Photo Credit @ Aarunya Nature Resort and Spa
A small country absolutely filled with incredible and scenic landscapes, delicious regional cuisine, and beautiful people. Year by year, more people wish to visit the Pearl of the Indian Ocean and explore the beautiful country, however, with the impact of Covid-19 hindering travel plans worldwide, it’s been difficult to tick this location off the bucket list.
Now in 2022, with countries reopening their borders to international travellers, it is time to explore a location filled with some of the most beautiful resorts, hotels, and retreats in the world. This list is based on the article created by Travel Sri Lanka on the most popular Sri Lankan hotels on social media in 2021. Check out their Instagram at @hotels.srilanka, and their website at https://travelsrilanka.org.
Discover more reading material on recipes, Sri Lankan and Indian travel, and everything to do with cooking at Lord and Lion!
Now, take a look at the Top 10 Must-See Places to Stay in Sri Lanka!
Photos Credit @ Wild Coast Tented Lodge
Finally, in the number one most popular spot on this list, is the Wild Coast Tented Lodge.
Located right on the edge of the famous Yala National Park, renowned for its leopard population and elephant families, Wild Coast Tented Lodge is a small collection of luxury cocoon tents, open-aired bars and dining, and offers incredible safari experiences.
Yala is a combination of protected nature reserve and national park, with nearly 130,000 hectares of land featuring pristine Sri Lankan wildlife. This wildlife sanctuary contains the world’s greatest natural concentration of Sri Lankan elephants, leopards, jackals, sloth bears, and more. This is one of the last places in the world you can see the dwindling leopard population in its natural glory.
The location is pristine, the views are breath-taking, and the experience is almost holistic. Combining luxury and nature, Wild Coast Tented Lodge is a location where you can experience the true beauty the natural world still has to offer.
Photos Credit @ Wild Coast Tented Lodge
Photo Credit @ Saman Villas
Located along the stunning coastline of Bentota, the peaceful fishing village of Aturuwella homes this tropical all-suite resort on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka, Saman Villas. This coastal resort overlooks the Laccadive Sea atop a cliff to maximise the views of its surrounding golden beaches.
Featuring chic, wood adorned suites with beach view balconies, a floating restaurant with ocean views, and spa services, Saman Villas is a popular place to soak up the sun’s rays in beautiful coastal Sri Lanka.
Follow their instagram @samanvillas for stunning coastal imagery in your feed to entice that travel-bug inside of you!
Photo Credit @ Aarunya Nature Resort and Spa
Situated in the charming and historic city of Kandy, about three hours drive inland from Colombo, the Aarunya Nature Resort and Spa is the ideal location to take in the natural beauty of Sri Lanka.
This collection of luxury private villas is set high on a mountaintop overlooking the UNESCO Natural World Heritage listed Knuckles Mountain Range. Featuring the beautiful natural surroundings of tea, fruit, and spice gardens, this nature resort is a destination to unwind and be swept away from the modern world of stress and work.
Check out their instagram @aarunyaresort to stay updated on deals and offers from this stunning resort in the Knuckles Mountain Range, Kandy!
Photo Credit @ Mapakada Village, Mahiyanganaya
Mapakada Village, Mahiyanganaya, located in the central district of Bandulla within the smaller region of Mahiyanganaya, is a laid-back countryside resort set right on the beautiful Lake Mapakada Wewa.
This resort offers numerous local experiences that beautifully showcase the extensive natural landmarks and nature reserves around the area. The carefully curated list of excursions helps to immerse guests in the natural world of Sri Lanka.
From a walk through the village and an evening with the Veddas, the indigenous people of Sri Lanka, to group tours to the Rathna Ella Falls or Madura Oya National Park to see wild elephants, there’s something for everybody.
Discover more Sri-Lankan travel inspiration and activites at the lakeside Mapakada Village instagram @mapakada_village!
Photo Credit @ Heritance Kandalama
Set overlooking the historical and awe-inspiring Sigiriya Rock Fortress (the eighth wonder of the world), Heritance Kandalama is a stunning eco-resort located just 10 km from The Golden Temple of Dambulla.
Draped in the lush green foliage of the surrounding jungle, this hotel is set into a cliff-face within the centre of the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka and close by five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The outside design of the hotel almost blends right into its environment.
Heritance Kandalama uses a simplistic yet contemporary design scheme, with smooth timber and rattan furniture adorning the 152 rooms. The facilities include the world-renowned Six Senses Spa, three restaurants (including the award-winning Kanchana Café), conference rooms, infinity pools, and more.
Their instagram @heritancekandalama is the page to follow to get that weekly dose of beautiful Dambulla imagery, from lush rainforests to stunning eco-architecture!
Nestled between the crystal blue ocean, the luscious rice paddies and the tropical jungle of Ahangama, on a sprawling old coconut plantation on Sri Lanka’s glorious South Coast, you will find a hidden gem – the Palm Hotel - a beautiful, luxurious and sleek boutique hotel perfect for hiding out and replenishing your soul.
This hotel only opened in 2019 but has become a fast favourite of those in the know – its A-frame hotel suites, cool concrete interiors, swinging hammocks along with its views over the luscious paddy fields and jungle can’t be beaten. The ultimate tropical escape, this slice of heaven showcases modern Sri Lanka at its best!
Photo Credit @ Jetwing Kaduruketha
Designed to resemble traditional village home, the eco-hotel of Jetwing Kaduruketha combines rustic comfort and a touch of modern luxury to provide an authentic yet comfortable stay in Sri Lanka.
Paying homage to the agricultural background that helped build Sri Lanka into the country it is today, this series of luxury rooms lies in the south-eastern foothills of Wellaway. Lush paddy fields and rolling hills provide a serene, secluded background to comfortably take in the tranquillity of the rural Sri Lankan landscapes.
Although this eco-hotel was built to embody the rural beginnings of agricultural living, the facilities and rooms were built to still savour the creature comforts of modern life amidst the beautiful natural setting.
Photo Credit @ Kalundewa Retreat Boutique Hotel
Nature and tranquillity meet at Kalundewa Retreat Boutique Hotel. This eco-friendly retreat is one of the most unique boutique hotels in Sri Lanka, combining the mysticism of the Kalundewa Mountain range and the 100 acres of pristine farmlands and lakes to provide an unforgettable experience.
Practicing the concept of ‘tropical modernism’, renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa, selected Kalundewa as the gem of Dambulla for the perfect hotel retreat. Having acclaimed design and hotel awards under their belt, the team at Kalundewa Retreat pride themselves on the sustainability and modernism combined into a handful of eco-friendly dwellings.
With solar power, organic gardens, traditional irrigation, and stunning low-impact architecture, Kalundewa Retreat is an unmissable experience whilst travelling through the cultural heart of Sri Lanka.
To keep updated on the stunning scenery and local wildlife of Dambulla, follow their instagram @kalundewaretreat!
Photo Credit @ Galle Face Hotel
Galle Face Hotel is one of Colombo’s most well-known landmarks and one of the oldest hotels east of the Suez. Embracing the rich history and traditions of its timeless grandeur, no visit to Sri Lanka is complete without staying at the majestic Galle Face Hotel.
Built in 1864, the Victorian-style hotel is a historical delight that houses a whopping 156 luxurious rooms. An in-house historian is always at the ready to divulge in the rich history of the area and the building plus the service is second to none.
The hotel sits along the Colombo seafront and faces the famous Galle Face Green, a 5-hectare urban park that houses beautiful views of the oceanside sunset and the Galle Face Green Night Market. This area is home to the rich history of Dutch occupation in Sri Lanka with many parts of the area originally built as defensive fortifications hundreds of years ago.
Galle Fort is one of the must-see attractions of the area, and one of most beautiful spots in Galle. With history all the way back to year 1588, this site has a UNESCO world heritage site listing and survived the 2004 tsunami.
Galle Face Hotel is a must-stop destination in the capital of Sri Lanka. To stay updated on events at the hotel, learn some history, and get some Sri Lankan travel inspiration, follow their instagram @gallefacehotel!
Photo Credit @ Diyabubula
Once again moving back to the beautiful region of Dambulla, the Barberyn Art and Jungle Hideaway of Diyabubula comes in at No. 2 on the list of the most popular hotels in Sri Lanka, 2021.
From the mind of one of Sri Lanka’s most renowned artists, Laki Senanayeke, comes an incredible one-of-a-kind accommodation. Over the period of 50 years, Laki cultured and transformed flat cultivation land into a lush rainforest, water garden, and open-air art gallery.
This oasis, Diyabubula, means “bubbling fountain”, symbolising the power of the earth and creativity bubbling up at this location and the eternal spring it contains. In 2012, Laki constructed five villas built to seamlessly integrate with the verdant rainforest surroundings for owners of Barberyn Ayurveda Resorts.
This magical refuge is full of Laki’s iconic sculptures and artworks scattered throughout the villas and surrounding greenery. Diyabubula is a one-of-a-kind location found nowhere else in the entire world.
Check out @diyabubula on instagram to follow content based around this beautiful oasis and to honour the memory plus find out more about the much loved artist Laki Senanayake, who has recently passed on.