I once spend a great holiday in Sri Lanka, but this was already 15 years ago. So I decided to visit the beautiful island again this year, which was a good choice, I definitely do not regret it. I would like to tell you about my impressions – and of course I do have some recommendations for you.
Development and growth: This is Colombo
To anticipate an outcome of this text: I think that the island of Sri Lanka changed a lot within the last 15 years. When I visited the island the first time, there were no asphalted streets at all whereas today they do have a highway to the south of the island. Of course this is good for visitors and travellers because you can move way faster. Nevertheless it is a strange feeling to see the huge differences.
The capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo, also changed a lot within the last years. Since the Civil War ended, five years ago, some huge developments happened. Colombo is a very busy city where you can find a lot of cars, shops and markets. If you want to get a good impression of what is going on in the everyday-life of Colombo, you should take a ride with one of the tuk-tuks. Riding a tuk-tuk is very cheap and fast, compared to busses or cars due to the fact that there is always a lot of traffic in the city – as in most big Asian cities.
Where to stay in Colombo, Sri Lanka
As Sri Lanka is, compared to other islands, quite popular, there are plenty of hotels, motels and Bed & Breakfast accommodations in Colombo. If you ever decide to spend your vacations in Colombo, I can highly recommend two hotels there. The first one is called“ Casa Colombo” and the second one is called “Cinnamon Grand Hotel”. They are both 5* hotels.
The first hotel I would like to recommend is the boutique hotel Casa Colombo. The hotel is an old colonial villa with 12 suites only. The first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about this 5* accommodation in Sri Lanka is the excellent service. Casa Colombo offers a 24 hours concierge – this means that there is always someone who helps you when you have any questions or wishes during your vacations in Colombo.
We rented one of the suites – and did not regret this choice as we slept really well in the comfortable king size bed J. I also liked the nice bathroom and the overall look and interior design of the suite. I know that the furniture and design was chosen and done by one of the most famous designers from Sri Lanka, Lalin Michael Jinasena.
As I already mentioned, the service in the hotel is extraordinarily good and the staff is very helpful and friendly. Also the food is very good. In the hotel Casa Colombo you can find arestaurant for breakfast and dinner. If you want to, you can also take your food into the lobby, which is also open permanently. We always took our breakfast in the lobby as we really liked the fact that the big windows were open. It was great to have some fresh air during breakfast in the morning. If you ever wish to have different food from what is offered, you simply have to ask the staff. All of our special wishes were fulfilled. And believe me, whenit comes to food, we always have a lot of special wishes :-)!
Behind the hotel Casa Colombo you can find very nice pools with cabanas and chairs where you can spend your free time and relax on the pool. Unfortunately the spa was closed due to renovation during our last stay. But I’m sure as soon as it will be re-opened, you will enjoy every minute you spend there.
If you like to have dinner or a drink in a great surrounding in the evening I can highly recommend a bar, which you can find in the front of the hotel. One part of this bar in Colombo, Sri Lanka is open, the other one is closed. In the open part of the bar there is a nice garden area with trees, flowers and water. When we stayed at Casa Colombo we usually spent our evenings in this outside area, enjoyed a cold drink and had dinner. They do have a regular menu for dinner and also some small appetizers, like tapas. But I don’t think that you can compare the tapas to the original Spanish ones. I always prefer to have local food, so I recommend choosing curry, prawns, octopus or fish when you are in Casa Colombo, Sri Lanka.
About the Hotel Cinnamon Grand Hotel I will tell you more next time 🙂