Sri Lanka has experienced a couple of difficult years and has been in the media often for all the wrong reasons. But the beautiful island country is once again proving why it remains a popular tourist destination for discerning and luxury travellers, with many high end properties continuing to provide breathtaking holiday experiences.
While the backpacker and surfer vibes still exist, there is an increasing range of luxury and niche properties for those wanting the best of both worlds.
Below is our pick of the best holiday villas or small boutique hotels in Sri Lanka for 2023 – dotted around the island to ensure you don’t miss out on a thing:
1. Pepper Jungle House, Galle
Pepper Jungle House, Galle – perched on a jungle ridge, this modern, designer villa is effortlessly stylish. Minimalist interiors blending local and imported homewares create a calming and tranquil environment. The infinity pool overlooking the jungle is a truly magical experience, making you feel miles away while in fact the villa is a short tuk tuk ride to all the best Southern beaches, restaurants and historical Galle Fort. pepperjunglehouse.com
2. 98 Acres Resort and Spa, Ella
98 Acres Resort and Spa, Ella – You can’t visit Sri Lanka without taking a trip through the majestic and stunning hill country covered in rolling tea plantations. 98 Acres Resort and Spa is a boutique, eco hotel, with standalone villas designed so you will feel as though you are in a private villa, not a hotel. The food is exquisite with both local and international dishes available. A range of breathtaking nature trails are within minutes of the resort. https://www.resort98acres.com/
3. Aprota Villas, Arugam Bay
Aprota Villas, Arugam Bay – Arugam Bay is a must visit destination for surfers, being the undisputed surf capital of Sri Lanka. With world famous surf breaks right on your doorstep, Aprota Villas is the perfect choice for those discerning travellers who don’t want to stay in the usual surfer backpackers. Individual villas are available for rent with private pools, and all surfing excursions and equipment can be organised for you. https://www.aprota.com/
4. Taru Villas, Yala
Taru Villas, Yala – The sight of a wild elephant, crocodile or leopard is truly an experience not to be missed, and in Sri Lanka the best place to see these beautiful animals is in Yala National Park. Taru Villas is located right on the doorstep of Yala National Park, and can seamlessly organise wildlife safaris for you, while providing a luxurious base to return to at the end of the day. https://www.taruvillas.com/yala/
5. Wallawwa, Negombo / Colombo
Wallawwa, Negombo / Colombo – For many Colombo is simply the necessary gateway to the rest of the country, however this bustling city should not be dismissed. Wallawwa is close to Colombo airport and provides a tranquil base to explore the capital’s lively music and nightlife scene, excellent restaurants, and wide range of fascinating cultural sites. It also makes a great location to stay before or after flying. https://www.teardrop-hotels.com/wallawwa/