The Sanctuary at Tissawewa is one of Sri Lanka’s landmark colonial buildings. Set on 11 acres of lush landscaped gardens, this masterpiece of Raj architecture, one of the islands first purpose built hotels, has been welcoming guests for over 100 years.
“In 1907 a fine hotel was opened to supersede the little resthouse, now the post office which until then had served for visitors, but in the season even the accommodation of the hotel is strained to the utmost and rooms must be booked sometime beforehand….” wrote C E Mitton in her book ‘The Lost Cities of Ceylon’ first published in 1916. Built as the Grand hotel-Anuradhapura, during the time of British Governor Henry Arthur Blake, on Independence this became the Tissawewa Resthouse, then Tissawewa Grand and now, The Sanctuary at Tissawewa after extensive refurbishment and renovation in 2013. “The hotel has all the charm of eastern style, with open verandahs and deep eaves; it faces north, a great consideration in this climate. At night the peevish whine of the flying foxes is heard in the trees and a myriad fireflies shone among the branches like wandering stars”.
Known then as now for our warm hospitality, clean beds and good food, Tissawewa has played host to pilgrims, travellers, tourists, Guests of State including Queen Elizabeth, Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew, Moraji Desai, and President Zia Ul Hak who enjoyed the same brand of hospitality we offer you.