The landscape of Sri Lanka swings between verdant hilly regions and dreamy beaches, as well as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and quaint fishing villages with smiling locals. It’s endowed with so many opportunities for unique experiences that large and small families as well as children are easily transported into holiday mode here. These 20 resorts in different parts of the country can give your holiday a fun familial spin.

1. Anantara Kalutara, Kalutara

This magnificent property is an all-starter, because there really isn’t anything we’d complain about. From the contemporary Sri Lankan design to its excellent food and impeccable service, Anantara Kalutara upholds its reputation as one of the best in Sri Lanka. For guests to keep busy, it has two pools, water sports by the beach, an indoor cinema and a kids club. You can choose from ocean view rooms, pool suites and even villas depending on how large your group is.

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Location: St Sebastian Rd, Kalutara, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: For an activity-fueled, luxurious stay
Price per night: 11,500 INR or 30,000 LKR or 165 USD onward

2. Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle, Tangalle

This expansive resort is part of the Anantara chain of hotels, and is considered one of the most luxurious and hospitable in the country. The ocean-view property covers 42 acres of land, which is more than enough for families to play and relax at. There is a split-level swimming pool, a small beach that is a nesting ground for turtles and a kids club. It is also close to the Goyambokka beach, and Yala, Udawalawe and Bundala National Park.

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Location: Goyambokka Estate, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Large open spaces both around the room and in the resort, great food and service
Price per night: 12,300 INR or 31,000 LKR or 177 USD onward

3. Ani Villas

It doesn’t get more exclusive than Ani Villas. This beautifully-designed property has just two large villas, one with seven and the other with eight bedrooms. Perfect for large groups and families with kids, Ani Villas will offer you your private pool, a section of the beach as well as fun water slides enjoyed by kids and adults. There’s also a spa, tennis courts, games and TV room and an event pavilion if you’re celebrating an occasion.

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Location: Kalukatiya Watta, Dickwella, Maaliyadda, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: For your own mini-resort and complete privacy with your family
Price per night: 3,50,000 INR or 8,85,000 LKR or 5,000 USD onwards per villa

4. Jetwing Lighthouse, Galle

Imagine opening the doors of your balcony and looking straight out at the unending ocean. That’s Jetwing Lighthouse for you. It’s got two large swimming pools, a spa and fitness room, whale and dolphin watching tours and a private section of the beach where you can soak up the sun with your loved ones. The rooms are spacious and charming.

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Location: 433 A Dadella, Galle, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Brilliant ocean views and a nice private beach
Price per night: 12,000 INR or 31,000 LKR or 175 USD onward

5. The Wallawwa, Kotugoda

Located very close to the international airport in Colombo, this colonial style resort has 17 rooms, each fitted and furnished comfortably and lavishly. The vibe is so relaxed that families love the easygoing touch it brings to their holiday. There are a ton of activities to do and games to play. You can take a leisurely walk around the fruit and vegetable fields, play some games in the lounge, borrow books from the library to read in the lawn or take a dip in the pool.

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Location: Minuwangoda Road, Opatha, Kotugoda, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: The true-blue boutique experience, games and fun local excursions organised by the hotel
Price per night: 20,000 INR or 51,000 LKR or 290 USD onward

6. Why House, Galle

If you’re a family that loves being out and about with nature and wildlife, Why House is the perfect little getaway for you. An eight-room award-winning boutique property, Why House has a warm and homely feel and is beautifully designed with fruit trees in the gardens outside the spacious rooms. Children love the hotel’s friendly resident dog, besides playing ball and board games, swimming and engaging in cupcake decorating sessions. Large groups also have the option of booking all the rooms for a private experience.

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Location: Mihiripenna, Galle, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Nature and wildlife, homely feel
Price per night: 13,000 INR or 33,000 LKR or 188 USD onward

7. Cinnamon Wild, Yala

Catering to wildlife and nature enthusiasts, the Cinnamon Wild sits on the fringes of the famed Yala National Park and often welcomes elephants, leopards and peacocks from the jungle right outside its premises. Families usually stay here for easy access to safaris, but within the property, there are multiple wildlife-centric activities like photography, outdoor swimming and bird watching. There are specialized kids’ meals as well.

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Location: Palatupana, Kirinda, Tissamaharama, Yala, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Nature and wildlife, game drives
Price per night: 12,000 INR or 30,000 LKR or 170 USD onward

8. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa, Ambalantota

This lavish property on a coconut plantation has family-friendly written all over it. Displaying local architecture and decor elements, the hotel gives guests a taste of what Sri Lanka is all about – warm and hospitable people, great food and a breathtaking landscape. There are three separate pools for adults, families and children each, as well as a kids’ club, a water park and a range of outdoor activities to keep the little one busy while you play a round of golf or practice some yoga.

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Location: Sittrakala Watta, Chithragala, Ambalantota, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Dedicated activities for kids, contemporary meets traditional design
Price per night: 10,500 INR or 26,500 LKR or 150 USD onward

9. Dolphin Beach Resort, Kalpitiya

The low-key coastal fishing village of Kalpitiya houses this tented resort. Simply designed using eco-friendly material, this is a spacious and subtly-upholstered resort that won’t mind if kids are running around at play. The coastline is great for whale and dolphin watching and the national park is nearby. At the property, you’ll find a volleyball court, a swimming pool and a sports club offering kite surfing, kayaking and bicycling.

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Location: Illanthadiya, Alankuda, Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Fewer crowds, multiple family-friendly water activities
Price per night: 7,300 INR or 18,500 LKR or 105 USD onward

10. Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa, Bentota

A prime spot in the Bentota lagoon gives Centara Ceysands fantastic views all around. Bordered by the ocean on one side and the Bentota river on the other, the resort can be accessed via a short boat ride from the mainland. Families, kids and large groups have enough to do here, including water sports on the Bentota beach, the nearby turtle hatchery, river and mangrove safaris, and the in-house pool and kids’ club.

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Location: Aluthgama – Mathugama Rd, Bentota, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Daily excursions, water activities and location
Price per night: 23,000 INR or 58,000 LKR or 330 USD onward

11. Elephant Stables, Kandy

The seven-room Elephant Stables is a boutique heritage property that gives you a sweeping look over the city of Kandy. Situated on a hill, Elephant Stables is a restored structure with spacious and beautifully designed rooms. Families can go either for the large family tent or the suite with bunk beds for the kids. There is a large pool and a garden with turtles as well.

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Location: Nittawela Rd, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Great views and family-friendly rooms
Price per night: 20,000 INR or 51,000 LKR or 290 USD onward

12. Taylors Hill, Kandy

A lavish colonial estate that once belonged to an Englishman, Taylors Hill is a five-room boutique resort in the splendid countryside outside of Kandy. Surrounded by tea plantations, Taylors Hill has a lush three-acre garden for families to sit on the grass and relax at, besides engaging in outdoor and indoor activities like swimming, board games, badminton and bicycling around the property. There are also special meals for children.

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Location: Pattiyagama Estate, Deltota, Kandy District, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Lots of activities to families to do together in a serene location in the hills
Price per night: 11,000 INR or 28,000 LKR or 160 USD onward

13. AVANI Kalutara, Kalutara

Nestled between the sandy coastline and the Kalu river, the AVANI Kalutara has one of the best vantage points in the area. Chic designs with subtle Sri Lankan touches do remind you of where you’re holidaying, while the service and amenities are top notch. The hotel staff organizes day excursions in the surrounding area if need be, but guests who prefer to remain in the hotel can enjoy the outdoor pool, indoor games and water sports. It also has the trademark AVANIKids club that organizes fun programs for the little ones all around the property.

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Location: St. Sebastian’s Road, Katuturunda, Kalutara, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: For its great location and surrounding sightseeing, dedicated activities for children and buzzing environ
Price per night: 7,600 INR or 19,500 LKR or 110 USD onward

14. Heritance Kandalama, Kandalama

A large infinity pool covers the length of the Heritance Kandalama, a forest resort with some stunning architectural elements. Everything from the rooms to the pool and dining area has been carefully crafted to focus on the surroundings. All Heritance properties pay close attention to childcare and safety with babysitting, children’s menus and playgrounds. The slightly older kids can be kept intrigued with lake safaris, cave exploration, boat trips and bird watching.

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Location: Kandalama, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Beautiful views, good childcare services and well planned activities inside and around the hotel
Price per night: 11,500 INR or 30,000 LKR or 165 USD onward

15. The Frangipani Tree, Unawatuna

The Frangipani Tree is an idyllic Oceanside hotel with a palm-fringed coast and just nine luxurious suites. Perfect for those families that prefer the outdoors to remaining cooped up in the room, this retreat is small and cozy enough for the service to be hands-on and friendly. Kids have a great time playing on the lawns (dotted, of course, with frangipani trees), swimming in the long pool or playing tennis. The rooms come with terraces, verandas, private dining tables and outdoor showers.

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Location: Matara Road, Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: A boutique resort where you can spend all your time in the outdoors
Price per night: 22,000 INR or 56,500 LKR or 320 USD onward

16. Cape Weligama, Weligama

Resting comfortably in a prime spot on the edge of a headland, Cape Weligama has beautiful villas that make the most of the coastal view. A leafy garden with plants and flowers is quite a property highlight. Families will enjoy splashing about in the dedicated family pool, or the shared moon-shaped pool at the edge of the headland, with nothing beyond but the ocean. For some thrill factor, there are opportunities for surfing, diving and whale watching.

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Location: Kalukatiya Watta, Dickwella, Maaliyadda, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Great location, facilities, service and food
Price per night: 28,000 INR or 70,700 LKR or 400 USD onward

17. Amaya Hills, Kandy

Easily one of the popular resorts in Kandy, Amaya is a 100-room retreat that is ideal for families with members of all ages. Located on an elevated site with a sweeping view over Kandy, Amaya is completed decked out with an outdoor pool, spa, games room, babysitting services and large suites to accommodate additional members. For adults there are jungle treks and night safaris, as well as an in-house nightclub.

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Location: Heerassagala, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: An all-encompassing luxury stay with amenities and activities galore
Price per night: 6,200 INR or 16,000 LKR or 90 USD onward

18. Weligama Bay Marriot Resort & Spa, Weligama

A multi-storey beachfront property, Weligama Bay has splendid rooms with balconies that open straight out to the ocean. The swanky interiors boast signature Marriott characteristics, which also holds true for the service. Water babies can take a dip in one of the three outdoor swimming pools (one with fountains and a water slide), while kids have a large activity center entirely to themselves.

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Location: Matara Road, Pelana, Weligama, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: Quintessential 5-star amenities, expansive indoor and outdoor space
Price per night: 9,000 INR or 23,000 LKR or 130 USD onward

19. Ulagalla, Anuradhapura

An eco-friendly resort that’s often visited by animals like monkeys and peacocks, Ulagalla is a luxurious retreat that is quite proximate to local attractions. The elegant accommodations have all been designed to feed off the outdoors, and come with private plunge pools. Kids have their own bikes to ride around the resort premises, and can also use the large shared pool. Families especially enjoy doing activities together, like archery, horse riding, and kayaking.

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Location: Ulagalla Walawwa, Thirippane, Ulagalla Rd, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: The spacious and well designed accommodations, unique set of activities, and large grounds
Price per night: 34,000 INR or 86,600 LKR or 490 USD onward

20. The Fortress Resort & Spa, Galle

The Fortress runs parallel to the ocean on one side and cocoons guests from the busy road in Galle with its rampart-like walls on the other. With the waves crashing onto the shore right near its edge, Fortress has an optic-lit pool, large rooms to accommodate more than two if required, and manicured lawns. The beach area is a great pull for families with children, whereas the stunning views keep the adults enthralled.

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Location: Koggala, Habaraduwa, Galle, Sri Lanka
Why you should visit: All encompassing views of the ocean from everywhere in the resort, pool with fibre-optic lighting
Price per night: 21,000 INR or 53,000 LKR or 300 USD onward

With tourism growing so rapidly, hotels and resorts have upped their game with family-friendly activities that mainly focus on loved ones having a good time together. Sri Lanka as a travel destination holds strong pull for families.

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