Shanth Fernando opened the first Paradise Road shop in Colombo in 1987, thereby establishing himself as one of Sri Lanka’s great style arbiters. “No, never hotels!” he supposedly said, when urged to enter the hospitality game in his home country (though he’d worked extensively in hotels abroad). Fortunately for us, that resolve didn’t last. The 10 richly original suites at Tintagel (www.paradiseroadhotels.com; from £220), once a home of the Bandaranaike political dynasty, harness heritage, refined design sensibility and comfort in a balance I’d call perfect. My suite’s walls, painted in wide strips of russet and deep blue, made me smile every time I looked at them; my antique four-poster, and the smooth gleaming teak planks beneath my feet, similarly delighted. Fernando’s resolutely modern design signatures – profusions of white and black porcelain, architectural flowers, canvases by the Sri Lankan artist Jagath Ravindra – anchor the Dutch-colonial splendour of the building firmly in this century, without diluting a bit of its magic.