1. Shangri La’s Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa
Heaven on earth is an appropriate phrase to define Shangri La’s Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa. Located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, you could choose to land at theHambantota International Airport, just minutes away from the resort, or you could drive here from Colombo or the Bandaranaike International Airport.
The hotel is luxury at its finest with an 18-hole golf course – the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka, allowing sportsmen to practice their golf while also absorbing the gorgeous surroundings. From turtles to elephants, the resort is segregated into themed areas and rooms correspond to the same.
The resort has three main swimming pools; one for families, one infinity pool, and one with a triangular monument – for common use. Around the pools, there are plenty of loungers and attentive staff to serve you snacks and cocktails. Look around and notice the many nooks and corners tucked away for families or couples looking to escape to loneliness. Swinging benches, day beds, and wicker cocoons are also available in plenty, encouraging guests to spend quality time outdoors, soaking in the tropical climate.
Another pocket of privacy can be experienced at the signature Chi Spa. The stunning hotel leads you to a charming waiting area, where you will be served a choice of tea as you wait in a comfortable robe. After selecting your choice of scented oils, you will be guided to a relaxation area overlooking a lovely pond surrounded by tropical fauna. When your treatment room is ready, you will be called in for pampering at its best.
Bojunhala is the main open-plan kitchen that offers all-day dining, featuring Sri Lankan, Southeast Asian and European dishes. Other restaurants such as Sera offers Southeast Asian street food and Ulpatha offers grilled food. For a romance seeker, candlelit Gimanhala is a great spot.
2. Riu Ahungalla
About 100km away from Colombo, along the southern coast of Ahungalla is the international hotel chain Riu – where you can experience ultimate luxury and leisure. Hotel Riu offers guests an all-inclusive package so guests can focus on just fun and frolic throughout their stay.
The hotel is shaped like a horseshoe so as to provide magnificent views of the Indian Ocean, from pretty much anywhere in the hotel. The inland view is an equally beautiful stretch of palm trees and lush green forests, keeping up to Sri Lanka’s label of the Emerald Island.
Riu Ahungalla has over 500 rooms, several restaurants, bars, and a night club too. The all-inclusive resort management makes sure to organize several activities to keep guests busy throughout the day, restricting them from venturing out at all.
RitiPanna and Ceylon are the two main restaurants that host a buffet with more than 180 dishes – ranging from Sri Lankan to Indian, Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. Other specialty restaurants such as Kaori (Asian), La Forchetta (Italian) and Saute (Barbecues) are also available for those who prefer themed a la carte menus. In addition to that, the poolside bars offer unlimited beverages, and the same goes for the lobby bar – for those looking for late-night action.
The hotel has a well-equipped gym, three large swimming pools and several group fitness activities such as beach volleyball, water gym, yoga, pool volleyball, and water polo. There’s also the Renovo Spa with well-trained staff, offering a wide variety of relaxing treatments. For the younger children, the hotel also offers a children’s pool and water slides.
3. Marriott Weligama
Rising nearly ten floors higher than other neighboring buildings, the hotel stands out and cannot be missed along the main road. Mariott Weligama offers a beachfront location, ocean views from every room, best facilities for children, warm hospitality from staff and absolutely divine food.
Polite smiles greet you wherever you walk around the resort. Bright and cheery staff are always willing to go out of their way to cater to your needs. The mezzanine floor is dedicated to an indulgent spa, a freeform pool, and a top-notch fitness center.
The main swimming pool is quite abstract, with plenty of loungers available on the shores of the pool and abundant greenery surrounding the pool, providing a relaxing atmosphere. A separate children’s pool is beside the main swimming pool, with a shallow depth of just 5 feet, along with fountains and a water slide – making it ideal for families with young children. The hotel also has a special kids club which is very well equipped with activities and friendly staff happy to keep an eye on your children.
The Weligama Kitchen is on the pool level and is the venue for all-day dining. When you enter, you will see a well-designed contemporary buffet space, live kitchen, and dishes attractively grouped by cuisine. The executive chef is always around to make sure his team is catering well to the guests.
4. Wild Coast Tented Lodge
Amidst the border of the popular Yala National Park, along a rugged deserted beach overlooking the Indian Ocean, is this exclusive glamping resort known as Wild Coast Tented Lodge. This luxury safari
lodge is uniquely designed to blend in with the landscape. Cocoon style canvas tent rooms and the central arched dining pavilion look like local rock formations from the outside. Tents have spacious open-plan sleeping and living areas, private plunge pools and state of the art amenities – copper fittings, leather furnishings, and hand-hewn bathtubs. Natural materials have been used for construction, wherever possible. Designed by keeping nature in mind, don’t be surprised if you see monkeys swinging between trees and drinking water from holes outside your tent!
Excellent food is prepared by brilliant chefs, combining the best of traditional Sri Lankan cuisines and other much-loved dished from across the world. There is also a ‘cook your own food’ activity for those who want a hands-on experience! The “Jungle Afternoon Tea” at a picture-perfect spot during your game drive is a must-try!
5. Anantara Peace Haven
Located along a secluded beachfront on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Anantara Peace Haven is an ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort that was built on a 21-acre coconut estate, overlooking magnificent views of the Tangalle Bay. This hotel has 120 guest rooms, 32 private pool villas, a plush Anantara Spa, a two-level infinity swimming pool, a state-of-the-art cardio gym and, fun-filled kids and teen’s club.
While there are plenty of exclusive accommodation options to choose from in Sri Lanka, those who prefer a cultural adventure, Anantara Peace Haven has much to offer. The staff prides themselves on Sri Lankan hospitality, with battery-powered tuk-tuks to take you places within the resort. Convenient travel is what attracts visitors to this resort. Cinnamon Air offers a daily 40-minute flight from Colombo or you could use the resort’s luxury private transfer service, which will be about a 3-hour drive from Colombo.
Anantara Peace Haven boasts a variety of venues for restaurants, bars, and lounges, each with gorgeous sea views – displaying vibrant cuisine. Journeys is the all-day dining restaurant where classic Sri Lankan, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines are served. Teppanyaki is a Sri Lankan inspired beach restaurant and Il Mare is the resorts signature Italian coastal cuisine specialty. A charming retreat can
be experienced if you opt for a high tea with a Sri Lankan Twist at The Lobby Lounge. Furthermore, Anantara’s signature dining program allows guests to arrange private romantic dinners by the sea.
The Anantara Spa facilitates four double treatment and four single treatment suites, a beauty salon, facial room, two peaceful relaxation areas, and especially dedicated Ayurvedic rooms. Ancient practices are seen to stimulate holistic wellbeing and enhance the bond between mind, body, and spirit.
6. Ceylon Tea Trails
Ceylon Tea Trails comprises five tea-planter bungalows dating back to 1888, but individually re-designed in colonial style, to suit its heritage. Imagine walking into beautiful gardens, lawn croquet and terraces enveloped with views that you can enjoy for hours together! The newest of these bungalows is Dunkeld, located above the Castlereagh Lake and has an infinity pool that seems like it drops into the lake itself.
Offering hospitality at its best, Ceylon Tea Trails has allocated a private butler and an executive chef for each bungalow; who is committed to taking care of your every need, from the menu to activities to cleaning and much more.
Grand four-poster beds, teak furniture, antique accessories, and roll-top baths embrace guests into the life of a tea plantation visitor in the colonial era. Each suite of each bungalow has its own garden so guests can enjoy lazying around and the pampering of morning tea brought to their room. For maximum relaxation, Ceylon Tea Trails does not entertain televisions and sound systems inside the rooms.
The all-inclusive package at this hill country resort makes sure you will never feel a pang of hunger during your stay. Along with top quality Sri Lankan food at the breakfast table, the chef caters to individual preferences for three-course lunches and four-course dinners from global varieties. Don’t miss the afternoon tea with freshly brewed tea and accompaniments such as cakes and sandwiches.
7. The Fortress Resort and Spa
If you are in the quest for a luxury holiday in Sri Lanka, bespoke service levels, and an all-inclusive package, The Fortress Resort and Spa suits this description. This small luxury boutique beach resort is inspired by the unique architecture of the Galle Fort. Traditional Dutch and Portuguese colonial designs have been taken into consideration along with contemporary features, allowing guests to relax in style. Lounge at the stunning infinity pool, indulge in panoramic views of the Indian Ocean, or go for a leisurely stroll around the beautiful resort, or simply relax within the comfort of your own, spacious, luxury bedroom.
The award-winning Spa at this resort does a great job with traditional Ayurveda, wellness rituals and other unique holistic therapies. State-of-the-art VISIA complexion analysis is done before you opt for a herbal or Sothys facial, while your nails are examined by highly-skilled therapists. The fitness center is equipped with the best equipment, steam bathing, sauna and ice shower facilities.
The culinary journey at The Fortress Resort and Spa is another unique and remarkable experience. Salty Snapper Seafood is an outdoor restaurant specializing on freshly cooked seafood. The White restaurant offers exclusive international and exotic local cuisines as well as a delicious range of wood-fired pizzas. The Saturday Seafood buffet (themed night) at this resort is quite popular amongst many international tourists, while The Japanese Teppanyaki offers romantic dining experiences by the beach.