When your time in beautiful Sri Lanka draws to a close, there’s still a chance to enjoy one last touch of local hospitality. The Serendib Lounge is SriLankan Airlines’ flagship Business Class digs. While the space is compact, Serendib (incidentally, an old Persian name for Sri Lanka) serves a tasty buffet and even makes room for a cosy ‘quiet area’.

But unlike most lounges within the oneworld alliance, this one is strictly for Business Class passengers only. Due to space restraints, passengers in Economy – even with oneworld Sapphire or Emerald status – will have to make do at the nearby Serendiva Lounge instead.

Lounge location and layout

After clearing immigration, the Serendib Lounge is located to the right. Keep walking down, and you’ll eventually see its grand entrance on the left. It’s open around the clock, in line with airport operations and SriLankan’s flight schedule.

Once inside, the lounge staff greet you with a friendly “Ayubowan”, which translates to ‘wishing you a long life’. When you walk in, a small ‘quiet zone’ with reclining armchairs is immediately to the right. While this is a great idea, it is limited in practice as the space is completely open to the rest of the lounge.

Meanwhile, the lounge’s main space opens up beyond the reception desk. Serendib seats roughly 80 passengers, plus 20 more in the dining room. Despite the lounge’s limited footprint, it never felt too busy during my mid-morning visit. In fact, it was practically empty.

The shower and bathroom facilities are in the far corner, but I didn’t get a chance to check them out properly. Free Wi-Fi is beamed around the lounge. I measured the speeds at 36.9 Mbps down and 13.9 Mbps up, which is good enough for most travellers.

One downside, though – the lounge isn’t optimised for anyone looking to work. Power plugs are in limited supply, and there’s no dedicated space or furniture for productivity.

Lounge food and beverages

Despite being breakfast time, SriLankan Airlines offers a varied spread of dishes, including plenty of curries. For a lighter start to the day, try sliced fruits, finger sandwiches, and salads from the cold bar.

Over at the warmers, expect some Western fare, such as omelettes, sausages, baked beans, and roasted potatoes. But if you’re feeling adventurous, the regional dishes that stand out include fish, chicken, and vegetable curries.

I didn’t eat much before my Business Class flight to Singapore, but I nibbled on some of the tasty chicken red curry with rice, alongside some sliced watermelon and papaya.

A full range of beverages, including sparkling wine, red and white wines, spirits, and soft drinks, await at the bar. I’m happy enough with a glass of the Italian Santero 958 Egos spumante (think prosecco, but heavier on the bubbles).

Other options include Château Haut-Mouleyre Sauvignon Blanc 2021 and the Calvet Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, both hailing from Bordeaux. For a shot of something stronger, there’s Johnnie Walker Black Label, Chivas Regal, Bacardi Rum, Absolut Vodka and Gibson’s London Dry Gin.

For a country known worldwide for its tea, the Serendib Lounge showcases its large range of Jaf Tea blends, featuring its signature local Ceylon tea base. But if you’re after some coffee, you’ll need to make do with the coffee machine.

Who can access this lounge?

Access to the Serendib Lounge is open to a limited range of passengers:

  • Business Class and higher on SriLankan Airlines and other oneworld member carriers such as Qatar Airways.

That’s it. Unfortunately, Economy passengers flying on an eligible airline in Economy with oneworld Sapphire or Emerald (e.g. Qantas Gold or Platinum status) can only access the Serendiva Lounge instead.

If you’re using Qantas Points, you could book a Business Classic Reward with SriLankan Airlines for a full range of perks, including access to the Serendib Lounge.

Our verdict:

The Serendib Lounge is a relaxing area where you can wait before your onward flight. Where the lounge lacks in space, it makes up for with a tighter guest list, a wide range of tasty dishes and friendly service. The lounge agents looking after me were efficient and polite at both the reception and the bar.

If you have a long layover, you could conceivably take a nap on the recliner sofas, though I’d recommend bringing your own eye mask and earplugs as the quiet zone isn’t separated from the main lounge.

There’s not a vast choice of eateries or seating areas in the main terminal. I’m glad the Serendib Lounge offers a respite from the bustling queues and the horrifically overpriced Burger King after immigration (US$15+ for a set meal…?).

Serendib Lounge apron views
Enjoying the apron views from SriLankan’s Serendib Lounge in Colombo.

Photography by Brandon Loo, who travelled at Point Hacks’ expense.

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SriLankan Airlines Serendib Lounge, Colombo was last modified: July 11th, 2024 by Brandon Loo