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Top 5 hidden hotels of Sri Lanka

If you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka, the best way experience the island’s rich diversity is to circumnavigate the country on a round tour. Sri Lanka is famed for golden beaches, elephant-inhabited wildlife reserves and ancient temples, yet there is so much more to see if you step a little off the tourist trail: cloud-capped mountains for trekking, hills ringed by tea bushes and historic homesteads set in magical rural surroundings. The following is our guide to five of Sri Lanka’s best hidden hotels, in the natural order of a typical round tour itinerary. The Wallawwa Although just 15 minutes’ drive from Sri Lanka’s international airport, this historic manor house-turned-boutique hotel feels worlds away.  Set in three acres of 200-year-old tropical gardens amidst idyllic rural countryside, this is the oldest manor house of its kind in the area, and dates back to the eighteenth-century Dutch colonial period.  Having been beautifully refurbished and extended, it now has 17 stylish rooms and suites, a superb restaurant supported by produce from the hotel’s organic garden and an indulgent spa. The Wallawwa, Gardens and Pool Bougainvillea Retreat Just 40-minutes’ drive east of Kandy and the island’s famous Temple of the Tooth is the Bougainvillea Retreat, a serene 8-room hotel set amidst a personable Tuscan-style villa. Despite the well-stocked library, spa and underground cinema, the biggest draw here is the idyllic pool, views of the mountains and the experiences that can be enjoyed in the surrounding area: trekking in the Knuckles or Hantane ranges, or perhaps enjoying the hospitality of a renowned local artist at his home in Kandy. Bougainvillea Living Heritage Koslanda Travel south from Kandy over the island’s highest ranges to the south-easterly edge of the Hill Country to little-known Koslanda, a hillside hamlet ringed by ancient rubber plantations.  It’s also home to one of the island’s most secluded retreats. Living Heritage Koslanda is a four-bedroom boutique hotel immersed in 60 acres of gardens and wildlife-filled forest. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind, or explore the rich surroundings. We love the walk down to a secret waterfall where, if you’re lucky, you might glimpse passing elephants. Living Heritage Kahanda Kanda When it comes to Sri Lanka’s beach-blessed south coast, many opt to stay right by the sea, but step inland and you get the best of both worlds.  Just inland from Koggala, and a 30-minute drive from Galle, is Kahanda Kanda, a boutique hotel set on its own 12-acre hilltop tea estate. Tea is grown abundantly on Galle’s lowland hills and a stay here lets you experience the island’s tea culture just 30 minutes from the beach.  The lavish suites and living and dining areas perch in pavilions on a ridge enjoying views across tea fields, jungle and Koggala Lake. Kahanda Kanda dining pavilion over pool Casa Colombo Collection, Colombo Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo is no secret, however many bypass the city on their way in or out of the country.  In the last few years, the city has improved dramatically, with its share of sights, exciting shopping, diverse restaurants and bars, and is well worth a stop of a night or two. Where to stay? At Casa Colombo in downtown Bambalapitiya, a unique hotel famed for its retro-chic interior design.  It’s housed in a 200-year-old Moorish mansion and promises indulgences in the form of private butlers, spacious suites and a pink pool. Casa Colombo Katie Cosstick is the PR Manager at Cox & Kings. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Katie Cosstick

PR Manager for Cox & Kings and MasterChef Travel (nee Parsons)

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  1. Some amazing hotels. There are so much hidden villas in Sri Lanka, especially in Galle Fort and the southern coast. These are not found in main tourist sites which is a shame.
    Casa is not exactly hidden though, its very popular among business travelers visiting Sri Lanka.

  2. Need to return to Srilanka about which to then write…again. Thinking of mid September for 14 nights…anyone got anything to offer to create feature with virtual tour of gallery.

  3. Some wonderful villas mentioned here but the amazing array should include many more lovely hidden hotels and villas across the coastline even as far afield as the east and north. In fact there are several hidden gems near the tourist sites too but far enough to make them perfect getaways for experiential travel.

  4. Love this. Anyone got others I should try? August-ish, ideally. And I’d prefer the East of the island.

  5. These hotels looks really beautiful and has some colonial touch in every hotel and villa. According to the article and photos these are small hotels. That prefect for some quiet holiday in Sri Lanka. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us. Keep writing these, cheers.

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