We tried to limit our top hotels in Sri Lanka to five, but were simply unable to do it! Small, boutique hotels and private houses are starting to pop up, giving travellers a choice of fantastic places to stay that suit all styles.
An exceptional country-style hotel is just the place for people who love the relaxed, easy-going ambience. An idyllic in-land location near Galle’s sultry coastline offer guests the best of both worlds; a tranquil setting among rural rice fields and easy access to picture-postcard beaches, a mere 5mins away.
Each guestroom is elegantly designed, and the classic-colonial ebony and ivory-hued interior and exterior living and dining areas are sumptuous, comfortable and refined. It has a total of nine well-equipped rooms. Seven of the spacious and luxurious suites are spread across two separate buildings whilst two cottagey cabanas overlook the paddy fields. In the lush tropical gardens there is an open-sided dining pavilion, an elegant sitting area and a jade-green swimming pool. The excellent chef serves a choice of homemade western, Sri Lankan or Asian cuisine.
Ceylon Tea Trails
High up in the Hatton Hills at 1,250ft sits the Ceylon Tea Trails, a working tea estate with five restored manager’s bungalows, all unique design. The views from all bungalows are of the plush plantations and the sweet aromas give one a sense of wellbeing. Each comes equipped with a private pool, chef and butler as well as large gardens so you can play croquet, sit quietly to read or snooze to the sound of nature. For large parties, entire bungalows can be taken exclusively. From here, tour the plantations on foot or bike, visit the working tea factory, visit Kandy, and kayak on Castlereagh Lake.
A restored colonial home with just eight suites, the Maniumpathy offers a peaceful and charming stay in the heart of Colombo city. Once home to five generations of the Hallock family, it has not lost the welcoming and elegant feel. It has a swimming pool, a casual restaurant and a fine dining restaurant.
If you’re heading to Sri Lanka, Galle is almost guaranteed to be on your itinerary and Fort Bazaar in the heart of the action is the newest place to stay. The beautifully restored the 17 century town house is now a 18 bedroom boutique hotel with a light and airy feel. The swimming pool has yet to be completed, but guests can have the use of a pool nearby, however Galle has some fantastic beaches not to be missed.
Traditional and tranquil sums up Koslanda. Situated in the hills surrounded by forest and tea plantations, there is no better place to recharge your batteries. The calming design of the hotel is based on traditional Sri Lankan architecture, astrology and crafts and employed local artists using natural materials. Walk in the forest and take a dip in the waterfall, or, simply sit by the infinity pool lapping over the rice paddy fields.
A beautiful estate set a stones throw away from Loolecondera Tea Plantation, the first in Sri Lanka established by James Taylor 150 years ago. The manor house is surrounded by beautiful gardens with an infinity pool, tennis court, badminton and croquet. Beyond the garden get exploring following the labyrinth of paths winding through the countryside.
The ancestral home of one of Kandy’s most influential aristocratic families, Kandy House was built by Chief Minister Ratwatte Adigar in 1804. It has been beautifully restored and retains the atmosphere of a private country home providing seclusion and serenity in its countryside setting. There are nine rooms in total, all unique in design set around a central courtyard. The infinity pool is has magnificent views of paddy fields.