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From the waterfalls of the forest to the elephants roaming the parks, Sri Lanka is a destination of raw natural beauty...
And Sri Lanka hotels wow with impeccable service and a heartfelt welcome. There's a lot to love about the island nation of Sri Lanka. Warm year round and crammed with scintillating flavours, holidaymakers stay in hotels in the beach resorts and the bustling cities to explore the destination's highlights. There are plenty of them: from a fortress hewn into rock, to the stilt fishermen of Weligama, you can spend days peering into the treasure trove of Sri Lanka's attractions.
Discover where to find the best hotels in Sri Lanka...
Most holidaymakers opt for a room overlooking the Indian Ocean in one of the beach resorts on the west coast, though there are resorts all around the coastline of this striking island. Palm trees sway in the gentle breeze and lazy waters creep up the golden sands - the beaches are idyllic in Sri Lanka, and plenty of resort hotels have grown around the sands to accommodate curious travellers. Unpack your holiday wardrobe in resorts such as Kalutara, Wadduwa, Bentota, Beruwala, Mount Lavinia and Ahungalla, which run south on the west coast from the capital of Colombo, and Negombo and Waikkal, which are found to the north of Colombo.
You can check in at truly wonderful luxury hotels in and around the beach resorts. Decorated and designed to the highest levels and offering excellent facilities, such as spas an in-room Jacuzzis, these amazing four- and five-star hotels are the place to be for special holidays, with many honeymooners opting to splash out on the best hotels. You can find mid-range and budget hotels by the beach too, though the cheapest won't have swimming pools and masses of fancy extras. It's worth paying for a good hotel that has air-conditioned rooms however, as Sri Lanka is a tropical country and it's always warm on the coast.
Hotels around the southern port of Galle are popular, as are those around the lake at Kandalama, which sits at the heart of the nation. Head to the cities of Colombo or Kandy for unique stays in cheap, mid-range and five-star hotels, and visit any of the inland mountains, plantations, lakes and parks for a completely different experience. Here you'll discover lodges tucked away under a canopy of trees, hotels with colonial architecture and classic service, and elegant lodgings with far-reaching views of this green and inspiring land.
Find out what you shouldn't miss during your tropical break in Sri Lanka...
These are just the very best of a long and diverse list of things to do and see in Sri Lanka:
Top five attractions
It's worth visiting the capital to view the rich patchwork of architecture, cuisine, and cultures that cover this city.
Yala National Park
The most popular of Sri Lanka's many national parks; Yala is a sanctuary for thousands of birds and many elephants.
Sigiriya Lion Rock Fortress
This huge rock dominates the heartland of Sri Lanka. An ancient king built a palace fortress on the top of it, with a stone lion to protect the entrance. It is a mesmerising place.
This ancient city, now a World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO, was once the capital of Sri Lanka. There is much to see around the site.
The Sacred City of Kandy to be exact. Another destination exalted by UNESCO, Kandy is a sacred Buddhist site and home to the Temple of the Tooth.
Visit during one of the lively festivals that take place in Sri Lanka for an unforgettable holiday experience...
This island nation stages plenty of events that are worth a look.
Galle Music Festival; March: A weekend-long programme of traditional music can be heard in the Samanala Grounds in historic Galle. If you're staying close to this ancient port, you should take a look at the talented performers that flock here.
Sinhalese and Tamil New Years; April: Both observed around the same time, be in one of Sri Lanka's cities to see the celebrations.
Esala Peraher; Kandy; August: This Buddhist full-moon festival is a huge and naturally peaceful event that sees street parades and dancing. The tooth relic of Lord Buddha is carried on an elephant through the city streets.