The cultural jewel of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is heavenly place to indulge in a luxury holiday. Not only is this country fantastic value for money, it also has a huge range of beautiful hotels, from small boutiques to your favourite groups like Relais & Chateaux. You’ll find spectacular hotels all over the country, from the beaches of Mirissa, the tea hills around Ella and the wild forests of Yala National Park.
We’ve chosen our favourite luxury hotels in Sri Lanka – each of these spots is perfect if you are looking for a luxurious and beautiful holiday.
This lovely property can be found high in the tea hills of Sri Lanka. Made up of 5 restored tea planter residences, the vast bungalows sit in endless gardens and peaceful tea fields. It is such a tranquil place to begin your holiday, with a breath-taking backdrop of mountains and waterfalls as you explore.
Indulge in the exquisite spa, sunbathe by the pool or sip on a cold drink brought to you by a private butler. Try your hand at mastering Sri Lankan cuisine in a cooking class with the chef, or enjoy a tea-infused dinner, learning about the different flavour profiles of the leaves. Tuck into jam and cream scones at afternoon tea and spend your days here soaking up the stunning surroundings.
There are lots of scenic hikes to take through the rolling tea plantations – you can even take a walk with the resident tea planter who will teach you about the process of growing tea. Complimentary mountain bikes are provided, so you can head off onto the downhill trails, or even go back in time by playing croquet on the lawn outside your bungalow.
Wild Coast Tented Lodge is a Relais & Chateaux property and the unique rooms boast vaulted ceilings that offer jungle views from the double-height double glazed facades. The décor is a combination of colonial expedition-style and contemporary design, perfect for honeymooners on safari. The suites have romantic four-poster beds and a free-standing handmade copper bathtub.
During your stay, you’ll set off on game drives through the national park - the passionate guides will help you track elephants, sloth bears and the famous leopards. At the same time, they’ll keep an eye out for some of the smaller residents, such as mongooses, cobras and bright blue bee-eaters.
There are also lots of extra activities you can book directly with the lodge, from guided bush walks to cycling trips through the local rice fields. In the evenings, sit back and relax with a drink at the Ten Tuskers Bar, or, for something unforgettable, we can arrange a private dinner on the beach under the stars.
Why not experience the serenity of Sri Lanka’s lush tea hills from the luxurious comfort of 98 Acres Resort and Spa. It’s an elegant boutique hotel made up of charming chalets surrounded by a lush and verdant landscape. The chalets are mostly made of recycled materials.
The spacious rooms offer breath-taking views of the Ella Gap and Adam’s Peak Mountain. The balcony is ideal for lingering over breakfast, watching the sunrise or simply gazing out at the mountains and tea plantations.
Your time here can be spent however you wish. We recommend heading out with a guide to drive you around the local area, discovering the pretty walks, cascading waterfalls and the shuddering blue train that trundles through Ella each afternoon.
There are also plenty of adventures to get stuck into, such as ziplining, mountain biking and archery. For a slightly more sedate escapade, take a cooking class and learn how to whip up some local favourites. Alternatively, just chill out by the pool and enjoy the views.
On the south coast of Sri Lanka, you’ll find The Owl and the Pussycat, a luxurious boutique hotel which oozes romance and fun. The décor is quirky, colourful and classy. The bright and sunny rooms boast a private terrace overlooking the water. The whole hotel combines tranquillity with a fun and social atmosphere, a fine balance that The Owl and the Pussycat executes perfectly.
The food here is vibrant and full of flavour – think spicy curries and fresh seafood. The traditional thalis are legendary, so be sure to try one at The Runcible Spoon. Lounge by the pool before grabbing a cocktail for a sundowner by the beach – it’s the perfect place to take a break at the beginning of your honeymoon.
Staying at The Owl & the Pussycat, you are perfectly placed to explore the south coast. Look for whales in the deep waters off Mirissa, party on the beach in Unawatuna and look for hornbills in the air above Lake Koggala. Spend the rest of your time relaxing on the golden beaches by the hotel, walking along the sands and playing in the waves.
Amangalla sits in the historic ramparts of Galle Fort, on the wave-beaten south coast. The rooms offer views of the harbour and the fort, with a mixture of colonial charm and modern fixtures creating a friendly and relaxing vibe. There is so much to do here – you could relax in the gardens, settle down with a good book in the library, enjoy a spa day or just enjoy your beautiful room.
The emerald coloured pool sits in the palm tree-filled courtyard. Take afternoon tea on the Veranda and enjoy the views from the sunset balcony, drenched in light all afternoon, the perfect place for an early evening martini. We always recommend a visit to Galle on a trip to Sri Lanka – it is one of the best places to learn about the colonial history of the island. Wander amongst the narrow lanes beneath terracotta tiled rooftops – it’s a magical spot to explore.
On the vast shores of Lake Koggala on the south coast of Sri Lanka, lies Tri. This boutique hotel is a haven of contemporary design and sustainable luxury – found everywhere from the eleven suites to the relaxing spa. Set just feet from the water, the hotel is spread of a 6-acre hill overlooking the lake with living walls, green rooves and vast herb gardens.
If you want to head out from the hotel, you could cycle along the vast trails by the lake or take a boat over to Cinnamon Island, to meet Sarath and his family, who have grown cinnamon there for three generations. You could even take a cookery class and tuck into a spicy curry of your own creation. It’s perfect if you want to be near the beaches but have a different landscape, on the edge of the lake and surrounded by trees.
Another lovely option in Galle is Fort Bazaar, a pretty house-turned-boutique hotel in the old walls of the Fort. The 18 bedrooms are stylish and fresh, with contemporary design alongside a Middle Eastern vibe. The rooms surround a cobbled courtyard, with a rustling mango tree creating a shady spot to read. It has a wonderful little restaurant, with Moroccan and Turkish style cuisine – think fresh crab, tuna salads and black pork curry.
The hotel can organise a whole host of experiences – try a cooking class to rustle up local delicacy hoppers, a delicious type of crispy pancake or take a bicycle tour through the nearby rice fields. Back at the hotel you can finish the day with a complimentary G&T before heading to the western ramparts to watch the sunset over the ocean.
If you'd love to stay in one of these beautiful hotels and are inspired you to take a trip to Sri Lanka, give us a call on +44 1273320580 or request a quote. We are experts in planning tailor-made holidays to Sri Lanka, as well as round the world flights, so we can work together with you until we’ve created your perfect holiday.