Finding a hotel in Sri Lanka might sometimes feel like a bit of an uphill struggle. How do you know which Sri Lanka hotels to choose? Can you really trust what you read on the web? The key to finding the best Sri Lanka accommodation lies in evaluating all the sources carefully – checking out all the reviews and listening to all the word of mouth recommendations about which are the best Sri Lanka hotels – and why.There are plenty of great accommodation options in Sri Lanka, whatever your budget, tastes and needs. If you are looking for the best hotel offers Sri Lanka has to offer, or cheap hotels in Colombo or elsewhere in the country, you will find plenty of options to make sure your budget stretches as far as possible. You will find plenty of high-end options too. So whether funds are tight, or you can splash that cash, you are sure to find Sri Lanka accommodation to suit you. No list of Sri Lanka hotels could ever come close to enumerating the many charms of the accommodation on offer across the country. But to give you a sense of the best accommodation on offer, here are ten of Sri Lanka’s best hotels:
For Colonial Splendour & Stunning Sea Views – Galle Face Hotel, ColomboThis hotel is redolent of the colonial era, with classic, elegant interiors. Yet you won’t want to spend all your time inside! This fine exemplar of Sri Lanka hotels also boasts a great infinity pool and spa and, better yet, has its own private beach. The hotel restaurant is also second to none – serving some of the best food in the city.
For Style & Chic, Decadent Interiors – Paradise Road Tintagel, ColomboThis hotel, in one of the chicest parts of Colombo, is another great choice if you want to stay on this part of the island. If you are looking for a cheap hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, this could be one of your best bets. It has stylish, tasteful interiors kitted out in muted, earthy tones and decorated with modern artworks by successful local artists.
For Gardens, Tranquillity & a Home from Home Vibe – Why House, GalleJust inland from the Galle coastline you will find this charming hotel set in its own expansive gardens. This hotel, one of the best Sri Lanka hotels in Galle, is known for its tranquil, family-friendly or couple-friendly vibe and the sense that it is a home away from home.
For Boutique Beauty & Jungle Surroundings – Kandy HouseIf you are lucky, you might be able to snag one of the nine lovely rooms in this historic house. The house was built in 1823, as a residence for the country’s last king. Now, it is a charming boutique hotel on a six acre estate surrounded by paddy fields and encroaching jungle.
For Wellness & Spa Facilities – SantaniAlso nestled in the hills near Kandy is this delightful wellness resort. If you love to stay fit and healthy then this could be the ideal Sri Lanka hotel for you. Guest here are nurtured, with healthy meals, yoga retreats, and treks in the delightful surroundings.
For An Idyllic Eco-Tourism Retreat – Vil UyanaAnother delightful option amongst the many Sri Lanka hotels that are perfect for nature lovers, staying in one of the 36 eco friendly lodges on this site will allow you to enjoy a low-impact Sri Lanka nature retreat. The interesting man-made wetlands surrounding the site teem with wildlife, and there are plenty of eco-tourist options to choose from in the area around Sigiriya, where this place is located.
For Birdwatching & The Cultural Triangle – UlagallaThis serene eco resort has a series of luxurious chalets nestled amongst the palms on 58 acres of private grounds. The area is home to more than 100 different bird species and so is a great spot for nature-loving birdwatchers. The hotel is also well-placed for exploration of all the attractions of the country’s Cultural Triangle.
For A Magical Break Away From It All – Tree Tops Jungle LodgeIf you want to be amid nature, but enjoy a more back-to-basics, natural experience, then staying in one of the three canvas tents here could be for you. Rustic it most definitely is, yet you will still be treated to delicious dishes cooked up by the staff, and guided walks to the best remote spots where you really can get away from it all.
For a Chic Break on the Beach – Kumu BeachNear Balapitiya, on the west coast, Kumu beach is a chic and refined option for a beach vacation. Gaze out to sea from one of the ten rooms, slip into the swimming pool, or sit back, relax and enjoy drinks, and fine, creative food, brought to you by the attentive staff.
For Luxury and Coastal Activities – AmanwellaIf you want to relax in beach-side luxury then Amanwella could be the right resort for you. Here you can enjoy zen décor and elegant simplicity in thirty delightful suites – each one with its own plunge pool. You can also enjoy a wide range of coastal activities from whale watching to fishing, snorkelling to wind surfing, so this is one of the best Sri Lanka hotels if you like to relax while doing on your vacations. Of course, there are plenty more amazing Sri Lanka hotels to choose from, and many more amazing places to stay. But the above list might inspire you by showing you just some of the wonderful places that you can stay in Sri Lanka.
Amanwella Resort Tangalle, Hambantota DistrictThe 30-suite family resort is located on the crescent-shaped bay that is shared with the fishermen of the area. Because it is surrounded with tall palm trees in the west and great boulders that seal the shoreline in the east – the Amanwella has one of the most beautiful scenic views in all of Sri Lanka. The resort offers many services and facilities, including a restaurant, spa, pools, a bar, free Wi-Fi, room service, laundry, etc. Furthermore the rooms of the resort are spectacular! The spacious and uncluttered rooms – each facing the ocean and with their own private terraces – combined with the dark-colored theme of the rooms give an inviting and calming feeling. To add, the resort costs $625 (double room) in the offseason and goes up till $1050 in the high season.
Kumu Beach Hotel BalapitiyaThe private family hotel is located at the west end of the island. The hotel captures the essence of Sri Lankan style of living. The elegant and chic ocean view rooms are beautifully designed by the well-known Sri Lankan designer Annika Fernando. And all rooms have an ocean view but some rooms, like the honeymoon suite has better views than the rest. The services and facilities offered by the hotel include a spa, restaurant, beaches, pools, etc. Guests feel extremely comfortable with the most humble and hospitable staff at their service 24/7. So the ocean-view hotel deals range from $230 to $400 whereas the double (for families) can range from $180 to $300 (cost depends on the season). Sri Lanka is home to many beaches – some private some public but the best and most beautiful beaches are hidden, such as:
The Hiriketiya beachLocated at the south coast. The secluded beach is also known as the ‘Blue Beach’. And the beautiful clear blue water is ideal for surfers and great for anyone looking for a refreshing dip.
Polhena- the sandy cove that is never crowdedAn offshore reef barrier stands between the rough waves of the ocean and the Polhena beach, where the waves are calmer and the water is shallow. Dotted with pieces of corals that occasionally come to shore, it is a must-see coastal destination.
Jungle BeachSo just a few kilometers away from the town of Unawatuna, this beach is hidden in the rich greenery of the Rumassala forestry. This is very peaceful and sensational stretch of the Sri Lankan coast that is ideal for swimming or just enjoying a quiet, intimate picnic by the beach. Because the weather of Sri Lanka makes it an all-year-round destination, everyone should it definitely explore. And the breathtaking beauty that lies in this land is like no other. You can spend days exploring and discovering new astonishing things and still not be bored by the captivating and enchanting scenery.
Galle Sri Lanka is obviously our favourite 🙂 But let’s find some more. Every country in this world has something unique and different about its environment and surroundings. Few of the heritage sites that exist in the world are termed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO as protected sites. And the places are selected according to their cultural and anthropological background that holds a specific place in the history of that particular country. However, not all the sites are considered to be great charms by UNESCO. So, there are a few selected out of all of them based on their cultural importance. Similarly, there are few memorable charms of UNESCO that exists in Sri Lanka. They are considered among the most popular Sri Lanka’s tourist spots.
Top 3 Places to Visit in Sri Lanka
Eight places in Sri Lanka are considered to be the world heritage site by UNESCO. And at least six of the places have cultural importance whereas; two of them have fundamental importance. However, we will explore three of the best of Sri Lanka to help you prioritize the places you should visit first. They are as follows:
1. Old Town of Galle Sri Lanka
The Old Town of Galle Sri Lanka was built way back in the 16th century. It has huge walls along the shoreline as the Dutch people implemented the European way of thinking in order to construct it. And the huge walls were created on purpose as it was believed that enemies could attack from the sea as well as from the land. Therefore; it was necessary to protect the land from any sort of invasion. So the buildings still stand tall today and can take you back in history. However, many tourists and travelers have pointed out that the houses are built with verandas outside, which reflects the tradition and culture of South Asia.
Fortified Walls with Restaurants and Cafes
The old town of Galle was also well-equipped with military barracks and factories that specialize in creating weapons. The fort has two different gates as one gate was designed for the British Coat of Arms and the other entrance was for the Dutch. The city also has the Old Dutch hospital along with a hotel that can be used by the tourists. Galle, Sri Lanka is one of the oldest town that exists today and at same time offers fashionable boutiques beside old houses with verandahs and antique shops.
2. Sacred City of Anuradhapura
There are numerous sacred sites across the world, but one of them is considered to be the memorable charm by UNESCO. And the holy city of Anuradhapura is the first capital of Sri Lanka that is ancient. The ruins of the Sinhala Civilization are still preserved today. Moreover, the place is also a religious center for people who follow Buddhism. Many people from across the world visit the site all around the year in order to complete their religious obligations.
Moreover, the place also has the famous Buddha tree as well, where the people that the Buddha was illuminated. And the Bodhi Tree is one of the main tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. So if you wish to visit the most famous tourist spot in Sri Lanka, then you should carry a map along with you in order to ensure that all places are visited.
3. Sacred City of Kandy
The Sacred City of Kandy is considered to be the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. It is also referred to as the Temple of the Tooth as it has the most sacred relic of the Buddha i.e., the tooth. There are plenty of factors that drew the attention of UNESCO towards the holy city of Kandy, but the most important one is the tooth of the Buddha.
Furthermore, it is widely believed by the people who follow Buddhism that a place that holds the sacred tooth of the Buddha should have control over the entire Buddhist population that exists. This is one of the reasons why this place has a strong position and importance not only in Buddhism but in politics as well. Many people visit the site throughout the year in order to take blessings and complete their religious fervor. So the place is considered to be extremely sacred due to which shoes are not allowed inside. And it is also the second-largest city that exists within Sri Lanka. Apart from this, the city itself is magnificent and a source of attraction for tourists from across the globe.
Explore Exciting Colombo – Popular Start Point for a Sri Lanka VacationFor a quirky and cosmopolitan city that reveals the ‚real’ Sri Lanka, head to the buzzing city of Colombo. A weird mix of anarchic Asian crowds, crumbling colonial charm and the clean modern gleam of tower blocks make for a fascinating adventure. And this city also serves as a good base from which to see sights in the surrounding region, for which this intriguing city is often overlooked.
Galle Face Green Promenade – Ultimate Family Sri Lanka Travel VacationSo for family fun there is Galle Face Green Promenade. It stretches along beside the Indian Ocean with a range of food vendors. This is a popular spot for picnicking families. Head here at sundown for a spectacular view. Colombo Zoo, which houses a variety of different animals, and offers elephant and pony rides. It may also be popular with families. But the Turtle Conservation Villa, which protects Sri Lanka’s endangered turtles, may be a better option for concerned animal lovers on a Sri Lanka trip. Museum lovers should head for the National Museum, the Natural History Museum, or the Dutch Period Museum. While art lovers are also catered for with the Green Path Art Gallery, the Sapumal Foundation, the Lionel Wendt Memorial Art Centre and the Casa Serena Art Gallery.
Bargain at Pettah Market- for Must!And perhaps the most fascinating area of Colombo is the Pettah. The crush and vitality of the market bazaar makes this area different to anywhere else you will find in Sri Lanka. In the Pettah you will find streets dedicated to the sale of different items. And a Tamil and Muslim flavour which is not found anywhere else in the city. So take a Sri Lanka tour to see what the city has to offer.
Make Your Way To Kandy – A Top Destination for Sri Lanka Travel SightseeingIf you want to escape the bustle of the big city, then Kandy is a tranquil town 75km outside Colombo which could provide some welcome relaxation. On the way there, stop in at the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. And perhaps you might also like to make a stop in Peradeniya, to see the amazing orchid collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Hiking, Observing Wildlife or Exploring Tea PlantationAs the town of Kandy sits on a plateau amidst the mountains, it is home to many tea-growing plantations and stretches of breath-taking rainforest. The visitor can wonder at the biodiversity of this rainforest at the Udawattakele Forest Reserve. And at the very heart of the city lies Lake Bogambara which is certainly worth a visit, perhaps early in the morning before it gets too busy. But natural beauty is not all that Kandy has to offer, the region is also famous for its religious sites with their Buddhist temples and statues. One of the most important Buddhist sites is the Temple of the Tooth which houses a tooth said to belong to Buddha.
Head for Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, Sigiriya & Gal ViharayaNorth and northwest of Kandy, you will discover three of Sri Lanka tourism’s must-see sights. Dambulla Royal Cave Temple is a UNESCO listed world heritage attraction. Also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla, this is the best preserved cave temple complex in the country. The cave complex dates from the first century BCE, though the caves are likely to have been inhabited long before this time. Five caves here are filled with art and statues relating to the life of Gautama Buddha.
Sigiriya- 600 m High Natural Stone ColumnSo another important sight often included on Sri Lanka travel tours of the Cultural Triangle, and another of the country’s foremost sites is Sigiriya. This is also a UNESCO world heritage site – a rock fortress of huge historic and archaeological significance. It is believed that the site was selected by King Kashyapa (477-495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the rock. After the king’s death, the site was abandoned, and then used as a monastery until the 14th Century. Today, it is an example of ancient urban planning, and one of the most important historic sites in the country.
4 Buddhas- Cut from 1 Long Slab of Granite.And another highlight of the cultural triangle, and something else well worth including on a Sri Lanka tour is the famous Buddhist site of Gal Viharaya, in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. It is famous for its caves, and large sculptures of Buddha carved into rock faces.
Enjoy the Ultimate Sri Lanka Travel Adventure in Yala National ParkNature lovers enjoying a Sri Lanka vacation will be spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful areas to explore. The country boasts many national parks and other protected areas. But perhaps the best of the bunch is Yala National Park, where you can enjoy some stunning vistas and get to grips with the sheer abundance and variety of Sri Lankan wildlife. Leopards are the main attraction here – this place has the highest density of leopards in the world. But these are not the only animals you’ll see here as you hike or take another outward bound Sri Lanka travel tour. You are also likely to see elephants, sloths and crocodiles – and many other creatures besides.
Ascend To The Summit of Adam’s PeakAdam’s Peak is a hill with huge spiritual significance not just for one religion, but for several. At the summit of the peak there is a footprint cast in stone. Christians believe that it is Adam’s, Buddhists that it is Buddha’s, and Hindus that it is Shiva’s. The site is a popular place of pilgrimage for members of all these religions, especially on the night of a full moon. To reach the peak, you must climb a stunning stone staircase with over 5,000 steps. Many people begin the hike at around 2.30am in order to complete the climb by sunrise.
From Lively Modern City of Colombo to Beautiful BeachesOf course, a Sri Lanka travel can offer far more than just the attractions mentioned above. We’ve not even started on the beautiful beaches, or the other cultural cities to explore… But the five things mentioned above are definitely top things to do when you plan a Sri Lanka travel adventure.
- Nuwara Eliya
- Yala National Park