“Three boutique beach villas (each sleeps 4-8) with unrivalled views of the Indian Ocean, 3km from Bentota”
The three villas are designed in contemporary Asian style, with modern facilities and cool, airy interiors. All bedrooms and suites (bar the twin in Villa Araliya) have spacious balconies overlooking the Indian Ocean. Furnishings are sourced from South and South East Asia, including handmade bedspreads from India and Sri Lanka, beautiful custom-made furniture and locally-sourced antiques. Spacious living and dining areas open to the beach or the infinity-edged pool.
Sagara Villa (3 double rooms, sleeps 6) has 3 large double suites, including 2 luxe first-floor King Suites. The ground-floor Garden Suite boasts a four-poster bed and tropical outdoor shower. The living room has louvred windows; steps lead directly to the beach. The dining area seats up to ten people at a solid Mara-wood designer table; the kitchen is just next door.
Nisala Villa (2 suites, sleeps 4) has 2 first-floor Double Suites decorated with paintings by local artists. Outside is an open-air shower. The large open-plan living and dining area (also with ten-seater table) has louvred French doors opening out onto the pool. The kitchen and bar are complemented by a wonderful veranda with lounger chairs.
Villa Araliya (4 double/twin rooms, sleeps 8) has two King Suites upstairs, with Burmese teak floors and local art work. The third Double Room downstairs has an ensuite bathroom with outdoor shower. The fourth bedroom has twin beds and French windows opening onto the azure pool (only available for whole villa bookings). A fabulous carving of Frangipani flowers hangs in the mustard- and orange-hued living area. The dining room table seats up to 12.
Meals are prepared to preferences and can be taken inside, by the pool, in the lush gardens or even at a table on the beach. The French-trained chef and his assistants will take your orders from the menu each day before visiting the market for fresh, local ingredients. There’s a blackboard of daily specials, too.
Dinner might be grilled garlic prawns, Sri Lankan curry, squid salad with tom yam soup, or a crab curry feast with murunga leaves, kade paan and vegetables. For lunch, choose from seafood snacks, club sandwiches or beetroot soup, followed by banana fritters or grilled pineapple.
Breakfast includes tropical fruit platters, juices, eggs and toast, or tradition dishes like string hoppers or rotis served with curry and sambal. We loved the delicious banana, mango and coconut water fruit smoothies.
If you feel like eating out, there's a variety of restaurants 10 minutes' away in Bentota, ranging from family-run seafood places to smart hotel-based Italians.
Once you've got through the flight, Sri Lanka is heaven for families. These 3 villas are ideal and there are lots of lovely places to visit nearby. Hop in a tuk-tuk to visit a turtle hatchery, or, if you're lucky, you might see them on the beach.
Villa Araliya is the largest villa, with 4 bedrooms (sleeping up to 8). It has the only twin room, which is ideal for children. All villas can take a baby cot and an extra bed.
Babysitting can be arranged on request.
Baby listening and monitors (on request).
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The chef and his team can prepare club sandwiches, salads, ice cream and the like for less adventurous tastebuds. All villas have kitchens with microwaves and washing machines, too. You can also eat out in Bentota, a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride away.
Villas have direct access to the beach through the communal areas but not from bedrooms. The pool isn't fenced. At certain times of year, the sea is too rough for swimming.