“Walawwa” means mansion in Sinhala. In English you call it “manor house”. The owners of wallaw possessed large amount of lands passed down through generations. Most of these wallaw were constructed years ago, and have beautiful colonial interior with very interesting stories. Nowadays many such grand houses are converted to hotels or are open to public.
Located in Kaluthara, Richmond Castle is a magnificent country house situated in a 42-acre estate. It was built in 1896, During British era, the Castle was frequented by brattish officials. It originally belonged to landowner and philanthropist NDA Silva Wijayasinghe, who was a village leader ( Mudali). The building is a magnificent display of Indian and British mix of architecture and built according to an Indian Maharaja’s palace. The Castle and its grounds are now open to the public.
The history of Maduwanwela Walawwa dates back to the Kandyan period of King Wimaladharmasuriya II (1687-1707 AD). Maduwanwela Walawwa is accessible via Embilipitiya along the Panamura-Kolonna highway. The Maduwanwela Wallauwwa during its prime had 121 rooms and 21 inner gardens (mada midulas). Today, there are 40 rooms remaining and seven inner gardens. The building has been recognized as a historical and archaeological site by the government.
Dikkanda Walawwa which was built in the 1920s, is situated on the top of a rock. It is a private property hence entry without permission is prohibited. Recently there had been a great interest in the property, due to rumors of supernatural beings seen on the property. Dikkanda walawwa is located in Waturugama in Gampaha district.
Located in Ethul Kotte, Colombo, Kotte Walawwa is now an archaeological Museum. The museum is maintained by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. The museum was first established in 1992 as E. W. Perera Memorial Museum and was open for the public in 1995. The walawwa was the residence of late politician E. W. Perera.
Bothale walawwa is a large bungalow located in Bothale, Mirigama in Negombo district. The old mansion was passed on to the wealthy owner’s son, a certain Don Stephen Senanayake who became active in local politics, later becoming a prominent State Council Minister and a national leader. D. S. Senanayake was active in gaining Ceylon’s Independence from Britain and became the first Prime Minister of Ceylon.
If you are looking for hotels in Colombo, you have various options including former-walaww and other boutique hotels. Make sure to do your research and pick the accommodation that meets your requirement.