Grand Hotel 

Indulge at a historic hideaway

A heritage-rich hotel in the hills of Nuwara Eliya that first opened in the late 19th century where you’re given a royal welcome.

With its almost 200-year history, a stay at the Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya is like stepping back in time. This National Heritage property, which began its life as the home of Sir Edward Barnes – a former governor of the island – is packed with original features that reflect its past. Over the years, the former Barnes Hall has been added to, renovated and upgraded so that today is one of the most characterful, history-rich properties in Sri Lanka. It’s not all about the past, however – the hotel also has a thoroughly modern Mindfulness Studio and a very 21st-century view of sustainability.

Why we love Grand Hotel

  • Everywhere from the restaurants to the beautiful gardens, there’s a charming, and very restful, old-world atmosphere 

  • The superb culinary options include private dinner in the former boiler room and a choice of 10 set menus for afternoon tea

  • You can enjoy all-year swimming in a glamorous heated indoor pool under the soaring glass roof of the Mindfulness Studio

  • There’s an appealing focus on sustainability that encompasses everything from home-grown produce to staff engagement

4 stars
Feb - Aug
Colombo 10½ hours
On the edge of Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country; within walking distance of the centre of town
Approx. 6 hours from Colombo airport

This resort has earned internationally recognised certification that conform to standards set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.



  • Restaurants & bars
  • Board
  • Spas & wellness
  • Sustainability
  • Families

There are flavours from around the world at The Grand’s six restaurants, from sophisticated Thai to just-grilled Middle Eastern dishes.

Barnes Hall
The hotel’s main restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves international cuisine, including some of Sir Edward Barnes’s favourite dishes.

Grand Indian
You can enjoy flavoursome dishes from across India, including vegetarian and from the tandoor, during lunch and dinner at this warmly decorated venue.

Grand Thai
End the day with authentic Thai cuisine at this stylish restaurant, whose widely spaced tables mean you’ll almost feel as if you’re dining in private.

Fusion Grill
For Asian and Arabic fusion food cooked just a few steps from your table, head to the open-air restaurant, open every evening.

The Magnolia
With its wood-panelled walls it may look like a slice of old England, but the menu at this 24-hour eatery covers the world, with everything from hill country cuisine to Mediterranean favourites.

Tea Lounge
As the name suggests, this elegant venue offers a dizzying choice of set afternoon teas and the blends to go with them. At lunchtime and in the evenings, you can also enjoy burgers, pizza and the like.

Coffee Bar
Baked goods and freshly made hot drinks are available throughout the day at the Coffee Bar.

Public Bar
Looking very much like an English pub, this cosy bar has an extensive choice of drinks, from international spirits to mocktails.

We love the quirky dining experiences on offer – you can sit down to a private dinner in the house’s former boiler room or the Grand Laundry.

What's included

Breakfast at Barnes Hall.

Upgrade options

Half Board • Breakfast and dinner at Barnes Hall
Full Board • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Barnes Hall
Full Board Plus • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Barnes Hall • High tea at Tea Lounge.

The small Grand Spa in the Mindfulness Studio has a curated menu of wellness therapies drawn from traditional Balinese practices. We recommend one of the massages, where only natural products made in Sri Lanka are used.

Morning yoga classes and evening music therapy sessions with skilled practitioners can be arranged.

The Mindfulness Studio is also home to a large, modern gym equipped with Cybex cardio and weight machines, and has views out over the gardens. Otherwise, the grounds are large enough for an energetic run or gentle jog, or you can join a selection of walking, hiking or cycling guided tours.

The hotel has its own farms where pigs, cattle and chickens are raised ethically and organically. There’s also an extensive organic vegetable, fruit and herb garden in the grounds that supplies much of the produce for the kitchens. Waste initiatives include projects such as Change Hands, where staff swap things they don’t use instead of throwing them away. There’s a zero single-use plastics policy, so you’ll find reusable rubbish bags and bathroom amenity bottles in the rooms.

There’s lots of space in the gardens for running around, an outdoor play area for the under 12s and lots of child-friendly options in most of the restaurants.

Children below the age of five have a dedicated indoor play area manned by a childcare assistant where they can enjoy a range of simple and fun activities.

Guest reviews


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