Sri Lanka’s 20 best boutique hotels


Top 7 United Kingdom Holiday Destinations 2022

United Kingdom has always fascinated tourists from across the globe. The amazing locales and scenic beauty of the United Kingdom attracts travelers. Moreover, the enchanting

How to Find Good Car Rental Deals

If you’re looking to rent a car and don’t know where to start, it can be hard to know what you should be searching for

Stay Happy and Safe on a Cruise

Cruise travel has become the most popular mode of transportation for tourists visiting different tourist spots. It is a better option than air travel in

How to Get an Auto Insurance Discount

Discount hunting for a specific purpose is something that should never be done in isolation, so if you’re specifically looking for discounts on something like

Major Airports and Their Locations

An airport is generally an aerodrome with long runways, usually for commercial aircraft. Commercial airports often have a control tower and facilities to house and

Sri Lanka has bounced back from tsunamis, travel warnings and civil war. Here’s our pick of the best places to stay

It has been ravaged by civil war, badly hit by the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, and had travel warnings imposed on it for 30 years by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. But Sri Lanka has bounced back since the FCO said that the whole country was safe for travel in August.

Bookings are up by a third year on year and chic new hotels are opening, both on the beach and on the tourist trail that takes in Nuwara Eliya for the tea plantations, Kandy for the Temple of the Tooth, the Sigiriya rock fortress and the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Packages are available, but consider doing Sri Lanka on your own, hiring a car with a driver for a fly-drive with a difference. It doesn’t cost much more than self-drive and also to get a Sri lanka Visa  is much easier.

1 Alankuda Beach, Kalpitiya peninsula This new resort has a “boho chic” look with its little houses and cottages set in lush tropical grounds. The centrepiece is an open-sided pavilion where fresh curries are served each night. The pavilion looks on to a lovely, narrow 40m pool. It is simple (boutique on a budget), sociable and stylish — with all meals included.
Details I-Escape (, from £84 a night for a cabana, full-board.

2 The Sun House, Galle In a building dating from the 1860s (built by a Scottish spice merchant), The Sun House is a peaceful retreat with five bright and airy rooms and two swish suites. The Cinnamon Suite was once described by Condé Nast Traveller magazine as being “the most beautiful room in the world”. The pool is in a courtyard with lush lawns.
Details Steppes Travel (01285 880980, offers B&B stays in standard rooms from £160pp per night.

3 Amangalla, Galle Part of the prestigious Aman group of hotels, Amangalla is in the heart of the 400-year-old Galle Fort. It was once the New Oriental Hotel, but it has been given a boutique overhaul with 29 rooms with teak floors, overhead fans, antique furniture, standalone bathtubs, four-poster beds, chaises longues and shuttered windows. It also has a high-class spa, a 21m pool and a restaurant serving traditional Sri Lankan curries.
Details Aman (00 800 2255 2626, has doubles from £310 per room per night.


4 Vil Uyana, Sigiriya Expect high standards of service at these 25 thatched-roof villas built on stilts over an area of wetland overlooking the looming shape of Sigiriya Rock. There are flat-screen TVs with satellite channels and guests can arrange to have food brought to their private terraces.
Details Tropical Sky (0845 5432187,, charges from £919pp for a week’s B&B in a villa, flights from UK included.

5 The Galle Fort Hotel, Galle Set within the 17th-century fortifications of Galle, this 11-room hideaway has a calm that attracts writers — including, recently, Paul Theroux and Alexander McCall Smith (who worked on one of his detective books in his room). The interiors have an elegant traditional look, with four-posters draped with white chiffon. The popular restaurant serves Chinese-Thai food. There’s a small swimming pool.
Details Galle Fort Hotel (, from £126 for a double.

6 The Fortress, Galle If you can’t get a room at Galle Fort, try this five-star hotel that is a few minutes outside town on a beach. It’s a swanky and seriously stylish place and the 49 bedrooms have chrome retro lights, flat-screen TVs, Bose DVD systems, giant beds (each mattress is basketballer big, 7ft by 7ft) and bathrooms with standalone tubs and separate showers.Details Tropical Sky (0845 5432187,, from £869 for a week’s B&B in a double, flights included.

7 Casa Colombo, Colombo Each of the dozen suites at Casa Colombo has been individually designed by the hotel’s flamboyant owner, Lalin Jinasena. The ruby-red rooms have beds that appear to float, low-hanging ceiling lamps and pictures of gurus hovering above clouds. There’s a lively restaurant and bar; probably the funkiest hotel in Sri Lanka.
Details I-Escape (, from £115 a night for a B&B double.

8 Kandy House, near Kandy This small, nine-room hotel in the hills, is a 20-minute tuk-tuk ride from Kandy . The rooms have four-poster beds and fans, whitewashed walls and a colonial look. There’s an infinity pool set around tropical trees. The hotel is a haven from the city bustle of Kandy, with lush gardens and nearby paddy fields.
Details Audley Travel (01993 838000,, charge{s from £230 for a B&B double per night.

9 Ulagalla, Anuradhapura The big infinity pool, pink water lilies in the adjacent reservoir, and lush tropical surroundings give Ulagalla a fresh feel. There are 25 villas designed to look like traditional colonial buildings, but with slick modern interiors. Each has a private plunge pool, and the bedrooms have hardwood floors and four-poster beds.
Details Scott Dunn (020-8682 5075, has seven nights’ B&B with flights and transfers from £1,815pp.

10 Ellerton, near Kandy Ellerton was originally built for the manager of a huge tea estate. There are six bedrooms decorated in a colonial style, with antiques, oriental rugs and whitewashed walls. Lovely verandas provide places for quiet reading, and there’s a superb infinity pool. Here at 2,400ft, you get hot days and cooler evenings. The chefs make wicked curries.
Details Ellerton ( has B&B doubles from £130.

11 Villa Bentota, Bentota This boutique hotel has a rich, shadowy look with deep red and black furniture and low-level lighting. The hotel’s 15 rooms are all designed by Shanth Fernando, a well-known local “lifestyle guru”. There’s a chic restaurant with black lacquered tables serving Asian food. The bar has black leather loungers and bronze tables.
Details Ampersand Travel (020-7289 6100, offers seven nights in a B&B double with flights and transfers from £1,480pp.

12 Tea Trails, Hatton Tea Trails has four large, well-designed bungalows. Each has three rooms, decorated in colonial style with chaises longues, four-poster beds and standalone Victorian bathtubs. A chef is assigned to each bungalow, preparing breakfasts, picnic lunches, teas and four-course evening meals.The bungalows are set amid beautiful terraces of tea plantations.
Details Audley Travel (01993 838000,, from £345 for an all-inclusive double per night.

13 Kahanda Kanda, near Galle In the middle of a tea plantation, Kahanda Kanda is a wonderful hideaway. There are five designer villas. It’s very stylish, with a cool cocktail bar with open sides and a ceiling fan, a 20m infinity pool and Zen-like statues of praying figures dotted about the grounds. The villas also overlook a pretty lake.
Details Scott Dunn (020-8682 5075, has seven nights’ B&B with flights and transfers from £1,695pp.

14 Wallawwa, Kotugoda Not far from the airport (but not suffering from aircraft noise), this boutique hotel is renowned for its Z Spa. There’s also a cool swimming pool and an Asian fusion restaurant. The 14 rooms are comfortable and decorated in muted colours.
Details Steppes Travel (01285 880980, offers B&B doubles from £100pp.

15 The Weir, near Kandy This is a terrific private residence converted into a four room hideaway. It is hidden amid tropical forests and has a six-acre vegetable garden. There’s a neat plunge pool looking down into a valley.
Details Real Holidays (020-7359 3938, has half-board rooms from £165 a night.

16 Frangipani Tree, Galle Frangipani Tree, alongside the Indian Ocean, has four villas with ten suites. It has a bright and breezy style with a contemporary design with clean lines. Each villa has a private terrace and sunbeds. There’s also a 35m infinity pool.
Details Real Holidays (020-7359 3938, has B&B rooms from £175 a night.

17 Anilana Park Street Hotel, Colombo This bungalow set in two acres of landscaped gardens with a cool infinity pool feels like an oasis within the bustle of the capital. There are ten rooms and ten suites: the latter being rather slick, with low-level beds and neutral colours, apart from great big splashes of colour in works of modern art.
Details Anilana Park Street Hotel ( has B&B doubles from £171; suites from £234.

18 Serene Pavilions, Wadduwa This new boutique hotel is on the west coast between Wadduwa and Panadura. It is on a beach and has a dozen modern “pavilions” with private plunge pools. The interiors are high-tech: air conditioning, wireless internet, DVD players and iPod docking stations all come as standard. There are marble bathrooms with hot-tubs in each stylish room. A vast pool winds its way around neatly cut lawns.
Details TransIndus (020-8566 2729, offers B&B garden-view pavilion rooms from £240 a night.

19 Saman Villas, near Bentota Teak floors, low-level (large) beds and minimalist decorations can be found on this rocky outcrop with fabulous views of the Indian Ocean. It’s a very romantic setting with long white-sand beaches. There are 27 rooms, each with DVD and CD players and air conditioning. There are pools and steam rooms, hot tubs and saunas at the spa.
Details Hayes & Jarvis (0844 8554488, offers suites from £199 a night.

20 Aditiya, Galle This is a super-luxurious boutique hideaway: a dozen suites have private plunge pools and tasteful interiors. It’s next to a golden-sand beach and there’s a big swimming pool and a spa. The cuisine is modern fusion .
Details Carrier (0161-492 1355, offers seven nights’ B&B from £1,825pp, with flights and transfers included.

Trailfinders (0845 0505871, offers flights to Colombo from £599 return direct or £385 return with a stop on the way. To hire a car with an English- speaking driver costs an additional £62 a day.