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15 Handpicked Hotels Of Sri Lanka That Will Be Your Host From Coast To Coast


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It was only in 2009, when Sri Lanka ended its 26-year long civil war, that this small gem of a country found its way on to travellers' itineraries. But even tsunamis and years of war were not been able to ravage the tropical isle of its gorgeous landscapes, abundant wildlife and endless beaches. Everyone who has seen it once, is aching to go back. Travellers rave about the timeless ruins, the popular tea, the delicious food and the contagiously-friendly locals who go far and beyond to show you hospitality that you'll remember for years after.

Word is travelling fast and Sri Lanka is becoming famous as a destination that has it all. If you haven't been there yet, the time to go is now. And to help you sort out your accommodation, here is a list of 15 properties (high, mid-range and low) all located in different parts of the country.

Photos of Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Tangalle, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Tangalle, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: Couples looking for a romantic stay amidst a 21-acre coconut plantation

Where: Tangalle, Hambantota District, Southern Province (A three-and-a-half hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo)

Price: From Rs 20,000 per night

Facilities: Pool, spa and wellness centre, Teppanyaki beach restaurant, airport shuttle

Other things to do nearby: The Mulkirigala Rock Temple, an ancient Buddhist structure, is a 30-minute drive away. Around 2 hours away is Yala National Park, the second-largest national park in the country, where you can go on a safari to see leopards, monkeys, elephants and peacocks. Go surfing, cycling and blue whale watching – the Anantara travel and tour office in the hotel can help you with this.

Photos of Suriya Resort Waikkala, Waikkal, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Suriya Resort Waikkala, Waikkal, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: A pampering, uber-luxurious experience

Where: Waikkala, North Western Province (A 40-minute drive from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo)

Price: From Rs 11,000 per night

Facilities: Outdoor pool, fitness centre, spa and wellness centre, beachfront cottages

Other things to do nearby: The Negombo Beach Park, which is 7km away from the Suriya Resort is great for your first traditional Sri Lankan beach experience. Go in the evening to see locals swimming the sea, flying kites or just walking along the beach. Rest your feet in the golden sand and sit back and enjoy the sight of the warm blue water and the tall coconut trees.

Photos of Villa Tangalle Lagoon, Tangalle, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Villa Tangalle Lagoon, Tangalle, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: A relaxing holiday, with some quiet activities

Where: Tangalle, Hambantota District, Southern Province (About 69km from Mattala International Airport)

Price: From Rs 6,000 per night

Facilities: Outdoor pool, spa and wellness centre, family suites, fishing, lagoon boat trip

Other things to do nearby: Check out the city market, which is just 3-minutes away from the hotel. Enjoy some open ocean fishing – ask the hotel for more details. Walk across the stunning Sinharaja Rainforest to spot the badger mongoose, purple-faced leaf monkey and torque macaque. Head to the towering Adam's Peak, a pilgrimage site, said to bear Buddha's actual footprint.

Photos of W15, Weligama, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of W15, Weligama, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: Views of the stunning sea amidst a tropical, leisurely setting

Where: Weligama, Matara District, Southern Province (A two-and-a-half hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo)

Price: Rs 6,000 per night

Facilities: Year-round outdoor pool, airport shuttle, snorkelling, restaurant with vegan and gluten free options

Other things to do nearby: The hotel is next to the beach, so you can get the hotel to arrange all kinds of water sports for you. You will also get a chance to witness the famous stilt-fishing men. Participate in a 'Devil Dance', believed to have healing powers that speed up recovery time from an illness.

Photos of Pledge3, Negombo, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Pledge3, Negombo, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: The ultimate luxury at a prime location

Where: Negombo, West Coast (Half an hour from Bandaranaike International Airport)

Price: From 9,000 onwards

Facilities: Restaurant serving authentic Sri Lankan meals, bicycle and car available on rent, outdoor pool

Other things to do nearby: With Pledge3 being located in the exclusive town of Negombo, you'll have access to high-end restaurants, boutiques and art galleries. The Negombo Beach is located 3o0m away and is unspoilt and perfect.

Photos of Taru Villas - Villa Mawella, Morakatiyara Road, Morakatiyara, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Taru Villas - Villa Mawella, Morakatiyara Road, Morakatiyara, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: Those on the hunt for a place with character

Where: Nakulugamuwa, Tangalle (A three-and-a-half hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport in )

Price: From Rs 9,000 onwards, per night

Facilities: Barbecue, outdoor pool, rooms with patios, shared lounge

Other things to do nearby: The Mawella Beach is an untouched gem in Sri Lanka. Ask the hotel staff to arrange water sports on the beach or go on excursions nearby. Head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle, an exotic seaside town with a heady mix of Dutch-colonial buildings against a tropical setting. Travel 12km away to the Hummanaya Blowhole, the second largest natural blowhole in the world.

Photos of Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort & Spa, Ambalantota, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Shangri-La's Hambantota Resort & Spa, Ambalantota, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: A rejuvenating experience, with all luxuries imaginable

Where: Sittrakala Estate, Chithragala, Ambalantota (Four hours from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo)

Price: From Rs 13,000 onwards, per night

Facilities: Infinity pool, spa and wellness centre with Chinese and Ayurvedic treatments, a fantastic Sri Lankan restaurant, an 18-hole golf course, an Artisan Village

Other things to do nearby: Spend some time walking around at the Hambantota Beach. Check out the Artisan Village within the premises, a space dedicated by the hotel to supporting Sri Lanka's artisan communities. You can talk to the local craftsmen here and learn about the traditional arts and crafts of the country.

Photos of Zinc Journey Sigiriya, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Zinc Journey Sigiriya, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: Those looking for affordable luxury

Where: Sigiriya (A three-hour-forty-minute drive from Bandaranaike International Airport)

Price: From Rs 4,400 onwards,

Facilities: Mountain view, free bicycles, car and bike hire, in-house restaurant, bathrobes and slippers in rooms

Other things to do nearby: Take a trip to the Polonnaruwa Ancient City, a religious centre, and take a look at its historical ruins including the Royal Palace, Pabalu Vehera and the Buddha statue at Lankatilaka. Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, formed from the magma of an extinct volcano. Check out the beautifully-painted walls and ceiling of the Dambulla Cave Temple.

Photos of JKAB Beach Resort, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of JKAB Beach Resort, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: A stay with children

Where: Love Lane, Trincomalee (Five hours from Bandaranaike International Airport)

Price: Rs 4,200 onwards

Facilities: Private beach area, children's playground, outdoor pool, sea view, arrangements for water sports, on-site restaurant

Other things to do nearby: Around 3.2km away is Fort Fredrick, a fortress dotted with cannons are artillery, still occupied by the Sri Lankan military. Head to the hot springs of Kanniya, a unique structure with seven square-shaped hot water wells.

Photos of Hotel Sigiriya, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Hotel Sigiriya, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: An enriching holiday not far from the airport

Where: Sigiriya (A three-and-a-half hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo)

Price: Rs 4,000 onwards, per night

Facilities: Outdoor pool, Ayurveda spa, three bars and a restaurant, arrangements for bird watching and elephant safari tours.

Other things to do nearby: The Sirigiya complex is a World Heritage Site. And in the middle of it is Lion's Rock, a massive granite rock, which can be accessed through galleries and staircases that seem to emerge from the mouth of a giant lion.

Photos of Secret Garden Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Secret Garden Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: A great stay near popular landmarks

Where: Galle (A two-and-a-half hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport)

Price: From Rs 1,900 onwards, per night

Facilities: On-site bar, in-house restaurant, family rooms

Other things to do nearby: The Galle Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, exudes the classic Sri Lankan charm. Inside are traffic-free narrow streets with Dutch colonial villas, antique shops and museums, which tell the history of the island's colonial era. Check out the lovely white Dutch Church, built originally in 1640, and talk to the friendly caretaker about its history.

Photos of Kottawatta Village, A18, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Kottawatta Village, A18, Udawalawa, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: An eco-friendly getaway near a national park

Where: Udawalawa junction, Colombage-ara (Four and a half hours from Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo)

Price: Rs 2,600 per night

Facilities: Ayurvedic massage, night camping, on-site restaurant, barbecue nights, rooms with bathtubs.

Other things to do nearby: Get the hotel to organise a safari for you to Udawalawe National Park, which is right next door. The experienced guides can help you spot wild elephants crossing River Walawe and take you through the best parts of the jungle. If you are lucky, you can also spot sloth bears, crocodiles, porcupines, spotted deers etc.

Photos of Neelas Beach Guest House, Asian Highway 43, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Neelas Beach Guest House, Asian Highway 43, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: A beach-side stay

Where: Galle Road, Narigama,Hikkaduwa (A two-and-a-half hour drive from Bandaranaike International Airport)

Price: Rs 1,300 onwards, per night

Facilities: In-house restaurant, sun terrace, garden, bar, arrangements for fishing, diving and cycling.

Other things to do nearby: The Hikkaduwa Beach, just minutes away from this hotel, is a beautiful beach. You can enjoy snorkelling and surfing at different parts of this beach. Pay a visit to the Community Tsunami Museum in Hikkaduwa for an eye-opening insight into how the tsunami changed the country.

Photos of Happy Elephant Resort Udawalawe, Ratnapura, Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Happy Elephant Resort Udawalawe, Ratnapura, Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: Some quiet time amidst nature

Where: Udawalawe

Price: Rs 1,000 onwards, per night

Facilities: Rooms with lake view, restaurant, cycle rental, children's playground, fishing

Other things to do nearby: Indulge in some bird watching and photography at Udawalawe National Park, which is 11km away. The resort will also be able to arrange safaris for you. Activities such as cycling and fishing are also available here.

Photos of Country Homes, Ella, Sri Lanka 1/2 by Himani Khatreja
Photos of Country Homes, Ella, Sri Lanka 2/2 by Himani Khatreja

Perfect for: Stunning mountain views

Where: Wellawaya Road Ella, Ella (Five and a half hours from Bandaranaike International Airport)

Price: Rs 2,900 onwards, per night

Facilities: Restaurant, garden, airport shuttle services

Other things to do nearby: Get a guide and do a day hike to Ella Rock, which will take you through beautiful rail tracks, tea plantations and forests before reaching the top, from where you'll be able to get a nice view of the surrounding landscape. Take a tour of the Ella Spice Garden, after which you can take a cooking class and buy some fresh spices.

Have you been to Sri Lanka? Did the country live up to its fame? Write your own story about it and we'll share it with the travel community.

Further reading: Places To Visit In Sri Lanka That Will Take Your Breath Away

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