Where to stay when in Colombo

What makes a great hotel? Well, every detail matters: from design, location, service, amenities, architecture and value for money, to ambience, history and hospitality.
Taj Samudra Colombo
Taj Samudra Colombo
By Swetha |
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Colombo has plenty of classy, sophisticated options as well as hotels for reasonable rates that can be included in this definitive list of something for everyone. Some of these establishments boast decades of history and elegant refurbishment – one such example is the Galle Face Hotel. Here is our pick of hotels in Colombo with spectacular views from the rooftops, exquisite gastronomy and promises of a luxurious stay.

Thompukandam Village Resort is a hotel in Ampara
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Hotels

Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo

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Overlooking the Beira Lake, Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel is a city resort with a rural view. With standard rooms and an Executive Floor accessed by a private lift, it has accommodation for the business or leisure guest. It embraces a pool and courtyard lined with restaurants facing the lake.  For events, meetings and private functions the numerous halls provide the required setting and facilities. On the floor below the usually busy lobby lounge area, there are some shops and an art gallery.

Cinnamon Grand Colombo is a hotel in Colombo
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Hotels

Cinnamon Grand Colombo

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The Cinnamon Grand Hotel is a hive of activity exuding 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, a Noodle Parlour and a re-creation of a traditional rural village for local dishes. The Crescat Shopping Centre and Angsana Spa and gymnasium, are within the hotel compound.

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Cinnamon Red is a hotel in Colombo
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Hotels

Cinnamon Red

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The newest upmarket hotel in Colombo, Cinnamon Red has been built on a small land area and reflects what is called ‘lean luxury’. With 243 rooms with either a city, park  or lake view, Cinnamon Red is dedicated to do-it-yourself comfort. Ice, drinks and snacks are available from slot machines, and even check in can be done automatically. There is a roof top gym and an infinity pool overlooking the city, a main and a snack restaurant. While the hotel concentrates on efficiency, its décor is a blatant red in keeping with its image as chic and edgy. 

Mount Lavinia Hotel is a hotel in Colombo
© Mount Lavinia Hotel
Hotels

Mount Lavinia Hotel

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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 narrates a tale of romance. Old world charm meets modernity in this colonial building and it is the only hotel in the city with direct beach access. The interior of the hotel 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 Colombo city skyline stretching into the distance. The hotel has several restaurants including the beachside Seafood Cove.

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Taj Samudra
Jaideep Oberoi
Hotels

Taj Samudra

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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, the Taj Samudra faces the Galle Face Green and the Indian Ocean and is just a stroll away from fashionable shopping areas. 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, that afford eclectic choice and experience.

Hilton Colombo is a hotel in Colombo
© Hilton Colombo
Hotels

Hilton Colombo

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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.

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Galle Face Hotel
Galle face hotel
Hotels

Galle Face Hotel

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Established in 1864, Galle Face Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Asia. With rooms over looking the Indian Ocean, the hotel faces the long green sweep of Galle Face Green popular with the city’s residents as the sun sets. The hotel has 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. The hotel is currently completing its renovation of its original entrance hall and rooms in the Classic Wing. 

The Kingsbury is a hotel in Colombo
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Hotels, Luxury hotels

The Kingsbury

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The Kingsbury Hotel began life as the Ceylon Intercontinental Hotel in the 1970s but has recently been transformed from top to bottom into a glittery hotel with 229 elegantly furnished rooms with ocean views and an ambience of contemporary charm. The efficiency of accommodation is complemented with versatility afforded by numerous restaurants, bars, lounges, meeting rooms and public areas.  The Sky Lounge on the roof top is the setting for a great night out overlooking the Indian Ocean, except when it rains since the bar really is open to the sky.     

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Ramada Colombo
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Hotels

Ramada Colombo

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Ramada Colombo is located in Sri Lanka, a 5-minute walk from Colombo Fort Railway Station. The hotel offers an outdoor pool, 2 restaurants and a bar. Free parking is available. The air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a minibar, cable TV and coffee/tea maker. Private bathrooms and a personal safe are provided. The hotel features a business centre, room service and laundry services. Guests can book excursions at the tour desk. The hotel’s bar has a pool table. Ramada Colombo is a 45-minute drive from Bandaranaike International Airport.

Galadari Hotel is a hotel in Colombo
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Hotels, Luxury hotels

Galadari Hotel

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The Galadari Hotel is renowned for having some of the best doormen and concierges in the city, who welcome guests with pleasure into the businesslike lobby. They’ve been there for years, and seem to know everything and every one. Since 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 hotel’s rooms are spacious and have recently been refurbished. 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. In the afternoon the lobby lounge is a favourite place among ladies who take high tea. 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.  

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