“Serenity, spaciousness and style at this stunning, water-lined hotel near the Cultural Triangle's main sites”
The namesake water gardens are crafted out of former rice terraces, and the hotel's mature tree-edged setting is incredibly tranquil. The 30 reed-fringed or over-water villas are freestanding, with cutting-edge facilities; most have private plunge pools. Communal areas are smart and chic, too, with open-sided terraces for drinking and dining, and a huge swimming pool, all carefully positioned to view Sigiriya. The local heritage sites are why you come to this region, but the hotel's idyllic setting is motive enough for staying put and relaxing for a few days, rather than simply whistling through on a tour. And thanks to its spa, gym and separate kids pool, there's plenty to keep everyone happy.
- An inspiring architectural design focused on Sigiriya’s silhouette
- Delicious Sri Lankan food, or Western options if you prefer
- The peaceful grounds teem with wildlife, particularly peacocks, lizards and monkeys, which you can spy from your terrace
- Luxurious villas are huge, with 1-2 bedrooms and separate living areas. Most have private plunge pools
- Well located for visiting Sigiriya, Dambulla's Unesco-listed cave temples and the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa
- Only 2 Deluxe Villas have views of Sigiriya
- No other restaurants within easy distance; book half board
- The road leading to the resort is unpaved and can get bumpy after heavy rain
- When we visited, some pathways weren’t lit at night, but there are torches in the rooms or you can call a golf buggy
- Snakes inhabit the marshy grounds, but all pathways are raised from the watery gardens
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar 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
- Bicycles Available
The 30 stylish villas are some of the largest 'rooms' in Sri Lanka. All have smooth floors, full-length windows and smart contemporary furnishings, including cloud-like king-sized beds dressed in pillowy duvets and finely woven bedspreads for melting into. The lounge with TV, sofa and dining table is totally separate from the bedroom. Some villas are a little hike from the main areas but you can always call for a buggy if you're feeling lazy.
All villas have coffee machines, fast WiFi, Bluetooth speakers, even binoculars for spotting wildlife from your bed or private terrace. Bathrooms have tubs and walk-in rain showers. The Superior Deluxe Villas are essentially identical to the starter-level Deluxe Villas, with the luxurious addition of a private plunge pool on their terrace. The 4 Duplex Villas also have plunge pools and sleep up to 5 in 2 bedrooms (a ground-floor twin and a first-floor king). They also have roof terraces with views of Sigiriya.
- Air conditioning
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Although there's a lovely glass-walled air-conditioned dining room, we preferred sitting outside on the wraparound veranda for meals. There are no other restaurants nearby so most guests book on a half-board basis; you choose from a handful of main courses as part of a substantial 5-course set dinner. If you’d prefer more choice or lighter meals, opt for B&B basis to access their a la carte menu, too.
Food is delicious - and beautifully presented. For breakfast, Sri Lankan curries and sambols are paired with a medley of sides (milk rice, string hoppers, hoppers and coconut roti) as opposed to just one option, and we enjoyed everything we tried. The rice and curry for lunch, which comprised multiple bowls of individual curries, was also very good. On the dinner set menu there’s always a local option alongside a few Western mains such as rack of lamb, grilled chicken or fish.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Room service
- Unesco-listed Sigiriya is why you're here. The hotel offers guided visits to help you understand its religious and cultural significance and history
- Dambulla’s sacred cave temples are another must, each festooned with Buddhist statues and vibrant well-preserved murals
- The hotel has bicycles for exploring your rural environs independently or step out on foot on their 2-hour guided nature walks
- Day trip to the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, or admire Mihintale's incredible frescoes
- Safari in Minneriya National Park, home to wild elephants and diverse bird life. Sightings are most frequent between August and October
- Lounge by the huge swimming pool oror indulge in a wide array of relaxing massages, body scrubs, wraps and holistic treatments at the Ayurvedic spa
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Private guided tours
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
The hotel welcomes families and has a children's pool, Duplex Villas with 2 bedrooms apiece, a kids menu and a babysitting service. Children will be fascinated by Sigiriya's history and dominating presence on the landscape, and by the nearby Dambulla caves.
Family friendly accommodation:
All villas can fit an extra bed or baby cot, but the most suitable rooms for families (with up to 3 children) are the Duplex Villas. These have a ground-floor twin bedroom and a first-floor double bedroom, plus a roof terrace with views of Sigiriya. Each has a private terrace and plunge pool.
With advance notice
Baby cots, high chairs and night lights
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
A dedicated children’s menu
Families Should Know:
The paths through the water gardens are unfenced and unlit at night.
- Airport: 146km (Colombo)
- Hospital: 12km
- Shop: 3km