Sri Lanka has been a hot travel destination in recent years for many reasons. On top of the amazing safaris, pretty beaches, hospitable locals, a major appeal of this country is that it’s very affordable. You can stay in beautiful hotels in Sri Lanka that are luxurious 4-5 star properties for as little as $60 dollars. If you are just looking for an average or budget stay, the prices are even better. (But why not treat yo’self when the deals are so worth it, aimirite? 😛 )
As we all know, accommodation is usually the second biggest expense in traveling, after airfare. (Psst, use my favorite tool Skyscanner to find a cheap flight deal) So Sri Lanka is really an excellent choice for travelers on a budget. if you are on the hunt for a holiday that doesn’t break the bank, look no further than this gem island in the Indian Ocean.
I recently traveled around Sri Lanka with the Sri Lankan tourism board. During the journey, I got to sample many different hotels. #CalledMeSpoiled :P. In this article, I share my top hotel picks in Ceylon. These accommodations all have their own unique offerings and are close to major landmarks on the island. Without further ado, here are some beautiful hotels in Sri Lanka you should check out.
*Although my trip in Sri Lanka was generously hosted by the Sri Lanka tourism board, all opinions expressed in this article are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means, at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting!
Jetwing owns the largest family of hotels and villas on the island. From the mountains to the coastline, there are 34 stunning properties spread over 17 destinations. On top of that, Jetwing runs tours too. So they can pretty much take care of every aspect of your tourism experience in Sri Lanka. Talk about a powerhouse!
In fact, my trip in Sri Lanka was led by the Jetwing team and we stayed at one of the Jetwing properties as well. The hospitality was exceptional and I always appreciated the team’s attention to details.
The particular location we stayed at was Jetwing Beach in Negombo. This hotel is literally right on a private beach. You can watch the sunset over the ocean without crowds, which we got to do during our stay here. I also liked the elegant modern design of the rooms. My room, in particular, had an ensuite bathroom with glass walls that felt very fancy.
And that was just the Deluxe Seaview room, which can be as cheap as $74 (not during peak season though). If you want to go extra splurge and get the Seaview Suite that comes with butler assistance, a private courtyard, living area and bathroom with rain shower and spa bath, the price goes up to $178. Still! That is so good for the value.
Lastly, I support the Jetwing hotels because the brand is committed to a number of sustainable initiatives uplifts the local communities and work to preserve the environment in Sri Lanka. All the toiletries in the hotel bathroom are local and eco-friendly products. As well, there are signs in the facilities calling for positive actions such as creating less waste.
Jetwing Hotel Locations
As mentioned previously, Jetwing has 34 hotels and villas in Sri Lanka. There are some super unique choices like Jetwing Safari Camp near Yala (This one is a bit quite pricey) and Yathra Houseboat by Jetwing in Bentota. See their website for the full accommodations list.
With the mighty Mahaweli River in the front and rolling green mountains in the back, this boutique hotel in Kandy is very special. I fell for its old-world classy charm as soon as I stepped into the lobby.
The interior decor is very grand and lavish. Guests are treated like royalty by the staff. We were given cold towels and refreshment right away when we arrived, which I was really thankful for. (Sri Lanka is hot people!) The Mahaweli swimming pool is perhaps the biggest hotel pool that I’ve seen. It’s so huge that it’s almost a river itself.
I got a room right next to the hotel lily pond, which looked very pretty from my balcony window. I adored all the nice wood furnishing in my room. The bed was a massive king-sized island. For someone who doesn’t move around a lot during her sleep, I almost felt wasteful sleeping on this big bed alone. But hey, definitely not complaining. The room made me feel like a queen.
When we had dinner in the banquet hall, it was a splendid affair featuring multiple cooking stations such as a pasta station, an egg station, and a meat carving station. I absolutely took advantage and loaded up my plate. Everything was delicious and we were entertained by a live band while we ate.
For an opulent hotel like this, you would never guess that a room at Mahaweli Reach starts at just $58 USD. I mean, for similar 5-star accommodation in America, it would easily cost $200 + per night. Are you convinced now that Sri Lanka is the place to go for a budget getaway? 😛
Mahaweli Reach Hotel Location
Mahaweli Reach Hotel is located in Kandy. From the hotel, the famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth is a 10 minutes drive away. Hotel address: 35 P B A Weerakoon Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
The Cinnamon Hotel group is a reliable chain that has properties all over Sri Lanka (and the Maldives too). When in doubt, you can always turn to Cinnamon for a quality stay.
Some information to be aware of: In April 2019, the Cinnamon Grand location was tragically struck by a bomb in the horror of the Easter Attack that happened in Colombo. Since then, the hotel chain has elevated its security measures so guests can be assured that they are safe. When entering the hotel grounds, each vehicle is screened by security guards who use mirrors to look under the cars. And at the main entrance, guests go through a bag check. We stayed at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel and during our time there, we felt absolutely safe. It’s great to see that the company has learned lessons from the past and applied them to become better. In fact, I hope that more hotels will follow Cinnamon Hotel’s lead and increase security in their public spaces.
As per usual, I am a sucker for hotels with infinity pools. Naturally, Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo got me right away with their gorgeous infinity pool that looks out to Lake Beira. You can also see the famous Lotus Tower in the distance. I was in love when I spotted this pool, with its inviting blue water and quirky decor. (There’s a plant sculpture shaped like a bird on the side randomly. Don’t know why but I like it. 🙂 ) It was a huge regret of mine that I didn’t take a pic with me in this pool #forthegram. Oh well, maybe I will stay here again when I return to Sri Lanka next time.
My next favorite part of the hotel is the food. (This girl just loves to eat) Both the breakfast and dinner buffets in the main restaurant offer huge selections of delicious international cuisines. I was delighted to see dishes like Mapo tofu, congee, and sushi. Of course, there are Sri Lankan dishes like curry and sambal. Hopper, a crepe-like pancake popular in Sri Lanka, can be made to order at the hopper station. I highly recommend trying it as it is very fresh. Last but not least, you cannot miss the dinner dessert station. It is absolutely to die for. The colorful and scrumptious looking cakes will give you the hardest dilemma of choosing them after you already feel full from the savoury treats. Rest assured, it will be worth it so activate all the the stomach space that you have.
The room at Cinnamon Lake is nice and spacious, although not super unique in its decor. I did like the soft bed, the convenient light control console, and the wonderful shower.
Cinnamon Hotel Locations
(The Cinnamon Hotel website also presents great discounts from time to time. So be sure to compare the price)
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is a hotel management company originally from Switzerland. Now, it is one of the fastest-growing hotel chains in Asia. This would be my second pick for a place to stay in Colombo.
The branch in Colombo is a new and shiny five-star property that only opened in 2017. There are 219 rooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows that boast gorgeous panoramic views of the city and the Indian ocean. Guests can choose from a big menu of room options from “Deluxe” to “Presidential”.
If seeing the view from your room is not satisfying enough, head to the rooftop. You will find a beautiful outdoor pool that resembles the famous Marina Bay Sand infinity pool in Singapore (very photogenic 😉 ), as well as a lovely bar. We spent a very relaxing time here, enjoying the atmosphere and sipping drinks. It’s a great place to visit in Colombo, even if you are not staying for the night.
The Mövenpick Hotel also has a high-quality Ayurveda spa, a yoga, fitness and fitness room, and a “Sky Fitness” gym. For foodies, there are several restaurants offering international flavors from Thai to Japanese.
Mövenpick Hotel Colombo Location
Mövenpick Hotel Colombo is conveniently located 35 minutes from the airport in the heart of the city. It is close to many things to do such as shopping in Liberty Arcade, the local market, several historic and cultural sites, and the beach is only five minutes away. Hotel address: 24 Srimath Anagarika Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo.
If you are traveling in Sri Lanka (especially for the first time), you cannot miss visiting Sigiriya Rock Fortress, an iconic cultural site of Ceylon. And where better to stay near the attraction than Hotel Sigiriya, a rustic eco-retreat with a glorious view of Lion Rock.
The property is enveloped by serene nature. There is so much greenery around the hotel that it feels like you are in a jungle. The colorful rooms are meticulously decorated, with French doors that lead to open patios.
Hotel Sigiriya has a superb wellness facility. Guests can unwind in the Ayurveda Spa that administers therapeutic treatments, oil massages and herbal baths. Couple that with nature, this is truly a relaxing getaway.
Our reception when we arrived at Hotel Sigiriya was just above and beyond. The friendly staff presented us with flower garlands, led us through a traditional Sri Lankan candle lighting ceremony, and welcomed us with drummers and dancers. I was very impressed.
The food at Hotel Sigiriya is also exceptional. We had a lunch here where we watched the chefs prepare the dishes right in front of us. The head chef even gave us a lesson on the type of fresh ingredients used in Sri Lankan cuisine and gave us a cooking demo. In the end, we got to relish the food in a wonderful outdoor setting.
Hotel Sigiriya Location
Sigiriya Rock is only five minutes away. But beyond that, guests have easy access to a variety of outdoor activities such as bird trails, jungle treks, elephant watching and safaris. Psst, Minneriya National Park is just a 30 minutes drive. If you get overwhelmed with options, there is even a Resident Naturalist who can help.
Nuwara Eliya, also known as “Little England”, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Sri Lanka. This tiny town in the tea country highlands of the island is very picturesque with its lush green hills and British style architectures. When you stop by Nuwara Eliya, the best hotel to stay in is Araliya Green City.
Araliya Green City is unique in that it provides both apartment and individual guest room type accommodation. For families who want to feel more at home rather than staying in a typical hotel, they will really enjoy the high end fully serviced units at Araliya Green City. There are 192 suites and rooms in total. The “live in” style suites can fit up to four people and come equipped with a kitchen, laundry machine, and hot tub bath.
I stayed in a Superior Room and it was fabulous. The room had a lot of space and was decorated tastefully. My favourite thing about it was the cozy fireplace in the centre. Even though Sri Lanka has a tropical climate overall, a few places like Nuwara Eliya can actually be quite chilly. It was very comforting to turn on the fireplace and bundle up in my hotel room.
The other great thing about this hotel is that there is a shopping mall right attached to it. On a cold rainy day, it’s nice to be able to get whatever you need without having to go outside. The hotel management must have really had the “live in” concept in mind and considered everything when they built this place.
I would say that one mediocre aspect of Araliya Green City is the swimming. There is one indoor pool and it’s not so big. It looks like a pool you would find in a residential condo rather than a luxury hotel. I suppose because of Nuwara Eliya’s cool climate, it was not practical to build a big pool outside where guests would be freezing. Instead, they made a heated indoor pool. Still better than no pool at all!
Araliya Green City Location
Located in the city centre district of Nuwara Eliya, Araliya Green City is conveniently close to all the important attractions in town, including Victoria Park of Nuwara Eliya, Nuwara Eliya Post Office and Mackwoods Museum. The hotel is also 2.4 km from the beautiful Gregory Lake. Hotel Address: No 01, Glen Fall Road,, 22200 Nuwara Eliya
Beautiful Hotels in Sri Lanka Summary
I hope you enjoyed my review of these stunning luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. Touring world heritage sites and traveling all day is exhausting and you deserve a good night’s rest. With the price of Sri Lanka hotels being so affordable, there is no reason not to treat yourself. 😛 For more tips about Ceylon, read my other articles here. Ayubowan and have a safe journey!
Plan your Sri Lanka trip in 4 easy steps
- Book A Flight: Find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner, my go-to search engine.
- Find A Hotel: Score affordable accommodation on Booking.com. Receive $16 off your first booking with my link here.
- Buy insurance: You never know what may happen on the road. Protect your trip & gears with World Nomad, the best travel insurance company ever. Get a quote here.
- Read up on the best advice: Lonely Planet: Sri Lanka Travel Guide
For more Sri Lanka travel inspiration, make sure to check out my Sri Lanka Instagram Story Highlights.
Sri Lanka 2 Weeks Itinerary
I created a sample 2 weeks Itinerary that covers the major beautiful places to visit in Sri Lanka, just for you! Enter your email below to get the PDF download in your inbox. By signing up, you will also receive the TBB newsletter where I share monthly travel tips, new itineraries, and exclusive goodies like free printables. Looking for someone else to plan your trip for you? Check out these awesome Sri Lanka itineraries created by G Adventures, my favorite tour company who is all about responsible travel.
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