“Dutch colonial hotel in a beach paradise setting where all your needs are catered for…”
The 17 bedrooms are simple yet elegant, with vibrant silk cushions, murals, batiks and the odd antique set against a backdrop of white walls, crisp linen and airy high ceilings.
The first-floor Deluxe Rooms are larger than the ground-floor Standard Rooms, but all have air conditioning and most offer amazing views and either a balcony or private patio area. Many Deluxe Rooms also feature large bay windows or a mezzanine floor, ideal for stowing your things or retreating to if you want peace and quiet from your travelling companion. If you want more space, the Club Suite has a living area, a split-level bathroom with a Jacuzzi and separate rain shower, and an interior garden.
Most rooms (apart from the suite) have showers only; however, some of the bathrooms are something to behold. They're adjoined to the bedrooms as ensuites, yet have only 'half a roof', giving you the feeling that you’re showering in the open air, yet in total privacy. Some bathrooms have columns, creating an almost Roman-Sequa decadence.
Mosquito nets are carefully erected in the rooms nightly by the staff, who also spray the room and leave a lighted mosquito coil to ward off insect intruders.
The outdoor dining room is one of Club Villa's major draws. The helpful staff endeavour to create a pleasingly romantic atmosphere (even when there are children) with lanterns and candles.
Dinner (normally included in the room rate) is tailored to suit your requirements (you order earlier in the day) and always consists of 3 courses. Dishes tend towards the European - starters might include spinach pâté, fried squid or homemade soup with plenty of bread, while main courses usually feature fresh fish or meat (perhaps spaghetti with crab or plum-glazed chicken). It's worth opting for Sri Lankan cuisine if it's offered - we had a tasty curry accompanied by copious side dishes and popadoms.
A specialty of the house is the barbecue and champagne dinner - for a little extra, you and your loved one(s) can be wined and dined in luxurious style with your own private alfresco meal.
Breakfast is the same each day: papaya, pineapple, eggs and toast; it's fresh and filling, but can become rather monotonous if you’re staying for a while. Later in the day, you can order drinks by the pool from the comfort of your deckchair or enjoy a light lunch of spicy noodles or fresh salad in the garden. Tea and cake are served every afternoon; it's extremely refreshing in the heat and provides a great way to meet other guests, if you’re feeling sociable.
If you feel the need to explore a little, there are various restaurants within walking distance, as well as the larger Vivanta by Taj hotel (a mere 3 minutes' stroll along the beach), which serves a mean club sandwich and an excellent lunch buffet. And, if you're happy to venture a little further, you can tuck into fantastic food at Saman Villas, 30 minutes along the sand.
Club Villa is relaxed with fantastic staff, providing an excellent backdrop for a family holiday in Sri Lanka. Take tuk-tuk rides, play on the beach and don't forget to meet the local elephant population. It's a long drive from the airport (roads here are slow and rather rough and ready) and it works better as a second stop on a tour of the country than a first port of call.
Children are welcome and those under 12 receive a 50% meal discount.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
All rooms can take 1 or 2 extra beds and/or baby cots for a supplement, and many have an additional single bed which can be set up on request. Book a ground-floor room if you have toddlers (avoiding ungated stairs and balconies); larger families can book larger rooms or a twin room as an addition.
A babysitting/nanny service is available with an English-speaking babysitter
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Food is available all day; meals can be served early in the evening for children and there's a kids' menu (or speak to the chef if you have special requests). Half-portions of adult meals are also available, and you can easily walk to a nearby café or restaurant if you want some variety.
There are a few hazards: balconies, stairs and a railway at the end of the garden, beyond a gate. There's a shop for nappies, baby food and beach toys very close by, so you don't have to bring everything with you.