Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo has some pretty fabulous places to stay – and eat, especially for families.
There are many travellers who don’t rate Colombo. And in truth, it is a dusty, over-populated city.
But it has some excellent hotels, fabulous restaurants and if you’re into jewellery, the gems & jewellery is some of the best in the world. Plenty of royals and politicians have been here to buy jewellery, including Prince Charles who bought sapphires there for Diana. Sri-Lanka is famed for both white and blue sapphires, and there are many, many other stones mined there.
This is a sample of some of the city’s places to stay:
Shangri-La Hotel; This is the city’s newest and its pretty fabulous on all levels. It even has its own fragrance.
The towering lobby serves a sensational high tea kids love. All of the restaurants are top notch. The ground floor steak house is stunningly decorated and there are two bars for an international standard drink.
Serious money has been invested in the interiors which are spectacular.
When staying there, the pool is gorgeous. Rooms are clean, spacious and neutral in tones. Suites overlooking the ocean are the best. This the kind of 5 star hotel you don’t need to leave.
The Taj Hotel; The rooms are undergoing renovation and the new interiors are world class. Pastel hues, plush king size beds and large bathrooms make this a luxurious five star place to stay.
The gym is sensational with every type of equipment you could dream of, TV’s with inspirational workouts to follow and plenty of cardio as well as weight equipment.
The breakfast buffet is excellent with freshly made eggs and local delights.
There’s a huge bar in the lobby, with reasonable wines and an excellent Chinese restaurant.
Galle Face Hotel: This Hotel’s colonial architecture and location right on the ocean makes it a classically elegant place to stay.
Be aware there were two very different standards and styles of rooms. Some are renovated and spacious, others are old and small.
The pool is large and right next to the sea. A The poolside restaurant is a favourite for a casual lunch, and has a European feel.
The hotels celebrity history is outlined in the bar, a pleasantly old fashioned place to kick off or finish an evening out. The main restaurant has a different buffet each night from Japanese to Sri-Lankan and Western, but there’s something about the hotel that’s old world luxe.
Cinnamon Grand has a shopping centre on site, a huge sprawling lobby, gorgeous ground floor cafe and so on. Ideal for families with young children, as you don’t have to leave. Rooms are reasoned sized, great pool area. Everything is reasonably priced.
Cinnamon Red is a bargain. It has a fabulous rooftop infinity pool and bar with views across the city. This is a budget family or business hotel, but once you get past the tacky red interiors, it’s good value for money. The rooftop is great fun by day or night, and the breakfast buffet excellent. Great location to walk to some of Colombo’s best restaurants.