7 Best Colombo Excursions, Sri Lanka Tourism
SRI LANKA HOLIDAY TIPS

WHERE TO STAY IN COLOMBO FOR 1 NIGHT

Where to stay in Colombo for 1 night is the main topic of this blog post. I believe you are also looking for a place to stay in Colombo as you plan a future tour to Sri Lanka, that’s why you have tumbled upon this post. In this guide, you will get valuable information on 2 places to stay in Colombo. And also we discuss about 1 beach resort near Colombo, because it provide easy access to the airport as well as more affordable options compared to Colombo.

With regard to your question WHERE TO STAY IN COLOMBO FOR 1 NIGHT, My answer is,

  • NEGOMBO (20 minutes drive from airport)
  • COLOMBO 2 (1 hour drive from airport)
  • COLOMBO 4 AND 6 (1 hour 20 minutes drive from airport)

Where to stay in Colombo for 1 night is difficult question to answer because there are so many places (provinces) that you can consider. However I would like to recommend you a hotel along west coast of Sri Lanka starting from Negombo to Colombo south.

If you love to have leisure and on your stay in Colombo choose a resort little bit away from Colombo and if you are a city lover you have the plenty of option in the heart of Colombo.

However, I’m not going to discuss on overpriced accommodation facilities on this post. A nice hotel should be reasonably priced, provide easy access to public transport, close to the tourist attractions, and it should have good reviews. Find some great tips in this post about “Where to stay in Colombo for 1 night”.

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Negombo beach

What is the most convenient place to spend a night near the airport?

If you are a foreigner that look for a place to stay for 1 night in Sri Lanka you might be wondering why I have recommend the Negombo instead of Colombo; because Negombo it is not in Colombo. In fact Negombo is well over 35km from Colombo. You correct, Negombo is not in Colombo but I recommend you Negombo because of many reasons.  

Negombo beach resort is much closer to the Colombo airport than Colombo city, this is a fact that most travelers are not aware of. Negombo provides much greater options with regards to the accommodation compared Colombo. Room rates in Negombo are about 25% lower than the rates of Colombo hotels.

If you are want to stay in Colombo for 1 night and like to have peace of mind (away from hustle and bustle), while staying in a comfortable hotel, forget about Colombo and head on to Negombo. However this recommendation is valid for travelers, who lands at the international airport of Colombo.  

Usually 99 percent of traveler lands at the airport of Colombo, Bandaranayke international airport. Even though it is called Colombo international airport, it is not in Colombo, it is about 35 km from Colombo and you need to make around 1 hour journey to reach Colombo from the airport. That’s why I have recommended you Negombo for your 1 nights stay instead of Colombo, if you do not have particular reason to show up in Colombo.  Negombo is the closest beach front resort to Colombo international airport with only 10 km distance and it takes only 15 minutes reach you hotel in Negombo.

WHERE TO STAY IN COLOMBO FOR 1 NIGHT, whet to stay in Colombo, where to stay in negombo

What are the benefits of staying in Negombo near the Colombo airport?

  • Save time on travelling
  • Save money on room rates
  • Have leisure on the beach
  • Swimming in the sea
  • Calm and quiet atmosphere
  • Many water sports activities that Colombo does not offer

Reaching Negombo is far easy and it takes only 15 minutes from the airport.  Negombo is one of the best beaches on the island and you get plenty of accommodation options for your 1 night stay in Sri Lank. It is a nice beach resort with wide sandy beaches. You will find large number of beach front hotels, restaurant, pubs, bars, cafes and interesting places that concentrated into Negombo. If you head to the international airport again on the next day, your departure transfer will be much easier from Negombo.  

Perhaps you are on the transit and wait for your next flight, if you do not know where to go for you overnight stay my recommendation is Negombo. Being the closest resort to the airport most hotels in Negombo provide a special discounted rate (this package is not available in Colombo hotels) for the travelers, who need a room only to sleep. The rate of the package is about 50% lower than the usual rate; however, it includes the breakfast too.  

So, make sure you consider spending you night in Negombo and relaxing on the pristine beaches while avoiding buy noisy city. Thereby you can also save lot of money and have more rest because it takes on 15 minutes reach the airport from your hotel. The Negombo beach resort is far away from the main roads; bust station and train stations means it is very calm and quiet here.  Usually there are many foreign travellers here and hotels are providing very comfortable accommodating and make sure the safety of their guests.  

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Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka

Postal regions and divisions of Colombo in a nutshell

Colombo is divided into 15 postal codes, Colombo 1 to 15; these zones have clear demarcations giving easy identification for administration purposes. However it might be a daunting task for traveler to identify the different zones and it is difficult even for most city dwellers.

So the question is in which postal areas that you find accommodation for your 1 night stay.      

Fortunately you do not need to be bother about it, because we are discussing mainly about Colombo 2, Colombo 3, Colombo 4 and Colombo 6 in this post and they are conveniently located along the main road bordering the Indian Ocean.  Ocean is the most prominent land mark to find those localities. Therefore it is easy to locate them.

There are so many other areas, where you can find a place to stay, however most of them are not known to the mass unless you have direct contact with those properties.

For your question “Where to stay in Colombo for 1 night”, my first answer is Colombo 2.

This is one of the busiest localities in the city and there is a large concentration of hotels in the area. Most popular star-class hotels are located in Colombo 2 as well as many important tourist attractions are also scattered around Colombo 2. Big players in hospitality industry such as Shangri La have their branches here. So if you are a traveler, who looks for high-end luxury properties, this is the place for you.

Most prominent land mark in Colombo 2 is the gall face green, which is open area for leisure activities. Galle green is open to the ocean on one side and on the other side is the Gale-Colombo main road. As you can see in the map it is just a narrow strip of land adjoining the Ocean. Majority of hotels are located along the Galle road and it is very easy to find them.

Colombo 2 is the best neighbourhood for travellers who interested of discovering the real Colombo. But the disadvantage is the high room rates. Colombo 2 also holds the timeless charm of Colombo, while buzzing with a live array of museums, galleries, casinos, night clubs, restaurants, cinemas; banks, airline offices, and most other recreation centre in Colombo, most of them are walking distance away from Colombo 2.

Cost of accommodation and food: $$ — a good ratio between rates and quality and our winner.

Top sights in Colombo 2 and surrounding areas: Gangarama temple, Galle face green, Beira lake old parliament, Pettah, Independent square, Viharamahadevi, Museum.

You may have seen some beautiful and romantic picture of Sri Lanka. They appear to be very beautiful and tempt you to travel to see those places. The images you’ve seen, we can certainly vouch for, and you’ll have no trouble finding them surrounding area.

Which hotels are reasonably priced in Colombo 2? For example, there is a long list of hotels in Colombo, and I have mentioned few names here. The average price is about $150 USD per night.

For my first stay in Colombo I would choose Galle face hotel, and if the Galle face is not available I would go for Galadari hotel.

Why these hotels? Both hotels are centrally located in Colombo 2 giving easy access most interesting tourist attractions, and most importantly you get the value for money.

Where to stay in Colobmo 2

  • Shangri La Hotel -5-star
  • Hilton Hotel -5-star
  • Galadari Hotel -5-star
  • Hotel Kingsbury-5-star
  • Ramada Hotel-4-star
  • Cinnamon grand Hotel -5-star
  • Cinnamon Lake Hotel -5-star
  • Fairway Colombo -4-star
  • Cinnamon red -4-star
  • Wonder hotel-4 star
  • The Steuart by Citrus -4-star
  • Mandarina colombo -4-star
  • Mövenpick Hotel -4-star
  • Yoho Colombo City Hotel-3star
  • Grand Oriental hotel -4 star
  • Galle Face Hotel -5-star

How to get to Colombo 2 from Colombo airport?

From Colombo international airport take the Colombo bound bus, which takes you to Fort main bus stations. Take TUK TUk or three-wheeler from Pettah bus station to reach your hotel, in it is only 5 minutes away by Tuk Tuk, and it would cost your around 3$ USD per drive. If you don’t have heavy luggage you can even have walk to the hotel it is about 10 minutes walk away. If you have extra large luggage you might not be able to travel by public buses, because they have no room in the luggage compartment. In that kind of situation you have to opt to travel by a taxi and that can be booked through an agent. A one way trip to Colombo 2 from the airport cost between $20-30 USD (inclusive all taxes and highway toll) based on the vehicle.  

Where to eat

Rajabojun, nice cozy local restaurant near Colombo 2, provides a large number of various local items in a busy styled setup. They give priority to local food items and ideal place for foreigners to feast on local delicacies.

Like to do some shopping?

Uptown Kandy is a shopping mall with hundreds of stalls selling various items such as clothing, jewellery, electronic equipment, and leather items. It is just walking distance away from most hotels in Colombo. Uptown Kandy is located in Colombo 3, one of the trendiest localities in Colombo. Colombo 3 is very popular among the Sri Lankans, where they come to eat, drink and shop.

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Pettah Colombo

I need to find an affordable accommodation for 1 night stay in Colombo?

If you look for an affordable place to stay in Colombo, your best bet is Colombo 4 and 6, the area known as marine drive, which is also located bordering the Ocean, the area marked in green on the map. Most hotels in Colombo 2 are overpriced, but in Colombo 4 and 6 you have better chance of finding affordable accommodation facilities.  

 Here you find many dozens of hotels, gust houses and other r type of affordable accommodations such as dormitories. Same time you get here a couple of 4 star hotels but however you do not find high-end luxury hotel nearby. Number of hotel is not as great as on Colombo 2.

Most tourist attractions such as temples, historical monuments, and shopping areas are located near Colombo 2 and Pettah area. Therefore the travelers, who stay in marine drive, need to need to travel about 7 km in order to visit important places in the city. However the travelers also opt to have a walk along the beach, which takes around 30 minutes.

However you find several upscale shops, which lay along the bustling Galle-Colombo main road, theme restaurants, and rich colonial mansions few kilometers away from marine drive.

Which hotels are reasonably priced in Colombo 4 and 6? For example, there is a long list of hotels in Colombo 4 and 6, and I have mentioned few names here. The average price is about $100 USD per night.

For my first stay in Colombo I would choose hotel mirage, and if the Mirage hotel is not available I would go for The Ocean.

Why these hotels? Both hotels are picturesquely located near the Ocean and most importantly you get the best value for money.

Where to stay in Colombo 4 and 6

  • Hotel Mirage -4-star
  • Marino beach -5-star
  • The Ocean front -3-star
  • Sai city hotel -2-star
  • Global towers Hotel -3-star
  • OZO Colombo -4-star
  • Fair view hotel-3 star
  • A One Hotel – “The Marine”-3 star
  • Hotel janaki 3 star
  • ME-Colombo -4-star

How to get to Colombo 4 and 6 from Colombo airports?

From Colombo international airport take the Colombo bound bus, which takes you to Fort main bus stations. Take TUK TUk or three-wheeler from Pettah bus station to reach your hotel, in it is only 5 minutes away by TUK TUK, and it would cost your around $5 USD per drive. If you have extra large luggage you might not be able to travel by public buses, because they have no room in the luggage compartment. In that kind of situation you have to opt to travel by a taxi and that can be booked through an agent. A one way trip to Colombo 4 and 6 from the airport cost between $20-30 USD (inclusive all taxes and highway toll) based on the vehicle.  

Where to eat

There are many fine dining possibilities near Colombo 4 and 6 but if you would like to go for much cheaper option, majestic food court is good option for you. It us just few hundred meters away from most hotels in Marine drive and offer many food varieties at an affordable rate.  Perhaps after dining you can check the shopping area of Majestic city shopping mall. Here you find various items such as clothing, electronic equipment and perfumeries in all popular brands and at varying prices.

Exploring the beaches unquestionably something you should do in this location, because you have the opportunity to visit one of the best beaches on the west coast. Beach is wide, calm and clean, however not recommended to swim.

Shopping

Majestic city shopping mall is just walking distance away from your hotel and there are many other shops in the areas selling all kind of branded clothing, shoes, and other items.

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Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity)

This blog is all about travelling in Sri Lanka, I am trying to illuminate my readers with a wide range of information related to Sri Lanka travel. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you need more information. Furthermore, we can organize your holiday package or any travel related requirement in Sri Lanka. Please contact us on admin@seerendipitytours.com... read more

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