Mount Lavinia Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka


The Mount Lavinia Hotel is a legacy of Sri Lanka ‘s Colonial Heritage. It stands as a monument to the forbidden love of a Governor General and a local mestizo dancer who cast a spell on his heart.

Time stands still in the corridors of this grand old building that whisper legends of love and adventure.

Step back in time to experience old Ceylon and enjoy grandeur and mystery, her intoxicating beaches and most of all the enchantment of her people at this premier heritage hotel, 12 kilometres from the Colombo city centre and an hour and half from the Colombo International airport.

The History

Old Ceylon was under the rule of the British crown. Sir Thomas Maitland was leaving the shores of a country he had called home for over six years. He was also leaving behind the woman he loved. Social convention and duty to his King was taking him away from her.

But what he did not know, was that he was leaving behind a legacy to their love that would be immortalized.

The Mount Lavinia Hotel is built up around the original residence of Sir Thomas Maitland who was the Governor General of Ceylon from 1805-1811. It was at a welcoming party held in his honour on his arrival in the island that he set his eyes upon Lovina whose father was the Headman of the troupe.

Sir Thomas was smitten by her smile and charms and soon found himself obsessed by her and taking any measures possible to see more of her.

And thus was built, what is now, the Mount Lavinia Hotel. As it was highly unconventional for an unmarried British Officer to be seen associating with a local dancing girl Sir Thomas and his lover met in secret. She was smuggled into his mansion through a secret tunnel that led from her fathers well into a wine cellar in the house.

Thomas Maitland ultimately left the country (in 1811) for Malta where he lived and died as a bachelor. The tunnel was eventually sealed up in 1920 and the Gypsy village that surrounded the Governor’s mansion developed into a modern bustling city that took its name from the beautiful Lovina. But the Governor’s home which he named Mount Lavinia House and his monument to his only love has been preserved within the walls and high ceilings of the Mount Lavinia Hotel, where its staff and management alike take pride and glory in its rich history.


Set foot inside the Mount Lavinia Hotel and be engulfed in the breathtaking beauty of the premises. All 275 rooms have an individual personality where colonial architecture and modern amenities blend perfectly with the lull of the ocean. A stay at the hotel is an extraordinary and unforgettable experience.

Majority of rooms with Sea View and private balcony

  • Air Conditioning
  • IDD Telephones
  • Wireless Internet
  • 24 hour room service
  • 24 hour safety locker service
  • Laundry valet service
  • Satellite Television
  • Hair dryer
  • Mini barMount Lavinia Hotel accommodation


With restaurants and bars with varying atmospheres and cuisines, The Mount Lavinia Hotel offers one of the widest choices in dining in Sri Lanka. Fine dining at The Mount Lavinia Hotel reflects the hotel’s exclusive luxurious feel and includes traits of Sri Lanka’s powerful dining traditions. Dining at The Mount Lavinia Hotel is truly an experience to be cherished.

Seafood Cove
Dine on the most exquisite seafood freshly caught, straight from the Indian Ocean. The Sea Food Cove is a restaurant located on the Beach which has a Sea Food market concept. You are able to choose the Sea Food of your choice prepared to suit your individual taste right there, be it grilled, cooked, sautéed, fried or baked…..

Governor’s Restaurant
The Governor’s restaurant is open 24/7 and is a place to enjoy the luxury and a quintessential traditional meal in an old style Ceylonese restaurant. A fusion of Western and Eastern menus conjures up the magic of a bygone era.

The Terrace
Dine under the stars and be seduced by the soft tropical breezes that will make your evenings even more enchanting when you choose the Terrace. Lounge by the pool in this cool and airy setting or enjoy a snack while taking in the view of the Colombo city skyline in the background. Named by Newsweek as one of the “World’s best gathering places” this is a location sort after by tourists and locals alike. The Governor’s High Tea is served on the terrace while you watch a spectacular sunset. Sip fresh Ceylon tea served with traditional English fruit cake, butter cakes, scones with strawberry jam and fresh cream, sandwiches, asparagus rolls fresh tropical fruit, and in the evening, enjoy movies by moonlight.

Café Lavinia

Fancy lattes & smooth mochas, an exclusive variety of great European breads, yummy chocolate bakery, fun snacks & sandwiches anytime, healthy salads and daily changing soups, smoothies, milk shakes & freshly squeezed juices to go, premium teas, coffee mornings and late night desserts.

Dining on the terrace, Mount Lavinia hotel

The Mount Lavinia Hotel has a range of bars, including the Lobby bar where you can relax and sip your drink while the Hotel’s grand piano serenades you with magnificent views of the vast Indian ocean and the Terrace bar which is open till late and is the best place to get yourself a cocktail while watching the sun dip over the horizon. The tropical bar which is a beach cabana style tavern is where you can savour the taste and aroma of traditional blues as well as the world’s finest beverages. Located on the sandy beach you can always hop out of the sun and into the shade of the bar for a cool refreshing beer or cocktail.

Products & Services: Extensive secluded beach frontage, 24 Hour coffee shop, Indoor and outdoor bars and dining facilities, Seafood restaurant on the beach, Other specialty restaurants, Spacious terrace overlooking the bay and Colombo skyline with dining facilities, Swimming pool, Banquet and conference facilities, Shopping Arcade, Business Centre, Sports facilities – tennis, beach volley, pool table, other indoor games and animation, gymnasium, international hotel school.

Check-in/Check-out Time: Check-in is 12.00 noon and Check-Out is 11.00 a.m. An earlier Check-in Time or later Check-out time can be requested on a case by case basis and the resort may agree depending on availability.

Address: Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka
Airport: Colombo International



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6 comments on “Mount Lavinia Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  1. Martin says:

    great info about the hotels and their services

  2. houtcieff says:

    please let me know if you have a scuba diving PADI center nearby
    also is there free wfi throughout the hotel?

  3. i am reaching with my wife colombo on 6/2/10 n will return on 12/2/10 thus need one double bed room. is it possible n if so what is the best rate u can offer with bf. we are pure vegetarian n like indian type food. is it possible.

  4. Supurb hotel – Clean, stunning views & food, very friendly and hospitable, great beach. Can’t wait untill we return next year.

  5. Brooke Young says:

    Wow! I had no idea about the history of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. Thanks!

  6. Rick says:

    Yes, that and also had no idea that Britain had such a close association with Sri Lanka. We are planning a trip to the country and the Mount Lavinia hotel will surely be on our list of hotels.

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