One of my favourite countries I’ve visited, Sri Lanka has some incredibly unique luxury hotels. These are perfect for resting your weary head after a busy day’s adventuring. From the cities to the beaches, to the jungle, there’s a hotel to suit all tastes. Let this list give you that hint of luxury you’ve been dreaming of. Travelling Sri Lanka was one of my all-time favourite travel experiences. After the 2019 Easter bombings over there, it’s become more important than ever to support the country’s tourism and economy. So I’ve reworked this blog post to include all you need to know about where to find luxury around the country. But also, to include my thoughts on Sri Lanka and why you should visit as soon as possible.
After my visit to Sri Lanka, I received lots of messaged asking about the places I stayed. I thought that as well as posting individual reviews of each hotel, I would create a round-up post of the most unique luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. It’s a fantastic way to make a special trip even more memorable by staying somewhere with that extra hint of luxury. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to stay in some amazing places and this trip was no exception. I worked with several of the brands mentioned in this post. Several of these were gifted press stays in exchange for a review – I want to make sure I’m as transparent as possible about this. But also to stress that my views remain the same and I will always be honest and open about my experiences, even the negative ones.
Why choose luxury hotels in Sri Lanka?
Whether you’re someone who loves staying in hostels or travelling by private jet, there’s always something to suit all budgets and all levels of luxury. Sri Lanka is a goldmine for unique luxury experiences. I can tell you that in a lifetime of travelling, I have genuinely never been anywhere quite like it. So if you’re planning a trip soon, you should look up these amazing and unique opportunities. Make your trip go from just another holiday, to one you will always remember. I know that after staying in all of these, I will never forget the month I spent in this incredible country.
Read my other posts:
- Everything you need to know about Sri Lanka before you visit
- How to get the luxury 5* experience on a budget
Treehouse, Wilpattu National Park
Now is it just me, or does everyone dream of one day staying in a treehouse in the jungle? There’s something so magical about waking up to hear wild elephants in the rice paddies and the wind rustling through the trees. There are so many amazing places to stay in luxury tree houses in Sri Lanka, and trust me, it’s one experience you don’t want to miss out on. We stayed in one near Wilpattu National Park, in the north of the country.
- Read: My review of Wilpattu Treehouses in Sri Lanka
- Book: Accommodation near Wilpattu National Park
Water Villa, Dambulla, Cultural Triangle
I was invited to stay at a beautiful artist’s retreat when we were near the centre of Sri Lanka, and we could not have been more bowled over by the peacefulness at the eco-friendly resort. We stayed in a water villa which was high up in the trees where we would wake to monkeys scampering over the balcony, and on the ground floor the building was set in it’s own mini-lake. Embracing all the elements for a truly peaceful stay.
- Read: My review of Diyabubula Hideaway here.
- Book: Accommodation in Dambulla, Cultural Triangle
Luxury Safari Camping
One of my favourite experiences of the whole trip was staying in a luxury safari camp on the very borderline of Yala National Park. My tent looked on to a watering hole where leopards and other wildlife would come to drink. Perfect for exploring the national park on safari. This one also gave you a truly unique luxury experience of eating dinner by the light of fireflies on the edge of the jungle. Of sleeping in a four poster bed to the jungle sounds and enjoying the luxury bath.
- Read: My review of Yala Safari Camping here
- Book: Accommodation near Yala National Park
Many locals have opened out their properties to visitors for extra income as tourism develops across the country. These homestays really offer such a different experience of the country and give you the chance to get to know the locals and to see how they really live. Every homestay is different, sometimes you’ll be in their house, or you could be in a separate apartment. You might eat with the family and even hang out with them. We stayed in a cute little apartment in Mirissa at the back of a local family’s home and it was such a lovely place to stay.
- Read: My review of this local homestay here.
Sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself after a long flight at a luxury resort being waited on hand and foot. If you’re just after a really luxurious experience and great service, Sri Lanka has some fantastic resorts to explore. After the 2019 attacks, many of them are far more budget-friendly than they might be in other Asian countries. We stayed at the Dickman Resort in Negombo. It’s the first Sri Lankan resort to identify as gay-friendly, and it was a fantastic way to start the holiday,
- Read: My review of Dickman Resort here
- Book: The Dickman Resort Boutique Hotel
Terrorism in Sri Lanka
After such a vicious terrorist attack on the country, it became more important than ever to support the economy and the Sri Lankan tourism industry. When incidents like this happen, it is always the poorest people who suffer the most. If less people are visiting the country on holiday, it means the people selling things on the beaches have no way of feeding their family. It means those working in the bars, restaurants and hotels risk losing their jobs if places are forced to close down. While I understand it can put people off travelling to a country that is the victim of a terrorist attack. The best way to show strength and to support the rebuild after, is to travel there.
What’s the most unique place you’ve stayed? How important is accommodation for you when you book a trip? Have you been to Sri Lanka – what did you think?