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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Nilaveli Beach Hotel definitely has the best grounds – sprawling, shady groves with hammocks and a gorgeous pool area – of any hotel in the area, as well as a beautiful stretch of beach, with views across to Pigeon Island...
This place has a cute gingerbread-house-like annex with a pleasant open-air restaurant, a rooftop garden and an internet cafe. Rooms all have windows and good ventilation; some have air-con. Tours of the ancient sites can be arranged...
Milano Tourist Rest
One of the best deals in town, Milano is a comfortable and modern house with 11 rooms, comfy beds, fridges and satellite TV. The management and service are very professional...
One of Kandy’s longest established guesthouses and still one of the best. Excellent views and scrupulously clean rooms decorated with Sri Lankan arts and crafts add up to a relaxing place to stay. Cheaper rooms share a bathroom...
We would love to tell you just how incredible this place is, but the simple truth is that no words have yet been invented to describe the sheer opulence of this hotel complex...
Jetwing Vil Uyana
Entering this open-air lodge you check in and enjoy a welcome drink while observing nature: crocodiles swim in the pond, monitor lizards dart through the grass and elephants come for an afternoon dip...
Ranweli Holiday Village
On the coast near Waikkal, the Ranweli Holiday Village is a showpiece ecofriendly hotel that has won dozens of prestigious international environmental awards...
The Trevene Hotel
Open the door of this beautiful colonial villa and you’ll discover that it contains an excellent guesthouse. The rooms are filled with so much old-fashioned charm you’ll struggle to fit yourself into them...
Ever wondered what happened to the hippies who bummed across Asia in the 1960s and ‘70s? Well, while some dropped out of life completely, others went home and became investment bankers who now spend their dollars reminiscing in hotels like this Bawa-d...
Ancient Villa Hotel
This leafy compound about midway between Sigiriya and Inamaluwa backs up to a lovely little stream, which is often visited by thirsty elephants...
Around 70 years ago they wisely stopped updating the furniture at this venerable tea planters’ club. Now, in a new millennium, this hotel is a jolly fine show...
The 137 spacious rooms come in vaguely Portuguese-colonial-style duplexes, and are set in 11 hectares of lush landscaping. A nature trail leads to a treehouse platform for viewing birds and monkeys...
Hidden away on 200 acres of unfenced grasslands between the Kandalama Hills and Pothana Lake, this boutique resort takes its name from the wild elephants that often wander through the area...
Palm Garden Village
It’s quiet at this modest resort, some 6km west of town. It has 63 large rooms in well-designed duplex units or separate villas, set in 38 hectares of gardens. Extras include tennis courts, an Ayurvedic spa and the occasional elephant...
It’s not quite the ‘highest view’ – that honour probably goes to the McLeod Inn – but the views are pretty good. Pastel-coloured rooms, quiet shared areas, and a spacious restaurant and bar add up to a good choice on winding Saranankara Rd...
This slightly tacky hotel is very popular with tour groups and is a decent-enough option with comfortable, though sterile, rooms set around a palm-lined courtyard and good pool...
Peacock Beach Hotel
A kilometre east of town on a pristine patch of beach, Peacock Beach Hotel isn’t quite as impressive as its pompous and showy namesake...
This large international business-class hotel buzzes with activity around the clock...
The Park Street Hotel
The sort of place you might have lived if you owned a plantation, this hotel is in a beautiful colonnaded 250-year-old mansion. The 10 rooms and two suites are very large and open onto breezy arcades and overlook gardens and the pool...
Hats off to the architects for making the most of Amaya Hills’ perfect location...
A new good-value guesthouse from the owners of the well-run hotel of the same name in Mt Lavinia. The five rooms here are in a three-storey house that hides behind a gate off a small lane. Everything is tidy and basic.
Ignore the jazzy website, the 15 rooms are modestly equipped; the pretty lakeside location is somewhat isolated.