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Best Places To Stay In Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Holiday Guide

     Welcome to the No.1 Website for renting luxury villas in Sri Lanka. Whether you want to escape from it all in a faraway destination or enjoy unique experiences in a still lesser known location, Sri Lanka offers the chance to relax, unwind and reset in spectacular surroundings.

     From the best things to do, to the best places to stay, best beaches, restaurants and more, read on for all you need to know about your holiday to Sri Lanka.

     Lying in the Indian Ocean, in the Bay of Bengal, Sri Lanka is a serene island getaway just off the coast of southern India.

This peaceful South Asian idyll is famous for its vibrant green hilltops thick with rainforests and tea plantations, magnificent golden coastline, luxury wellness retreats, ancient temples and spectacular wildlife.

All the best,

John Paul Donnelly

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Why choose Sri Lanka?

From arresting vistas to quiet yet stunning beaches, one of the largest populations of elephants in the world and a huge collection of Unesco World Heritage sites, there is plenty to see and do on this dazzling island.

      Sri Lanka's close proximity to India and assortment of colonial rulers, means you'll find a rich culture and history where beautiful Buddhist temples and monasteries sit alongside vestiges of its colonial past.

     Enjoy endless golden sands bordered by tranquil clear waters, unforgettable national parks where elephants, leopards, jackals, buffalo, birds as well as monkeys roam free, stunning luxury villas and historic fortresses.

      Hike, cycle, drive or take a charming train ride up into the hills, where you'll discover pretty temples interspersed with magical waterfalls, rainforests, tea plantations, quiet villages, monasteries and luxe wellness retreats.

      Take a boat trip out to sea for a spot of whale-watching or diving or unwind with surfing, white water rafting, meditation, Ayurveda treatments or yoga further inland. Wherever you go, you'll always find a warm welcome and delicious food await.

     Whether holidaying with family, on honeymoon or in search of a thrilling adventure, Sri Lanka is guaranteed to deliver something special.

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Best things to do in Sri Lanka

      Travelling across the island of Sri Lanka is simple and all attractions are easily reached. Whether you choose to journey by bus, train, tuk-tuk or rental car, it won't take long to get to your destination.

      From the best beaches, to the top attractions, restaurants and historical sights, here's our top picks of the best things to do and see in Sri Lanka.

Best things to do in Sri Lanka:

     Best beaches:

     Sri Lanka's diverse landscapes means its beaches are both beautiful and unique. Uncrowded and plentiful, they offer the rare opportunity to enjoy divine, unspoilt coastline without the usual crowds.

      For the best beaches in Sri Lanka there are plenty to choose from, here are some of our favourites.

     Bordered by palm trees, lush vegetation, Bentota lagoon and a smattering of luxe accommodation, Bentota Beach is a divine stretch of golden sand where you can enjoy all sorts of watersports in both the sea and lagoon.

     Unawatuna Beach is one of Sri Lanka's most centrally located beaches with easy access to shops and restaurants making it a favourite with families. For plenty of soft sand in a less frequented location, Uppuveli Beach is hidden in the village of Uppuveli, away from most of the action.

     For surfers, Arugam Bay is a must. Offering some of the best surf in Sri Lanka, Arugam Bay is an unspoilt idyll in the village of Arugam Bay. Mirissa Beach is another favourite with surfers of all levels where you'll find the strongest waves are reserved for the most experienced surfers over in Surfer's Corner.

      For the ultimate island escapes, Wijaya Beach, Hiriketiya Beach and Mirissa Beach deliver stunning coastline, watersports and exotic marine wildlife, such as turtles and whales.

Best local attractions:

      Sri Lanka is a fascinating island of contrasting landscapes and experiences, from elephants to ancient ruins and adventure sports, here's our top picks of the best things to see and do in Sri Lanka.

      Top of your list of things to do will be a safari through one of Sri Lanka's numerous national parks.

      These open nature reserves make it possible to get close to large populations of elephants as well as leopards, jackals, buffalo, birds, monkeys and lots of other magnificent wildlife.

     One of the best selections of wildlife can be found at Udawalawe National Park. With the Udawalawe Reservoir at its centre, Udawalawe National Park is home to around 500 elephants, as well as crocodiles and an excellent range of other exciting wildlife spread across its diverse terrain.

      For an extra special experience, head to Gal Oya National Park where it is possible to take a boat safari to witness elephants taking their ritual swim across Senanayake Samudra Lake.

     Of the many dazzling ancient sites and moving spiritual experiences to be had in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya has to be the most impressive. This sensational ancient rock is a dramatic fortress that has played host to both an imperial palace and monastery since its early beginnings.

     Today, Sigiriya is Sri Lanka's most famous UNESCO World Heritage site where you can explore the ruins of its ancient population and soak up the glorious views for miles in all directions.

      For more history, visit the birthplace of the Lipton Tea company on a tea plantation tour in Haputale. Take a trip around a tea factory then hike up to Lipton's seat, Sir Thomas Lipton's favourite spot to drink in the awe-inspiring views.

     Beyond the history and wildlife there are plenty of exhilarating tours to take. From a boat trip out to one of the many tranquil islands that line the coastline, to an epic train ride or hike high up into the hills, adventure sports, whale-watching, turtle sanctuaries and more, there is so much to do on this incredible island.

Best restaurants:

     Food in Sri Lanka is delicious, fresh and packed full of flavour. From curries to seafood, fresh breads and veggie dishes, there is always plenty of choice.

      For Sri Lanka's foodie capital, head to Colombo where'll you'll find the best collection of top restaurants on the island. In addition to Sri Lankan foods, you'll also uncover Italian, Chinese, Japanese, European and other cuisine on offer.

      Some of the best restaurants in Sri Lanka include: Curry Leaf, Ginger Kafe, FLOW, King of the Mambo, Nuga Gama, Sapphr Lounge, Palmyrah and Kaema Sutra.

Best places to stay in Sri Lanka

From luxury beachfront villas to luxury villas for large groups, villas with private pools and villas with private chefs, you'll find an excellent choice of stunning luxury villas for rent in Sri Lanka.

Browse our top picks of the best places to stay in Sri Lanka today to find the perfect luxury villa for your family or group.

The best places to stay in Sri Lanka

Discover more top luxury villas in Sri Lanka for rent or call us to discuss the best holiday villas in Sri Lanka to suit you and your family

Sri Lanka Holidays: Why go?

Find out more about the top local attractions in Sri Lanka:

Which airport do you fly into for Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka's main airport is Bandaranaike International Airport.

When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?

Make sure you avoid monsoon season when planning your holiday to Sri Lanka.

If you are going to stay on the west coast, south coast or hilltops of Sri Lanka the best time to go is from December to April. On the other hand, if you want to stay on Sri Lanka's eastern flank travel between May and October.

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Our Story

In 2005, John Paul Donnelly, began his luxury villa journey. He spent three years building resorts and holiday apartments in Alanya, Turkey, along with his brother, Joe. The concept was to create the most luxurious villas on the Turkish coastline and provide clients, along with their family and friends, the opportunity to enjoy exclusive holidays together.

By 2008, after the successful development of 3 resorts, JP had well and truly fallen into the world of villa rentals. With a portfolio of 6 villas and a desire to explore new places, he decided it was time to take the villa rental business outside of Turkey. He wanted to give his clients access to beautiful holiday rentals in destinations across the globe.

The expanding villa rental company was rebranded in 2011 to 5 Star Villa Holidays, and today 5 Star Villa Holidays offers over 10,000 luxury villas around the world.

JP and his partner, Helena are currently travelling the globe, devoted to hand selecting the best villas and property management companies, and giving them their stamp of approval! 5 Star Villa Holidays' ambition goes beyond being an ordinary holiday rental company. It is a marketplace for luxurious and exclusive villas around the world.

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