The Wallawwa.

The Wallawwa is one of the nicest hotels near the airport. It’s an elegant family house converted into an excellent boutique hotel. What sets it apart is the proactive staff and the fact that it’s a boutique hotel with fun stuff to do inside (croquet, RISK, Jenga, etc).


We had a long-standing invitation to check out The Wallawwa which we took up as the highway was opening. The hotel is about 15 minutes from the airport, where the Expressway ends. It was once an isolated family home but urbanity is getting closer and closer.

The former colonial home (where Shru had coincidentally been before) was essentially just a house and verandah. For the hotel they’ve expanded it to 17 rooms, a spa, restaurant, pool, etc.

The Rooms

The Garden Suite

We stayed in the Garden Suite ($195 to $250 per night, depending on season). That’s not cheap, but this is increasingly becoming the average for decent Sri Lankan hotels. What you get for the monies is a nice, spacious room with an excellent bathroom, safe, four-post bed, etc.

The spacious bathroom

We’ll cover the bathroom first because, honestly, that’s the most important thing about a hotel room. This one is excellent, huge, big mirrors, good shower, etc. It avoids that awful open-concept bathroom trend (no matter how much you love someone, you still want bathroom privacy). There’s a door, but no lock, which is workable.

The toilet itself is nicely hidden away so you can’t even see it entering the room. The full length mirrors are nice, however, you also get a sometimes horrifying view of yourself in the shower, depending on what shape you’re in I guess.

Our only complaints would be no hand-bidet, but this place – as you’ll begin to see – seems to be built for tourists. Oh and the liquid soap simply doesn’t lather up much, we wouldn’t mind a bar, or at least a loofah to get some soapy action going.

The main highlight of the room, for us, was that there were room games – Jenga, Uno, and a Rubiks Cube. Very cool. Hotels too often overestimate how amusing a nice room is. It’s nice, but then what to do?

The Food

Lunch curry spread

As soon as we got in we ordered some food. Getting food off-menu is a bit expensive here – Rs. 1,500+ for a rice and curry. The other stuff is regular prices, Around Rs. 1,000 for wraps and all. We tried various rice and curries for lunch, along with a coronation curry wrap.

The curries are very good, though made for a western palate. That is, no chili. What they do have is very fresh ingredients and subtle flavors. The black pork curry was good and the brinjal was truly excellent.

Pancakes with bacon

Breakfast is where the place really shines, and that’s included in the room rate. We had the pancakes with blueberry compote, adding some extra bacon. Excellent pancakes, fluffy, delicious, with maple syrup. The eggs benedict were also bomb. The breakfast comes with fruit, home-baked bread, jams, and quality tea or coffee. Great hangover cure.

The Service

Sorbet by the pool

The service was so good I don’t even have pictures of them. They were invisible except when they were needed. What really stood out was that they went beyond taking requests well to anticipating them. For example, we were sitting by the pool and they spontaneously brought out sorbet. A little touch, but it’s nice to be surprised now and then.

When it came to regular stuff – taking orders, changing orders, asking questions – the staff was well-informed, helpful and plain nice. The service really stands out here and makes you wonder why more Colombo places can’t be the same.

The Location

The driveway

The Wallawwa is a beautiful house on a nice piece of land. The renovations make it somewhat disorienting inside but there are nice little courtyards and everything is reasonably centered around the verandah. The only thing is that the city has encroached and now, from certain parts of the hotel, you can hear buses, street noises, etc. From the back of the Garden Suites you can also see electricity pylons. There’s nothing much they can do about it and most parts of the hotel are quiet. This is not, however, an isolated hotel anymore.

The place is actually in Kotugoda but it’s close enough to an airport that I think it’s the best choice for well-heeled travelers not going to Colombo (on their way to Kandy, Kalpitiya, etc) or those on their way out. It’s basically the best airport transit hotel.

What makes it cool, for us at least, were that they have a wonderful games room and library. Not huge, but they have RISK, Scrabble, Carrom, some form of checkers and a lot of good books. Very few hotels actually have interesting amusements and this one does. They also have a nice gift shop and what seems like a nice spa, so you can have a nice contained decompress here.

In terms of stuff nearby, there’s now the Katunayake Expressway. We thought it was closer to Negombo than it is. You can pop out for dinner, but it’s actually not that close. This hotel is one you don’t actually mind staying in, cause it’s amusing enough.


The spa courtyard

The Wallawwa is a lovely boutique hotel near the airport and the new airport road. It’s not cheap, but you get good value for money in terms of service, location and an entertaining place to stay. The Wallawwa goes beyond being a nice boutique hotel to being one that’s fun to hang out in (croquet anyone?).

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp




The Delightful Indian Cuisine at Navaratna by Taj Samudra

Navaratna is an Indian Restaurant located in Taj Samudra Colombo. Taj Samudra is a 5-star


10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

An ideal dinner date spot in Colombo – Ward 7

By Shamrina Carim Are you struggling to decide where you could have a decent fancy


Reaching new heights at Virticle by Jetwing’s rooftop bar & restaurant

We were so excited to go to the highest rooftop bar & restaurant in Colombo

Highlights Kamu

Satisfy your Kottu cravings at KottuLabs

Located in Nawala down a little lane, Kottulabs is home to the widest and most

Highlights Kamu

A flavorful journey to the North East by Paadum Meen

An ecstatically beautiful place located down Frankfort place, Bambalapitiya has caught a significant eye for

Highlights Kamu


Savor The Salt Of The Sea At Hilton Colombo

Fresh from the seafood markets to your table Colombo, Sri Lanka – 20th June 2022 – Partake


10 Types of Sri Lankans in Petrol Queues

By Janani Vithanage These days, spending time in the petrol queue is almost every Sri

Highlights Trending

Celebrating life with Perera & Sons

by Shamrina Carim Perera & Sons holds a privileged history of catering to the most

Highlights Trending

Before You Watch… Jurassic World Dominion

By Shamrina Carim The movie On a critic of honest opinions, Jurassic World Dominion is


Treats fit for a King at Ramada Colombo this Father’s Day!

Enjoy Father's Day special Grill, Lunch, Dinner, Deliveries, and Stays… This June 19th, we all


Celebrate Father’s Day with your Super Dad at Hilton Colombo!

Looking to express your gratitude for the superhero of your household this Father’s Day? Hilton


Yamu Guide.

10 Places to Get Sushi in Colombo

By Janani Vithanage A Japanese dish most often presented as vinegared sticky rice, seafood or

Highlights Kamu Yamu Guide

The ideal skin care routine with Bio Oil

By Shanali Fernando Feeling overwhelmed, confused, and/or frustrated by the multitude of competing messages about

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 common causes of Dry Skin

The general cause of itchy, dry skin might seem like a no-brainer: It's a lack

Highlights Yamu Guide

7 Places to Watch the SL Vs. AUS ODI Matches

By Janani Vithanage Sri Lankan cricket may ot have been on its best footing over

Highlights Yamu Guide

5 Cooking Tips from Knorr

By Janani Vithanage Being a mother in today’s world is no easy task. From waking

Highlights Yamu Guide

How Bio Oil reduces scars

By Shanali Fernando Still curious about this little pink bottle of magic and what it

Highlights Yamu Guide