Top family-friendly resorts in Sri Lanka

When planning a family vacation, there are numerous destinations to consider. However, few can compare to the diverse range of activities offered in Sri Lanka. From visiting tea plantations and embarking on safaris to exploring ancient forts that hark back to the days of spice trading, this island nation has it all.

What makes it even more appealing is the warm and welcoming nature of its people, who hail from the Indian Ocean islands.

With all these elements combined, Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for our upcoming family trip. To ensure that everyone in the family can fully enjoy this experience, I have compiled a list of the top resorts that cater to families with children.

Àni Sri Lanka

Àri takes pride in being a private resort, meaning that it can only be rented in its entirety. Although it comes with a high price, the resort offers an unparalleled experience that is solely dedicated to creating a lifetime of memories for your family. There is nothing quite like the luxury of staying at a private resort. With 15 suites, it easily accommodates large groups, making it perfect for sports teams or large families. It is no wonder that everyone wants to join you at Àri, as it offers an all-inclusive experience like no other. Unlimited spa treatments and massages are just one example of the luxury amenities available. Who wouldn’t want to pamper their loved ones with manicures, pedicures, and endless massage options?

ani sri lanka family suite

Food plays a crucial role in any stay, and at Àri, this is not a concern as you have your own private chef. Additionally, there is an in-house mixologist ready to craft your desired cocktail or cater to your specific taste. If you’re interested in learning how to prepare the gourmet food served during your stay, Àri even offers private cooking classes by an executive chef.

For those looking to burn off some calories, head to the tennis court where professional instructors are available to offer lessons and be your playing partner. Àri is also renowned for being one of the best resorts for families, ensuring that children are well-entertained with a dedicated kids club. Regardless of the number of children in your group, Àri goes above and beyond to provide engaging activities such as treasure hunting, karaoke, and cultural experiences. Older guests can enjoy mountain bike tours, paddleboarding, and much more. And the best part? Àri offers complimentary babysitting services, allowing parents to have some quality time alone with their partners.

Anantara Kalutara

The Anantara brand ensures luxurious vacations wherever you go, and Kalutara holidays are no exception. Located just 30 minutes south of Colombo, it provides a great opportunity to explore this part of the island without being overwhelmed by the urban environment. Upon arrival, you will receive a warm welcome with a traditional dance before reaching the reception area. This first impression is truly remarkable. The staff is exceptionally friendly, making you and your family feel right at home. The accommodations range from standard rooms to two-bedroom pool villas, all of which are wonderful and offer a blend of local charm and modern amenities expected from a resort of this caliber.

anantara kalutara resort

The dining options are exceptional as well. Starting with a delightful breakfast buffet that includes fresh coconuts, waffles, juices, and more, and continuing with themed restaurants that serve delicious food, you will never go hungry. Personally, I highly recommend the Spice Trader, which takes you on an Asian culinary journey with extraordinary flavors. The soft lighting, lounge music, and cozy decor create a picturesque and perfect dining experience. Acquolina is another fantastic option, especially if you crave Italian cuisine. And don’t forget to indulge in their desserts! While some may wonder if these dining experiences are family-friendly, rest assured that the resort ensures a great experience for the whole family from the moment you arrive, regardless of age. This sets the tone for the rest of your dining experiences, making them even more enjoyable and memorable. With comfortable accommodations and delightful food taken care of, you can truly relax and enjoy your stay. Anantara Kalutara knows how to make your taste buds happy.

The resort offers a range of activities to choose from, catering to different levels of physical demand. Its location amidst lush greenery between the lagoon and the sea provides even more options for guests to explore. You can even try zip-lining over the lagoon if you’re feeling adventurous. And if relaxation is your priority, you can indulge in a spa treatment or unwind on the beach in one of the cabanas. As for the children, there are plenty of activities organized by the kids’ club and resort to keep them entertained throughout the day. The staff goes above and beyond to ensure that your little ones have the best time at the resort. What more could you ask for?

Shangri-La Hambantota

The Shangri-La Hambantota, located on the south coast of Sri Lanka, is another luxury brand that is well-known for its exceptional holiday experiences. Set on a sprawling 58-hectare property, it is the largest resort in the country. However, despite its size, this resort ensures that guests do not feel like just another number in a crowded establishment. Instead, it offers a sense of exclusivity and personalized service that sets it apart from other resorts.

The majority of the resort’s expansive space is dedicated to lush tropical gardens, creating a serene and tranquil environment. Additionally, the resort boasts its own golf course, which is the only one of its kind in Sri Lanka. The rooms and suites reflect a perfect blend of elegance and relaxation, featuring stunning wooden floors and a soothing beach retreat ambiance with dark wood finishes. Whether you choose a room overlooking the tropical gardens or the mesmerizing sea view, each accommodation exudes an unmistakable island vibe.

shangri la hambantota

When it comes to dining options, there are two restaurants available at the resort. While I personally would have preferred more choices, it’s worth mentioning that both establishments offer exceptional culinary experiences. Bojunhala serves a buffet-style menu, while Sera specializes in delectable Asian classics. For those who simply want to unwind with a drink, the Gimanhala Lounge provides the ideal setting to enjoy a breathtaking sunset while sipping on a delicious cocktail. Alternatively, you can also visit the golf course clubhouses for a more laid-back dining experience.

Now, you may be wondering why this resort is an ideal choice for a family vacation when we’ve only talked about golf courses, restaurants, and the 19th hole. Well, apart from these amenities, Shangri-La Hambantota also boasts a fantastic kids club. This facility offers children a safe and entertaining space to burn off their energy and indulge in delightful meals. Moreover, there is an aqua zone that features water slides, sprinklers, and even an elephant spraying water everywhere. While this may sound like a challenge for us as parents, rest assured that your kids will absolutely love it. After all, creating unforgettable family memories is what truly matters during a holiday, isn’t it?

Centara Ceysands

Situated in the enchanting town of Bentota, on Sri Lanka’s picturesque west coast, lies a small paradise where the Bentota River converges with the vast Indian Ocean. Nestled between these two majestic bodies of water, the opportunities for aquatic adventures are endless. One of my personal favorites is embarking on a thrilling river safari, allowing you to explore the rich ecosystem both on land and in the water. If you’re eager to delve deeper into the ocean, there is a dive center available for a fee, promising unforgettable encounters with the wonders of the underwater world.

centara ceysands resort spa sri lanka

However, if you prefer to stay dry, rest assured that there are plenty of other activities to keep you entertained. Renting a bike and venturing into the surrounding area is a popular choice, providing you with the chance to discover hidden gems while immersing yourself in the local culture. Alternatively, if you’d rather remain within the comforts of the resort, fear not. The expansive swimming pool, complete with a relaxing jacuzzi, offers a refreshing retreat. Children can also enjoy their own designated pool, but they may be too captivated by the exciting kids clubs specially designed to capture their attention. Teens, on the other hand, will find immediate entertainment in the E-zone and game room.

When it comes to accommodations, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Family suites featuring bunk beds are ideal for those traveling with little ones, as they bring back cherished childhood memories. Moreover, all rooms boast breathtaking views of either the river or the sea, ensuring an enriching experience. The dining options cater to families impeccably, with a diverse menu that caters to even the most discerning palates across all age groups.

RIU Sri Lanka

Situated on the western coast of the island, this hotel marks the debut of the RIU brand in Sri Lanka. Those familiar with their other properties can attest to the high quality and comprehensive offerings. We highly recommend booking a room with a sea view, as you’ll be treated to a stunning beachfront setting. Waking up in the morning to the sight of the expansive ocean creates a truly special holiday experience. While the room interior may not be to everyone’s taste, it’s a subjective matter and can easily be overlooked considering the limited time spent in the room. The hotel is becoming increasingly popular among mainstream travelers.

riu sri lanka all inclusive

Families with children will find the Liuland Kids Club to be the main highlight, providing endless entertainment for young ones. The hotel also boasts an excellent playground, and for water lovers, there is a dedicated children’s pool that is sure to please all little guests. What more could one ask for? Perhaps unlimited ice cream? Well, it is an all-inclusive resort after all.

Of course, resorts cater to adults as well (since they foot the bill), and the Renova Spa is the perfect place to unwind. Offering a range of treatments from relaxing massages to manicures and cosmetology services, you’ll have no excuse for sporting a less-than-perfect hairstyle at dinner. Speaking of dinner, you won’t want to miss out on the incredible culinary options available at the five on-site restaurants. From Italian to Asian to traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, all your favorite flavors are right here. And if you’re in the mood for a nightcap after the kids have gone to bed, be sure to visit the “off-hours” bar. Rest assured, we strive to provide everything you’re looking for during your stay.

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