Unawatuna beach is popular for watersports © BlueOrange Studio/Shutterstock
The Mudhouse, Anamaduwa
Set within 60 acres of scrub jungle in the island’s rural northwestern heartlands, these clusters of chic open-walled mud huts sleep between two and ten people. Showers are open to the skies, there’s an idyllic lake for swimming and a circular island pavilion acts as a floating yoga retreat. Tasty hearth-cooked Sri Lankan cuisine is on the menu and refreshingly, much of the fresh produce is grown onsite in the hotel's organic farm. Bicycles get you mobile, and you can peddle to Buddhist temples, rural villages and historic archaeological sights. Rates include all food, local excursions and activities.
Lake Lodge, Colombo
There are few budget hotels as well located in Colombo as Lake Lodge; tucked down a quiet, easy-to-miss side road near Beira Lake, it’s close to many of the city’s prime attractions. Taru, a reputed local designer, transformed her family home into this stylish, modern B&B back in 2009, moulding the 13 simply designed rooms and suites with polished cement, adding modern bathrooms and infusing a neutral colour palette. This was the capital’s first affordable boutique digs, and even today, few can beat it.