7 best luxury boutique hotels in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: An island country located in South Asia, Sri Lanka has a rich history dating back thousands of years and is renowned for its diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality.

The recorded history of Sri Lanka dates back over 2,500 years, with ancient civilisations such as the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa kingdoms. The island has been influenced by various cultures and has a diverse heritage that blends Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, and Burgher traditions. This cultural fusion is evident in its architecture, art, music, dance, and cuisine.

Geographically, Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise characterised by lush greenery, golden sandy beaches, rolling hills, and cascading waterfalls. The island boasts a remarkable biodiversity, with dense rainforests, wildlife reserves, and abundant flora and fauna.

In terms of attractions, Sri Lanka offers several cultural sites such as the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the ancient palace and fortress complex Sigiriya, and the iconic Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Culture aside, animal lovers can find Sri Lanka’s diverse wildlife at Yala National Park, Wilpattu National Park, and Udawalawe National Park. Over at Nuwara Eliya, often referred to as “Little England,” you can find tea plantations, misty mountains, and picturesque landscapes, while enjoying its temperate, cool climate.

Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, relaxing on pristine beaches, embarking on wildlife safaris, or indulging in authentic cuisine, complement your trip with one of these luxury boutique hotels in Sri Lanka.

1. Mosvold Villa (newly opened in June 2023)

Mosvold Villa. (Photo: Booking.com)
Mosvold Villa. (Photo: Booking.com)

Located in Ahangama, Mosvold Villa is an ultra-luxe, 16-bedroom, beachfront villa by homegrown Sri Lankan chain, Mosvold Boutique Hotels that specialises in luxury boutique hospitality.

Mosvold Villa has partnered with renowned Sri Lankan designer Sonali Dharmawardena to craft exquisite handmade batik bed linens and wall panels. The rooftop, offering a breathtaking 180-degree perspective of Ahangama beach, features a vibrant bar with tantalising island cocktails and captivating live music performances.

Additionally, for those seeking adventure, Mosvold Villa is situated right on the Ahangama strip, where you can take surfing lessons.

2. Galle Fort Hotel (Reopened in 2022 after a three-year restoration)

Galle Fort Hotel. (Photo: Booking.com)
Galle Fort Hotel. (Photo: Booking.com)

Located inside the UNESCO World Heritage Galle Fort, the historic Galle Fort Hotel is housed in a Dutch mansion that dates back 300 years. The property was once a warehouse and served as the residence of a renowned family of gem merchants during the British era.

The heritage restoration of the Galle Fort Hotel was done, working in line with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Archaeology to ensure that the building’s 300-year-old Dutch walls and facade were conserved as authentically as possible.

The Galle Fort Hotel features 12 luxurious suites with varying themes and decor in its new look. Expert restorers were brought in to work with the antiques, which are seen across the hotel and suites. One of the structural highlights of this property is the stunning Palladian colonnade verandah, which houses the Galle Fort Hotel Bar, with its exclusive selection of gins from across the globe.

3. Sundara by Mosvold

Sundara by Mosvold. (Photo: Booking.com)
Sundara by Mosvold. (Photo: Booking.com)

Sundara by Mosvold, an eight-room, luxury villa by homegrown Sri Lankan chain, Mosvold Boutique Hotels, is situated in Balapitiya on the island’s southwestern coast. The oceanfront property is named after the Sanskrit word for beautiful.

Sundara by Mosvold features rooms with varying themes and decor that reflect the signature style of Sri Lankan tropical minimalism. The rooms and public spaces have been designed and styled tastefully to reflect Sri Lankan aesthetics. The post-colonial, modern interiors with gorgeously curated furniture and objets d’art definitely make the whole space Insta-worthy.

4. Thotalagala

Thotalagala. (Photo: Booking.com)
Thotalagala. (Photo: Booking.com)

Nestled in the hills and tucked away in Sri Lanka’s tea country, in the remote town of Haputale, Thotalagala is considered to be one of Sri Lanka’s most exclusive addresses. This property is located on the Pitaratmalie Estate, amidst some of Sri Lanka’s best tea estates.

An all-inclusive resort, Thotalagala features seven vintage-themed rooms with gorgeous antique furniture and nostalgic artwork. Luxury offerings at the property include one of the country’s best infinity swimming pools, and a heritage, teak-panelled cigar room serving after-dinner cognac, not to mention the immersive experiences in the nearby tea gardens.

5. Kahanda Kanda

Kahanda Kanda. (Photo: Booking.com)
Kahanda Kanda. (Photo: Booking.com)

Surrounded by lush tea plantations, tropical gardens, and panoramic views of Koggala Lake, Kahanda Kanda is an intimate boutique hotel near Galle. It offers a tranquil and idyllic escape for travellers seeking a blend of luxury, privacy, and natural beauty.

Renowned for its intimate and exclusive setting, it features a collection of beautifully designed villas and suites, a 20-metre infinity-edged swimming pool, and a spa with rejuvenating treatments and wellness therapies. With an emphasis on privacy and serenity, some accommodations even feature private plunge pools to ensure a truly indulgent and cosy experience.

6. The Kandy House

The Kandy House. (Photo: Booking.com)
The Kandy House. (Photo: Booking.com)

Housed in a restored ancestral manor that dates back 200 years, The Kandy House offers a blend of luxury and colonial charm. Nestled amidst lush greenery and picturesque paddy fields, it provides a tranquil and serene setting.

The hotel offers a selection of beautifully designed rooms—spacious suites and private pavilions—that reflect the rich heritage of Sri Lanka. The swimming pool, set in the tropical garden, also offers a refreshing spot to relax and unwind.

7. Tri by Amaya

Situated on the banks of Koggala Lake, Tri by Amaya is a unique and eco-friendly boutique hotel that focuses on sustainable luxury. It offers a tranquil and scenic setting with lush greenery and panoramic views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.

Tri by Amaya. (Photo: Booking.com)
Tri by Amaya. (Photo: Booking.com)

Accommodation at Tri by Amaya consists of stylish suites and villas, each thoughtfully designed to provide comfort and serenity. The rooms feature open-air bathrooms, private balconies or terraces, and floor-to-ceiling windows that maximise the views of the lake and the tropical gardens.

Tri’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in its farm-to-table dining concept. The hotel boasts an organic garden that supplies fresh ingredients for its innovative cuisine, which blends local flavours with international influences.

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