Photo of Bentota

About Bentota

Golden sands stretch almost as far as the eye can see on famously impressive Bentota beach. Here, the crashing waves of the Indian Ocean meet the unspoilt shore, fringed with huge mangroves shielding homes and hotels from view. There is a wide range of accommodation to choose from, and our pick of the best places to stay in Bentota includes everything from luxurious boutique hotels to private suites with ocean-facing infinity pools and tranquil hideaways on a tropical estate.

The star attraction is the striking beach itself, as well as the superb sense of seclusion. With Colombo and the island’s international airport less than two hours away, Bentota makes for a fabulous first or final stop on any Sri Lankan itinerary. Whether you’re heading south towards Galle and popular surf spots or looking to unwind after your explorations, Bentota’s just the place to put your feet up.

Sea and sand aside, Bentota boasts a second draw: world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, whose beautiful country estate, Lunuganga, is open to visitors. Three of our top hotels here were designed by Bawa himself, whilst his brother Bevis Bawa’s own idyllic retreat, Brief Garden, is also nearby. This is an excellent opportunity to explore the legacy of one of the island’s most famous creative figures.

Many of the best places to stay in Bentota are on the coast, whilst one notable exception sits inland in a charming lakeside location. From relaxed family holidays to romantic retreats, we’ve got you covered. These places are popular, so book quickly to avoid missing out!

The best places to stay in Bentota

For beautiful Bawa design

  • The Villa Bentota is famously Sri Lanka’s first boutique hotel, once owned by Bawa himself. Think swaying palms, two swimming pools, fourteen chic guestrooms, delicious food and top-notch service. Elegant and grown-up, this beachside hotel ranks amongst the island’s most iconic.
  • Club Villa Bentota is a bright beachfront property brimming with charm. Designed by Geoffrey Bawa, the hotel has a relaxed, friendly feel, a lovely pool and a well-stocked games room. Choose this spot for laid-back villa-style ambience, antique furnishings and colourful decor.
  • Lunuganga was once Geoffrey Bawa’s verdant lakeside retreat. Pick this property for its ultimate hideaway feel. Guests are invited to hole up in one of six individually designed suites scattered throughout the gorgeous gardens. This is one for those looking to unwind whilst surrounded by nature.

For luxury with a view

  • Saman Villas is perched dramatically on a hilltop overlooking the ocean, ideal for marvellous sunsets. Spacious suites and villas — some of which boast private plunge pools — fuse elegant Sri Lankan touches with a cool, contemporary vibe. Pick this hotel for a luxurious escape, complete with a wonderful spa.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend that you visit our online partner

Travel Information

  • Just one-and-a-half hours from Colombo and the airport by car along the expressway, Bentota is easily accessible. Most hotels are able to arrange airport or city pick up with a reliable driver. Alternatively, intercity Uber is also available and reasonably priced.
  • If you're travelling from Colombo, regular train services run from Fort Station to Bentota, and the coastal route is striking — if slow and a little rickety!
  • High season on Sri Lanka’s south west coast is between November and March. Hotels will be quieter outside these months and offer off-peak rates. Do book your stay well in advance if travelling during the peak season as hotels fill up fast.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Bentota

Best Hotels in Bentota

  • Club Villa Bentota 17 rooms from $146

    Families  -  Fully stocked games room, family rooms and friendly staff make this a great family choice
    Value chic  -  History, charm and luxury all at a great price
    Sights nearby  -  Sri Lanka's most famous architect, Geoffrey Bawa's former home is well worth a visit
    Sailing  -  A boat trip along the mangrove lined waters of Balapitiya
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Nestled amidst coconut plantations this seventeen bedroomed Dutch villa, designed by renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, feels like a home away from home. Moments away from the beach, with an inviting outdoor pool it is great for families and romantics. Evening al fresco meals are an utter treat. See More

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  • The Villa Bentota Bentota 14 rooms from $130

    Local exploring  -  A quiet and stylish property just steps from a beach and a short drive from Galle Fort
    Sights nearby  -  Take a day trip to gorgeous Galle Fort, filled with quirky boutiques, lovely eateries and a fascinating history
    Great walks  -  Visit architect Geoffrey Bawa’s country estate, Lunuganga for a tour of his glorious garden
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape

    Beautifully indulgent — an architecture buff’s inside-outside tropical paradise. Highlights include two refreshing pools, slick service and gorgeous grown-up spaces to chill out. The rooms have warm blue or green tones, polished-concrete bathrooms with rain showers and charming original features. See More

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  • Lunuganga Bentota (Dedduwa) 6 rooms from $167

    Writing a novel  -  Savour the seclusion of this wifi free zone, with many a nook to read or write your next novel
    Sights nearby  -  Colombo and the Unesco World Heritage town of Galle
    Restrictions on children  -  Over 12's welcome
    Full of character
    Air conditioningGarden
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Set within 15 acres of landscaped gardens, Lunuganga was once the country retreat of acclaimed architect Geoffrey Bawa. Now a small hotel, this boutique property features antique furnishings, an eclectic art collection and beautiful airy spaces. Feast on Sri Lankan cuisine after guided garden tours. See More

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  • Saman Villas Bentota 27 rooms from $342

    Hideaway  -  Total relaxation and a proper hideaway - the nearest restaurants are about three miles away!
    Romantic Break  -  Very much geared up for romace and couples
    Sights nearby  -  Nearby Lake Bentota and the ancient Buddhist temples are a must visit
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over the age of ten permitted
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    Romantic retreat geared towards couples. Set atop a rocky crag, ensconced by white sandy beaches it boasts the most fabulous sunsets. Rooms are spacious with traditional accents, all with private gardens or terraces, some with private pools. Indulge in the restaurant or the Sahana Spa. See More

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