Hotels in Sri Lanka
The standard of the hotels in Sri Lanka is surprisingly good with a wide range of price options and ranging from basic to high end luxury. Depending on whether it is a family holiday, a Sri Lankan honeymoon or a once in a lifetime holiday, we can suggest the best possible hotel option for you based on your preferences and budget. Holidays in Sri Lanka can be great value for money and hotels offer superb levels of service.
A spacious and very comfortable hotel, the Villa Hundhira boasts a delightful setting with extensive grounds and two large swimming pools. The setting is advantageous as it lies directly between the beach of Negombo and the stunning lagoon. The copious rooms are individualistic, highly comfortable and afford you a great deal of space and are decorated with an intriguing and beautiful range of local antiques. The restaurant is especially popular for its Sri Lankan food and the service throughout the hotel is extremely friendly and attentive and the hotel also offers a gift shop selling local crafts.
A beautifully situated, quiet family-run resort, nestling amidst lush vegetation alongside Palagama Beach, your accommodation comprises of one of 16 rooms. These are built from traditional materials and decorated with locally-made furniture, seeking to provide comfortable but sustainable living, yet also afford you with clean, good quality private bathrooms and spacious beds. The sea cabanas each have a good degree of privacy and a west-facing sea view from where to enjoy the glorious sunsets, whilst the garden cabanas might suit those who prefer to be surrounded by the flora and fauna of this tranquil setting. Alternatively, there are 3 villas which offer a higher degree of privacy with individual gardens, two bedrooms and air conditioning.
Spread throughout a large expanse of forest on the outskirts of a small village in Sri Lanka lies The Mudhouse – a remote retreat, far away from the normal thoroughfares. This is a place to unwind and reconnect with nature and enjoy fabulous home-cooked food. The accommodation comprises of a series of thatched huts of varying size from 2 to 6 beds. The beds have mosquito nets and the rooms are designed to allow maximum light and airiness in the warm climate with split-level roofs. En suite toilets and tree, bucket and jungle showers complete the authentic rural-living experience. Each room provides nature watching equipment and cycles to allow you to explore the locale. Food is especially flexible here – times and menus are entirely negotiable and guests can sample organic food produced on site, traditional dishes as spicy or mild as requested, as well as excellent fresh fish dishes.
The National park prides itself on the environmentally sensitive camp, proclaiming that not a tree was felled to set up this small site. The tents are set amongst the forest and offer maximum shade and cool amidst the forest, as well as a peaceful setting from which to encounter the nature that this veritable wilderness has to offer. Only 4 tents are at the location, keeping guest impact to a minimum and increasing the chances of spotting wildlife. Each tent has a raised veranda area, a bedroom with king-sized beds and a fan; a toilet is attached and hot and cold running water are provided. The tents also have free WiFi and power-points, power deriving from solar-panels and a wind generator. Three course breakfast and 4 course evening meals are prepared in situ and the latter is often taken by candlelight alongside a welcome campfire.
The seven storey hotel enjoys a spectacular vista across the city of Jaffna and south over Palk Bay, best experienced from the rooftop bar. The Jetwing includes 55 deluxe rooms, all with balconies, air conditioning and ceiling fans and either king-size or twin beds. The room contains all you would expect from a modern, high quality hotel from free WiFi to electronic safes. Décor is a modern take on contemporary influences and styles; much of the furnishings being local wood-based, and the hotel is renowned for its friendly service, typical of the welcome you receive throughout Sri Lanka. The restaurant focuses especially on South Indian and Jaffna cuisine: highly recommended specialities include the Jaffna Kool and the locally sourced prawn and crab based seafood generally.
A truly unique experience, the accommodation’s design is based on the layout and needs of the local farmers who used to have to compete with marauding elephants for safety. Each tree hut is built around 13 feet above the ground with bedroom, balcony and washing facilities. Below, bathing is provided in small pools which, like everything else on site, are improvised from local materials and part of the owners’ commitment to sustainability and living closely in harmony with the surroundings. Charging facilities, cool boxes and safes are also provided and WiFi is available and free in the evenings. Food is prepared and cooked in situ and consists of local curries and dhal dishes; a favourite request is the extremely spicy bonnet curry – not for the faint hearted!
Facing the dramatic Sigiriya rock and situated in the picturesque village of Digampathaha, Kassapa Lions Rock is a serene setting, offering an escape into a peaceful world which affords you a base from which to explore the fascinating range of sites in the immediate vicinity. In all, there are 31 modern chalets, equipped with air conditioning, bathtubs and open air showers. The restaurant serves an excellent range of Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese and European dishes, all in a pleasant open air deck with beautiful views of the rocky landscape. Food is locally sourced and comes highly recommended. Additionally, the hotel contains a spa which offers herbal, massage and bathing treatments.
Although only 13 miles east of Kandy, Polwaththa offers a jungle experience, mercifully virtually mosquito-free, which seems a million miles away from the bustle of urban life. The site includes 14 lodges and seeks to thrive in a manner which is entirely in harmony with nature: guests are encouraged to plant a tree and the profits are ploughed into local environmental projects or the purchase of land suitable for reforestation. The staff are virtually all drawn from the local village and the site seeks to be good employers and exemplar neighbours. The great range of activities on offer seek to introduce you to the huge diversity of landscapes and experiences. The lodges are available at different rates and levels of luxury: from lodges to the higher end cabanas, they offer excellent views, some of Victoria Lake, balconies, en suite accommodation, and a good degree of privacy. Apart from the excellent restaurant, you have the choice of dining in the local village too, where hearty portions of traditional clay-pot-cooked meals are both tasty and ample reward for a day’s activities in this stunning place.
Gal Oya is designed with a real sense of the delicate balance between man and nature: 9 bungalows are spread across the 25 acre site, offering a high degree of comfort, yet drawing hugely on the location for materials and inspiration. Fashioned from local materials, utilising local craftsmen, the accommodation is shaded by the forest and furnished by wood from the same source. Rooms are spacious and airy, circumventing the need for air-conditioning, and the bungalow’s footprint is a spacious 800 square feet, consisting of a large, wooden, lofty sitting room and king-size bedroom, with an additional entire wrap-around veranda. Large windows offer expansive vistas and the lake and nearby mountain frame the setting beautifully. Some buildings offer a second bedroom and all have an al fresco bathroom. The restaurant is in the main lodge – again a building which blends beautifully into the surroundings and offers glorious views across the large and unobtrusive swimming pool. It offers an excellent spread of local and international dishes, with the vast majority of food sourced from nearby villages with whom the Lodge works to create a sustainable retreat.
This camp has been set up to cater for a range of different sector or Blocks: whilst most visitors choose Block 1, full day excursions to Blocks 3, 4 or 5 can often be extremely successful. The accommodation itself is tented and offers a great deal of luxury within this mode of living. The tents themselves have a footprint of over 200m² and give a real sense of timeless opulence. Each tent offers en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold showers and a terrace for sitting out and imbibing the languid atmosphere that everywhere pervades. The tents also have fly screens which provide excellent ventilation whilst also protecting against evening mosquitos and bugs. Food is of the very highest quality Sri Lankan fare, cooked on site and served on the terrace of your tent.
The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort stands resplendent amidst, yet sensitive to the beauty of its 7 acres of wooded paradise. Accessible down a forest trail and located close to Athuru Elephant Orphanage, and a brief 5 minute step from the National Park, the resort has a real sense of being in harmony with its surroundings. The accommodation has a range of levels available, from deluxe rooms to luxury suites, all air-conditioned, modern and very clean and with en suite facilities. The former are clustered around the large, beautiful pool which enjoys dappled shade and sunshine, according to your preferences. The deluxe rooms offer views into the pool area and the gardens beyond, with seated terraces or balconies enabling you to embrace the wildlife that abounds here. In the suites you can expect an excellent level of seclusion and privacy, a substantial balcony or roof terrace and a separate seating area. The restaurant is generally buffet style and offers a wide range of dishes, served in a setting open to the gardens. WiFi is available, but works best in the reception areas. If you are a cricket fan, you might be interested to know that this is the chosen residence of the Sri Lankan national side during internationals.
Standing on the fringes of the extraordinary Forest Reserve, the Rainforest Eco Lodge lies amidst a former tea plantation, along a dusty mountain track which affords the location a genuine isolation and sense of wilderness. Environmental sensitivity lies very much at the heart of the Eco Lodge, with its 14 chalets all constructed from recycled materials and taking advantage of the terrain and resident flora to provide guests with an intimate perspective on the abundant wildlife that the Reserve has to offer, the private sleep-built decks offering a glorious view of the tea plantation and the forest canopy behind.
This boutique spa hotel with 18 guest rooms is situated within the UNESCO world heritage site of Galle Fort. It was formerly an opulent merchant’s residence and now offers a similar level of luxury to its guests. Its location also affords you the chance to enjoy the grandeur of the Dutch colonial fortress’ cobbled cornucopia of cafés, shops and historic sites. The period accommodation on offer here ranges from the excellence of the 15 luxury bedrooms with king-size or twin 4-poster beds, wet rooms and views onto the leafy shade of the central courtyard to the 3 high-end suites and family suites which boast large seated areas, rain-shower and bathtub en suite facilities and a terrace which overlooks Galle fort. All rooms have WiFi, air-conditioning, cable TV and all the frills one might expect. The family suite has an additional twin room on a mezzanine level. Guests dine at the Church Street social, a renowned vibrant venue which synthesises Sri Lankan cuisine with Arabic influence – Moroccan, Turkish and Middle-Eastern dishes compliment the convivial atmosphere.