Inland Villas & Hotels in Sri Lanka

When many people think of Sri Lanka they conjure up images of tropical white beaches and the deep blue Indian Ocean. It is undeniable, the coastline is truly spectacular! Sri Lanka offers a vast choice of boutique hotels, large resorts or private villas for guests all along its shores, to cater to the growing demand for beach holidays. This often means inland accommodation is sadly overlooked by travellers, who think a beach-front location is preferable.

Whilst the beach-front accommodation available will always remain an excellent option these inland alternatives should not be dismissed… they really have so much to offer! Set just back from the coast these holiday retreats offer a more private and peaceful experience, and are great bases from which to explore Sri Lanka’s natural beauty and exotic culture. Often found amidst smaller, rural villages these retreats offer the benefits of the beach, as well as the privacy and charm of the countryside. Situated within a short tuk tuk or taxi ride away from the coast guests can have the best of both worlds! Day trips to the coast to swim, fish, sunbathe or explore are easily organised, with many of the villas and hotels a twenty minute or less tuk tuk ride away….so sun-worshippers and aquaphiles don’t fear!

Kahanda Kanda near Galle.

Set back in the countryside or hills, there are many benefits of staying at these inland options. Often these villas and hotels tend to have been built upon larger sites than their coastal counterparts, meaning more spacious bedrooms, lounging areas and gardens for guests to enjoy! The abundance of tropical vegetation that grows inland not only provides a beautiful setting, but a large amount of (welcome!) shade for the properties. Due to the sandiness and saltiness of the soil, and the stronger winds, beach-front properties tend to have less vegetation and are therefore more exposed to the elements.  Inland villas are often set amongst exotic paddy fields and cinnamon, tamarind or tea plantations. These amazing settings provide both a beautiful backdrop to your holiday, as well as housing an amazing range of Sri Lankan wildlife; from monkeys, to deer, to peacocks (it’s a bird watchers paradise!).

Illuketiya, just inland from Thalpe on Sri Lanka’s south coast.

In low season many areas of Sri Lanka’s coastline become too dangerous to swim in due to strong currents and crashing waves (which can be rather noisy, both at day and night).  Swimming pools therefore are of paramount importance during this period, with inland alternatives offering a far more sheltered and quieter location for guests to relax.

Lagoons and lakes, found just back from the coast, are a popular setting for many boutique hotels and villas, where fishing trips, boat rides or swimming may be experiences as well. Bike rides are also recommended around the quaint rural villages, local temples and rolling jungle-countryside at many of the hotels, allowing travellers to explore the ‘real’ Sri Lanka.

Teak House in Tangalle

So if you’re looking for both the activities and beaches of the coast, as well as the peace and quiet of the country side, these inland villas and boutique hotels could be an excellent option for you!

Talk to one of us at Experience Travel to discuss your perfect holiday in Sri Lanka.

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Becky Grainger

Becky is a travel specialist for Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Her love for travel began with extensive globetrotting through Asia with her parents, and subsequently developed under her own steam. Most recently she went exploring in the remote parts of Laos, particularly the hill tribes up near the Chinese border.
  1. I really like all the details that you write about these hotels in Sri Lanka. I haven’t gone to Sri Lanka yet but your post is very beneficial to me if I will visit the country maybe late next year.

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