Serendipity Villa

Habaraduwa, Galle & South Coast, Sri Lanka Book from

Reviewed by Emma Boyle
Chic, staffed villa for 2-5 on one of Galle’s best sandy beaches, with sea-view bedrooms and a gorgeous pool
This is an incredible generous escape for a family or 2 couples. Bedrooms gaze seawards and are spacious; the indoor-outdoor living areas soothe you with squashy sofas and comfy daybeds, and the swimming pool, just a few footsteps from the front veranda, is 16m long. To cap it off, you have a small, discreet staff, including a chef, to kick-start your R&R.

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
  • On-call managers Henri and Koki are a mine of local information and are happy to share their insider tips
  • Swimming laps in the pool as the sun rises
  • 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

December to April are the driest months on the south coast, but bear in mind that this is the height of the tourist season, so you'll need to book well in advance and prices are much higher. May and June are generally wet as is November; July and August are pleasant but the Indian Ocean is rough. September and October can be sunny, though heavy rain and humidity are typical. Availability may be limited during January’s Galle Literary Festival.

Our top tips

You can sometimes see marine turtles in the sea shallows looking for a safe place to ‘land’ and bury their precious cargo (especially at night). If not, make for the small turtle hatchery 200m down the beach, which rescues the turtle eggs from poachers and safely releases them into the sea.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villa
  • 3 bedrooms
  • In-house cook
  • All ages welcome
  • 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


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.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Satellite tv
  • Swimming pool
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi


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.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • In house cook
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • 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:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wildlife


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.

Best for:

All ages

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 equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

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

Children's meals:

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)
Kid Friendly:

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