Top family resorts in Sri Lanka

With its relatively compact area offering wildlife-rich national parks, fascinating Buddhist monuments, and numerous golden sandy beaches, it is no surprise that Sri Lanka is becoming one of the most popular family destinations on earth. Here is our guide to the top family resorts in Sri Lanka.
The Frangipani Tree hotel pool and ocean view in Thalpe, Sri Lanka. Photo: Press release
The Frangipani Tree hotel pool and ocean view in Thalpe, Sri Lanka. Photo: Press release

Elephant Stables, Kandy

Set on a hill facing out toward the Knuckles Mountains range, the Elephant Stables is an upmarket boutique hotel housed in an old colonial bungalow within easy reach of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. Individually styled rooms and suites feature elegant teak wood furniture including 4-poster beds, as well as air-conditioning and flatscreen TVs. The hotel welcomes families with children. Three suites feature ample space for additional beds – one has an interconnecting room with bunk beds. Kids will also love staying in the luxurious tented suite, which has room enough for up to five guests. There’s an airy restaurant, a chic infinity pool surrounded by lush gardens, and a spacious lounge complete with a collection of classic board games.   

You can enjoy a stay at the luxurious Elephant Stables as part of Insight Guides’ Sri Lanka Family Adventure trip.

Outdoor pool at the Elephant Stables. Photo: Press release

The Frangipani Tree, Thalpe

Set in tranquil well-kept grounds, the Frangipani Tree is an upscale beachfront boutique hotel in Thalpe, near Galle on Sri Lanka’s south coast. Nine elegant, spacious contemporary suites housed in three separate villas, that can be hired individually, come with four-poster beds, air conditioning and sofa beds. The helpful staff are only too glad to rearrange beds in order to accommodate larger families. Suites feature garden bathrooms, private terraces and ocean views. The hotel's chic outdoor pool is surrounded by sun loungers and there is a stylish open-air restaurant as well as a private beach area. 

Experience a relaxing stay at the Frangipani Tree as part of Insight Guides’ Sri Lanka: Culture and Coast tour.

Room exterior at the Frangipani Tree. Photo: Press release

The Weir House, Ulapane

Set amid lush gardens on the slopes of the Central Highlands south of Kandy, the Weir House provides guests with a very personal, Sri Lankan homestay experience. Featuring elegant, contemporary furnishings throughout, the villa houses airy dining and living areas. Just a handful of air-conditioned guest rooms open onto terraces or verandahs and one comes with two king-sized beds making it ideal for a family of four. 

Tasty home-cooked meals are served in the dining room which opens out onto the leafy gardens and there is an outdoor pool with wonderful views of the surrounding hillsides. The friendly staff provide wonderful hospitality and are happy to advise on daytrips in the surrounding area, including tours of coffee gardens and local tea plantations, ensuring a memorable stay for the whole family.

The Weir House, Ulapane. Photo: Press release

Satin Doll, Mihiripenna

Moments away from the golden sands and turquoise waters of Mihiripenna Beach, and within easy reach of historic Galle Fort, Satin Doll occupies an expansive renovated beach villa set amid verdant palm tree-dotted gardens overlooking the ocean. Blending colonial charm with modern sophistication throughout, the villa’s ample central living areas house a library and TV lounge on a mezzanine floor. Paired guest rooms in two wings make them ideal for families, and there is a family suite with bunk beds. All rooms feature high ceilings, 4-poster beds and air-conditioning, and extend onto verandahs that open out to the gardens and swimming pool. 

The villa’s formal dining room is complemented by a shady courtyard dining area and an ocean-view pavilion which is perfect for catching breathtaking sunsets. In the mornings, if you rise early enough, you may catch a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s famous stilt fishermen, who fish offshore just in front of the hotel.

Satin Doll's outdoor pool and courtyard area. Photo: Press release

CoCoBay, Unawatuna

Set amongst palm trees overlooking a small bay, CoCoBay is a secluded upmarket hotel within easy reach of Galle Fort and the golden sands of Unawatuna Beach. Colorful, contemporary accommodations come with whirlpool tubs, and balconies or terraces with sea views. Spacious suites with large sitting areas and private plunge pools comfortably sleep families of four, while the calm waters on the hotel’s private beach are perfect for little ones to swim in. 

Guests can dine on Mediterranean-influenced dishes at the beachfront restaurant, unwind on shaded sun loungers, and enjoy complimentary yoga classes while taking in ocean views. The hotel’s friendly staff are happy to arrange surfing classes and advise on making the most of local activities for all the family including whale watching trips and snorkeling excursions.     

Room with an ocean view at CoCoBay. Photo: Press release

Cinnamon Wild Yala, Palatupana

Set in verdant tropical gardens, Cinnamon Wild Yala is a refined beachfront resort just minutes away from the boundaries of Yala National Park. Spacious wood-furnished beach or jungle chalets with ocean or forest views feature air-conditioning and private balconies. Additional beds are available for kids to sleep in.  

Tasty Asian and Western cuisine is served in the stylish restaurant and there is an expansive outdoor pool with a sundeck and loungers. The friendly staff have fantastic knowledge of the park and surrounding area, and can arrange bespoke tours including bird watching, nature walks and jeep safaris. 

Stay at the Cinnamon Wild Yala and enjoy authentic safari experiences as part of Insight Guides’ Unforgettable Sri Lanka trip.

The chalets at Cinnamon Wild Yala. Photo: Press release

Water Garden Sigiriya Hotel

In the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, within easy reach of the monumental Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the Water Garden Sigiriya Hotel is set amid expansive leafy gardens threaded with canals and streams. Refined and spacious contemporary villas come with 4-poster beds and plunge pools. Duplex villas with large living areas, two bedrooms and outdoor pools with sundecks are perfect for families. Delicious international cuisine is served in an elegant restaurant and there is a large outdoor pool to relax in, as well as extensive winding trails to explore on bicycles.

Water Garden Sigiriya Hotel. Photo: Press release

Ready to take a family trip to Sri Lanka?

Insight Guides can help organize and book wonderful trips in Sri Lanka for you and your family. Simply get in touch to share your ideas for the trip and to let us know when you would like to travel. Local travel experts will then create a personalized itinerary especially, which you can amend until you are totally happy with every detail before booking.

Updated 24 January, 2020