The best hotels in Colombo

Experience traditional Sri Lankan hospitality with a memorable stay in one of Colombo's top city hotels


Colombo is littered with countless hotels and selecting the best place to stay would indeed be a hard choice. From five-star to secluded boutique hotels, the choices are endless and we are here to help you narrow it down. For years, the hotels in our recommended list have been the preferred choice for both locals and tourists, owing to their reputations as ‘great’ places to spend your vacation or impress your clients.

Not only famed for offering some of the best restaurants in the city, you can try an authentic Sri Lankan meal at Nuga Gama, or have a romantic dinner at Cinnamon Lakeside’s floating restaurant—8° on the Lake. If you are looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, visit the colonial Mount Lavinia Hotel right by the Mount Lavinia Beach, overlooking the ocean or the Tintagel, famed for its elegant and unique decor.

The best hotels in Sri Lanka

Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in and review every hotel featured, we've based our list on our expert knowledge of the destination covered, editorial reviews, user reviews, hotel amenities and in-depth research to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.

Best hotels to book now in Colombo

Galle Face Hotel

Established in 1864, Galle Face Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Asia. It’s been spruced up for the modern era and has two wings, where the wooden and earthy tones impart a sense of comfort and luxury. A leisurely alfresco-style evening at the Sea Spray restaurant, The Verandah or at the Poolside Bar and Terrance is a relaxing and reassuring experience in the city. The 1864 Restaurant in the Regency Wing is for formal dining and matches the splendour of the wing’s ornate rooms and suites.    

Mood? South Asian bohemian luxury
Location perks? Rooms overlooking the Indian Ocean and facing the long green sweep of Galle Face Green, popular with the city’s residents as the sun sets.  
Budget range? Various higher-end budgets. 
Time Out tip: Hit up the saltwater pool with glorious ocean vistas in the background. 

Paradise Road Tintagel

Retreating behind the high walls, Tintagel lends itself to the discerning traveller seeking comfort, seclusion and exclusivity. Built in 1930, Tintagel has established itself as a top-notch boutique hotel in the prestigious residential area of Rosmead Place, since opening its doors in 2007. Enhanced with architecture that bespeaks conscientious preservation, this colonial-style building has a palatial air outfitted with modern amenities and plush comforts. Tintagel’s discerning taste extends to the cuisine, serving fusion cuisine be it authentic Sri Lankan or Italian. 

Mood? Colonial elegance. 
Location perks? Walled-off and secluded from the bustle of the city, but still close to 
Viharamahadevi Park and the city centre mall. 
Budget range? High-end. 
Time Out tip: Save time for a dip in the on-site pool surrounded by marble figures. Sweat it out after in the steam room. 


Grand Oriental Colombo

Popularly known as the GOH, this hotel’s history dates from 1837. The exterior and interior of the hotel retain its colonial architecture while the furnishing and décor are vibrant and full of Sri Lankan art. Its 80 rooms are reminiscent of the colonial age, with modern touches and it serves as a comfortable and affordable contrast to newer and more glamorous city properties.

Mood? Old-school chic
Location perks? Five-minute walk from Colombo Bazaar and beautiful views of the port. 
Budget range? Various budget ranges. 
Time Out tip: 
Its highlight is the Harbour Room restaurant with a fascinating bird’s eye view of the port.

Cinnamon Grand Colombo

The Cinnamon Grand Hotel is a hive of activity. The place has an energetic and lively atmosphere; giving it an air of ‘the place to be’. Rooms of various categories (including a swish executive floor) are located in two wings in the quiet section of this opulent five-star hotel. The hotel’s appeal as a happening place arises from its 14 restaurants and bars differing in style from elegant dining in a genuine 1970’s cellar grill restaurant to eating in a flourishing fish market as well as Italian and Indian restaurants and a Noodle Parlour.

Mood? Brilliantly bustling. 
Location perks? The Crescat Shopping Centre and Angsana Spa and gymnasium, are within the hotel compound.
Budget range? Caters to various budgets. 
Time Out tip: Spend some time sinking cocktails in the hotel’s 
re-creation of a traditional rural village, where you can soak up the booze with local dishes. 

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The Galadari Hotel is renowned for having some of the best doormen and concierges in the city welcoming guests with pleasure into the businesslike lobby. As the hotel is beside Lotus Road, the main thoroughfare to the seaside Galle Road and opposite the Presidential Secretariat, they’re kept busy with guests going in and out. The rooms are spacious, while the vast California Grill on the top floor has a cocktail bar and discreetly placed tables. The range of food on the breakfast buffet is comprehensive, from humus to pepper steak, dosai to toast. There are also Indian and Arabian restaurants on the lobby floor and a ground-floor cocktail bar, Margarita Blue, and an adjoining pastry shop, Café 64.  

Mood? High-class service in the heart of the city. 
Location perks? Direct access to the beach. H
alf a mile from landmarks like Beira Lake and Khan Clock Tower.
Budget range? Various budget options. 
Time Out tip: 
In the afternoon the lobby lounge is the place to take high tea.

Taj Samudra Colombo

The Taj Samudra Hotel’s fresh look and facilities are designed to appeal to the modern traveller. A five-star business hotel in the heart of Colombo, brightly lit interiors and cosy furniture provide a mix of luxury as well as a laid-back feeling. There’s a resto-bar with Japanese fusion food and restaurants specialising in Indian, Chinese and European cuisine, helping the hotel deliver a relaxing off-duty experience.

Mood? Sri Lankan opulence. 
Location perks? The Taj Samudra faces the Galle Face Green and the Indian Ocean and is just a stroll away from fashionable shopping areas.
Budget range? High-end. 
Time Out tip: The outdoor pool is an oasis, surrounded by lush greenery and inviting cabanas and sun loungers. 

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Built as a beachside residence for a governor of colonial Ceylon to entertain his mistress, the history of Mount Lavinia Hotel is a tale of romance. This colonial building is the only hotel in the city with direct beach access and the interior is a blend of old and the new, with an enjoyable sense of travelling back in time. The swimming pool terrace has a view of the beach with the Colombo city skyline stretching into the distance. The hotel has several restaurants. 

Mood? Old-world charm meets modernity. 
Location perks? Beach access and views of the Colombo skyline. 
Budget range? On the more expensive side. 
Time Out tip: Book a luxury dinner at the brilliant
 beachside Seafood Cove.

Hilton Colombo

Located in the shadow of the twin towers of Colombo’s World Trade Centre, the Hilton Colombo is situated in the centre of the city’s commercial district with rooms recently refurbished to match the demands of today’s business or leisure guests. With a popular tea lounge off the reception lobby and seven restaurants and bars serving cuisine from different cultures, the hotel is almost a destination in itself, a welcome retreat after a day in the city. Its swimming pool lies across the road, reached by a footbridge.

Mood? Vibrant city living. 
Location perks? Central location by Beira Lake

Budget range? Mid to high range. 
Time Out tip: Head to the hotel’s tour desk to easily arrange a day trip around Colombo. 

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The Kingsbury Hotel began life as the Ceylon Intercontinental Hotel in the 1970s but has been transformed from top to bottom into a glittery hotel with 229 elegantly furnished rooms with ocean views. It houses numerous restaurants, bars, lounges, meeting rooms and public areas.  The Sky Lounge on the rooftop is the setting for a great night out overlooking the Indian Ocean with an alfresco bar that’s open to the night sky.  

Mood? Contemporary charm
Location perks? Views of the Colombo Harbor and the Galle Face Green.
Budget range? Various budget ranges. 
Time Out tip: Book an ocean massage at the Senses Spa. 

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