Wallawwa, near Colombo

Although it takes just 15 minutes to drive here from Sri Lanka’s main international airport, the Wallawwa is anything but a traditional airport hotel. Set in five acres of 200-year-old manicured tropical gardens, this chic boutique hotel near Colombo is easily accessible – from Negombo, Galle and Kandy – yet feels entirely secluded and serene.

Set in an exquisitely renovated colonial manor house – occupied at one time by the Royal Air Force during World War II – this celebrated hotel is home to 18 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, a garden-wrapped Indian-tiled swimming pool, a library, a decadent spa, a fruit and vegetable garden and a top-rate restaurant.

Staffing is first class and teams of butlers tend to guests in the traditional way, whether proffering lemon sorbet refreshers to guests around the pool, hosting local experiences or serving up exquisite pan-Asian and international meals.

Although the Wallawwa is ideal for anyone looking to recuperate before or after their flight, or as an alternative to the inner-city hotels of Colombo, its Secret Garden-like seclusion and tranquillity merit a much longer stay. Its magical setting also makes the Wallawwa an idyllic tropical wedding venue.

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