At Sri Lanka Bespoke we very carefully handpick hotels and only recommend those that we love. Sri Lanka has shied away from the large chain properties and what has emerged is a beautiful selection of unique and luxurious boutique hotels that boast a stunning location, a striking design or a sense of history.
We have visited every hotel that we recommend and have chosen those that combine sophistication, style and authenticity. We have a selection of deeply gorgeous boutiques to super luxe hideaways all of which boast amazing locations and fuse luxury and memorable service to ensure that your experience in this tropical paradise is close to perfection as possible.
We are an independent boutique with intentionally no commitment to any one hotel. This allows us to truly tailor-make your Sri Lankan stay according to you and your needs and tastes.
Here’s a small sample of some of our favourites.
The unique and luxurious Chena Huts, inspired by the small clearings in the jungle called chena for farmers to guard their crops, are far from their modest ancestors. Super-luxe safari residences nestle among dunes and luscious jungle at the ocean’s edge.
Overlooking a beach, expect sea turtles laying eggs by moonlight and wandering elephants playing in the surf. You will have your own private ranger throughout your stay. The rangers here are incredibly knowledgeable and will accompany you on your game rides into the adjacent natural reserve – Sri Lanka’s oldest and second-largest Yala’s national park. Expect prime viewing of elephants, leopards, water buffalo exotic birds to name a few.
Between safaris relax on your private pavilion boasting views of the surrounding wilderness and seascape. Each Chena Hut is hugely spacious and comes complete with private decks and plunge pools. Natural stylish interiors with sumptuous furnishings will ensure a luxurious stay at this ocean-facing jungle haven.
We Love: The staff and rangers are so incredibly friendly and welcoming. You’ll have to tear yourself away from the luxuriously appointed huts – they are simply awe inspiring.
Santani wellness resort
Few resorts in the world can match Santani’s serene view-blessed setting, on an undulating hillside to the north east of Kandy. Channelling the concept of intelligent luxury where nature is king and service is everything, it’s one of those very rare places where you can truly escape the world.
The pure natural surroundings energise the soul, and the purposefully minimalist eco-conscious architecture lets body and mind be at peace. Whether you stay for two days or 20, you’ll leave feeling reborn. The 120-acre resort was designed according to the highest sustainability and eco principles.
Many of the chalets jut out from the mountain and provide a calming, uncluttered space for sleep and private downtime, while shared facilities include a world-class spa, an infinity lap pool and a yoga pavilion. Those looking to indulge in wellness can choose a tailored package designed to pamper the body and inspire the mind.
The resort opened in 2016 yet has already received numerous accolades: Condé Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure named Santani one of the best new hotels in 2017, Tatler singled out its spa as one of the world’s best while Tablet/Forbes included Santani in their list of 25 of the most unusual hotels in the world. Santani also received a coveted Bawa Award for Excellence in Architecture.
We Love: The deep relaxation that you experience just after spending a few hours at Santani. The resident chef prepares tailored meals around its guests and the food is exquisite.
Perched on a cliff top in twelve acres of immaculately landscaped gardens, Cape Weligama has uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean with beaches aside this luxurious resort. With a striking crescent shaped infinity pool, a main pool, a private infinity pool and a further twelve shared infinity pools, this resort doesn’t fall short by any expectation.
This spacious hotel has 39 villas with stylish interiors that are the largest Luxury Villas in Sri Lanka. Daily complimentary high tea is served every afternoon and exceptional cuisine in the three restaurants daily. Enjoy sundowner cocktails at one of the three Cliff Edge look out points listening to the crashing waves or in the stylish club bar. Enjoy a variety of experiences or excursions or simply curl up in one of the lovely alcoves of the resident bar and restaurants.
We Love: No request is too small for the attentive, smiling staff who have also been trained in the art of listening vs. hearing. Look out for the beautiful mid-century modern chairs in the downstairs bar.
Arguably one of the island’s most luxurious beach stays. Decompress in luxury tented suites carefully tucked between palm trees. Unwind on private loungers on pristine shores and enjoy the divine culinary journey that makes this hidden gem extra special.
With a spa, library and fully equipped games room, you will find it impossible not to recharge and deeply relax at this exclusive and intimate beach stay.
We Love: This is an authentic luxury experience close to nature. Watching the fisherman from your private sun lounger as the sun rises is an unforgettable memory and enjoying the azure ocean whilst lying in bed is something very special. The food here is excellent and with superb service, you will simply not want to leave. Also make a point of enjoying the journey to Karpaha Sands from the main road passing by smaller villager homes and families – a small glimpse into local life and it is a delight
A lovely secluded eco retreat tucked away in a lush 100 acre land is this Dambulla hotel, that you may want to call your paradise. Let the mountain speak to you as you experience losing yourself to the enchanting wonders of nature.
Drawing its beauty from the mystic Kalundewa Mountain range this is easily one of the most unique boutique hotels in Sri Lanka. The isolated farming community contribute to the hotel resulting in a handful of dwellings cradled in the arms of lush vegetation.
We Love: The natural well that feeds spring water into the main pool is reflective of the eco living at Kalundewa Retreat where solar panels provide 50% of the power and the organic gardens, bees honey production whilst traditional irrigation tributes to sustainable tourism. The relaxed ambience that is Kalundewa along with its eco living along with the wonderful sight of the paddy field workers make for a serene and wonderful experience.
GAL OYA LODGE
A unique eco lodge across 20 acres of private jungle located adjacent to Gal Oya National Park. An immersive wilderness experience in one of Sri Lanka’s most remote areas the design concept follow nature and had been created in harmony with its surroundings and its natural features.
A real treat for those who love nature, experience tailored safaris and a break away from the digital world.
We love: The wonderful staff who are so incredibly knowledgeable about wildlife and nature and the huge black rock upon which guests can enjoy barbecues and cooking demonstrations. This is real immersion in nature and the boat safaris are like no other.
This hotel features a 150-year-old mansion at its centre with 20 private ecologically built villas spread across 58 acres of lush greenery. A lush environment, stunning landscape makes for an unforgettable luxurious experience amidst a green oasis.
A perfect blend of indulgence and luxury in amongst two sparkling reservoirs, paddy fields, lily ponds and an ancestral estate that was once of Anuradhapura nobility. A host of activities are available such as Nature Walks, Archery, Horse riding, Cooking & Kayaking available at the hotel.
We Love: Ulagalla has its own solar farm generating half of its own energy. There are families of monkeys everywhere and a cycle around the grounds will treat its visitor to intimate sightings of these Grey Langur families. There are several dining options including the opportunity for private dining on the observation deck or in the middle of the paddy fields. Just watching the setup for private dining is an experience in itself.
Leopard Trails is a bespoke luxury tented safari experience provider that operates within the buffer zones of both Wilpattu and Yala national parks. The spacious canvas tents have big beds and en-suite bathrooms whilst the comfortable communal areas are reminiscent of the safari style of days-gone-by.
Operating on an all-inclusive basis including all food and drinks, Leopard Trails offers two game drives a day, accompanied by an expert guide.
We Love: The Rangers are highly qualified and deeply experienced and take part in outside exchange programme in South Africa. Each Tent is allocated a personalised Ranger/Butler and dinner is always, where possible eaten outside.