Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota hotel grounds

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa: Beachfront Luxury Hotel in Southern Sri Lanka

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Woman sitting at edge of pool in Sri Lanka with text overlay Woman sitting at edge of pool in Sri Lanka with text overlay

Sri Lanka’s luxury and boutique hotel scene is on the up-and-up, with major brands like Shangri-La opening up to cater to the burgeoning tourist arrivals to this little island in the Indian Ocean. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa opened last June and is the newest luxury venture to open its doors in southern Sri Lanka, and is also the largest resort in country at nearly 60 hectares (or 150 acres).

Southern Sri Lanka is becoming an increasingly popular destination for beachgoers as well as wildlife lovers, as it is home to some of Sri Lanka’s top national parks and incredible wildlife; it is also relatively easily accessed from the international airport near Colombo.

Lobby at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

Accommodation options are also aplenty in this region, and it can be overwhelming when you’re trying to make a decision of where to stay and what to do. If you’ve read any of my previous destination guides and hotel reviews, you’ll know that I’m passionate about promoting boutique travel and unique experiences, and my aim is to be able to point Yoga, Wine & Travel readers to the best of the best.

I have stayed at other Shangri-La Group properties in the past and have always been blown away by the beautiful design and level of service, so am excited to share my experience at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa!

The Rooms at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota Janapathi suite

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa boasts 300 spacious rooms, including 21 suites, all offering views of the gardens, lagoon, golf course or Indian Ocean. There are six different rooms types available for different types of travelers, ranging from the deluxe garden room (which, at 516 square feet, is nearly as big as my apartment in Hong Kong!) all the way up to the exclusive Janapathi (meaning “Presidential” in Sinhalese) Suite which has its own massage room and outdoor jacuzzi. Sigh, if only!

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota Janapathi suite

If the Janapathi suite is too splashy for you, check out the next class of specialty suites which is popular with honeymooners and offers its own kitchenette, or one of the 17 premier suites located around the property. I stayed in the premier ocean view room looking straight across the Indian ocean with a spacious balcony. The rooms are stylishly decorated with lots of warm wood features and splashes of colour, and much like the rest of the hotel is comfortable yet trendy.

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota Araliya suite

The bathroom was spacious and provided the basic amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this calibre. My favorite highlight of this room? The panoramic view of rows upon rows of palm trees swaying in the wind with the ocean as the backdrop.

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota Araliya suite

The resort offers free wifi throughout the property, and I was extremely happy with the strong connection. Unlike some other hotels, there isn’t a pesky registration or login page and the wifi speed is very fast and stable.

The Facilities & Activities at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort and Spa

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort makes it easy to stay active and fit during your stay with an 18-hole golf course, 24-hour fitness centre, yoga classes, beach volleyball, lawn bowling, archery, petanque and bicycle rentals. With the exception of golf and the river safaris, all the other activities are free. For children, there are indoor and outdoor play areas, a trapeze, trampolines, PlayStations as well as a complete water park with water slides. I honestly don’t know how anyone could be bored or run out of things to do at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort.

1. The 18-hole golf course

Golf course at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

Shangri-La’s signature 18-hole golf course was designed by Rodney Wright and is set amid a vast coconut palm and pineapple plantation – this sprawling course makes the Shangri-La Hambantota one of the best golf resorts in Sri Lanka.

Golf course at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

Though it is hot in this part of Sri Lanka, you can stay cool with the ocean breeze and zip around on one of the hotel’s golf buggies. All 55 golf caddies have been trained by the hotel’s director of golf who hails from France originally, and he also hosts golf discovery sessions for anyone (kids included) who is new to the sport.

2. The beach and pools (yes, multiple pools)

Lagoon pool at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

If you’re in the “no idea how golf works” club like me, head straight to one of the hotel’s pools. The hotel is home to not one, not two, but THREE pool areas. The sunset pool is the perfect place for a sundowner cocktail or two (try the white sangria), before you mosey on over to one of the property’s restaurants for a delicious dinner.

Sunset pool at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

The lagoon pool is a long winding pool that’s perfect for families, and kids have their own dedicated pool area to splash around in.

Beach access at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

The hotel also offers access to a long stretch of sandy beach which is perfect for a stroll and dip, but only during the peak season from November to around February. During the other seasons the ocean can be quite choppy with lots of rip currents.

3. The fitness centre & Yoga pavilion

Fitness centre at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

The 24-hour fitness centre offers a plethora of treadmills, stationary bicycles, mountain climbers, weight machines and free weights and can easily be accessed using your room card. Yoga classes are hosted twice a day, 5 times a week in the open-air pavilion. I attended a class with the in-house teacher and found it to be a challenging, fast-paced class which may be more appropriate for people who have attended a few Vinyasa-style classes and are already familiar with alignment.

Yoga pavilion at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka
Photo credit: Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort

The pavilion is slightly unfortunately located next to the kids water park so can get a little noisy, but it’s a great opportunity to become more aware of your own body and practice stilling the fluctuations of the mind.

4. The trapeze and trampolines

Trapeze at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

When is the last time you visited hotel that had its own trapeze? I had never tried it before and have a deadly fear of heights, but managed to go on it (twice) and even hooked my knees over the bar and let go of my arms on my second try! It’s a truly exhilarating experience for adults and kids alike, and I would highly recommend that you give it a crack. If the trapeze is a no-go, you can always go for a bit of a hop on the trampolines.

5. The CHI Ayurveda Spa

Spa at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is famous for its Ayurvedic treatments and Shangri-La’s Hambantota has been quick to embrace the tradition. Head to the spa and relax in one of their 12 treatment rooms for a Chinese or Ayurvedic treatment using 100% natural spa products. You are also given the opportunity to consult with an Ayurveda doctor and they will prescribe a treatment to help with any specific issues you are dealing with: for example, I had been suffering from a bad case of bronchitis for weeks and weeks, and to help soothe the ailment my masseuse used an Ayurvedic oil and focused mainly on my chest area and upper back to target the lungs.

6. Children’s facilities

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota childrens facilities water park

If you’re traveling with children, you are given a warm welcome at the resort so you can enjoy your time together as a family. There is a kids club with plenty of activities to keep your children engaged, a drone flying area, outdoor water park complete with water slides (to be fair this is great for adults too), childrens’ pool and childcare facilities.

Sri Lanka ShangSri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota childrens facilities

If you’re anything like me and shudder at the thought of a screaming infant, fear not! Most of the children’s facilities are located in the east wing, and Shangri-La goes the extra mile to accommodate honeymooning couples and adults without children in the west wing. Click here to book your stay at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa!

For any unexpected medical issues the hotel also has its own on-site medical clinic staffed by a practicing nurse.

7. Artisan Village

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota artisan village

Quite possibly one of my favourite features of the hotel, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort has set up a local artisan village to help support the community of artists and craftsmen. This CSR initiative doesn’t charge the artisans any rental or commission, and enables them to set up shop to exhibit their handicrafts and for guests to learn a little more about this aspect of Sri Lankan culture.

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota artisan village

You’ll find mask makers, batik artists, painters, ceramists, and even a Laksha craftsman who hand carves wooden boxes and applies a coloured lacquer to decorate the container. The lacquer is made of a special type of beetle excrement – yes, you read right, excrement! The art is a rare one in Sri Lanka and is passed down through generations, you can even try your hand at it, but it’s much harder than it looks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The Food & Dining Establishments

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota Sera restaurant

Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa offers a variety of exciting dining establishments: Bojunhala serves local Sri lankan food and international dishes, while the stunning Sera, inspired by the famous hawker stalls of Southeast Asia, provides a variety of comfort foods from the streets of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and China. Make it a point to try their nasi goreng, coconut creme brulee and beef rendang curry!

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota Sera restaurant

Twice a week Sera also sets up an outdoor hawker centre (as of August it is held every Tuesday and Saturday) so that you can immerse yourself in the food market experience.

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota Gimanhala lobby lounge

Two additional dining outlets to check out are Ulpatha sports bar which is located in the Golf Centre and offers a special grill menu and classic favorites like the club sandwich, and Gimanhala lobby lounge which serves high tea and an array of cocktails.

Things to Do Around Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa

Hotel grounds at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

Hambantota is not typically high up on travelers’ lists of places to visit in Sri Lanka, but it does have a long history as the centre of a prospering civilization in Sri Lanka and an area that played an important role in nurturing the Buddhist culture.

Sri Lanka Shangri La Hambantota river safari

It is also a fantastic place to base yourself if you want to explore Yala National Park or Udawalawe National Park for a wildlife safari, and you can also organize a river safari to spot some crocodiles and rare birds.

The hotel is also able to organize a cycling excursion to the nearby Godawaya, a small fishing hamlet which once was a part of the ancient Silk Road. For even more ideas head over to my guide to Sri Lanka’s south coast.

How to get to Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort

Depending on your port of arrival, your journey to Hambantota can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 4 hours. Located just 35 kilometres south of Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa, Hambantota Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is currently serviced by UAE carriers FlyDubai on a daily basis and Rotana Jet twice a week (Friday and Sunday).

Other international flights are served by Colombo International Airport, 240 kilometres away from the resort. The hotel provides airport transfer services from both Sri Lankan airports. If you’re feeling fancy and can’t stand the idea of being in a car for 4 hours, you can also opt to take an air taxi from Colombo International Airport via Cinnamon Air. Hotel guests receive a special discount when booking this service.

Ready for your Sri Lanka getaway? Click here to book your stay at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa!

Sunset pool at Shangri-La Hambantota in Sri Lanka

True to Shangri-La’s reputation, the service and hospitality at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort is top notch, and no request is ever too big nor too small. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort is a fantastic place to unwind and relax, yet still stay active and get involved in all the activities the hotel offers. Whether you are a solo traveler, couple or family with children, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort offers an explosion of experiences in a beautiful part of Sri Lanka. Click here to book your stay at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa!

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My stay at Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort was sponsored; however, no compensation was received for this review, and as always, the opinions on Yogawinetravel.com are (and always will be) my own!

This article contains an affiliate link. If you choose to book using this link, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my website by using this link, I only recommend products or services that I have personally used & hotels I have visited and loved.

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64 Comments

  1. The views are absolutely gorgeous! The design aesthetic is totally up my alley, too. You know what’s funny? The palm trees are so much thinner than they are in LA – I know, so random.

  2. How could you not enjoy your time at that resort? It’s absolutely gorgeous! I can almost feel the breeze blowing through the trees in that photo. My only problem would be what to do first!

  3. Ok, ok, I was hooked once I read about the Trapeze and Artisan Market so I’m in! Now I just need to plan a trip back to beautiful Sri Lanka!

  4. I’ve never been to Sri Lanka and certainly wouldn’t have thought of it as boasting such luxury. But Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort certainly seems to offer everything you could want!

    1. There are several world-class luxury hotels here – Cape Weligama, The Fortress, Ceylon Tea Trails, and Shangri-La just opened another hotel in Colombo!

  5. I mean yet again, major envy when I see anyone staying at a Shangri La! That bathtub with the A+ views looks amazing! I’ve been more and more interested in visiting Sri Lanka recently as well! looks like an amazing destination to explore!

  6. OMG, this is just the kind of luxury we love during our travels. We would book Shangri-La in a heartbeat if we ever plan to visit Srilanka for it has everything one could need for a peaceful stay! Super classy!

  7. The Hambantota Resort & Spa by Shangri-La looks like the perfect place to stay whilst visiting southern Sri Lanka. I love they have all those childrens facility, I know where to stay if I take my daughter!

  8. I might just regard Shangri-La Hotel as the hotel of the year I’ve read about so far. The luxury it affords is next to none. I like that the hotel is packed with so many day-filled activities. This is my ideal type of hotel and it makes me want to visit Sri Lanka

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