“Bijou boutique hotel with delicious food and lush tropical gardens in a blissful coastal locale”
The rooms at Rock Villa, each artfully arranged, are split between various buildings. Beds are adorned with linen so plush and comfy that our afternoon read accidentally evolved into a lengthy nap. The location was very peaceful and although birdsong woke us at dawn, the thick curtains enabled us to sleep in.
The Walauwa Suite is booked as a complete house and definitely worth the extra cost if you’re a family, group or decadent couple seeking privacy. Original terracotta-tiled floors and high white ceilings characterise the elegantly styled, colonial-feel interiors, along with signature displays of purple lotus lilies and contemporary local art. The 2 elongated bedrooms showcase stunning four-poster kingsize beds, daybeds useful for sleeping a child, writing desks, almirahs, and modern white-tiled ensuite bathrooms with showers. The arched central living area has an iPod dock, TV nook and dining table, and flows onto a small kitchenette and a lovely garden-view veranda.
An elongated bedroom wing houses 2 Deluxe Rooms, arranged either side of a communal lounge with white rattan sofas and a TV. Slightly smaller, the Deluxe Rooms have a more modern, beachy feel, with plenty of white timber furnishings and comfy double beds shrouded in vibrant tropical-hued bedspreads. Those wanting outdoor space will be delighted with the roomier Superior Rooms, one is nearest the restaurant, and both have sofa-studded verandas.
Since our visit, a Two Bedroom Pool Suite has also been added. Comfy beds, inviting sofas and a pretty alfresco dining area make it look like true home-from-home; the private pool adds a touch of decadence.
Rock Villa has an extensive menu. The restaurant only accepts in-house guests and you can dine by candlelight in the dining pavilion, poolside, or for those staying in the Walauwa Suite, in your private dining room or on your veranda. You can eat when you like and tackle breakfast at whatever time you choose to surface - we highly recommend the eggs Benedict, pancakes or the curry dish, although there are healthier options, too.
A menu of light meals featuring pasta, seafood, meats, pizza and salads is available any time. Tempted by our location, we went for crispy fish and chips for lunch, along with the delicious multi-bowled rice and curry option.
For dinner, there’s a daily changing 3-course set menu, with themes ranging from modern Chinese and Thai to western combinations and BBQs, all beautifully presented. We dined on a zesty beetroot salad with feta, followed by chicken schnitzel with sage-buttered green beans and slivered almonds. Our dessert - sticky toffee pudding - was an absolute highlight. A more expensive seafood option featuring lobster is available every night, too.
The Walauwa Suite has its own kitchenette - a hangover from its previous days as a private holiday home - equipped with a fridge, hob and tea- and coffee-making facilities, although it’s not designed for self-catering.
In terms of eating out, Rock Villa is in good company as 2 neighbouring hotels - Club Villa and The Villa Bentota - each have their own very good restaurants for outside diners.
Extensive lawns, an in-view pool, nearby beach and friendly staff make this hotel suitable for children of all ages, however its small size and relaxing, coupley atmosphere befits quieter, independent teens or babies most of all. Kids under 6 stay for free.
Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)
The family-friendly Walauwa Suite comes with its own living-dining room, TV nook, kitchenette, furnished front veranda and 2 bedrooms (each with a daybed suitable for a child)
Babysitters can be arranged.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
A special kids' menu is available, featuring macaroni cheese, sausages and mash, spaghetti bolognese, pizza and fish and chips. Special requests are easily accommodated
A railway line runs beyond the fenced boundary of the garden, between the hotel and the beach