HOW TO BOOK LUXURY HOTELS IN SRI LANKA
You’ll note that the hotel links below go to both Agoda.com and Booking.com. I like Booking.com because they have a lot of variety and offer me “genius” discounts which is a brilliant way to seduce me into loyalty by appealing to my ego. But I have also used Agoda and the conventional wisdom says that they offer better deals for Asia. It’s wise to check both to snag the best deal possible.
Or outsource the work by booking with Audley Travel. My group used them to arrange our last minute itinerary and they were able to pull it off with excellent service.
7 BEST HOTELS IN SRI LANKA
NEGOMBO: JETWING LAGOON
Start (or end) your itinerary in Negombo. This beach town is near the airport and is a good place to get your footing.
The Jetwing Lagoon is a Sri Lankan luxury hotel with affordable rates. It’s modestly priced by American standards but the rooms are very large, featuring a separate outdoor bathroom. The property is unique for its gigantic pool. I managed just two laps before I collapsed panting in a lounge chair, wondering where my next beer was coming from. Well fortunately, it came from the cute pool guy who later served it to me while I watched the sunset. Good start to the trip. The Jetwing Lagoon also offers a vast breakfast buffet with a mix of western and Sri Lankan dishes…and donuts! And if you have the time, I recommend the peaceful Ayravedic spa.
As the name implies, this hotel is on the lagoon and not on a swimmable beach. So if you want beach action or more of a bustling town vibe, you should also check out their sister hotel, Jetwing Beach.
GOLDEN TRIANGLE: VIL UYANA
The Vil Uyana is located in the center of Sri Lanka’s Golden Triangle. From there, you can fan out to Sigiyra, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla caves, and Kadulla or Minneriyra national parks.
This hotel is the absolute ten-star best hotel in Sri Lanka. It has a sprinkling of villas on centered around a lagoon in the jungle. We had a large room with a platform bed, soaking tub, seating area and a private deck. Some rooms have pools and others are elevated for a birds eye view of the water. The resident crocodile will greet you for breakfast and the hotel has a open air library and infinity pool.
The hotel also has a resident endangered fishing cat and some loris, which you may be able to see by taking their night hike. However, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see these nocturnal animals. Even at luxury hotels, the wildlife doesn’t always cooperate.
Regardless, the hotel is a beautiful property. And given the price tag, I would recommend staying there only if you really have the time to enjoy it. Our itinerary was fairly packed for the two day stay and I regret that I didn’t have more time to enjoy the grounds.