Boutique hotels serve a niche market, for travellers who believe not only in their journey, but also in their destination. They cater to the discerning traveller who seeks luxury and comfort coupled with exclusivity. With Summer here and boutique hotels being all the rage, we thought we’d compile a few of the best boutique hotels the island has to offer, based on location, service, aesthetics and…. their instagramability!
Price: Rates per suite for two at the Saman Villas start from USD 390 (approximately 60,000 LKR).
Contact: +94 11 486 6515, +94 11 7200555
This beautiful boutique resort is situated in the coastal town of Bentota, about one and a half hour’s drive from Colombo, and if not the oldest, is one of the oldest of its kind in the country. Seated atop a cliff and yet providing easy access to the beach, this property is ideal for those who’d love to eat, beach, sleep and repeat! The area is also known for many attractions including water sports and coral reef dive-sites.
Saman Villas is an all suite hotel, boasting of 27 suites in total and guests can choose from a range of rooms, according to their needs. The rooms on the higher end, feature their own swimming pools and even verandahs with private dining facilities.
The resort also boasts of its own luxury open-air spa, that is complete with a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bed. In addition, facilities such as an infinity-edge pool, a library, gym and other recreational facilities are offered.
Price: Staying at a villa here varies depending on the size and type of villa, and during summer, a 2 pax villa can range from USD 250 (approximately 38,400 LKR) to USD 350 (approximately 53,800 LKR).
Contact: +94 412250461
This property sits facing the Weligama bay almost at the Southern most tip of Sri Lanka. The area attracts a fair share of beach lovers, surfers and nature lovers interested in whale watching as well as coral reefs, being just a two hour drive from Colombo.
Guests choosing to stay here, have an option of choosing from one, two and four bed roomed villas, making it ideal for both couples and families. Each of the nine bedrooms that are housed within the five free standing villas are unique and different, taking on themes varying from contemporary to colonial. While all rooms are en-suite, the rooms overlook either their well maintained gardens or the Indian Ocean.
Notable services and facilities include complimentary wifi, an infinity pool, restaurant serving local and international cuisine or self catering facilities depending on the villa and best of all, the property even boasts of its own ayurvedic spa.
Price: Staying at Kalundewa Retreat could cost from about USD 350 (approximately 53,800 LKR) upwards, depending on the season and type of suite or chalet.
Contact: +94 775 205 475
The Kalundewa retreat – being true to its name – is every a bit a refuge for nature lovers looking for an escape. Situated in the historic town of Dambulla, this modern and contemporary property is cozily tucked away in lush foliage.
Accommodation here, is within three buildings, that include chalets and suites that are spread across a sprawling 105 Acre property. The glass walls of the rooms offer unobstructed views of paddy fields, wetlands and mountains. Kumbuk Chalet – the most intimate of all, has its own plunge pool and breathtaking views, and the Bakmee Chalet features a Jacuzzi, while all other guests can enjoy the natural spring pool.
Meals at the hotel are prepared using ingredients sourced from their own gardens, and guests may choose to dine at its restaurant, or to dine with a breathtaking view of choice, with the al fresco dining options offered.
Price: From April to September rates start from USD 225 (approximately 34,600 LKR) and can go upto USD 330 (approximately 50,700 LKR) during peak seasons.
The entire property can be booked for USD 1910 (approximately 300,000 LKR) all year round.
Contact: +94 81 492 1394
If you are hoping to explore Sri Lanka’s culture this summer, then its best that you make your way to Kandy – to explore the rich culture, to watch the famous Kandy Perahera and to stay at the Kandy house, a beautiful 200 year old heritage manor house restored to its former glory, now, to host guests.
The property takes on a simple, white-walled look encapsulating traditional architecture, complete with pillars, arches and a central courtyard. The nine rooms here are named after indigenous butterflies, each of which has their own four-poster bed and open concept bathrooms, decorated with colourful upholstery and antique furnishing.
The property sits amidst extensive gardens, overlooking paddy fields, and has its own infinity pool. Guests staying here may choose to have their meals on their own verandah, or the main dining area that over looks the garden.
Price: Standard double room rates cost between USD 115 (approximately 18,000 LKR) to USD 170 (approximately 26,000 LKR)
Contact: +94 41225 4422
In the southern coast town of Weligama, which is a surfing and whale watching hotspot, W15 sits facing the ocean. Though the season for surfing is from October to May, the fact that the property offers easy access to the beach would make it ideal for any beach bum looking to travel this summer.
The rooms here are tasteful masterpieces, stylishly decorated to suit modern travellers, and are individually themed with every little detail paid attention to, such as the handpicked linen and art in the rooms. Guests can choose from a wide category of well appointed rooms that ranges from the Standard Double room to the Executive Suite, all of which comprise of modern amenities and features.
In addition, the hotel boasts of an infinity pool with sun beds and cabanas, an open air restaurant that serves international cuisine and a bar.
Price: An all inclusive chalet costs USD 730 (approximately 112,000 LKR) & upwards.
Contact: +94 11 2331 322, +94 11 2328832
Uga Escapes, a hotel chain with a diverse portfolio of boutique hotels, runs and manages Chena Huts, a boutique hotel situated in the wild life tourism zone in the South East region, home to the Yala National Park the second largest of its kind in Sri Lanka. Built to attract wild life enthusiasts, the “safari theme” has been extended to the entire property to bring out a complete wilderness experience.
Accommodation is offered in 14 cabin- styled luxury huts, complete with a thatched roof façade and other features in keeping with its theme. Each of these huts spread across 7 acres of land, consist of a living area, a bedroom and an en-suite bathroom and an outdoor deck with a built-in plunge pool.
Other facilities include a swimming pool, a fine dining restaurant, pool side bar, and a spa among other luxury facilities.
Price: During summer, a traveler suite is priced at USD 320 (approximately 49,000 LKR), a corporate suite at USD 385 (approximately 59,000 LKR) and a royal suite at USD 500 (approximately 77,000 LKR).
Contact: +94 114520130
This chic property is in stark contrast to the five star hotels peppered in the country’s CBD – Colombo, and is recommended, whether you are travelling on business, staying on transit or just looking to explore the city. The hotel is a fusion of old and new – with the well-maintained ancestral property that is as old as 200 years being tastefully re-decorated and the intricate architecture of the property which includes mosaic tiles and high detailed ceilings, adding to it a high level of sophistication.
The once grand mansion consists of 12 en-suite bedrooms, none like the other and it isn’t hard to see why the hotel has been a recipient of several awards, especially for its interior. The suites are of three types – the corporate suite, the travellers’ suite and the royal suite – each tailor made to suit the needs of every guest.
The hotel does not have a reception, and instead, guests are provided with their own butler. Other features and facilities include a pink pool and a spa, and guests can choose to dine at its restaurant or other eateries.
Price: Standard room rates are about USD 190 (approximately 29,000 LKR), and a family room would cost about USD 230 (approximately 35,000 LKR).
Contact: +94 45 22 55812
This all-suite boutique hotel is exactly what its name implies – a garden of boulders, making it one of the most unique places to stay in Sri Lanka. The entire hotel is built using the natural black boulders integrated into its architecture that is a treat for the eyes. The 10 suites of the hotel are built using caves and rock walls with blue doors and windows that are striking. The star attractions of the place however, are the open air restaurant that takes refuge under a huge boulder, and the natural spring water pool that sits next to it.
It is located within the lowland rainforests of Sri Lanka, and is only a 20 minute drive to the Sinharaja rainforest, making it ideal for those who would love a smooth transition from living in a concrete jungle to an actual jungle.
Price: A room at the Fort Bazaar would cost about USD 250 (approximately 38,400 LKR).
Contact: +44 7786 237 594
The UNESCO World Heritage Galle Fort is popular both amongst tourists and locals for its rich cultural and historical heritage. The famous southern coastal city of Galle is a mere two hours drive from Colombo, and the Fort Bazaar is situated in the heart of the living Fort. The building is a17th century town house that belonged to a merchant and much of it remains unchanged from what it used to be back then.
The 18 bed-roomed boutique hotel offers within its walls the same ambience that is felt along the streets of the Fort, reminiscent of a by-gone era. Guests staying here can choose from bedrooms with private verandahs overlooking the central courtyard or suites that offer views of the Fort. All rooms are en-suite and take on a simple yet stylish look. With the open courtyard providing a spot to relax and the restaurant that the hotel boasts of, make it ideal for those who want to take a break from exploring the surroundings.
Price: Suite rates at Cape Weligama start from USD 380 (approximately 58,000 LKR).
Contact: +94 11 774 5730
Sitting atop a 40m high promontory is Cape Weligama; a boutique hotel where luxury intertwines with the best of Lanka’s beaches. The hotel has been built utilizing the cliff on which it sits on, to give guest staying here the best of stunning panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, stretching all the way across to Antarctica. The 60m crescent-shaped pool on the summit of the cliff, one of the 14 pools the property boasts of, is perhaps evidence of this.
The options of rooms to choose from include suites over looking the cove pool or free standing villas that offer views of the ocean and have their own 15m infinity pool. The rooms themselves are furnished lavishly, and are generously sized to even include a large terrace, spa and dining facilities. The beach, being a five minute walk away, is accessible via a cliff staircase. The hotel also boats of spa facilities, both in room, and at the purpose built spa villa. Other facilities include several restaurants within its premises, a well equipped gym, and a bar and on request the hotel will organize water activities, private cruises and big game fishing.
Price: Standard rooms on double board basis cost USD 195 (approximately 30,000 LKR), while the Greenland suite on double board basis would cost USD 300 (approximately 46,000 LKR).
Contact: +94 57 2050050 , +94 57 2050051
Situated in the up country town of Ella, this resort is ideal for those who want to escape to the cooler climes of the island, to beat the heat. The property is a part of a lush 98 Acre tea estate, and provides a great secluded ambience for honeymooners and being part of a town that is a mecca for backpackers, it would serve as a luxury accommodation option for those who like to hike. Mini Adam’s peak, the nine arch bridge and the Rawana Falls are all situated in close proximity of the hotel.
The property, in preserving its surroundings adds on to the ambience by taking on a rustic finish, incorporates natural elements to its architecture, and offers stunning views over the famous Ella gap, one of Ella’s best kept secrets. There is a range of room options available for those who want to stay here, that vary from the standard room to the executive suite that offers its own plunge pool and dining area. Since getting to Ella from Colombo takes almost 6 hours, the hotel has its own helipad, for those who would prefer to fly in. Other notable facilities include a gym, a spa and the lap and baby pool of the hotel.