10 best luxury hotels in Sri Lanka for a bucket list stay

Private Pool at Hilton Yala

Rich in a diverse range of flora and fauna, abundant in natural beauty, and awash with history, Sri Lanka is a dream destination for many. Not to mention the plethora of luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, worthy of any travel bucket list!

Whether you want to feast on spicy food, explore the tea plantations or make the most of the beautiful beaches, this island at the foot of India has something for everyone. 

Choosing a luxury Sri Lankan hotel can really make your stay special. You’ll have all the facilities at your fingertips, plus a sumptuous setting in which to truly unwind.

From the island’s number one spa resort to my personal favourite hotel, I guarantee there is a place here with your name on it. 

My list of the 10 best luxury hotels in Sri Lanka has been handpicked based on my own recent trip to the teardrop-shaped island. As well as recommendations from trusted friends and experienced fellow travellers.

Read on to discover your slice of Sri Lankan paradise. 

Author Bio: Jessie Moore

Jessie Moore is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

This post contains affiliate links.

1. Ceylon Tea Trails, Hatton

Address: Norwood Estate, Bogawantalawa, Hatton

Best for: Plantation life

Ceylon Tea Trails Pool View

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is famous for tea production, and you can sample a slice of plantation life here at Ceylon Tea Trails.

This isn’t your average deluxe hotel, as the 27 pristine suites are spread across five tea planters’ houses dating from colonial times.

Whenever you need to stretch your legs, you can take a wander among the forests and tea-fields surrounding the accommodation.

Though, be warned – it might be tricky to tear yourself away from all that refined, Insta-worthy elegance!

Despite all the finery, Ceylon Tea Trails is a real home-from-home, where every guest is made to feel most welcome.

On site you can find every amenity you’d need, including a spa, two pools, a bar, and room service.

But the fact that this is a relaxed, friendly place, rather than an impersonal resort, is what really makes it stand out. 

Book here

2. Hilton Yala Resort

Address: Palatupana, Yala

Best for: A bucket list stay

Aerial Hilton Yala

Having recently stayed at the Hilton Yala Resort, this is a property that I’m only too happy to heartily recommend.

Yes, of course you can expect the level of luxury associated with such a big brand.

But the way the hotel blends seamlessly with Yala National Park is what makes a stay here truly special. 

Guests here have access to the best of both worlds, with the ocean to one side and the Sri Lankan wilderness on the other.

The property is perfectly placed for exploring Yala National Park, and I implore you not to leave without doing just that. 

Hotel facilities include a spa, a pool, a gym, a bar and even private beach access.

The use of natural materials throughout ensures an understated glamour, which provides the ideal setting for a romantic or relaxing break. 

Book here

3. Ulagalla by Uga Escapes, Anuradhapura

Address: Thirappane, Anuradhapura

Best for: Plunge pool villas

Ulagalla by Uga Escapes, Anuradhapura Villa

A tropical site totalling almost 60 acres makes Ulagalla by Uga Escapes the perfect choice for anyone who loves glorious gardens.

Set on an estate dating from the 19th century, this luxury hotel in Sri Lanka is also a historic, character-packed property. 

Book a plunge pool villa here and you can enjoy all the trappings of the exotic, Sri Lankan location.

These include rainfall showers, spicy local cuisine, and a setting among rice fields and fruit-laden orchards. 

Ulagalla by Uga Escapes, Anuradhapura

I love that the hotel provides free bike hire for exploring the area on two wheels.

Other amenities include a freshwater swimming pool, a sumptuous spa, a fitness centre, a games room.

There’s even a movie library to keep you entertained after dining at the restaurant, which serves both Sri Lankan and international fare. 

Book here

4. Cape Weligama, Weligama

Address: Abimanagama Road, Weligama

Best for: Ocean adventures

Cape Weligama Credit Tom Parker

A moon-shaped, 60-metre infinity pool coupled with a commanding clifftop position promises guests the stars at Cape Weligama.

The 12-acre site is perched 40 metres above the Indian Ocean, and offers 30 gorgeous suites and villas. 

One of the key perks of staying here is the range of dining options – with the level of hospitality you’d expect from one of the best luxury hotels in Sri Lanka.

Take your pick between spicy Asian dishes, local seafood, and delectable European cuisine, all served with a side of magnificent ocean views.

Cape Weligama Room Credit Sebastian Posingis

I have no doubt that dining at Cape Weligama’s Ocean Terrace is a real highlight for many guests, whether you choose a surf-style grill dish or flavoursome Italian fare. 

Soothing neutrals, perked up by pops of duck egg and turquoise blue, create your own private retreat here at Cape Weligama.

Within the resort you can swim, work out or have a spa day, while beyond you can explore by bike, surf, fish, snorkel, kayak, dive, or even head out on a whale watching trip. 

Book here

5. Jetwing Saman Villas

Address: Aturuwella, Bentota

Best for: Exceptional service

Jetwing Saman Villas 

Feel the force of the untamed ocean when staying at Jetwing Saman Villas in Sri Lanka.

The sea-facing hotel is where the curving point of a triangle forms, with a beautiful, windswept beach to either side. Accommodation is in suites, some of which have private pools. 

If you want an Asian island getaway where you can feel thoroughly spoiled, then I suspect that Jetwing Saman Villas will tick all your boxes.

Service here is exceptional, without feeling at all intrusive. Your personal butler can also take care of your every need. 

Jetwing Saman Villas Room

The property is situated close to the sleepy, traditional fishing village of Aturuwella, for a more local feel.

Each suite offers plenty of outdoor and indoor living space, with day beds, al fresco bathrooms, and seaview decking.

The hotel, meanwhile, offers a spa, an infinity pool, a restaurant and bar, and even a music and book library. 

Book here

6. Santani Wellness Kandy

Address: Arantenna Estate, Werapitiya

Best for: A spa retreat

Santani Wellness Kandy

Santani in the Kandy area is Sri Lanka’s first – and foremost – wellness resort.

The purpose-built, eco-conscious property sets the standard when it comes to spa and wellness facilities on the island. 

I consider it to be the number one choice for anyone in need of some serious pampering and self-care. 

The natural environment and unparalleled amenities combine here to provide the perfect setting for a true retreat.

Santani Wellness is surrounded by hiking trails when you want to venture into the wilderness, and offers spectacular views when you simply want to kick back and relax. 

Despite only being open since 2016, Santani Wellness already boasts a clutch of accolades.

Expect glass walls for uninterrupted mountain and tropical vegetation views, tailor made dining experiences, and of course the 6000 square foot spa with thermal saltwater pool.

This is undoubtedly one of the best luxury hotels in Sri Lanka.

Book here

7. Karpaha Sands, Kiran

Address: Kimbula Thona Kalkudah Beach, Kiran

Best for: Glamping luxury

Karpaha Sands Ocean View

Located at unspoiled Kalkudah Beach, Karpaha Sands offers guests the ultimate Asian glamping hideaway.

Arty, rustic style meets luxury at this tented resort, along with access to seven miles of pristine coastline. 

While you can expect five star luxury at Karpaha Sands, rates are surprisingly affordable due to the fact that the accommodation is glamping-style.

Karpaha Sands Bar

Every tent has a private bathroom, and offers real wood flooring, four poster beds and a natural colour palette. 

Amenities at this tented glamping resort include a delightful garden with a couple of pools and terrace, free bike hire, a kids’ playground, a bar, room service, and even a spa. 

Book here

8. Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Yala

Address: Wild Coast Tented Lodge Palatupana, Yala

Best for: Big cats

Wild Coast Tented Lodge - Credit Tim Evan-Cook

If your visit to Sri Lanka is all about the island’s unspoiled countryside and coastline, then I’m sure the bushland setting of Wild Coast Tented Lodge in the Yala area will suit you perfectly.

This safari-style camp is also ideally placed for leopard-spotting trips into Yala National Park

In fact, the whole camp is laid out like the paw print of a big cat, with bamboo buildings, a free form pool, and air conditioned tented accommodation.

Wild Coast Tented Lodge Exterior - Credit Nomadic Resorts

I love that the library even shows nature documentaries on screen, to whet your appetite for your upcoming wildlife safari. 

Guests can dine on Sri Lankan specialities at the restaurant, or savour a picnic among the sand dunes. Sundowner cocktails are of course a daily ritual, too.

At least one complimentary game drive is included with all room rates, perhaps placing you one step closer to that covetable big cat sighting. 

Book here

9. Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort

Address: Goyambokka Estate, Tangalle

Best for: A kids’ club

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort - Beach Villa

If you’re seeking a beachside getaway, but a tented option like Karpaha Sands doesn’t appeal, then Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort is well worth a look.

Another of the best luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, it offers picturesque views, a beachside location, a clifftop position, and a tropical garden setting among coconut palms. 

While rates aren’t cheap, you get a lot of bang for your buck, including a range of lovely rooms, or private villas with butler service for those who want to splash out.

Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort - Pool View

Whichever you choose, island drums and conch shell blowers will welcome you to the resort in traditional local style. 

Facilities at Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort include ocean view dining, Sri Lankan cooking classes, the Anantara Spa, and a club for kids and teens to give parents some much-needed time out.  

Book here

10. Uga Jungle Beach, Trincomalee

Address: 27th Kilometre Post, Pulmoddai Road, Kuchchaveli

Best for: A beachside setting

Uga Jungle Beach, Trincomalee Cabin

Light-filled spaces with beamed ceilings, a free form pool, and pale pink sands await at Uga Jungle Beach.

Located on the island’s eastern seaboard, the resort offers a range of lagoon, jungle, and beach chalets for discerning guests. 

The use of natural tones and materials, plus the unspoiled setting, make a stay at Uga Jungle Beach the ultimate in relaxation.

Uga Jungle Beach, Trincomalee Pool

From pampering spa treatments to Asian fusion dining, the resort offers all you could desire, yet room rates aren’t heart-stoppingly high. 

Uga Jungle Beach wins praise in particular for helpful staff, the local birdlife, the idyllic yet convenient location, sustainability, and very good food. 

Book here

If you have any of your own recommendations or favourite luxury hotels in Sri Lanka then do let me know in the comments!

For more Sri Lanka travel inspiration, you may also like: 

Or check out my Sri Lanka vlogs on YouTube

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Jessie Moore
Jessie Moore

Jessie is a luxury travel expert with years of experience travelling the world to find the best destinations, hotels and adventures.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


Want up to 25% off hotels?

Subscribe to my newsletter and get immediate access to my guide on how to save money on flights and hotels. Our weekly emails are filled with adventure inspiration, insider travel tips and exclusive discounts.