The Beach Hotel Negombo belongs to the Jetwing chain which has several hotels in town. This is a 5 star hotel and the most luxurious of the chain in the area. The rooms cost about 120 euros per night, sometimes a little more if it's high season. There is a gym, a spa, a center which offers massages, and a restaurant. Each room has TV, a flat screen tv with DVD, and you can make tea or coffee. All rooms have AC, a tub and separate shower, and a safe. Close to the airport, closer than the capital. For evening, there are several bars and restaurants in the area, but there are also 3 bars within the hotel itself.
Goldi Sands Hotel Negombo is situated in the tourist center of the town, on the beach, to the north of the historic center. It is a modern hotel that also uses the city for their weddings and corporate events, as it has a conference room there. Now they are doing a promotion for the season, with single room priced at $ 50 per night and double room at $ 55 per night, including breakfast. The rooms are large, they offer a total of 75, with a.c. and a private terrace, some with a sea view. The best time to visit this hotel is from the months of October to April. They have packages for honeymoons but, to be perfectly honest, I think staying there for a week would be boring, because the visits are limited options. There is a nice pool overlooking the sea.
Jetwing Blue Oceanic Hotel is on the east coast, near the fishing village of Negombo. Jetwing Hotels chain have several hotels in Negombo, this is in the lowest category - average service and low-budget. There's 102 rooms and some family suites. It's on the Negombo beach and the best season is from October to April. When we went in August the sea was brown, but hey, the hotel has a pool, tennis courts, fitness center ... they organize visits to the rest of the country, but given the state of the roads, if you're going to Kandy, for example, it is probably better to spend the night there than return to Negombo in the same day. The restaurant has a pizza area, seafood, roast meats ...it is a place where many Englishmen come to spend the whole week, up to two weeks, and spend all day at the pool sipping cocktails. For one night it is fine, prices starting at $55 per night.
Jetwings Seashells Hotel in Negombo is a fishing village 30km north of Colombo. We decided to go there because the price wasn't bad. A double room with private bathroom was 20 euros, and it came with hote water, a mosquito net, and a fan. It is a beachfront hotel, where many people spend a whole week, but I don't recommend it because you will get bored. But it is only 10km from the airport and as we arrived too late to go anywhere else, it was good. I liked the staff, as they were very helpful and accommodating, even when we went they were running into the street behind us to make sure that we had time for breakfast! The international buffet breakfast, was welcome after two weeks of spicy food. The prices are much cheaper online than in if you just arrive.
The Paradise Holiday Villaje is on the coast of Negombo, about 20 minutes by taxi from the international airport. It's a nice place with a great pool that is not directly on the beach but very close. The hotel has 16 rooms, decorated in a modern and simple decor. Some are like apartments with a microwave and a small kitchen. There are 12 apartments and some single rooms. The basic room costs $ 40 per night with breakfast, a 2 bedroom- apartment is $ 90 per day, but without food. There is also a restaurant that makes seafood and international dishes as well.
The Paradise Beach Hotel is a big contemporary hotel on the beach in Negombo. The best time to go is winter, we went in August and the "golden beach" was brown and dirty. But the hotel has a beach with umbrellas and chairs for guests. The rooms have a fan, are large and most have views of the sea. If this is not the case, and the hotel is not full ask to change. In the middle of a swimming pool there is a tropical garden and you can have your meals there. There is an animation about the weekend, but nothing special. Double rooms are $ 47 in low season and will include breakfast. Up to 55 in half a season, and $ 82 in high season. There are also triple and family.
The Ocean View Guest House is a tiny family run hotel in Lewis Place, in the middle of the biggest and most luxurious hotels. It has fair prices, but in low season, you can get great prices on hotels that are similar and have access to a pool, and breakfast included. The Ocean View does have ocean views but no direct access to the beach, you have to cross the street, and from there it is a 5 minute walk. The basic rooms start at $ 12, the balconies start at $ 15, and then have anac and are decorated a little thin at $25. You are bound to find best online few days before arriving at a hotel more stars. Organized tours across the country and you can go at the airport.
The Golden Star Spa is on Lewis Place, a street full of resorts and family pensions north of the town of Negombo. It´s right next to the sea and has a little shortcut through the back. Unfortunately the sea in August is brown and not great for swimming even though it´s really hot. Interestingly, it´s called the "Gold Coast" which is probably why the hotel is called the Golden Star. The high season is during winter in Europe. There is a pool and a total of 62 rooms that are a bit old but well maintained. The decor does seem a tad old too but it isn´t overpriced. A single room is 30 euros, a double is 37 and a triple is 50. There are sometimes deals on their website.
The Manchester Guest House is a small hotel is next to Lewis Place, around other hotels in the north of Negombo. The town center has colonial houses and can be found to the south, down the beach. The beach is right in front of the hotel, which is small. Run by a British - Sri Lankan couple who can help you plan the rest of your trip. It is clean, the rooms are a good size, but they are quite basic. There is hot water, and a beautiful garden behind the house. Rooms start at Rs 350, which is one of the cheapest in the area. They serve breakfast but it is not included.
The Icebear is a hotel in Negombo on the coast north of Colombo. It is a beautiful place with a beautiful garden but there isn´t a pool. It´s run by a Swiss German, and as is the norm in these cases, it´s more expensive than the local hotels. What you get in return though is nice colonial decoration, cleanliness, and peace. During high season, the rooms cost around 25 euros. The rooms were quite small but well groomed and some of them were air-conditioned. For the same price you could probably get a better room in a chain hotel with a swimming pool. Of course it´d be less charming but as the beach is not the best here, the pool really makes the difference. During the day, there´s a cafe where you can eat even if you aren´t a guest.
Prince Residence is a family pension in Lewis Place, Negombo , the touristic center. You're 30 min from Colombo, in fact closer to Colombo Negombo. The place is modern, the rooms are nice, and they have a fan. It is next to the beach but not in the nicest part. In general the big hotels take their piece of beach but this one is next to smaller hotels. The places charges a $ 15 per night and the rooms are like small apartments, providing laundry and guides if you want to follow the rest of the country.
The Ceylonica Beach Hotel is in the tourist center of Negombo Lewis Place. From Central Station, it costs about 150 RS by tuk tuk to reach it. They offer rooms without AC, but in August it was not necessary, it was a little more than 20 degrees at night, but with a fan over the sea breeze, it was enough. The rooms are simple and cost from 700 RS, ie about 5 euros per night for a double room. Some share a bathroom while others have a private bathroom. The hotel is organized around a small green garden that is very well maintained and where, if you ask in advance, you can eat your breakfast and dinner. If you order dinner over 2 hours in advance, not only will they serve you on time, but you will also have more options because they will have the time to go to the market to buy your food for dinner. You will definitely have fresh products and produce.
The Mount Lavina Hotel is a magical place, situated just half an hour away from the center of Colombo. It is very popular with expatriates and with members of the Sri Lankan government. It was formerly the residence of the Governor of Ceylon during the period of British colonization. It has been functioning as a hotel for just over 50 years. The decor of the rooms is colonial, with many lovely details. The rooms are not as expensive as one would expect, less than $ 100 per night, it seemed cheap compared to the new, charmless resorts that you tend to find in towns like Negombo. I highly recommend it for a honeymoon or an anniversary, a special occasion. But beware, during the summer the sea becomes cloudy and is not the most romantic place on the planet!
The VJ City Hotel is a decent budget hotel in Colombo for those in need of a last-minute place to crash or if you're just staying in Colombo for one night and don't want to spend too much (which was our case). The hotel is located on Sea Street, a seedy but safe thoroughfare in the heavily Tamil area near the port. The area around the hotel is actually filled with many [poi=3586247]small Hindu temples[/poi] and some shops selling small and inexpensive Hindu icons (which we thought were ideal souvenirs).
VJ City Hotel mainly seemed to cater to locals so you won't get any of the cheesy exoticism on offer at a lot of the Western-oriented hotels. Here, it's a clean bed and a clean bath on the cheap, nothing more nothing less. Our room was small but spotless and it had air conditioning, a small television, and a small, simple bathroom (I don't remember whether it had hot water or not). All for around 30 euros, I believe.
They run a skeleton crew, but the staff was friendly and pleasant and they offer to arrange airport transfers for you for a small charge. As often happens in Sri Lanka, our driver tried to charge us separately for the express toll-road to the airport (something we had already chosen and paid for at the hotel), but you just need to give the driver a stern "ok, please take us back to the hotel" and he'll say "ok, ok...don't worry" and drive you to the airport in a sort of sulky silence. All in all, a nice place to stay if you've got a night in Colombo before flying out.
YMBA, inspired by the YMCA, is the Young Men's Buddhist Assocation. In its early years, it only offered accommodation to men, but now it has double rooms, open to couples. Apart from this, there are some rooms that aren't shared and are very cheap, but only for children. Bring your own linens, or rent them. On the ground floor is a low-cost restaurant, where you can eat for 100RS, which amounts more or less to 70 cents. They offer cultural activities, from time to time. The daily schedule is available at the tourist information centre.
The YMBA is like the YMCA, but it is the Young Men's Buddhist Association. This branch is at the foot of the hill overlooking Kandy, no far from the lake, but it is on the opposite side from the centre, so you'll have to walk about 15 minutes to get downtown. It's a clean, tidy, and well-disciplined place, and if you leave, you cannot return after 10pm. The dormitories are very cheap - you can sleep for two euros a head. On the ground floor, there is a restaurant that is open to the public, and also offers very cheap food. The place organises activities, sports, and music for young people throughout the year. Downstairs, there is a tuk tuk taxi rank to take you to the centre in five minutes.
Drift BnB is an awesome place to stay if you're planning on being in Colombo for a few days. It's located right off Galle Road (the main coastal road in Colombo) and is about a 5min. tuk-tuk ride from Galle Face Green (around 100-150 rupees) and a 7-8min. tuk-tuk ride to the Colombo Fort Train Station (200 rupees). There's not a whole lot in terms of monuments that you can walk to, but the transportation is cheap enough that you can reach pretty much every major sight in Colombo in under 10 minutes. There are, however, a lot of good bars and restaurants in the area, including the world-famous Barefoot Cafe, within a 5 minute walk.
Drift is billed as a B&B but really it's a hotel, which is fine. The rooms are thankfully air-conditioned and have comfy beds, satellite television, and hot showers (though you'll probably be taking cold ones to cool off...it is Sri Lanka after all). One nice thing about Drift BnB is that it's got a youthful boutique feel to it without every crossing over into backpacker territory. The main waiting room has some psychedelic-style artwork and the rooms have bohemian touches like old Cointreau bottles serving as flower vases. The staff speaks perfect English and are really friendly. They even have a map prepared of all the good cafes and restaurants in the area.
All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better place to stay in Colombo. It's central, quiet, and has just the perfect blend of tropical authenticity and modern comfort to make for a really nice stay in the city. I'd recommend it 100%.