Sri Lanka, Colombo, Rooftop Bars, Rooftop Pools, Views from Altitude

Sri Lanka, a backpacker’s haven and a surfer’s paradise. The country is full of culture, amazing landscape and great tasting food. The country’s main airport is located north of Colombo, the capital and the start of most travellers’ stay in this beautiful country. Colombo, even though in our opinion is not as picturesque as Kandy or Galle, it is the heartbeat of the country in terms of business and nightlife. With the city growing and developing itself in terms of infrastructure and hospitality, it hosts an array of hotels and high-rises with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean from the heights of its rooftop restaurants or pools. With locals, expats and travellers all making Colombo a stop at least once in their itineraries, it’s a great place to meet people and enjoy sundowners. On our trip recently we managed to make our way to what we would recommend as three of the best places to enjoy the city’s view.

ON14 rooftop lounge @ OZO COLOMBO is located at Clifford Place, Marine Drive. It boasts unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean which leave you in awe of the sunset. The bar is located with the hotel’s rooftop pool for its guests, but if you’re in luck, you might be able to get a way with a dip yourself (but do ask first!). The dress code is very casual unlike some of the places in Colombo, making it ideal when you’ve been out exploring the city. Furthermore, being a rooftop pool, the bar also provides food throughout the day and is open from 11am till 2am daily, making it attractive due to most of the rooftops in the city opening from 1630 onwards.

Botanik Rooftop – Bistro & Bar, is located in the midst of the city’s financial center, at the Fairway Hotel. It’s entrance is easily missed to the passerby but ask around and people are happy to point you in the right direction. Once making your way to the top, the rooftop is split into two, the restaurant and the bar. The food looked great, but having had plans to eat elsewhere we just went in for drinks. The bar was well-stocked with all your favourites on display, with an extensive drinks menu to match. The views were slightly obscured by the surrounding buildings but you were still able to make out the Lotus Tower to the left and gaze into the sunset at a distance. The bar was themed around a botanical garden hence the play on words, making it a place you can easily be with friends for hours whilst escaping the evening rush hour. Cocktails range from 800 – 1500 LKR but do try and make the most of their weekday happy hour from 5:30pm – 7:00pm with offers on wine, beer and cocktails. Another feature of the rooftop is that they from time host pop-up events, cocktail masterclasses as well great nights out. So please check out the site for my details or their social media pages. Botanik is open Tuesday – Sunday | 5:30 PM to Midnight (Bar Last Order Till 1:30 am on Fridays/Saturdays) Wednesday – Friday | 12 noon to 3:00 PM.

Ce La Vi at the Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo’s latest addition comes from the brand which we all associate with Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. It was a shame we came to the bar at nightfall as we got to miss the #sunsetparty but the fact that the bar had an encyclopedia of a drinks menu and happy hour 5-8, it helped with the disappointment.  Furthermore, the happy hour is worth it considering compared to many of the bars in the city, it is a on the pricier side with cocktails ranging around the 1500 LKR mark and imported beers around 1000 LKR. The staff are super friendly and attentive. The bar offers limited selection of food from its Japanese restaurant located inside, but I guess when you are dancing away with its resident DJ and enjoying a host of events throughout its weekly schedule, dinner and food will be the last thing on your mind. So glad that Ce La Vi chose to come to Sri Lanka to add to its collection, making it the best evening hangout in town in my opinion.

Note – Ce La Vi, is open daily from 11am till late and hosts a varied night out, everyday of the week! So be sure to check it out.