We love Sri Lanka and can not recommend it enough as a wonderful destination for a family holiday. If you’re looking for ideas on where to go in Sri Lanka, take a look at this post. Or, if you’d like some itinerary ideas, then read this story about travelling down the south coast with kids, or this post, which is an adventurous road trip to see the heart of the country.
Here we share some of our favourite hotels in Sri Lanka along the south coast, all of which have been tried and tested for families.
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Family Hotels in Colombo & Around
Jetwing Beach, Negombo
Positioned among two acres of palm trees on a sunny strip of sand overlooking the ocean is Jetwing Beach, a five star, family-friendly property and member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It’s ideally located, just 15 minutes from the international airport, and makes an excellent place to start or end your Sri Lankan holiday. For little globetotters there’s a fantastic and well-managed kids’ club that is open from 9am to 5.30pm daily. Big kids and teens will love the water sports on offer including water skiing, windsurfing, banana boat rides, sailing, snorkelling and kite surfing.
Check latest room rates and reviews on TripAdvisor
The Wallawwa, Kotugoda
The wonderful Wallawwa is a stylish boutique hotel that has parents and kids jumping for joy. Positioned amongst three acres of Jungle Book type gardens, just 20 minutes from the international airport, the ‘W’ offers the perfect place to start or end your holiday. I honestly loved this hotel and can’t wait to go back! A lot of thought has gone into making this a family-friendly destination. From the Family Suites and complimentary baby cots for infants under two years to the in-room games (Jenga, Uno and a Rubik’s Cube) and the excellent kids’ menu, a stay here with kids is simply easy. There’s even a Kidz massage at the Spa that’s been specifically designed to help relax little ones.
Family Hotels in Bentota
Separated from Bentota’s almost deserted strip of sand by a cluster of palm groves is this charming family home turned boutique villa. The colourful two-storey property was designed by legendary architect Geoffrey Bawa and incorporates a myriad of reclaimed objects. Here you’ll find wooden doors, antique columns, repurposed window frames and staircases from abandoned theatres all given a new lease of life in a family-friendly setting. Although Club Villa doesn’t necessarily market itself as a family hotel, it is extremely welcoming to kids of all ages. As the majority of rooms are split-level we feel it is better suited to older children. That said the hotel’s one and only suite is perfectly set up for children of all ages. Check latest room rates and reviews on TripAdvisor
The River House
One of Sri Lanka’s most charming inland properties can be found nestled on a bend of the Madhu Ganga River. This five-bedroom colonial-style villa is surrounded by seven acres of lush tropical gardens, has a fabulous swimming pool and access to a near-private strip of beach. Kids of all ages are warmly welcomed and baby cots, extra beds and extremely helpful staff are all on hand. That said, owing to its position on the riverbank, the Kipling-esque gardens and its popularity with couples, we say that the hotel is best suited to teens. Two suites, the Kala and Kirinda, are inter-connecting which works very well for families. These are the only two rooms without river views or a private plunge pool but this simply means that you’re likely to have the main swimming pool all to yourselves!
Family Hotels in & around Galle
The Why House
Combining the best of boutique hotels with all the things we love about private villas is the beautiful Why House. Located on the south coast near Galle, this eight-bedroom hotel can be rented either by room or as a whole as an exclusive, fully-staffed house – perfect for that large family gathering! There’s lots of family accommodation options but more than that, the hotel has really thought about its younger guests. Badminton rackets, footballs, rugby balls, volleyball nets and board games are all available and the chef will happily arrange cooking lessons and cupcake decorating sessions for kids. The gardens are perfect for exploring and younger kids have the freedom to roam while you keep an eye on them from the dining area. Check latest room rates and reviews: TripAdvisor.
Spend your days at this splendid estate, set amid 10 acres of tropical garden, surrounded by palm trees, bamboo groves and a riot of colourful tropical flowers. The main house sits on a small hill towards the back of the garden, bordered by tea, pepper, rubber and cinnamon plantations. Its design resembles a Balinese villa with a wooden roof and antique temple doors. The grounds are a fascinating place to explore filled with over-sized creepers and ferns, enormous flower shrubs and giant heliconias. Secret paths criss-cross the gardens alongside silent waterways, lotus ponds and stepping-stones. Parents with little kids should note, however, that the garden is on a steep slope mostly covered in thick vegetation and is better suited to big kids and teens rather than toddlers. Check latest room rates and reviews: TripAdvisor.
This family-favourite hotel is a wonderful place to stay. Located just 8 km from Galle, the property is divided into three villas that house seven individual suites. The villas open onto a grassy lawn peppered with palm trees and the ocean beyond. At the centre of this tropical idyll lies a cobalt blue, 25m-infinity pool. Apa Villa is extremely easy with kids of all ages. Little kids will love splashing in the shallow stepped area of the infinity pool while you watch them from the veranda or one of the many sun loungers. The beach, while not great for swimming, is a fun to wander along in search of shells and hermit crabs. Check latest room rates and reviews: TripAdvisor
The Beach Hut
The Beach Hut is far more stylish than its name might suggest. Located close to beautiful Unawatuna Beach, just 10 minutes from historic Galle Fort, is this two-bedroom beachside villa that’s perfect for small families. This is a wonderful place for families, particularly little kids and big kids who are young (and small) enough to share the cosy second bedroom. Children can have the run of the place without you having to worry about them disturbing other guests and the open-plan layout downstairs means it’s easy to keep an eye on younger kids as they run around the garden and splash in the pool. See other family-friendly hotels around Galle on TripAdvisor.
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