Saman Villas

Athuruwella, Bentota, Sri Lanka Book from

Small luxury beach hotel, perfect for weddings, secluded honeymoons and romantic escapes
Perched magnificently on its own private headland between 2 gorgeous beaches, Saman Villas is one of Sri Lanka's most luxurious small hotels. Its collection of villa suites, dining and living areas, lush seaside gardens and infinity-edge pool are all designed to maximize its stunning location and the amazing sunsets. Sip a cocktail in the lounge, hang out in the library, book a candlelit table for 2 or check into the temple-like Sahana Spa, where perfumed aromatherapy treatments meet soothing music and a steamy tropical water garden.

A speciality here is the tailor-made wedding packages - staff can organise everything from the dress, the dancers and the music to ceremonial elephants. An effortless combination of Western comforts and Sri Lankan charm, this is also an excellent choice for couples seeking total relaxation, beach resort facilities, luxurious suites and wonderful views. It has long been a favourite with honeymooners and romantics, but after a 2010 facelift it now pushes the boat out with upgraded rooms and fabulous new bathrooms - a little bit more glamour with the same enchanting natural setting.

Highs

  • There are spectacular ocean views from all parts of the hotel (especially the pool, which seems to float on the horizon)
  • The tranquil gardens have lush natural surroundings; you’ll hear the constant sound of the sea
  • The rooms are spacious - some are like small apartments with private pools, gardens, verandas and huge bath tubs
  • Tailor-made wedding packages are on offer
  • The Sahana Spa often offers complimentary mini treatments and jet-lag cures (such as relaxing foot massages)

Lows

  • It lacks the homely charm and character of many private villas
  • The food is pricey by Sri Lanka standards and doesn’t quite live up to the surroundings
  • The beaches are great for a stroll, but from May to August it's not ideal for swimming due to undercurrents
  • Don't come expecting action-packed days - this is somewhere to unwind and the nearest restaurants are 3 miles away

Best time to go

November to April are the driest months, with December to February bringing the calmest waters for swimming and diving. June to October is the monsoon season, though temperatures hover around 25-29C all year. Book well in advance for the busy Christmas period.

Our top tips

For the ultimate in romantic dining ask to have a candlelit table laid on the rocks below the garden walls. Staff will set it on a platform within inches of the Indian Ocean waves.

Great for...

Beach
Honeymoon
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 27
  • Restaurant + bar (open daily)
  • Over 10s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Snooker Table
  • Pool table
Room:

Rooms

The 27 suites are set out in terraces of 2-storey villa houses, all facing the sea. All rooms are decorated in a clean, airy style with teak floors, bamboo furnishings, white-washed brick walls and splashes of colour. As well as glass doors opening onto your own outdoor space (complete with daybeds and dining tables), they have spacious, open-plan sitting areas and a raised sleeping platform with a wooden bed covered in a handmade quilt. This is Sri Lankan luxury with all the mod cons - air conditioning, minibars, bathrobes, TVs and DVD players are all standard features.

Bathrooms are grand and semi open-air, plus have Western comforts: hot water, enormous bath tubs, separate rainfall showers, as well as built-in hairdryers and light-up mirrors. The complimentary toiletries include local products like bath clay and hand-made soap.

Superior Suite can be found upstairs, and a larger Deluxe Suite at ground level. The upper floors command the best views, but you can see the sea from every room - the choice is therefore whether you want a veranda or a garden terrace. But if you can, choose a Deluxe Suite with Pool or a Grand Deluxe with Pool, each with a private, 7m infinity pool. While the 2-storey Saman Villa Suite is perfect for honeymooners, with a sundeck, a terrace with an infinity pool and a garden!

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Dvd player
  • Hairdryer
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Slippers
  • Terrace
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet
  • Yamaha home theatre

Eating

The main restaurant - a breezy split-level pavilion at the heart of the hotel - offers a 4-course dinner of the day and an extensive à la carte menu featuring everything from scrambled eggs to chili sambal. We tucked into Sri Lankan thalies, curries and noodles, but Western dishes like fish and chips are also available if you’re craving comfort food. In high season, weekly barbecue nights are held.

The smaller terrace restaurant by the pool is perfect for breakfast and lunch if you want something lighter (club sandwiches, grills or salads). Breakfast includes fresh fruit and juices, eggs made to order, bacon, hash browns and wheat toast.

The hotel specialises in romantic dining and offers a single table under a charming little pavilion perched on the edge of the pool - perfect for sunset dining à deux.

The Pool Bar is open throughout the day, overlooking the ocean. On request, guests can make use of the open-air Sunset Lounge on the top floor of the restaurant, which has magnificent views over the coast and central hills. There's also 24-hour room service and guests can have the luxury of being served personally on their own balcony.

Note that all meals - including breakfast - are charged as extra to the room rate, and the hotel's location means it's a rickshaw or taxi ride into Bentota if you want to eat out.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating: Deluxe Suite with pool
Activity:

Activities

  • Pamper yourself at the Sahana Spa, a suite of treatment pavilions set in water gardens and offering sauna, steam shower, Jacuzzi, flower bath and treatment rooms. A green tea facial, deep tissue massage and coriander back wrap are among the range of relaxing, de-stressing treatments on offer, all featuring perfumed oils, natural herbs and soothing music
  • There is evening entertainment (usually Sri Lankan dancing or music) most nights
  • Roam the large gardens, watch sunset from a rocky promontory or meander down the private paths to the beach
  • Take a trip into nearby Bentota (a 3km rickshaw ride) to visit its ancient Buddhist temples
  • Bentota also offers tennis, squash, archery and water skiing
  • Head to the nearby turtle hatchery, where visitors are encouraged to release baby turtles into the sea as part of a conservation programme
  • Socialise with other guests and invite new friends over to your balcony for dinner

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Archery
  • Historical sites
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga

Kids

The hotel is more geared towards romantic couples than families and no children under 10 are accepted.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
7/
Food
8/
Service
7/
Value
8/
Overall

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