Luxury Holidays To Sri Lanka: An Overview

Sitting pretty at the southern tip of India, the teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka is a small country with a big combination of attractions - culture, beaches and nature - that make this the perfect destination for a luxury holiday.

carrie
Image of Rosie Whitefield
Image of Miranda Boord

Miranda, Rosie and Carrie are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Yala National Park on the south east coast; the pristine jungle plays host to both man and beast, who live good naturedly side-by-side.
  • The ancient site of Sigiriya, built on the fresco-adorned 'Lion Rock' that towers 200 metres above beautiful surrounding gardens, is spectacular.
  • Sri Lanka is home to an abundance of exotic species of wildlife, making the country's national parks a flora and fauna haven.

Sri Lanka Luxury Holidays: The Detail

Long a favourite Original Travel destination, Sri Lanka has no fewer than seven World Heritage Sites, including ancient cities, temples and nature reserves. No wonder the country is known as the 'island of serendipity' by those fortunate enough to stumble upon it. To be sure, Sri Lanka is being stumbled upon on a more regular basis now, but the country's appearance on the luxury holiday radar merely means more and better boutique hotels and improved logisitics.

Now for some context. Sri Lanka was once of huge importance to European powers with an eye on spice markets and trade routes, and fascinating vestiges of the colonial control wielded by first the Portuguese and Dutch and latterly the British can be seen around the country.

Did you know

  • Before 1972, Sri Lanka was known as 'Ceylon'
  • Spicy curry is Sri Lanka's most common dish, served with rice and vegetables
  • Sri Lanka is also called the 'Teardrop of India' because of its teardrop shape and, you guessed it, its proximity to India
  • The elephant is the symbol of Sri Lanka
  • Every year Sri Lanka serves as a venue for an elephant pageant

But in our opinion it's the Ceylonese cultural heritage that marks Sri Lanka out as a truly extraordinary luxury holiday destination. The Cultural Triangle in the northern centre of the country, comprising the tongue-twisting cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, as well as Dambulla and the island's crowning glory - the rock fortress of Sigiriya - together making this an astonishing heritage heartland. Heading south the leafy holy city of Kandy and Sri Lanka's tea plantations are also highlights. Finally, Yala and Wilpattu National Parks might not have the tigers that make India's reserves so popular, but they are both beautiful and home to populations of leopards.

And then there are the beaches. Palm-fringed and stretching for mile upon mile, Sri Lanka's beaches are some of the least spoiled in Asia. The south coast is home to some of the very best, with an ever growing number of charming boutique hotels looking straight out onto the ocean. The centre of the south coast action is the wonderful walled city of Galle, like a Lankan Lucca and potentially worth a day or two's exploration before the lure of the beach overwhelms all your other luxury holiday plans.

The Original Travel team have been to Sri Lanka on a number of occasions over the past few years and have watched with satisfaction as the island bounces back from the trauma of the civil war years. We are passionate about the destination and know the country in detail, so when planning your luxury holiday we can suggest everything from the finest beach chic boutique hotels to stay in to the finest tea to take home as a souvenir.


Top picks for Sri Lanka

Living Heritage Koslanda courtyard

Living Heritage Koslanda

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Set in the Eastern Hills of Sri Lanka, Living Heritage Koslanda is a divine four suite getaway for those seeking serenity.

Where to stay

Swimming Pool at Kumara Villa, Sri Lanka

Kumara

Galle & the Southern Beaches

Villa Kumara sits close to the surf breaks of Weligama on the South Sri Lankan coast and offers a peaceful escape for families (children must be 5 years of age) and friends alike.

Where to stay

Yala, Wilpattu & Gal Oya National Parks

Yala, Wilpattu & Gal Oya National Parks

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's national parks are yet another attraction in a wonderful country.

Where to go

Claughton House, Sri Lanka

Claughton House

Galle & the Southern Beaches

Claughton House sits atop a hill amidst acres of walled-in gardens on the South Sri Lankan coast. Designed by architect Geoffrey Bawa the villa is a fine example of intelligent architecture enhancing beautiful surroundings.

Where to stay

Breakfast at Ivory House, Sri Lanka

Ivory House

Galle & the Southern Beaches

Ivory House is a spacious villa in southern Sri Lanka that combines a simple aesthetic with a decor inspired by Dutch colonialism. The property sits at an elevation and boasts large windows to maximise the views of the picture-perfect surrounding rice paddies.

Where to stay

The Fortress

The Fortress

Galle & the Southern Beaches

The Fortress is a boutique resort on one of the south coast's most expansive sandy beaches, Koggala Beach. Only 10 miles from the historic city of Galle the building design and interior furnishings successfully blend traditional Dutch, Portuguese and Sri Lankan architecture with contemporary design.

Where to stay

Villa At Wild Coast Tented Lodge

Wild Coast Tented Lodge

Yala, Wilpattu & Gal Oya National Parks

Wild Coast Tented Lodge is an all new canvas lodge situated on a deserted beach at the edge of Yala National Park.

Where to stay

Galle & the Southern Beaches

Galle & the Southern Beaches

Sri Lanka

Stay in a luxury hotel in Galle Fort and combine the city's culture with some of the best beach destinations in the world.

Where to go

Suriyawatta Exterior, Sri Lanka

Suriyawatta

Galle & the Southern Beaches

Suriyawatta is a charming family home perched above a coastal lagoon only 40 minutes from the historic town of Galle. With minimalist interiors, and a charming cottage-like exterior, you’ll be in no hurry to leave.

Where to stay

Colombo

Colombo

Sri Lanka

For a slice of multicultural Sri Lankan life, a bit of buzz, and some interesting colonial architecture, Colombo is a worthy stopover, for a full exploration of this fascinating country.

Where to go

Fort Bazaar Courtyard

Fort Bazaar

Galle & the Southern Beaches

Fort Bazaar is set within a sensitively restored 17th century town house right in the heart of Galle Fort, once the home of spice, tea and gem traders, and offers plenty of charm and an ideal location. 

Where to stay

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations

Sri Lanka

The heartland of Sri Lanka contains several World Heritage listed sites, and because they are close together, these can easily be combined in one superb cultural tour.

Where to go

Start creating your tailored trip today

Our enthusiastic experts are seasoned travellers with the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on +44 (0) 20 7978 7333

Or enquire online

Close