Looking for the best hotels in Sri Lanka?
On my trip to Sri Lanka in February I fell madly in love with this beautiful country. Sri Lanka is incredible, full of hiking, tea plantations, beaches and temples.
Sri Lanka has something for everyone and there are so many things to do in this incredible country, including some of the world’s best hotels.
During my trip to Sri Lanka, we stayed in six hotels in 9 days, so we really got to experience a variety of hotels on offer in a really short period of time. We stayed in some colonial-style hotels, five-star luxury hotels and even hippy beach-side apartments.
Many of the hotels I have listed in Sri Lanka are very popular so make sure you book in advance.
Top 10 Hotels in Sri Lanka
- Best hotel for exploring Sigiriya Rock: Jetwing Lake
- Best hotel for surfing in Galle: Fairway Sunset Hotel
- Best hotel for exploring Kandy: Mahaweli Reach Hotel
- Best hotel for heritage in Nuwara Eliya: Jetwing St Andrews
- Best hotel for elephant safaris: Jetwing Lake
- Best hotel for relaxation close to Colombo: Mount Lavinia Hotel
- Best hotel beachfront hotel: Jetwing Lighthouse Galle
- Best hotel for exploring Colombo: Movenpick
- Best hotel for visiting Ella: 98 Acres Resort & Spa
- Best hotel for exploring Riverston: Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge
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Where to stay in Sri Lanka
In between planning things to do in Sri Lanka, you will also need to book some accommodation in Sri Lanka. The island is huge, so it’s best to travel around from hotel to hotel during your trip, plan your itinerary first, and then look for hotels close by to those main hot spots.
For example, when you are visiting Sigiriya Rock, Jetwing Lake is going to be your best bet, as it offers great service, stunning pool and is only 20 minutes from the rock.
Best hotel for exploring Sigiriya Rock
Most people are staying in a city called Habarana, a short 10-minute drive from Minneriya. I would recommend the best for elephant safaris at Minneriya National Park is a stay at the gorgeous Jetwing Lake. This hotel was incredible!
The hotel is a little out of town, but it’s worth it, with an incredible layout, iconic pool overlooking the lake, stunning bedrooms and a great selection of food in the restaurant. Me and Sandy loved staying here, we felt safe and looked after. Jetwing owns some of the best hotels in Sri Lanka and we got to stay at two of their hotels on our road trip in Sri Lanka!
Best hotel for surfing in Galle
Fairway Sunset Galle, Witness the best Sunset in Galle from your own hotel room located 10 min away from the Galle Fort and is easy access to the city.
Fairway Sunset, is the Newest Luxury Hotel on the Southern Coast, offers you a once in a lifetime view of one of the best sunsets in Sri Lanka. Located at the meeting point of the South and South West coast, along with offering you a range of rooms and suites which provide an unparalleled view of the South Coast Ocean and sheer convenience in terms of locations and accessibility.
All 65 rooms at Fairway Sunset Galle are symbols of the true Sri Lankan Identity inspired by a world of contrasting influences combines with “Smart Luxury” features which give you an all required modern facilities and added services. All rooms come with a private balcony and outstanding views across to the beach, and iconic sunset.
Fairway Sunset features five distinct types of rooms with attached bathroom with rain shower enclosure, free Wi-Fi, electronic safe, a 40” satellite television, mini-fridge, tea/coffee making, generous toiletries and many more.
Best hotel for exploring Kandy
Nestled beside the mighty Mahaweli River, Mahaweli Reach Hotel combines a sense of refined luxury with the old-world charm of an ancient kingdom.
Located at 488 meters above sea level, the city is the hill capital of Sri Lanka which offers incredible culture and history all the way to authentic local life. Discover the enchantment of Sri Lanka’s hill capital like never before at one of the leading Kandy hotels where they say “our world revolves around yours”.
My room here was a spacious room that combined traditional Sri Lankan aesthetics with luxury comforts, the Deluxe Room at the Kandy boutique hotel offers the ideal hideaway in the hills.
Take in the enchanting atmosphere that surrounds Mahaweli Reach Hotel from your private balcony, providing idyllic views of the pool, lush gardens or best yet, the Mahaweli River that adds a sense of natural wonder to begin and end your day.
Best hotel for heritage in Nuwara Eliya
Jetwing St Andrews was incredible! The hotel is a little out of town, but it’s worth it, with an incredible iconic history in these beautiful lands. Located high above the coastal plains of Sri Lanka, mountain clouds rest upon a blanket of tea plantations is the stunning hotel of Jetwing St Andrew.
It was in these very highlands where the colonial British retreated for cooler climates and built empires from hill stations that became their adopted home. A timeless favourite has always been the city of Nuwara Eliya – a city so nostalgic, that it has since earned the nickname of ‘Little England’.
Set apart from Nuwara Eliya hotels, the hill country home of hospitality lives up to the city’s historical moniker in all forms. As a restored Georgian style country mansion, they invite you to step back in time and indulge in all the pleasures of upcountry luxury – as did the English of yore, but now, with a contemporary Sri Lankan touch.
Best hotel for relaxation close to Colombo
With a history spanning over 210 years, Mount Lavinia Hotel Colombo is one of the oldest hotels in Sri Lanka. This premier colonial heritage hotel in Colombo has earned a reputation over the years for its magnificent structure and ambience, the old world charm which harks back to the grandeur of old Ceylon.
The hotel is a romantic legacy left by the colonial Governor-General who used it as his residence, the exceptional service offered by its well-trained staff and its popularity as a venue for weddings.
For our stay here we stayed in one of their Ocean View Rooms, each with its own large private balcony and views of the ocean. A mesmerising view of the turquoise ocean waters, golden beaches and a panoramic view of the city of Colombo await you on the private balconies.
I really loved listening to the gentle and soothing lull of the ocean to relax me as I inhaled the fresh ocean breeze. Each room also has a spacious bathroom where you can succumb to the temptation of soaking in the bathtub, before spending a restful sleep in their king-size beds.
Best hotel beachfront hotel
One of the most iconic Galle hotels, Jetwing Lighthouse is located on its immediate outskirts upon a hillock overlooking the vast Indian Ocean beyond our heritage city. The coastal trunk road runs just outside the home of Sri Lankan hospitality, offering easy access from other destinations, including Colombo via the Southern Expressway.
The historic city of Galle and its surroundings are home to an abundance of experiences that range from exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Galle Fort, discovering the traditional art of Sri Lankan mask making, or even witnessing the breathtaking beauty of blue whales in their natural habitat.
Jetwing Lighthouse is equipped with a host of modern facilities and services befitting of its heritage luxury. Along with the immaculate services of our team of butlers and other hotel amenities, our home of Sri Lankan hospitality also includes conference facilities, tranquil Ayurveda and spa services, tennis court, and in-house boutiques for some holiday retail therapy.
Over the centuries, the seas below the hotel have brought the world to these very shores. As the waves crashed against their rocky coast, guests can watch as foreign cultures combine with the Sri Lankan hospitality, in a thriving harmony that transformed an ancient trading post into the bustling coastal city many locals are proud to call our home.
Best hotel for exploring Colombo
Located in the heart of Colombo facing the Galle road and just 35 minutes from the airport. Mövenpick Hotel Colombo offers 219 rooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows. Boasting stunning views of the city and the Indian Ocean together.
The hotel is best known for its vista rooftop bar 24 storeys high and stunning infinity rooftop pool. This stunning five-star property has been in operation since January 2017.
The Mövenpick Hotel Colombo is just five minutes away from Galle face and the beach. The 24 storey hotel gives guests a memorable experience inclusive of Spa Ceylon, the best Ayurveda spa with the finest treatments, a dedicated yoga, Zumba and fitness room and a 24-hour state of the art “Sky Fitness” gym.
With a range of culinary offerings from the ground floor to the rooftop, this really is a foodie’s paradise and a true 5-star experience. Explore the vibrant city of Colombo with the Liberty shopping Arcade right next door, the local market is just a minute away and the beautiful historic and cultural sites are situated within close proximity.
Best hotel for visiting Ella
98 Acres Resort & Spa – If you are after some unique accommodation in Sri Lanka, this hotel is perfect for you. Here you can experience the beauty and serenity of Sri Lanka’s scenic hill country within the luxurious comforts of a boutique hotel par excellence. 98 Acres Resort and Spa is an elegant, chic hotel that stands on a scenic 98-acre tea estate, surrounded by a stunning landscape.
The uniquely designed resort blends well with nature and consists of charming chalets mostly made of recyclable substance. Discarded railway sleepers are put to good use in the making of decks and walls at the resort. Rough, hewn granite lend simple elegance to the floors of chalets adorned with thatched roofs of ‘Illuk’ straw that adds to their rustic beauty.
The exquisite countryside, breathtaking views and exciting nature trails will assure you of a memorable holiday at one of the most breathtaking Ella hotels in the region.
Best hotel for exploring Riverston
Imagine waking up to the sounds of birds chirping outside your room, you then open your front door to one of the most spectacular views imaginable – majestic mountains, lush green valleys and tea plantations, crystal clear streams and even the occasional deer or giant squirrel. Take a deep breath of the fresh air and pinch yourself – no, you’re not dreaming…
This is Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka offering a revolutionary and contemporary concept to the traditional warmth and hospitality that Sri Lanka is famous for.
Nestled on a picturesque tea plantation, on the Knuckles Mountain Range 1000 meters above sea level, Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge will treat travelers to magnificent views, top class facilities, friendly and courteous service and plenty of things to see and do.
Photo credit: All images via booking.com affiliates
Tours of Sri Lanka
BOOK | Sri Lanka Encompassed
Explore tea plantations and rock fortresses on this 14-day tour, which is designed to please. This tour is about more than just beaches and stunning views; it’s about the inspiring people you’ll meet along the way. You will visit major cultural sights within Sri Lanka, including the most scenic train ride in the world from Kandy to Ella. All of the highlights, culture, access, and I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, all at a great price. Includes expert guides, meals and transport.
Fancy a trip to the Maldives following your adventure in Sri Lanka? This is the tour for you! This 14-day combo trip brings together the best of Sri Lanka’s cultural highlights and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sail the islands of the Maldives aboard a dhoni boat. Experience a safari in Udawalawe National Park, discover cultural treasures of Negombo and Kandy, and then spend an entire week cruising from one tiny and perfect atoll island to another, snorkelling in crystal-clear waters and stretching out on blazing white-sand beaches. From culture to paradise, this tour’s got it all.
My Travel Tips and Recommendations
To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals.
For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!
Photography and Technology
Here is a list of the technology I always travel with:
Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend. BOOK HERE
Other posts that may help you:
Hiking Riverston Matale and ‘The Knuckles’ in Sri Lanka
Pedro Tea Factory Tour in Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka
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