“An elegant and tranquil retreat nestled in exotic tropical gardens, close to Colombo's airport”
Once a country estate belonging to the head chieftain of Galle, history buffs will love the hotel’s fascinating heritage; tired bodies will luxuriate in the comfy beds. It's beautifully quiet and just 20 minutes from the airport - perfect for a couple of days' gentle acclimatisation. Equally, it’s an ideal base for exploring Colombo’s shops, museums and nearby golf courses (40-60 minutes’ away).
Best of all, the staff are stand-out; as you get to know them by name and it feels like being with family. The Wallawwa is a great hotel by any standards - not just a great stopover on your way in or out of Sri Lanka.
- Wondrously spacious rooms decorated in a tropical colonial style; outside you'll find perfectly manicured gardens with lush planting
- Just 20 minutes from the airport - ideal for pre- or post flight stopovers
- Truly excellent service; staff have been trained in some of the best hotels in Sri Lanka and it shows
- A refreshingly varied menu combining Sri Lankan curries plus adventurous western styles
- On-site spa with an excellent masseuse
- You're a fair way out of Colombo and need to take a taxi to other restaurants and shops
- Our air-conditioning was quite loud, possibly due to being ready for an upgrade
- You’re in the jungle so expect creepy crawlies
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
All rooms are vast - our jaws dropped when we saw the size of our bathroom - and high ceilings and lots of windows mean they are light, cool and very comfortable. Add huge beds, super comfy mattresses and black-out shades and you're pretty much guaranteed a great night's sleep.
Decor is stylish and rooms are well equipped with flatscreen TVs, plenty of wardrobe space and window seats (which can be made into an extra bed for a child) as well as a small terrace. Relaxing and calm, they impart a definite sense of serenity.
Our only quibbles were to do with the bathroom. Sizewise things were amazing, but we were slightly disappointed by the lack of a tub (heaven knows, there's space for one!). On the upside we loved the bamboo towel rails and bathroom products (which you can use but not take away - environmentally sound).
- Air conditioning
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Breakfast and dinner are taken at the small open veranda restaurant overlooking the 200 year old tropical gardens; lunch too, if you are around. When we asked about dining times, we were told "Any time, this is your home now." And we really felt that we could order as we wanted (there's 24-hour room service if you feel it's too cheeky to do so in the restaurant).
The food was amongst the best we had in Sri Lanka. A mouth-watering global fusion menu, combining everything from Balinese tuna skewers to eggs Benedict and excellent, authentic curries. It's kept small so you're guaranteed high quality and fresh produce, much of it from the hotel's gardens. For dinner we opted for the Sri Lankan curry and were delighted with the array of steaming bowls that arrived - curry for one can definitely be a curry for two here!
At breakfast, the egg hoppers with a fresh and spicy sambal, and the buffalo curd with treacle, were just the ticket to set us up for our journey.
If you want to dine out, Colombo has a vast array of restaurants to choose from - just ask for the latest recommendations.
- Children's meals
- Organic produce
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Book a massage in the spa - a must for those coming off a long haul flight, but an affordable treat at any time
- Head to the pool for a swim, or lounge by its side on those too-hot-to-move days
- If it rains, curl up in the library with a book or play one of the board games till the storm passes
- If you want to play golf, the team will arrange a game at The Royal Colombo course, or further afield at the Victoria Golf and Country Club in Kandy
- The National Museum and the Dutch Period Museum are both worth a visit in Colombo
- Colombo has the best shopping on the whole island, so ask the team for some advice and grab a taxi into town if retail therapy is your vice
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Horse riding
- Hot air ballooning
- Scuba diving
A good option for families, with safe, lawned grounds and excellent, flexible service. Note that the pool and pond are not protected in any way.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Garden Suites have an extra bed for a child - actually a window seat made into a bed. Two pairs of rooms are interconnecting (1 double Garden Suite and 1 twin Wallawwa Room, in each case).
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids menu available
Families Should Know:
There are unfenced ponds and a pool so keep an eye on small children at all times.