House 123

Tangalle & South Coast, Sri Lanka Book from Book from £369 per night

Stylish architect-designed house (sleeps 6) set on a deserted beach near Tangalle with epic sea views, a huge infinity pool and a private cook
Hidden away on Sri Lanka’s beautiful south coast, close to the market town of Tangalle, this secluded, modern and spacious three-bedroom house is blessed with movie-star good looks. Set on a bluff overlooking a palm-fringed beach and three verdant headlands, it's all about the views here: floor-to-ceiling windows gaze out over the ocean, a terrace runs the width of the house, and an enormous 60ft infinity pool flows into the horizon.

The architect-designed house was crafted from local materials in order to blend into its natural environment. Inside, it has Japanese Zen-inspired styling. There are sleek, minimalist living spaces for dining, reading and relaxing, plus three ocean-facing bedrooms with semi-open-air bathrooms. Furniture is bespoke and artworks are an eclectic mix of paintings and photographs bought over the years by the owners - including some of their own creations.

The beach at the bottom of the garden isn’t safe for swimming, but that’s of little concern when you have a mammoth private infinity pool to enjoy, rock pools to examine, and Unakuruwa beach a short stroll away. Return for home-cooked meals of your choice prepared for you by your very own cook. Pure luxury.

Highs

  • Secluded house with some of the best sea views in Sri Lanka
  • Contemporary design with crisp, white simplicity and floor-to-ceiling windows framing the scenery
  • Delicious local food prepared by a private cook, plus on-hand staff should you need anything
  • Great for families: three spacious bedrooms, plenty of living space and a gorgeous infinity pool
  • New and improved roads make Colombo airport an easy three-hour drive away; the Air Taxi lands only 5km away

Lows

  • No alcohol is available (but you can BYO at no charge)
  • The pool is unfenced and the rocky beach at the bottom of the garden is not safe for swimming; best for families with older children
  • No bathtubs
  • Full pre-payment is required by bank transfer only

Best time to go

November to April is considered the best time to visit southern Sri Lanka, both for hours of sunshine and for calm seas. December is often the best month for swimming and snorkelling because the seas are usually calmer.

Temperatures hover around 29C throughout the year, but heavy rain tends to fall in May/June and September/October.

Our top tips

For swimming in the sea, head to either Unakuruwa Beach or Mawella Beach, both of which are protected by headlands making the water safer and calmer.

If you're wondering about the name, it comes from the plot of land on which the house sits - which measures 123 perches (just under an acre). The owners spent over a year searching for this perfect patch of land; it took another year to get permissions, and 5 further years - in close partnership with local architects PWA - to complete the build and furnishings.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Great Outdoors
Romantic
  • Beach House
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • Self-catering + private cook
  • All ages welcome; best for older kids
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

The house is minimalist in style, with handcrafted furniture made from local materials. It has large, interconnected living spaces incorporating an open-plan kitchen, a dining room seating 10 and a sitting room with comfortable sofas. Floor-to-ceiling folding doors gaze towards the open sea, opening onto a wide terrace with outdoor seating and sun loungers shaded by palm and mangrove trees.

The three bedrooms have super-kingsize beds, air conditioning and soothing black, white and grey colour schemes. Ensuite bathrooms are semi-open-air, with large sinks and private outdoor showers hidden beneath greenery. One bedroom opens off the living room and has an internet TV, a well-stocked library with mostly English books and a little courtyard with a fragrant frangipani tree.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Barbecue
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • DVD player
  • Fan
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Oven
  • Safe box
  • Swimming pool
  • Terrace
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

You can cook for yourself in the large, well-equipped kitchen, or have the cook rustle up dishes for you. A tick-list of essentials is provided so that staff can shop locally on your behalf - useful if you want to order mixers for drinks, snacks, or specific items such as cereal. Western dishes are on offer, but the traditional Sri Lankan dishes come highly recommended - think creamy curries and sticky rice. There's also a big barbecue (great for grilling fresh fish) and Bialetti stovetop pots for coffee drinkers. Choose to dine at the large dining table with views, or outside by the pool - lit by candles at night.

If you fancy eating out, there are a couple of local seafood shacks in Unakuruwa. In Tangalle, the traditional Rest House is known for its “fish fingers” (in reality fried seer fish chunks) and cold beer, while Kingfisher restaurant is praised for its delicious pizzas.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Breakfast
  • Chef on request
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Coffee maker
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • In house cook
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Oven
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
  • Self-catering + in-house cook
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Go surfing at Unakuruwa Beach, a short walk from the house; if you want to take lessons, Bandula's Surf School will pick you up and take you to the best beaches for your ability level - but be sure to book early as he is very popular!
  • Keen photographers will love the fishing scene at nearby Mawella Beach; dawn is usually a hotbed of activity. Staff can arrange for you to head out to fish with one of the boats (cost negotiable with the fishermen).
  • Simple massages can be arranged in the privacy of your house (request in advance). For a comprehensive range of treatments, book into Amanwella’s lavish spa at the far end of the neighbouring beach.
  • Take a tuk-tuk to Tangalle, whose bustling harbour and markets offer an insight into local life.
  • Observe marine turtles hatching and laying eggs at the Rekawa Turtle Sanctuary.
  • Hike up Mulkirigala, a sacred Buddhist rock temple, to admire the cave murals and stunning 360-degree views.

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Whale watching

Kids

The house is ideal for free-range families. The set-up is best-suited to children old enough to safely navigate the unfenced infinity pool. The rocky beach immediately below the house is not safe for swimming, but there are other swimming beaches in the area.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The house has three ensuite double bedrooms. A baby cot is available if requested in advance.

Babysitting:

English-speaking childcare can be arranged with advance notice

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cot
  • High chair

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The cooks can tailor meals (and spice levels) to younger, cautious taste buds, and the kitchens are ideal for whipping up kids' snacks

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Internet TV
  • Rock pooling with parents

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Mawella Beach is excellent for swimming
  • Yala National Park (100km) for leopard, elephant, fish eagles
  • Seasonal turtle hatching (Rekewa 20km has five endangered species)
  • Udawalawe National Park (65km)
  • Kalametiya bird sanctuary, where you can go bird watching via boat across freshwater lagoons
  • Whale watching excursions from either Mirissa (40km) or Dondra (22km), Dec-April

Families Should Know:

The pool is unfenced and is not alarmed, and the beach at the end of the garden is not suitable for swimming.

Distances:

  • Airport: 3.5-4 hours (Colombo)
  • Hospital: 15 minutes (Tangalle)
  • Shops: 15 minutes (Tangalle)
Kid Friendly:

Location

House 123 is 5km from Tangalle, on the outskirts of a village about 1km from the main Galle road.

By Air:
Most guests arrive via Colombo Bandaranaike (215km away) and then take the Air Taxi service to Mawella Lagoon, just 5km from the house. Alternatively, staff can arrange transfers from the capital's airport in a comfortable minivan (a 3-hour drive).

By Train:
You can take the slow but scenic train from Colombo to Matara (30 minutes away), where staff can arrange for a taxi to meet you.

By Car:
It you want to hire a car and driver for your entire trip, enquire through our Tailormade Tour Operator. Otherwise, the house staff can arrange cars, drivers and tuk-tuks for day trips and local journeys.

Detailed directions will be provided when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Sri Lanka and getting around

Airports:

  • Colombo Bandaranaike International 215.0 km CMB

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.5 km

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