A number of delightful luxury boutique hotels have opened in Sri Lanka recent years, either built from scratch or by renovating a dilapidated private mansion or public building. These properties offer high standards of facilities and service and although the range of facilities may not be as extensive as in a larger hotel, the boutique hotels are ideal for those who want a peaceful atmosphere, privacy and more intimate and personalised service. You will find that you could happily be marooned there for the entire length of your stay. The most luxuriously indulgent boutique hotels in Sri LankaSerene Pavilions, closest to Colombo airport with a transfer of under 2 hours, provides 12 lavish palatial ‘pavilion’ villas with private plunge pools and positively divine personal butler service. The newly refurbished Saman Villas sits on a secluded promontory near Bentota, offering spacious suites and superb ocean views. Amanwella, an Aman resort in the deep south, is set around a white crescent of sand, achingly sensuous and fabulous food. Boutique gems on the south-west coast of Sri LankaSlightly lower-key boutique gems on the south-west coast include the 7-suite Reef, a British/Irish designed, owned and managed hotel which features Indian campaign furniture and 150-year old carved beds; and the ethereal Aditya Resort with its rich fabrics, open lounges and enormous balcony suites. The petite and stylish trio of Apa Villas, Frangipani Tree and Era Beach provide intimate barefoot luxury at Thalpe beach, as does the newly re-built Weligama Bay Resort further along the south coast. Inland and Cultural Triangle boutique hotelsInland a little by Koggala Lake is the tranquil Kahanda Kanda, actually a stunning private villa turned 5-bedroom luxury retreat. Perched high on a mountain just outside Kandy, Theva blends panoramic windows and contemporary design with fine Kandyan art. Ground-breaking creations in the Cultural Triangle include the stilted ‘dwellings’ over water and rice paddies at Vil Uyana, the new Ulagalla Resort, with its villas on stilts and solar power station and the Elephant Corridor where you can observe wildlife from your private plunge pool, inside or outside your suite.New Boutique additions to the Expressions Sri Lanka programmeIn Colombo is Zylan Luxury Villa, a light and airy property with a rooftop terrace which offers respite from the hectic city. Located just 11 miles inland from Bentota is The Ark, an isolated jungle hideaway with just 3 guestrooms which sits above the treetops. Further south in Galle is Deco on 44, a 7-room hotel with an outdoor pool located within the walls of Galle Fort. The Last House is a seaside villa in Tangalle, a striking hotel which was designed by Geoffrey Bawa with yellow walls and colourful interiors. Inland in Tea Country is The Governor's Mansion, a grand mansion on a tea estate which is surrounded by fragrant gardens and manicured lawns.
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