With at least seven long weekends lined up for 2023, seeing more of our “backyard’’ should be on everyone’s resolution this year. We have five beautiful boutique hotels, set in unique destinations just hours away from Colombo. Each of these hotels is ideal for every kind of weekend, whether with your better half, friends, or family. In this blog, we’re listing down ideas to show you just how easy it is to plan a short but restful weekend getaway from Colombo.
1. Wallawwa in Negombo
If you’re looking for an alternative to hotels in Negombo, Wallawwa offers a historic and stylish setting, in 200-year-old tropical gardens. This award-winning 18-bedroom country house is renowned for its cuisine, jungle pool, exceptional spa, and an organic garden complete with goats. All this, packed into an atmospheric 18th-century manor house, which played an interesting role in the island’s World War II history.
Places of interest: Explore the Old Dutch canals, a cave and temple tour, and the local fish market (Sri Lanka’s largest), or enjoy diving and snorkelling during the season between December to April.
Distance from Colombo: Approx. 30 km or a 40-minute drive from Colombo
2. Kumu Beach in Balapitiya
This 10-bedroomed, contemporary beach hotel in Balapitiya is a postcard perfect weekend escape. Imagine stepping out from your room onto a palm fringed beach, seeing nesting sea turtles up close, poolside BBQs and long days doing very little.
Being located on a pristine stretch of south-west coastline, Kumu Beach is made for intimate escapes, and features chic indoor and outdoor spaces, and a generous lawn with infinity swimming pool – the kind of hotel you’d want to enjoy with the family. The beach is just footsteps away, and a short walk will take you to safe swimming spots.
Places of interest: Take in water sports in Bentota, boat trips along the Madu Ganga river and mask museums in Ambalangoda.
Distance from Colombo: Approx. 125 km or a 2-hour drive from Colombo
3. Lunuganga near Bentota
For a short weekend getaway from Colombo that factors in more than sun and sea, Lunuganga country estate packs in art, history, and a legacy of architecture in an unforgettable holiday setting. Just a 10-minute drive from Bentota, Lunuganga is perched on a 12-acre garden, on the banks of the Dedduwa Lake. Sleep here and experience Geoffrey Bawa’s legendary vision which he unfolded over a period of 40 years, at your own pace. The recent addition of a swimming pool, overlooking paddy fields gives you more reason to stay.
Places of interest: The garden tour of Lunuganga is included when booking a stay at this historic property. The lagoon ride, and a tour of nearby Brief Gardens is highly recommended.
Distance from Colombo: Approx. 100 km or a 1 hour, 30-minute drive from Colombo
4. Fort Bazaar in Galle Fort
Probably everyone’s first idea for a weekend getaway from Colombo, the charm of Galle Fort never disappoints, and a stay at Fort Bazaar gives you the perfect base to explore Asia’s only living fort. If your long weekend coincides with the last Saturday of the month, you’ll be in for a treat of live music at the Fort Bazaar’s courtyard. From now through to April, Galle Fort is a buzz of activity with restaurants, galleries and boutique stores open for the tourist season – an alternative to shopping in Colombo.
Places of interest: Explore the Galle Fort on foot and visit the nearby beaches of Unawatuna or Talpe.
Distance from Colombo: Approx. 145 km or under 2-hour drive from Colombo