From boutique to basic; a guide to accommodation options in Colombo

by | Mar 30, 2023

Colombo is the commercial capital, and the largest city in Sri Lanka. Spreading across a territory of 37km2, it is also the most populated area in the island.  When deciding where to stay in Colombo, the Kollupitiya neighborhood should be amongst your top picks. After going through a recent transformation, it has come from colonial brewery to an important commercial neighborhood in Colombo.

A wide range of restaurants, hotels, shops and street vendors offer guests a unique opportunity to experience the reality of Colombo. In terms of visiting other attractions in the city, Kollupitiya is strategically located as most of them are either within walking distance or can be easily accessed via public transport from here.

Borella, also known as Colombo 08, is another great area to stay for a quieter, residential experience in Colombo. More boutique hotels are located here while there is lesser commercialization with shops and restaurants, making it a relaxing respite to stay in. Only 15 minutes from Kollupitiya, the neighborhood is easily accessible to malls, restaurants, nightlife and other cultural attractions and activities.

To help you decide amongst the wide collection of hotels in Colombo, we have categorized them below based on their standard and budget.

Boutique hotels in Colombo

  • Taru Villas – Lake Lodge: This boutique property is located in close proximity to attractive restaurants and offers a tranquil escape amongst the hustle bustle of Colombo. Wi-Fi access is available at all public areas of the property. The guest house has a terrace and offers views of the garden.
  • Maniumpathy Colombo: Maniumpathy is a homely boutique property that was once home to five generations of a family of Jaffna origin. During its century old history, Maniumpathy has evolved at the hands of various family members who have lived there, and thus offers a one-of-a-kind experience to its guests.
  • Residence by Uga Escapes: Built back in the 19th Century by a wealthy barrister, this 11 suite Victorian townhouse once welcomed governors, maharajas, nobility, and the most polished class people of Ceylon’s colonial society. Located in Borella, this Uga owned property boasts an outdoor swimming pool and offers guests a secluded spot to unwind.
  • Paradise Road Tintagel: This charming set of suites offer lavish interiors and Egyptian cotton linens. DVD/CD players, a minibar and teakettle with tea/coffee making facilities are amongst some of the many modern amenities offered in each suite. Selected suites come with a private courtyard or a balcony.

Luxury 5-Star Hotels in Colombo

  • Granbell Hotel: Located at the end of the Kollupitiya Marine Drive, just a few second away from the Kollupitiya Beach, Granbell Hotel is a new property in Colombo offering top notch accommodation, with an outdoor infinity swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness center and a terrace. A fabulous vibe, amazing seaside views and a roof top bar are highlights of the place.
  • Taj Samudra: Bang opposite the Galle Face Green, Taj Samudra offers rooms overlooking the Indian Ocean on one side and the city’s skyline on the other. It also boasts an outdoor pool, 7 varieties of dining options and a tennis court.
  • Hilton Hotel
  • Cinnamon Lakeside: A luxurious city hotel located in the center of Colombo, within close proximity to casinos, and in the heart of tourist and commercial hubs like the World Trade Centre, National Museum and Iconic temples. Located by the Beira Lake, the hotel offers a peaceful ambience, friendly staff, spacious design, and an exclusive breakfast spread.
  • Courtyard by Marriott: The newest addition to Colombo’s luxury hotels, Courtyard by Marriott is located 1.7 km inland from the Galle Face Beach. Featuring accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness center and is located just beside the Colombo City Center – one of the liveliest malls in Colombo.
  • Shangri La Colombo: Presenting a new level of luxury in the city, Shangri La Colombo is located opposite the Galle Face Green, in the heart of the business and entertainment district. The hotel offers a variety of guestrooms with stunning view options of the beach and the city. Adjoining the hotel is the popular One Galle Face Mall that offers a wide collection of international and local brands under one roof.
  • Marino Beach Colombo: Located along the Marine Drive, in between the Bambalapitiya and Kollupitiya Railway station, Marino Beach Colombo offers luxury resort style accommodation with an outdoor infinity swimming pool, fitness center, a garden and a terrace. The hotel is also adjoining the Marino Mall in Colombo, and is easily accessible to popular attractions in the city.
  • Galle Face Hotel: Boasting an iconic and colonial-style, this hotel was built in 1864. It boasts a spa and a saltwater pool with sun loungers that faces the vast Indian Ocean, giving the hotel an old-world charm with modern attention.

4 Star Hotels in Colombo

  • Ramada Colombo: Just a 5-minute drive from Colombo Fort Railway Station, the hotel offers an outdoor pool, 2 restaurants and a bar. Free parking is also available. Ramada also boasts an exclusive banquet hall, making it a great place for a wedding reception. The staff are extremely helpful and offer a polite service.
  • Wonder Hotel: Located on Galle Road, Kollupitiya, about 600 meters from the U.S. Embassy, Wonder Hotel Colombo features an outdoor swimming pool. Free Wi-Fi and good standards of rooms are available at this 4-star hotel, including a 24-hour front desk. A quiet place in a busy city and a good breakfast makes it a wonderful place to stay.
  • Movenpick Hotel Colombo: Just 100 meters from Gale Road, Movenpick Hotel is located in the central business and shopping district, and is 35 minutes from the International Airport. Warm hospitality, a luscious buffet spread and a pool make it a great place to base yourself in Colombo.
  • Cinnamon Red: Strategically located in the heart of Colombo, Cinnamon Red offers modern and comfortable accommodation as well as free WiFi access throughout the property.
  • Radisson Hotel Colombo: Closer to the suburbs, but still very much conveniently located, facing the Indian Ocean, 200 meters from Galle Road, and just a few minutes from Kollupitiya and Bambalapitiya. Radisson Colombo offers sea-view facing rooms, free Wi-Fi, parking facilities and a good breakfast spread.

3-star hotels in Colombo

  • Ceylon City Hotel
  • Best Western Colombo
  • Grand Oriental Hotel
  • Pearl City Hotel
  • Fair View Colombo
  • Earl’s Red Colombo
  • Renuka City Hotel
  • The Ocean Colombo


Blue Lanka Tours can help choose suitable accommodation in Colombo based on your preferences and budgetary requirements. We can also help plan a city tour and day excursions during your stay, so as to offer you the best experience of a holiday in Sri Lanka!