Forget everything you hate about airport hotels. Let the Wallawwa in Sri Lanka sooth your fevered brow!

As this writer for the upmarket Forbes business and lifestyle magazine says, “even the most luxurious airport hotel is often hardly worth a mention. The Wallawwa in Sri Lanka is the exception”.

Coming from Veteran traveller Jeanine Barone, who knows something about airport hotels, that’s an endorsement not to be taken lightly.

Fresh from the highway, she writes that “the swirling dust and exhaust fumes, and cacophony of horn honking, is left far behind, replaced by a sweet-smelling landscape dripping with colorful flora and radiating a Zen-like sense of tranquility”.


The six-acre lush property is a stylish, deluxe boutique hotel, once the country estate of the head chieftain of Galle Fort and later, during World War II, the headquarters of the RAF.

With this long history, it’s no surprise that the hotel takes its name from the Ceylonese word, “wallawwa,” referring to the residence of a prominent family.

Says Jeanine: “Its courtyards, day beds, sofas and chaises beckon weary guests who may have traveled 15+ hours to arrive in Sri Lanka. (The only sounds you’ll detect are the croaking of frogs, the tweeting of birds, and the tinkling of water.)”


And the food! “Though the restaurant serves numerous Western dishes, it’s the Asian fusion items that are eye opening in terms of revealing the panoply of flavors in the Sri Lankan culinary repertoire.”

The lagoon crab croquette with sweet chili ginger dip was a big hit, as was the wine-infused squid with tomato and olive confit, micro herbs, and crisp parmesan gratin.

Last but not least, the Z Spa even includes a kid’s massage, one of five massages offered. (A blend of black tea, vetiver and black pepper oil is applied during the Z Spa’s signature massage.) The spa uses Ophir products that are handmade in Sri Lanka.

Read more here.

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