Travel to Sri Lanka Now

Ankita Sharma, Staff Writer

ANI Sri Lanka Aerial Shot

Sri Lanka has always had beauty. There is nothing like exploring the tea plantations of the world. It’s always also had historic sights and culture where there is something so majestic about Sigiriya. Trust us, you need to see it in person. And don’t get us started on the food. You can eat your way through the country with variations of fresh and light curry like you’ve never had in your life. What Sri Lanka has not always had though is a wealth of boutique and unique hotels that would make it a draw for the luxury traveler. That is, until now. You know that Sri Lanka is a hot destination when a slew of new hotels are opening. And of course, you can always skip go, collect $200, and shack up at Aman.


Where to Stay in Sri Lanka

There’s a reason that Sri Lanka is known as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”. In the epic story Ramayana, it was referred to as the golden island. The hero Rama crossed the entire country of India to reach it, and now we know why. Sri Lanka is no extension of India however, but instead distinctly its own unique culture, food, and customs. With a literary rate in the high 90 percentile, undeveloped countryside, and air and water so clean and pure, Sri Lanka is an ayurvedic paradise. The country is still relatively undiscovered but now you see new boutique hotels popping up around the country. This is where to stay in Sri Lanka, both the new and the classic, that should be on your list.

The Hotel: ANI Resorts

Location: Maliyadda

ANI Resort is where to stay in Sri Lanka when you want complete privacy in one of the most luxurious hotels in the country. ANI Sri Lanka is a private beachfront estate for up to 30 guests, that is staffed up and larger than most hotels in the country. You buy out the entire hotel, where suites have private terraces and plunge pools, and a large activity book, a private spa, and several dining options on-site. This is a place where you kick back, lounge on the large verandahs, or take a dip in the infinity pools overlooking the Indian Ocean. Of course, there’s all-day pool butler service, and unlimited food and drink, which are part of the nightly rate. Whether you take your tea straight up or with a spot of rum, the team will make whatever you want happen.

Speaking of making it happen, ANI Sri Lanka has an array of Ayurvedic and spa treatments that are part of their packages. So yes, it’s common to have a massage and/or facial, body scrub, or Ayurvedic treatment every day.  In addition to this, they also arrange jungle safaris, whale-watching trips, tea estate visits, and heritage walks through the island.



Location: Fort Galle

You know there’s something magical about a place when there’s an Aman there. This one is in the heart of Galle, a fortified city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amangalla makes you feel like you’ve traveled back to colonial times, with its rich wood interiors and suites with views of the Fort and harbor.  Aman is known for their spas, but Amangalla is unique as they have an Ayurvedic doctor and practitioners who practice their alchemy on you. They do have traditional relaxing treatments but when you want it, they go beyond skin deep on the benefits.


Amangalle’s location is one of its selling points, set right in the center of the historic city of Galle. When you want to go off-campus, you can take a car to stroll through the cinnamon and tea plantations. Surprisingly, the experience is almost more authentic than in the tea plantations in the northern part of the country. If you want to ramp up the adventure, you can take a helicopter ride to Sigiriya or check out the 2300-year-old temples of Yatagala, Rhumamasala, and Nawamunisaya.


Location: Tangalle

The second Aman property in Sri Lanka is located on the south coast and set right on its own long stretch of beach. The beaches in Sri Lanka are some of the most unspoiled, where you’ll see local surfers taking in the epic waves. You’ll of course go out to explore, but this is also where you’ll get lots of quality time at the resort. The suites have private plunge pools and sea-facing terraces with dining areas. The center of the resort is the large palm tree framed pool, where you can easily spend the days getting some real R&R.

The food at Amanwella is a standout, where restaurants serve fusion and Sri Lankan cuisines. The cuisine is unique from India, where although some dishes are curry-based, it’s a completely different style of cooking. Sri Lankan food is lighter and utilizes fresh herbs. Seafood and fish take center stage with its location on the ocean. Speaking of oceans, this is where to take surf lessons or go fishing with local fishermen. The chefs will even cook the fish you catch.

If the season is right, you might also spot the blue whale or dolphins. And if you prefer to keep your feet on land, you can explore the wildlife in the neighboring national parks of Udawalawe, Bundala, and Yala.

The Hotel: Ceylon Tea Trails

Location: Hatton

Part of the essence of Sri Lanka is driving through the country. On the way to the plantations, you can explore the colorful colonial town of Kandy to get a feel of how the British lived. As much as we love coffee, it’s a tea party we want to be invited to. Sri Lanka is one of the largest producers of tea in the world. One of the best ways to the tea culture is while staying in the lush tea estates. Situated in the tea estates of the North, Ceylon Tea Trails is a collection of restored bungalows set right within the plantations. The bungalows have a serene and quietly luxurious vibe with private gardens and jacuzzis.

The Queen Charlotte in you will take over when you enjoy a private tea tasting. Even if tea isn’t your cup of tea though, the beauty of the terraced plantations, greenery, and lake is unforgettable.

The Hotel: Goatfell

Location: Nuwara Eliya

Stay in Sri Lanka is incomplete without a visit to the city of light, Nuwara Eliya. Goatfell. a Teardrop property, is a colonial bungalow converted into a hotel. It’s a part of the Concordia tea estate and has only 4 bedrooms. Its hilltop location makes it the perfect place to get some gorgeous sunset views. Leaning over the infinity pool with the skies turning pink? That’s just one of the reasons Goatfell makes it to our list of where to stay in Sri Lanka.

Among the other virtues of Goatfell include the private terraces and infinity pools. When you need a variety in the background for your pictures, explore the charming colonial town of Nuwara Eliya. If it’s the green you are attracted to, then visit the Hakgala Botanical Gardens. The resort arranges guided tours for both the city and the gardens.

Newer Hotels on the Radar

Anantara Peace Haven

Location: Tangalle

The Aman properties are a staple when it comes to luxury, but if you want to look for a newer place with the same vibe, then Anantara is your safest bet while staying in Sri Lanka. Situated in Tangalle on the Southern Coast of the island, this hotel is aptly named ‘Peace Haven’. Apart from suites, they have villas with private plunge pools overlooking the ocean. The restaurants offer several dining options with various local and international cuisines. And if you’re looking for some inebriation, there’s the option of Shisha or wine tasting with Wine Gurus. The ‘peace’ in Peace Haven is to be found in their spa which has an array of fantastic wellness treatments. You can go for Sanjeewana, Marma Abhyanga, or Chakra Crystal; all of which are designed from the ancient science of Ayurveda.

Wild Coast Tented Lodge

Location: Yala

Are you one of those who believe that going to the woods is going home? Then, trust me, you will find yourself at home in Wild Coast Tented Lodge. Here, you can experience the enchanting forests of Sri Lanka by living in these tent lodges in the middle of the jungle. Each lodge is designed in the colonial style complete with a private plunge pool. Don the hat of Steve Irwin as you explore the Yala Wildlife Sanctuary on the guided tours and game drives. Or just let the green peace envelope you as you chill by the pool. The feeling of being home can be further enhanced by cooking your lunch. Yes, their chef will help you in cooking authentic Sri Lankan dishes sourced from the local ingredients.

Cape Weligama

Location: Weligama

Cape Weligama is situated on a small peninsula which juts out in the Weligama Bay so if you’re someone who likes to experience the ocean up and close, then this is the place you would want to be at. You will wake up to the ocean, sip tea in your private garden, and relax in private infinity pools. Add to this the charm of their bistro and chef’s creative cooking and I don’t think you would want to step out of this place. And if you still want to, you can spend your day surfing or snorkeling or with the elephants in the wild. You can access all these activities through the hotel’s concierge service.

Trebartha East Roundhouse

Location: Ahangama

Like tea, another one of the important crops of Sri Lanka is cinnamon. The spice has been growing on the island for centuries and was one of the reasons behind the colonization. Just like the tea estates, it’s an experience to live in a cinnamon plantation while in Sri Lanka. Trebartha East Roundhouse is a unique 4-bedroom boutique hotel situated in the middle of Trebartha cinnamon plantation. This property maintains the exclusivity and peace of its guests by their only 12+ aged children policy. Of course, if you rent the whole place then children of all ages are welcome.

Their food menu includes cuisines made from locally sourced ingredients. And by that, I do not mean cinnamon rolls. But did you know that usage of cinnamon is not limited to food? In fact, it’s used in various Ayurvedic treatments. Their spa offers treatments like Akshi Tarpan, Netra Tarpan, Patra Potalli Svedam, and Kiribath that use cinnamon along with other ingredients to provide you the much-needed rejuvenation.

Other Articles You’ll Like

Beachside Cuisine in Sri Lanka
The ANI Resorts Experience
Spas to Travel for: Amangalla

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