Colonial-era grandeur seems to be the go-to style for most Sri Lankan hotels, but few can claim the cachet of Mount Lavinia, the one-time official residence of a British Governor and one of the oldest hotels in the country. It seems His Majesty’s envoy Sir Thomas Maitland knew a thing or two about living in style, picking this dramatic, palm-studded promontory to build his imposing pad back in 1806, maxing out on Indian Ocean vistas.
Just 12km south of Colombo, you’re ideally located to check out the city, far enough away to hear the swish of palm trees.
Families in search of peace and tranquility on out-of-town safaris and couples here for the history-laden surroundings.
For rustic, toes-in-the-sand vibes, Seafood Cove serves superlative fish dishes down on the private beach: take your pick of the day’s catch and the chef will cook to order.
Check into the Governor’s Wing for heritage-rich rooms, all parquet floors and antique mahogany four-posters, before swanning off to afternoon tea among the restaurant’s columns and bamboo fronds.
The best seat in the house has to be on the vast oceanfront terrace – kicking back by the pool with a G&T for sunset is our favourite way to book-end any tour of Sri Lanka.