Hotel rooms in Colombo are cheaper than ever due to the drop in tourism. This is bad for the industry, but it makes it a good time to be a couple. Here are some of the options, or the best places to find options.
If you look on Agoda there are an absurd amount of places for $1-4 (Rs. 200-700). Some of them are bunks in a shared hostel space but some are actual rooms. However, buyer beware. This seems too good to be true, and in life, you generally get what you pay for. So these offers are there, but we don't recommend them.
Medium Priced Rooms
In the more realistic range, you can try the Indian hotel aggregator OYO. OYO is very couple friendly. You can click their collection 'OYO Welcomes Couples' for places which are couple-friendly and they have a full FAQ on whether unmarried couples can book rooms. That page is for the Indian audience, but unmarried couples can also book rooms in Sri Lanka.
They have places available from Rs. 2,700 and a lot below Rs. 10,000.
Booking.com has some more realistic prices than Agoda. You have to sort through shared dorm rooms and something called a doorless budget room (what is that?), but there are a lot of options below Rs. 10,000.
Pikanite is a local startup that does last-minute bookings (tonight and tomorrow) and that's a good place to get some of the better hotels at significant discounts. This includes places in Colombo, and they also have places across the island. They have an app and a website and we've covered them before.
AirBnB rates have also dropped dramatically. Rooms that were going for nearly $100 a night are now going for $20-30 (Rs. 3,500 to 5,000).
There are some beautiful spaces, like the Turquoise House here, that are going for half of what they usually rent at.
For day rooms, quite nice places in Colombo with pools are going for cheap, or at least cheaper than before. For example, ME Colombo (a boutique hotel on Park Road) has an offer for Rs. 8800 (for two) which includes a superior double room, welcome drink, pool access and lunch.
Fairway Colombo also has day rooms for Rs. 5950 which includes secure parking in Colombo 1, which may be worth the price alone. You need to call 0112153100 for this offer.
Note that the day room offers won't be available as long as this article is online so call and check.
Since countries like the UK and France have only recently lifted their travel warnings, the Sri Lankan tourism industry is still a ways away from picking back up. One way we can help is by going out as locals, even for just a staycation in the city. Whether you're a couple or a family or just solo, now's a good time to treat yourself, help out the country and get a good rate while you can.