The Park Street Hotel, Colombo $$$$
20 Park Street
Tel: 94 11 472 4363
Travelers who head north to Sri Lanka's heritage treasures often feel too pinched for time to detour to the sun-kissed south. But at the Park Street Hotel, visitors can work on their tan in the capital city. Local style star Taru Fonseka recast this 250-year-old colonial bungalow as a 12-room hotel, adding a large pool, a gym, and free Wi-Fi, among other updates. Ten of the hotel's spacious guest rooms have been carved out of an adjacent warehouse and outfitted with polished concrete floors and platform beds laid with Indian cotton linens, while the two period-inspired suites include elegant sitting rooms and private gardens. Those who want more local lore can walk around the corner to Gangaramaya Temple, famous for its Buddhist relics and its resident tusker elephant. The top-notch staff were trained at The River House and Taprobana, the two other Taru Villas properties on this resplendent island.