Ekho Lake House is charming 12-room holiday retreat set on the shores of the Parakrama reservoir and ideally placed to explore the ancient Sri Lanka capital of Polonnaruwa. It was originally known as the Polonnaruwa Rest House, built in 1870 for British government officers. In 1954, the Queen of England stayed here on her tour of (then) Ceylon: the Queen’s Suite is still intact and is the most luxurious room in the property. In 2014, the property was upgraded to a small boutique hotel, offering tastefully-furnished bedrooms and a personalised service. Despite this modernisation, black and white photographs of old Ceylon decorate the hotel walls, harking back to its colonial past.
Ekho Lake House (not to be confused with The Lake, a more budget Polonnuruwa property) is designed to make the most of its beautiful surroundings. There is an outdoor terrace, where guests can relax and take in the breath-taking scenery, and the restaurant extends over the lake, providing 180 degree views.
The rooms are split into two types: Deluxe Rooms and Superior Rooms, both of which have spectacular lake views. There is also the luxurious Queen’s Suite, which has a private terrace with outdoor jacuzzi. All rooms are well-furnished, with twin or king-sized beds, a writing desk and lounge chairs, and have ensuite bathrooms with h/w showers. In–room facilities include an LCD TV with satellite channels, an IDD telephone, a mini-bar, tea/coffee facilities and an electronic safe. There is also Wi-Fi and room service.
Sri Lankan and western cuisine is served in the main restaurant, or in the privacy of your own veranda. There is also a café serving snacks and cool drinks and a well-stocked bar.
Why We Like It
We love watching elephants grazing across the lake and that bike hire is available to visit the nearby ruins of the former capital.
Ekho Lake House is next-door to Polonnaruwa Archeological Museum and only a short stroll from the city’s ancient ruins. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Dambulla are all within easy reach. Minneriya National Park, home to large herds of wild elephants, is 30 minutes away and the sun-kissed beaches of Passikudah are only 1.5 hours away.