Geoffrey Bawa centenary: Stay in a hotel designed by the world-famous Sri Lankan architect

11th Jul 19 | Lifestyle

On July 23, Sri Lanka celebrates 100 years since Geoffrey Bawa was born. Here are some of his greatest works.

Sri Lanka Sunrise Kandalama

Famous for bringing the outdoors inside, Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa designed buildings to blend in with their environment and enhance the natural world. His style of “tropical modernism” can be seen in properties all over the Indian Ocean island, including several hotels which are now sought after places to stay.

Sri Lanka celebrates 100 years since Bawa’s birth on July 23, and even though most of his work was completed decades ago, his style is still as fresh as the rivers and forests of his beloved homeland.

Experience his art firsthand by staying at one of these hotels…

Jetwing Lagoon, Negombo

Jetwing Lagoon

Bawa’s first foray into hotel design is located in one of Sri Lanka’s first beach resorts, a 30-minute drive from Colombo International Airport. Built in 1965, it was originally known at the Blue Lagoon Hotel until it was purchased by Jetwing in 2009. Wanting to create a sense of space, Bawa imagined the low-rise resort as a series of villas. Sculptor and artist Laki Senanayake was responsible for the hotel’s sketches of twisted trees and vines.

Heritance Kandalama Hotel, Dambulla

Making the most of natural features in a rocky area, Bawa insisted no earth-moving machines were used to construct this property. Exterior walkways run along the cliff face and vegetation climbs the walls. Views extend to the Unesco world heritage site Sigiriya rock, where an ancient citadel was built in the 5th century.

Jetwing Lighthouse, Galle

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Set on the coast close to Galle, Bawa’s final hotel project features an elaborate staircase designed in collaboration with Laki Senanayake. The granite walled entrance mirrors Galle’s 17th century Dutch fort.

How to get there

The Experience Travel Group ( can tailor-make holidays to Sri Lanka.

© Press Association 2019