Tailormade tour A tour of Sri Lanka around the work of Geoffrey Bawa Sri Lanka

11 nights/12 days

Colombo • Negombo • Dambulla • Bandarawela • Tangalle • Galle • Bentota

Unravel the legacy of world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, the father of contemporary Sri Lankan architecture, discovering the beauty of Sri Lanka along the way. You will stay in some Bawa-designed hotels and have the chance to explore some of his other work.

Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £2,850 per person.

Luxury touring holiday with driver-guide staying in and visiting the hotels and buildings designed by world-famous Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa


Colombo • Negombo • Dambulla • Sigiriya • Bandarawela • Tangalle • Galle • Wadduwa • Bentota • Colombo

Day by day

Arrive in Colombo and meet your personal chauffeur guide who will be your travelling companion throughout your tour of Sri Lanka. Drive to the chic and contemporary Jetwing Beach for one night in Negombo (approximately 20-minutes’ drive). This hotel was originally designed by Geoffrey Bawa and since renovated. Negombo, set amid lush groves of coconut palms, breathes the spirit of the sea. The town itself shows its interesting colonial past with many historical buildings.

After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the Heritance Kandalama in Dambulla (approximately 5 hours), another great work by Geoffrey Bawa in the Cultural Triangle. The hotel is built into a mountainside, surrounded by jungle and overlooking the Kandalama tank (lake). The simple geometry and lack of decoration of the building helps to identify the natural environment. When Bawa first built the hotel, he said that one day it would peer out from under a canopy of lush vegetation, which is exactly how it appears today. Spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying your surroundings, where you will stay for two nights.

In the morning, visit Sigiriya rock fortress - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sigiriya was built in the 5th century during the reign of King Kasyapa and is probably the most fantastic wonder of Sri Lanka. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the Palace on the summit of the 600-foot rock.

After breakfast, drive to Bandarawela (approximately 6 hours). En route you could opt to do some sightseeing in the hill capital city of Kandy. During the drive, enjoy the endless views of tea-carpeted valleys, processing factories and the bright flash of female ‘tea pluckers’ in their saris picking their way through the plantations. Stop at a tea factory where the process of tea production and grading will be explained. You will also be able to taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. Check-in to the 1920s colonial planter’s Kirchhayn Bungalow for two nights.

Visit the granite-built Bandarawela Chapel of the Good Shepherd’s Convent, designed by Geoffrey Bawa and Ulrik Plesner. The chapel sits on a ridge above the town and consists of a solid hulk of rubble masonry culminating in a square tower which acts as the skylight for the altar. Spend the rest of the day at leisure doing some trekking around the area and enjoying the views.

From the hills of Bandarawela descend to Tangalle on the coast (approximately 6 hours). En route admire one of Sri Lanka’s finest views and visit the Rawana Ella Falls. The dramatic Rawana Ella Falls are 49 metres high with water cascading down the mountainside in a series of mini waterfalls. On arrival in Tangalle, check in to the Last House, which is the last property built by Geoffrey Bawa in Sri Lanka. You will stay here for two nights. This luxury seaside escape’s airy, antique-filled interiors spill into al fresco spaces as if no boundaries exist.

Visit Fitzherbert House, which is now known as Claughton House, in Dickwella (approximately 30 minutes). This too is a great work of Bawa’s. Spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying some time at the beach and the hotel facilities.

Drive this morning to the colonial city of Galle (approximately 2 hours). En route, drive by two other Bawa works – the Ruhunu University Campus and the Matara Office building. Check-in to the Jetwing Lighthouse, an architectural triumph of Geoffrey Bawa, where you will be spending one night. In the afternoon, enjoy some sightseeing in Galle Fort. Its rich heritage is derived from the colonial influences of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British respectively, spanning four centuries. The town’s centrepiece is the Dutch Fort, around which the city is built. The Fort remains a hive of activity and is one of the few World Heritage listed sites in which a bustling population continues to thrive.

After breakfast, drive to Bentota (approximately 2 hours), visiting Heritance Ahungalla en route, where Bawa created features such as interconnecting expanses of water leading the guest into the hotel. Spend two nights at boutique hotel, Villa Bentota.

Spend the morning at leisure, perhaps with some time on the beach enjoying the water sports on offer. For afternoon tea, visit Geoffrey Bawa’s country residence Lunuganga where you will find that nature has been incorporated in the very design of the house. Return to your hotel for the night.

In the morning drive to the commercial capital of Colombo (approximately 2 hours). En route stop at Blue Waters in Wadduwa, designed by Geoffrey Bawa. Check-in to Uga Residence for one night. Spend the rest of your day at leisure in Colombo, enjoying some sightseeing and shopping. It may be possible to visit one of the world’s leading tea auctions, an 18-hole Golf Course or seasonal Buddhist and Hindu pageants. In the evening visit Number 11, the residence of Geoffrey Bawa.

After breakfast, leave for the airport for your onward flight.

Our choice of the Geoffrey Bawa tour could not have been a better one.
Mr and Mrs C, April 2016

Holiday price guide From about £2,850 per person based on two people sharing a double room.

Holiday Code SLDG01

Luxury touring holiday with driver-guide staying in and visiting the hotels and buildings designed by world-famous Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa

Our choice of the Geoffrey Bawa tour could not have been a better one.
Mr and Mrs C, April 2016

Holiday price guide From about £2,850 per person based on two people sharing a double room.

Holiday Code SLDG01

Our prices include ● Return scheduled flights with British Airways or Sri Lankan Airlines to Colombo in economy class
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in Negombo
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Dambulla
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Bandarawela
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Tangalle
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in Galle
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in Bentota
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in Colombo
● Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary
● Entrance fees to the monuments listed in the itinerary
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Visas (A visa is a requirement for entry to Sri Lanka and can be obtained on line from www.eta.gov.lk)
● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, payable locally to the hotel
● Camera fees where applicable
● Optional excursions – to be pre-booked and at a supplement

Expressions Holidays includes these hotels in this touring holiday as suggestions, but they can be substituted by others in the same region, if you have a preference to stay elsewhere.
Hotels included in this tour
Jetwing Beach

Jetwing Beach is a luxury 4-star boutique hotel in a beautiful coastal location. Excellent spa facilities and a wide variety of dining facilities - including the unmissable signature dining experiences - afford guests a relaxing and idyllic experience.

Deluxe room

Heritance Kandalama

Heritance Kandalama Hotel is an award winning, 5-star hotel which offers a unique eco-cultural experience. Guests can enjoy exquisite nature, delicious cuisine and excellent spa facilities in this idyllic, secluded retreat.

Standard room

Kirchhayn Bungalow

Kirchhayn Bungalow is an exclusive 3-star boutique hotel in a beautiful rural location among tea plantations. Cosy and comfortable accommodation and immaculate grounds afford guests a serene and secluded hilltop retreat.

Standard room

The Last House

The Last House is an exclusive, vibrant small luxury boutique hotel with traditional charm, character, and colourful, eclectic interiors in a superb beachfront location. An excellent example of Bawan design, this property offers a luxury home-from-home on the Indian Ocean.

Atteriya room

Jetwing Lighthouse

Jetwing Lighthouse near Galle is a wonderful 5-star resort hotel by the sea with excellent facilities. Excellent cuisine and extensive, luxury spa facilities nestled among lush gardens with beautiful coastal views afford guests an intimate, idyllic experience.

Deluxe room

Paradise Road The Villa Bentota

Paradise Road - The Villa Bentota is an exclusive, small luxury boutique hotel in a serene beachfront location. Delicious cuisine and excellent accommodation, designed by famed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, afford guests a relaxing and indulgent experience.

Standard room

Uga Residence

The Uga Residence is an exclusive boutique hotel in an excellent central location, that oozes character, opulence and a sense of history. Delicious cuisine and luxurious accommodation make this an excellent haven from the bustle of Colombo.

Deluxe room

Our choice of the Geoffrey Bawa tour could not have been a better one.
Mr and Mrs C, April 2016

Holiday price guide From about £2,850 per person based on two people sharing a double room.

Holiday Code SLDG01

Luxury touring holiday with driver-guide staying in and visiting the hotels and buildings designed by world-famous Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa

Highlights of Colombo

Fashion, jewellery, art, trendy homeware and Sri Lankan arts and crafts; Golf at Royal Colombo golf course; National Museum; Variety of restaurants; Afternoon tea or cocktails on the Ocean terrace of the Galle Face Hotel; Walking along the seafront at Galle Face Green; Pettah Bazaar; Buddhist temples (Gangaramaya, Bellanwilla); Colourful Hindu Kovils (Sri Subramaniam and Kailawasanthan Swamidevasthanam, the oldest); Dutch period museum. Near Colombo – Kelaniya Raja Maha Temple; Nightclubs and musical entertainment e.g. jazz, Asian pop bands, calypso, (mainly in the hotels).

Festivals in Colombo

Navam Perahera held in February is a 3-day pageant ending on Poya day (full moon), with dance troupes and decorated elephants, at Gangaramaya temple and along neighbouring streets.

Climate in Colombo

Colombo has an average temperature of 27° C, often reaching above 30° C during the day, slightly cooler in the evenings and during the monsoon season (May to August). It is hot and sticky, less so on the seafront with the sea breezes.

Travel around Colombo and Sri Lanka

We include private transfers with all our holidays to Sri Lanka, and a personal chauffer with all our touring holidays. Driving Distances: Colombo to Colombo International airport: 1 hour Colombo to Bentota: 2 hours, Colombo to Galle: 2 hours, Colombo to Kandy: 3.5 hours, Colombo to Dambulla: 4 hours.

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