It’s rare to find an urban hotel with a dreamy lakeside setting. But Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo is exactly that: a tranquil haven in central Colombo. Flanked by palm trees, a large outdoor swimming pool overlooks Beira Lake – a vast, glassy pool of water reflecting back the skyscrapers of Colombo’s business district. A clutch of sun loungers and a laid-back pool bar make whiling away a few hours easy, or ramp up the relaxation at the Balinese-inspired Azmaara Spa.
There are total of eight food and drink spots from the global culinary landscape at The Dining Room, to flavours of the East at Royal Thai and Chinese specialities at Long Feng – don’t miss the tasty dim sum. There’s a dimly lit, mahogany-panelled drinking den known as the Library, and its buzzy alter-ego: 7 Degrees North, a relaxed, Mediterranean-inspired lakeside haunt with live music and great cocktails.
Right on your doorstep is the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is an enchanting mix of old and new: colonial buildings and heritage architecture rub shoulders with modern restaurants, art galleries and tiny boutiques. Scope out ancient sculptures at the Colombo National Museum, or contemporary art at local galleries; grab some kottu (roti with meat, egg or vegetables, and spices) from a street-side food cart, or dine at one of the city’s exclusive seafood restaurants; peruse local handicrafts at a vibrant market, or splurge on the latest trends at the high-rise shopping centres. And that’s the beauty of Colombo; its glorious contradictions and anarchic charm are ripe for discovery.