The Best Hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Immerse yourself in the splendour of the Galle Face Hotel, built in 1864
Immerse yourself in the splendour of the Galle Face Hotel, built in 1864 | Courtesy of Galle Face Hotel / Expedia
Lena Blos

Don’t skip Colombo on your next Sri Lankan adventure. Stylish eateries, bustling markets and stunning colonial architecture make the Sri Lankan capital one of South Asia’s most popular travel destinations. Colombo offers excellent hotels for every taste and budget. Here is our pick of the best, bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Jetwing Colombo Seven

Hotel

Large wooden headboard and double bed with white linen in room at Jetwing Colombo Seven with window overlooking town
Courtesy of Jetwing Colombo Seven / Booking.com

This modern high-rise hotel sits on the edge of the upscale Cinnamon Gardens neighbourhood. Rooms and self-contained studios feature floor-to-ceiling windows, but the best views are found at the rooftop bar and infinity pool. Go for brunch and shop for vintage books at the cool Black Cat Cafe, just around the corner, or take a tuk-tuk to the nearby National Museum, where you can learn about the ancient and colonial history of Sri Lanka.

2. Taj Samudra

Hotel

Large double bedroom with leather headboard and large window overlooking the sea
Courtesy of Taj Samudra / Booking.com

Like your city stays with a side of windswept walks and sea views? Taj Samudra, one of the oldest luxury hotels in Colombo, commands a prime 5ha (12 acre) stretch of coastline overlooking Galle Face Green. Deluxe rooms have city or ocean views (it’s worth booking the latter) and downstairs you’ll find an ample outdoor pool and squash courts. If you’re a seafood fan, don’t miss dinner at the nearby local institution, Ministry of Crab.

3. Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo

Hotel

Two beds, large padded headboard and view out over trees and ocean
Courtesy of Cinnamon Lakeside / Booking.com

The huge outdoor pool (apparently the largest in Colombo), waterfront bar and tension-busting spa treatments at this lakeside monolith make the traffic-clogged streets of the Sri Lankan capital feel a world away. Galle Face Beach, Gangaramaya Temple and the busy market stalls of Pettah are all within a 2km (1.2mi) radius.

4. Mandarina Colombo

Luxury

Infinity pool outside Mandarina Colombo with view over city and ocean
Courtesy of Mandarina Colombo / Expedia.com

Locals often joke that Colombo is a coastal city built with its back to the sea. Not so at the Mandarina Colombo. Its modern suites, fitness centre and 11th-floor restaurant make the most of its enviable Indian Ocean views, as does the glass-fronted infinity pool. The location makes it handy for the business district, as well as Colombo’s eclectic array of restaurants, boutiques and galleries.

5. Marino Beach Colombo

Independent Hotel

Rooftop pool at Marino Beach Colombo with ocean in the background
Courtesy of Marino Beach Colombo / Expedia.com

Its generously proportioned rooms and central location make this hotel a good choice. But, it’s the large rooftop that really adds the extra sparkle. The vast infinity pool has ocean views, as does the adjacent tropical garden, bar and viewing deck. On the lower levels, there’s a shopping mall, which includes among its attractions a 9D cinema, virtual reality centre and food court.

6. Grand Oriental Hotel

Independent Hotel

Four poster bed with net drapes at Grand Oriental Hotel
Courtesy of Grand Oriental Hotel / expedia

This 180-year-old building, near the city’s port, is something of a Colombo icon. Initially the residence of the Dutch Governor, it was transformed in 1875 into a striking hotel. Today, the 80 rooms remain traditionally furnished, many with grand four-poster beds. It’s worth taking a short stroll over to the Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct; this 17th-century building now houses an excellent mix of boutiques and restaurants, including that other well-known Colombo institution, The Ministry of Crab.

7. Paradise Road Tintagel Colombo

Boutique Hotel, Luxury

White exterior of Tintagel Colombo with fountain in middle of courtyard
Courtesy of Tintagel Colombo / Booking.com

Tintagel Colombo has seen a number of distinguished guests pass through its doors – including the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. The premium hotel offers 10 suites, while the professional staff are happy to provide any additional comforts. On the ground floor, you’ll find a cool indoor lap pool, while the first floor is home to a fitness centre and massage room. Situated in one of Colombo’s most prestigious neighbourhoods, the Tintagel Colombo continues to make a name for itself as one of the most exclusive residences in the city.

8. Taru Villas – Lake Lodge

Hotel

Room in Taru Villas - Lake Lodge with double bed, sofa, coffee table and grey wallpaper
Courtesy of Taru Villas - Lake Lodge / Expedia.com

Lake Lodge is a family-owned hotel which has been providing travellers with accommodation for several years. Located within easy access of Colombo’s business district, it offers nine charming rooms and a garden suite, which have all been individually furnished by the owner. Additionally, the hotel features an exquisite restaurant with an extensive lunch and dinner menu. Whether on holiday or business, Lake Lodge is one of the most charming places to rest your head.

9. Colombo Court Hotel & Spa

Hotel

Double bed in room at Colombo Court Hotel & Spa with white linen, red accent wall and large windows overlooking trees
Courtesy of Colombo Court Hotel & Spa / Expedia.com

With its elegant blend of rustic charm and modern luxury, the Colombo Court Hotel counts among the city’s most exceptional stays. True to the idea of sustainable hospitality, this hotel is carbon neutral – they use solar panels for power and purified rainwater for drinking and washing. Inside, the Cloud Cafe dishes up causal bites, while the Loft Lounge Bar is the place to unwind with a glass of wine from their extensive cellar.

10. Galle Face Hotel Colombo

Hotel

Lawn with swimming pool and outdoor seating area overlooking the ocean
Courtesy of Galle Face Hotel Colombo / Expedia.com
Galle Face Hotel is one of the city’s most iconic buildings, dating back to 1864. It counts amongst the oldest hotels east of the Suez and is located on the famous Galle Face Green. Originally built by British entrepreneurs during the colonial era, today the hotel stands as an elegant symbol of splendour and sophistication. While retaining its cultural heritage, Galle Face Hotel has subtly adapted itself to modernity – including spacious suites, a Cuban bar and the only saltwater pool in Colombo.

11. Havelock Bungalow

Hotel

The Havelock Bungalow was one of the city’s first boutique hotels. Dating back to the colonial era, the bungalows have since been lovingly restored. Tucked away on a side street, it’s a real oasis among the hustle and bustle, and with just seven rooms, you can expect attentive service. Enjoy a dip in the serene outdoor pool followed by breakfast on the terrace, surrounded by lush foliage and butterflies.

12. The Wallawwa

Luxury, Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel

Four poster double bed at The Wallawwa with white linen and striped sofas
Courtesy of The Wallawwa / Booking.com

The Wallawwa boutique hotel is one of the finest addresses in the city. The renovated manor house has been standing for more than two centuries and is surrounded by magnificent tropical gardens. It’s an ideal spot to re-energise after a day sightseeing; inside, you’ll find a soothing spa and outdoor pool where you can while away a scorching afternoon. It’s no surprise this hotel has won multiple awards, given its professional service and impeccable rooms.

13. Mount Lodge

Hotel

Two four poster beds with white linen and mesh drapes, looking out to palm trees
Courtesy of Mount Lodge / Booking.com

Mount Lodge is situated in Colombo’s charming Mount Lavinia district, which attracts visitors with its beautiful beaches and tranquil atmosphere. The magnificent hotel was designed by one of Sri Lanka’s finest architects and skilfully uses light, air and space to enhance the mood of the place. Mount Lodge offers three rooms with extensive communal areas. In the tropical gardens, you’ll find Buddha statues, flourishing ferns and rustic wooden furniture, ideal for a quiet retreat with a book. If you are looking to escape from the noise of the city, you’ll experience a peaceful ambiance in the heart of Colombo.

Jenny Elliott and Emma Sparks contributed additional reporting to this article.

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