The Wallawwa

Near Colombo, Colombo & around, Sri Lanka Book from Book from £138 per night

An elegant and tranquil retreat nestled in exotic tropical gardens, close to Colombo's airport
Whether you are disembarking from a long flight or preparing to jet off, an ice-cold drink, a friendly face and a restful room seem heaven-sent. But The Wallawwa’s small spa, excellent chef, gorgeous pool and exotic gardens make it the kind of place you might want to linger. In the 17 spacious and comfy rooms, dark woods offset bright striped and floral fabrics, and fresh flowers waft their scent throughout.

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

Any time of year - this hotel is open all year and is an ideal place to stop off on your way in our out of the country. A great base if you want to explore Colombo but not stay right in the city.

Our top tips

If this is your first stop after a long-haul flight, be sure to book a 40-minute head and neck massage - you get 15% off by booking through i-escape. It's a refreshing way to beat the jet lag and soothe yourself into an easy sleep.

Great for...

  • Boutique Hotel
  • 17
  • Restaurant (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


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).

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Mosquito net
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Torch
  • TV
  • Umbrella
  • WiFi


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.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • 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:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Kayaking
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga


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.

Best for:

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).

Baby equipment:

High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Kids menu available

Families Should Know:

There are unfenced ponds and a pool so keep an eye on small children at all times.

Kid Friendly:


The Wallawwa is 10km / 20 minutes east of Colombo airport, and about 60 minutes' drive northeast of Colombo city centre. The beaches of Negombo are 30 minutes away. The nearest town is Kotugoda.

By Air
Fly into Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (10km).

From the Airport
The hotel can organise a car to collect you from Colombo airport, which takes 15-30 minutes depending on traffic.

By Car
If you want to hire a car, bear in mind that Sri Lanka’s roads are in bad condition and speed limits are low, so even short distances take a long time. It can take up to 3 hours to cross Colombo at rush hour! We recommend hiring a driver and car if you’re planning to travel around Sri Lanka.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Sri Lanka and getting around


  • Colombo (Bandaranaike Airport) 10.0 km CMB


  • Beach 20.0 km
  • Shops 2.0 km
  • Restaurant 10.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 11 independent reviews from i-escape guests


We loved The Wallawwa. It’s hidden in a beautiful jungle location, with amazing wildlife all around. The room we stayed in, is probably the biggest and best we’ve ever stayed in! It was the perfect place to unwind for 24hrs after a long flight.


Delightful place to stay before or after a long haul flight!


We really enjoyed a relaxing day at The Wallawwa, everything was exceptional including the Balinese masseuse who gave me a very good massage.


This is a very pretty and peaceful place to stay if you want easy access to the airport but to avoid the hub of the city. The gardens and pool are gorgeous, and there are lots of comfy spaces to sit and read. The spa is also beautifully done and I had a good massage pre-flight. The staff are very friendly and efficient and the rooms very spacious and comfortable. Definitely worth staying more than one night and touches such as complimentary afternoon tea were really appreciated.


Lovely as it is, being a bit of an oasis in overcrowded Colombo, we felt the hotel was in need of an uplift. The food is OK but overpriced.


We had the family room. Very nice and large. We had a good breakfast and lunch. Traveling with younger children, the pool could be a little bit warmer.


We spend one night here with our 1,5 year old in a baby cot in the adjoining room before flying back home and had a wonderful stay. The food was amazing and the rooms were large and had huge bathrooms. The spa was also nice and the staff very friendly. Highly recommended if you want to be close to the airport before take-off or after landing.


The Wallawwa is great for a stop before or after your flight. It is a lovely hotel. The rooms are lovely, the curtains block out the light really well, the bathrooms stunning! However because people generally stay before or after a flight it is very quiet and food service can take a while. There isn't much in the area so if you are staying longer be prepared for some driving to different places.


Fantastic food and staff and a beautiful hotel. Highly recommend. Booking drivers through them is very expensive though - much cheaper to arrange your own.


Super relaxing place that makes your adjustment to the holiday mood seamless. Happy smiley staff welcomes you any time of night whenever the long-haul flights land. The rooms are big and comfy, the grounds are beautiful. We loved the "green" aspect of it - they have their own vegetable garden and very proud to include the produce in the excellent cuisine. We enjoyed the pool, the afternoon tea and the massage. The kind of place that you would happily spend whole holidays, not just before or after the flight. We simply didn't want to leave.


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