The architect-designed house was crafted from local materials and flaunts Japanese Zen-inspired styling, with clean lines and monochrome colour schemes, and inner courtyards with greenery. 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.
- 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 with older kids: three spacious bedrooms, plenty of living space and a show-stopping infinity pool
- New and improved roads make Colombo airport an easy three-hour drive away; the Air Taxi lands only 5km away
- The rocky beach at the bottom of the garden is not safe for swimming, but there are plenty of others nearby
- No alcohol is available (but you can BYO at no charge)
- No bathtubs
- Full pre-payment is required by bank transfer only
Best time to go
Temperatures hover around 29C throughout the year, but heavy rain tends to fall in May/June and September/October.
Our top tips
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.
- Beach House
- 3 bedrooms
- Self-catering + private cook
- All ages welcome; best for older kids
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Laundry Service
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. There’s no A/C here, but there are ceiling fans, and you can fold back the floor-to-ceiling doors to let the cooling sea breeze in. The doors open onto a wide terrace with a magnificent view of the beach below and coast beyond. Outdoor seating and sun loungers are shaded by palm and mangrove trees.
The three bedrooms have super-kingsize beds which all face the sea. Their interiors follow a soothing black, white and grey colour scheme, and they are fully air conditioned. 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.
- In room treatments available
- Safe box
- Washing machine
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.
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Dinner by arrangement
- Food blender
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- In house cook
- Lunch by arrangement
- Shopping service
- 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:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Traditional cultures
- Turtle hatching
- Well being
- Whale watching
The house is great 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.
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.
Kids Activities on site:
- Swimming pool
- Internet TV
- Rock pooling with parents
Kids Activities nearby:
- Mawella Beach is excellent for swimming
- 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.
- Airport: 3.5-4 hours (Colombo)
- Hospital: 15 minutes (Tangalle)
- Shops: 15 minutes (Tangalle)
House 123 is 5km from Tangalle, on the outskirts of a village about 1km from the main Galle road.
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).
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.
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.
- Colombo Bandaranaike International 215.0 km CMB
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 0.5 km