Top Boutique Hotels in Sri Lanka

Posted by Crooked Compass

Sri Lanka is home to verdant tea plantations, shimmering coastlines, time capsuled villages, incredible wildlife encounters and a fascinating blend of cultures. It is also home to some of the most beautiful boutique properties offering world class service and an incredible personal touch. We share with you our favourite properties to stay in to complete your Sri Lankan adventure.

Private plunge pools at Ulgalla. Photo credit: Ulagalla
Private plunge pools at Ulgalla. Photo credit: Ulagalla

The Notary's House

The Notary’s House is approx 45mins north of Colombo's airport making it a wonderful place to settle into Sri Lankan pace for those not keen to venture straight into the city. Nestled in a coconut plantation on the banks of the Makandura Lake, this stunning property, was once home to a prominent family in the village, which has been lovingly restored, maintaining its heritage while introducing modern comforts. With only six rooms, the architecture is traditional and contemporary with unique design elements that compliment the property's heritage.

Aerial view of Notary's House and Makandura Lake. Photo credit: Notary's House
Aerial view of Notary's House and Makandura Lake. Photo credit: Notary's House

From this beautiful property, you can walk to the lake where local villagers fish at dawn and sunset. You can even walk through the nearby village to the local temple where you can meet the Buddhist priest. The property provides bikes for those keen to explore the local area independently too. This exclusive hotel is perfect for those venturing to the north to explore the lesser trodden reaches of the teardrop island

Inside the foyer of Notary's House. Photo credit: Notary's House
Inside the foyer of Notary's House. Photo credit: Notary's House

Mudhouse

Well and truly off the beaten track, surrounded by natural lakes, abundant birdlife and wildlife, the accommodation is rustic (literally mud huts) with sustainability at its core. Hidden in forest on the fringe of a small village Sleep in hammocks or under mosquito nets in an open hut. With outdoor bathrooms and showers under the stars, this unique property is perfect to give you a feel of rural life.

One of the mud huts at Mudhouse. Photo credit: Mudhouse
One of the mud huts at Mudhouse. Photo credit: Mudhouse

Ulagalla 

Located in the cultural triangle, Ulagalla delivers private bungalows hovering above the rice paddies with your own plunge pool. Each bungalow and oozes traditional elegance. Set on the edge of a rice paddy, you feel a million miles away from the nearby UNESCO sites of Anuradhapura or Sigirya. Centered by a 150 year old mansion, the bungalows are dotted throughout 58 acres of gardens and offer some incredible dining experience for those looking for something with a bit of an edge.

Inside the rooms at Ulagalla. Photo credit: Ulagalla
Inside the rooms at Ulagalla. Photo credit: Ulagalla

A Sri Lankan banquet at ‘Kamatha’ out amongst the rice paddy fields is one of the dining experiences to be had here. Our meal was lovingly prepared in a traditional mud hut, like the villages homes whilst we dined on 14 delectable dishes under bobbing lanterns, to the chorus of frogs, crickets and birds.

Preparing for a private meal. Photo credit: Ulagalla
Preparing for a private meal. Photo credit: Ulagalla

Gal Oya Lodge

Gal Oya is a beautifully crafted eco-lodge, providing comfortable and luxe accommodation in a wild and remote setting. Gal Oya is one of the least visited wilderness reaches of Sri lanka and is home to an abundance of wildlife. Offering unique experiences including remote picnics by waterfalls, safaris both by jeep and by boat, this property is neighboured with one of the few remaining Vedda tribes, the forest dwelling, indigenous communities of Sri Lanka.

Inside the rooms at Gal Oya. Photo credit: Gal Oya Lodge
Inside the rooms at Gal Oya. Photo credit: Gal Oya Lodge

Gal Oya Lake hidden in Gal Oya National Park is only accessible to guests staying at Gal Oya offering the ultimate in exclusivity. Very few people even know this exists making it all the more special!

Waterfall picnic at Gal Oya Lake. Photo credit: Gal Oya
Waterfall sundowners at Gal Oya Lake. Photo credit: Gal Oya

Living Heritage Koslanda

A boutique and eco-luxury hotel hunkered in Sri Lanka's hill country, the Living Heritage Koslanda offers you a place to relax and recharge. With their own private waterfall with private rock pool to swim in, village walks, tree planting for conservation, tea plantation hikes and so much more, this hidden gem is definitely worth at least 2 or 3 nights - oh and the accommodation is in tree houses! Floating at the top of the tree canopy with views to die for. All open walls with just mosquito nets over the bed to make you feel part of the jungle.

Inside the Forest Pavilion. Photo credit: Living Heritage KoslandaInside the Forest Pavilion. Photo credit: Living Heritage Koslanda

 

Fort Printers Hotel - Galle

The Fort Printers Hotel is an 18th century mansion which has been restored into an elegant small private hotel, which is a wonderful addition to the 16th century Galle Fort. Fort Printers was a printing company famous in Galle which until 2002 still employed the wooden printing blocks and wrought iron printing machines made in Leeds and London to print beautiful stationery and cards. With every room a different size, shape and theme, you may find yourself in the Headmasters room or perhaps the Geography room. Each room has its own unique charm and style, elegantly finished with the finest details.

Inside the Headmasters Room. Photo credit: Fort Printers Hotel
Inside the Headmasters Room. Photo credit: Fort Printers Hotel

Thinking of travelling through Sri Lanka? Most of these properties can be experienced on our Sea, Tea & Safari small group tour. Contact our team today to make this experience yours!