“Chic, staffed villa for 2-5 on one of Galle’s best sandy beaches, with sea-view bedrooms and a gorgeous pool”
Designed by one of Sri Lanka's premier architects, Jayatillaka Sumangala, the villa opened in 2014 yet the aged Dutch tiles, squat veranda columns and recycled timber door frames hark back to Sri Lanka’s golden era. Its design is effortlessly stylish, blending essential mod cons with antique pieces to create a tranquil and timeless setting. The pool is magnetic, and as you drift off next to it lulled by the sea’s swell, the stresses of life and work are quick to melt away. Beyond the lush lawn, a white gate leads onto a long golden-sand beach, while Galle Fort, the region’s main attraction, is a 25-minute drive away.
- We immediately felt relaxed, and loved the villa’s tranquil vibe; swimming laps in the pool at sunrise was particularly memorable
- On-call managers Henri and Koki are a mine of local information and are happy to share their insider tips
- An in-house cook, who can conjure up a range of fabulous Sri Lankan and international favourites, and restaurants a 10-minute tuk-tuk away
- Great value, only a 2-night minimum stay (except over Christmas-New Year), and a reduced rate if you only take one bedroom (price on request)
- The beach is home to nesting marine turtles, which may be spied at night
- Both beds are doubles, so kids will have to share or sleep on camp beds
- The sea is rough for most of the year and generally unsafe for swimming
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Villa
- 3 bedrooms
- In-house cook
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
Serendipity is super stylish. The 2 bedrooms sit side-by-side, and are furnished with enormous four-poster beds, twin wardrobes and a pair of countertop washbasins. Doors to either side lead to semi-open-air shower bathrooms, with palm trees reaching up into the roof. We were impressed by the grandness of our bedroom and loved waking up to ocean views while cosy in bed.
Dominating the living room are white sofas and an oversized ebony almirah, flanked by twin antique tea-rolling tables artistically crafted into mirrors. To the rear is a contemporary open kitchen whilst across the garden, surveying the pool and Indian Ocean, is the bijou dining pavilion.
- Air conditioning
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
- Full kitchen
- Satellite TV
- Swimming pool
- Washing machine
Daily breakfasts are included in the rates (either Western or Sri Lankan), while provisions for all other meals are charged at market rates and prepared by the in-house chef. The menu lists Western and Asian dishes, but we used it as a guide since the chef recommended dishes based on the availability of local produce.
For lunch, we tucked into yummy leek and tomato tart with a trio of fresh salads. The staff ramped up the ambiance for dinner by lighting candles in the dining pavilion and scattering pink and white temple flowers on the table. After a shot of smooth gazpacho soup we dined on honey chicken, mango salsa and a leafy green salad, before ending with a delicious strawberry syrup-drenched pannacotta with the perfect wobble.
The flexibility of the villa’s dining arrangements is a big plus, though there are a handful of good restaurants within a 5-25 minute drive for a change of scene.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Dinner by arrangement
- Full kitchen
- In house cook
- Lunch by arrangement
- Vegetarian menu
- Explore the idyllic locale by wandering onto the beach and heading east towards Koggala; the sands widen and you'll see the colourful timber catamarans of local fishermen
- Venture inland on a guided bicycle adventure, winding through the quietest back lanes, passing paddy fields, villages, lakes and temples
- Visit a tea or cinnamon estate; nearby is a lowland tea factory renowned for its ‘Virgin White Tea’, which offers tours of the tea gardens and antiquated factory, along with a tea-sampling session
- Surfing is popular on local beaches; Weligama (20 mins' drive) has a good surf school and you can hire boards
- Jump on the train to Bentota to visit 2 magical gardens; renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa’s idyllic Lunuganga, and his brother Bevis’ more intimate Brief
- Take an afternoon stroll around Galle’s historic 17thC Dutch Fort, visiting lovely boutiques and cafes, then ending up on the old ramparts for sunset
- Cricket enthusiasts can catch a game at Galle Fort's world-famous stadium
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Plantlife / flora
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
Children of all ages are welcome. Little ones can safely play in the enclosed garden, there’s a sandy beach just beyond the garden gate and a turtle hatchery nearby. The staff are extremely flexible in accommodating kids’ food requests and mealtimes.
The 2 bedrooms are spacious, easily allowing for cots and extra beds; note both beds are doubles, and there's a maximum occupancy of 5.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
An English-speaking babysitter or a full time nanny can be arranged with advance notice. Daily or hourly rates apply
- Baby cots
- High chairs
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The chef can prepare kids' meals and the kitchen is freely accessible to guests who need to heat baby milk or cook for fussy eaters
Kids Activities nearby:
- Sandy beach (not suitable for swimming)
- A turtle hatchery 200m from the villa
Families Should Know:
The pool is unfenced and there are no steps into the pool nor a shallow paddling area. Toddlers and babies will require extra supervision
- Airport: 3 hours (Colombo)
Serendipity is set on Habaraduwa’s palm-fringed sandy beach, 25 minutes east of Galle on Sri Lanka's south coast.
Fly into Colombo Bandaranaike (135km). Click on the links below for a list of airlines. It takes 3 hours by car to reach this region from Colombo - Henri and Koki can arrange this for you at extra cost. Alternatively, Sri Lankan Airlines runs a convenient air taxi service from Colombo airport to Koggala Lake, 5km from the villa. From there you can jump in a tuk-tuk.
Take a bus or train to Habaraduwa station then a tuk-tuk to the villa. It's only a short distance away.
If you want to hire a driver and car for your whole holiday, enquire through our Tailormade Tour Operator.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Sri Lanka and getting around
- Colombo Bandaranaike 135.0 km CMB
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 3.0 km
- Restaurant 3.0 km