The ideal blend of city-centre ease and heritage charm – with candlelit dinners under the frangipani tree in the garden to round off days of exploring.
– Saskia, visited in February 2019
Housed in a nineteenth-century property built by Sheikh Salehboy Moosajee, a successful barrister who welcomed Sri Lankan high society to his beautiful home, Residence by Uga Escapes has been transformed into a stylish 11-suite oasis in the centre of the city.
Just moments from many Colombo highlights, this small hotel offers guests a luxurious boutique retreat, complete with a courtyard pool perfect for cooling off and a chic restaurant serving excellent fusion food.
One of the island’s most well-regarded hotel groups, Uga Escapes has five magnificent properties across Sri Lanka – click here to book Chena Huts, the brand’s superb eco-retreat in Yala.
11 generously appointed suites offer guests an indulgent retreat from the hustle and bustle of the island’s commercial capital.
The Park Suites are spacious and lavishly decorated, with comfortable queen-sized beds and smart sitting areas with 42inch televisions and big bathrooms. Zen out under the rain shower, or recline on the sofa with your favourite tunes wafting from the in-room sound system, before kickstarting the evening with a chilled glass of wine on your private terrace.
Taking things up a notch, the opulent Residence Suite is exquisitely designed, evoking the charm of a bygone era. From the regal king-sized bed to the separate sitting room – not to mention the enormous bathroom complete with a rain shower and whirlpool bathtub – it has extravagant comfort absolutely nailed. To top things off, there’s a 900 square foot courtyard for soaking up the sunshine.
Drinking & dining
Dine in style at Rare, perching indoors or alfresco in the cobbled courtyard for fabulous food throughout the day. Say yes to poached eggs or set yourself up for a day’s exploring with a classic full English, a fresh fruit platter and plenty of coffee. Enjoy a bright salad lunch, superb seafood or a Sri Lankan rice-and-curry staple.
Afternoon tea is a hands-down highlight, with mini-sweet and savoury treats in abundance – the perfect pick-me-up for hungry adventurers – whilst evenings at Residence are especially romantic.
As the sun sets and the lights come on in the garden, the pool glows and the wrought iron tables of the courtyard are dotted with candles, inviting guests to settle in for a warm, wonderful evening.
An unusual feature amongst small Colombo hotels, don’t miss the atmospheric Residence Bar – a stellar place to sip an aperitif before heading out for the evening, or to savour a nightcap before retiring to the comfort of your suite.
Speak to the hotel’s team about hosting special events in their private dining area, ideal for big group dinners or special celebrations.
Facilities & activities
Beat the heat with a dip in the lovely swimming pool, curl up in the well-stocked library, or hit the gym to stay active whilst on holiday.
As for exploring Colombo itself, the hotel is within easy walking distance of the Town Hall and Viharamahadevi Park, as well as glittering Gangarama Temple and Beira Lake.
Shop for monochrome handmade homeware at Paradise Road and local artisanal products at Urban Island, or venture across the park into Colombo 7, the city’s most exclusive neighbourhood, for yoga at Prana Lounge and glimpses of local artwork at the Saskia Fernando Gallery and the Lionel Wendt Gallery – also a popular theatre venue.
Foodies will relish the closeness of Park Street Mews – a moment’s walk from the hotel – for superb South East Asian fare at Monsoon, pizzas at the Park Street Trattoria and French specialties at Café Français. A lively evening venue, this little lane packs out at weekends, when there’s live music and dancing aplenty.
Things we love
• A modern luxe vibe in a gorgeously renovated historic property
• Swimming pool is something of a rarity in the centre of Colombo
• Big outdoor rain showers
• A cracking location, right next to buzzing Park Street Mews for food and drinks
Things to note
• This is a smart, stylish hotel with a grown-up feel – children are welcome but families may find it a little serious
When to visit
Colombo is a brilliant city to visit year-round, though the heat and humidity peak in April and May. The monsoon seasons are generally expected to fall in May – June and late-September – October – though they have shifted in recent years. Prepare yourself for the possibility of hiding inside galleries, cafés and restaurants as the rain pours!
Location & information
The journey from Bandaranaike International Airport to Residence takes just an hour by car. For more information about getting to and from the airport, check out our travel tips.