorated with antique furniture and four-poster beds. Shady terrace and cosy lounge. Authentic local cuisine served al-fresco.
Truly secluded location amid tropical gardens on the shores of the stunning Madhu Ganga. The five suites are totally contemporary whilst still lavishly furnished, with near-private access to all the facilities, and butlers will anticipate your every whim. Come here for an intimate and remote escape.
Nestled away in the rolling green pastures of Sri Lankan Hill Country is this former tea estate. Comprised of four bungalows, all decorated in a colonial style it has a total of 20 rooms and suites. The impeccable menu and all meals included means that there is little we can fault.
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Luxury thatched cabanas set on stilts over a man made lake filled with nature. Huge rooms, large windows and decks overlooking the wetlands - perfect for birdwatching. Peaceful library, large infinity pool, and spa. A unique retreat in natural surroundings.
Giritale, Sri Lanka
Well placed lakeside hotel near the sites of Polonnaruwa. Rooms are simple yet very comfortable with breathtaking vistas - which can also be enjoyed from the terrace and the swimming pool. Luxuriant gardens and an Ayurvedic centre. A secluded spot to relax in and explore the wildlife in the area.
Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
Formerly known as Polonnaruwa Rest House this colonial bungalow has undergone much modernisation since the Queen stayed here in 1954. Overlooking Giritale lake bedrooms and dining areas boast marvellous views. Delicious Sri Lankan dishes are served. A great spot to explore historic Polonnaruwa.
Haputale, Sri Lanka
Teaplanters’ houses spectacularly sited on a 2,500ft bluff above the plains. Fantastic views from the tea terraces over the plains and blue hills. Traditional interiors with large glass windows. Dine in your villa or make your way to the hotel restaurant. A great choice for families or groups.
Dambulla, Sri Lanka
A charming B&B well placed for sightseeing in the Cultural Triangle, overlooking a Kandalama Lake. Simple airy rooms with large balconies and panoramic views of the hills, a swimming pool and leafy terrace. A great spot for enjoying Sri Lanka's abundant wildlife.
A serene boutique eco resort, perfect for honeymoons, romantic breaks, and spa pampering. Asian-style chalets amongst the palms, an enormous swimming pool, Coco Spa, delectable Asian cuisine, Balinese massages, and all the mod cons. Peace, nature, wildlife.
Buttala, Sri Lanka
Total back to nature jungle camp. Three canvas tents provide simple but adequate accommodation. Staff cook up delicious Sri Lankan dishes cooked from local ingredients. Guided walks are offered to take you to even remoter spots. A truly magical once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Weligama, Sri Lanka
The long awaited palm fringed resort has arrived - with stunning views of the Indian Ocean beyond the infinity pool. All interiors are elegant with a clean edge and private gardens. In-room spa treatments are available too. Delicious cuisine, good for families or a romantic retreat.
The clue is in the name with this property. Light, modern, colourful cabins are dotted between the beautiful Trincomalee coastline and its dense jungle. Both local and international food is served and private beach dining can be arranged. Perfect for the indecisive traveller!
Nilaveli, Sri Lanka
A contemporary property located along Nilaveli's coast. It’s clean, crisp lines are juxtaposed with Sri Lanka’s traditional dark teak woods. Complete with two pools, a spa and countless activities as well as a bar and a selection of restaurants, you will not run out of ways to enjoy yourself here.
Ampara, Sri Lanka
This property is perfectly located for the Gal Oya National Park. Designed using locally sourced materials and earthy palettes it is eco-luxe in style. It has a restaurant and bar and tasty packed lunches are provided for those long days spent in the jungle. Perfect for the wildlife enthusiast!
Mediterranean meets modern property just a stones throw from the beach. All rooms are light and bright, many with beach access. It has its own restaurant and private dining available as well as a pool, spa, gym and several water sports options. A beach lover’s paradise!
Katunayake, Sri Lanka
Just 30 minutes from Colombo Airport, The Wallawwa is not your average airport hotel. This graceful, colonial building is decorated in the earthy hues of Sri Lanka. The restaurant serves delicious European and Sri Lankan cuisine. Head to the 'Z' spa for some pre or post flight pampering!
Puttalam, Sri Lanka
Owned by the same family for generations and with only six bedrooms, you will feel like a part of the family too. Decorated in a traditional Sri Lankan colonial style with a pool, well manicured gardens, the property is positioned just a matter of steps from Puttalam Town. A gem of a 'home-stay'!
Talpe, Sri Lanka
A boutique property in the truest sense it is the small touches that make Why House stand out from the rest. The rooms are decorated with white linens, four poster beds and large windows that let in the breeze. The restaurant uses the finest organic produce and there is an extensive vegetarian menu.