“Intimate Bawa-designed hotel (or house rental for 12-14), with peaceful grounds, elegant interiors and a brilliant beachside location”
Couples can hide away in one of the 3 rooms set in the grounds, while families can spread out in the vast 3-bedroom suite in the main house. The décor throughout is a striking mix of whitewashed walls, smooth cement floors, original doors and shutters, plump sofas, and colourful cushions. Head outside to the 10m pool in the central courtyard, explore the lush gardens and golden beach, and end your day dining on freshly caught seafood served alfresco. If you were shipwrecked here, you'd be in no hurry to leave.
- Plenty of spots to unwind and gaze at the view, including a stylish outdoor lounge and cushioned daybeds by the pool
- A great option for groups and celebrations - the house can be hired exclusively and sleeps up to 14
- A fabulous location on the south coast; the area is famous for its turtles and you have direct access to the golden sands of Mawella beach
- Meals use locally caught fish to fantastic effect. We still daydream about the 10-dish curry feast, served twice weekly
- The small, friendly team provides discreet yet helpful service
- You’re 7km from the nearest town (Tangalle), and it can be difficult to find by tuk-tuk; we recommend using the hotel transfer service
- There's no air-conditioning, but the expert Bawa design ensures that the sea breeze flows through the rooms - Na may feel a little hotter as it's set at the back of the property
- No alcohol licence, though drinks can be bought at cost price on request, or you can bring your own
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
- 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
- Communal TV
- Games equipment
- Boogie boards
There are 6 guest rooms: 3 rooms set in the grounds of the property, and 3 on the first floor of the main house - these can also be booked together as a 3-bedroom suite. All are stylishly uncluttered, with antique furniture, Egyptian cotton bedding, whitewashed walls, mosquito nets, ceiling fans and dashes of colour. Bawa's aim when designing the house was to merge the indoor and outdoor spaces, and large open walls let the breeze flow in (you'll barely notice the lack of air-conditioning).
The 3 rooms (2 double and 1 twin) set in the grounds are charming and spacious, with high ceilings and ensuite shower rooms. Moonamal, the largest, also has the added luxuries of a lounge and an outdoor shower and bath area. This room and Atteriya share the same cool blue and white décor, while Na breaks the mould with its wooden structure, warm pink colours and twin queensize beds. Elevated on stilts, it’s windowed on 3 sides and looks out onto a small lagoon with resident herons and kingfishers; perfect for some added privacy, though maybe a little hotter due to less sea breeze.
But it's the Cinnamon Hill Suite that's the star of the show. Consisting of a double room and 2 twin rooms (one of which is pretty small), it has acres of space and opens onto the house's wraparound balcony with imperious views of the ocean. The master bedroom is enormous, with ceilings open to the rafters, a kingsize bed, and a large ensuite bathroom with a freestanding tub placed dramatically in its centre.
You can also hire the whole house (sleeping up to 14 people), which would work well for 2 families or a group. Or you can opt for the Cinnamon Hill Suite with exclusive use of the communal areas (but not use of Moonamal, Atteriya and Na).
- CD player
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
Guests eat in an open-air dining area overlooking the colourful pool and gardens - the ideal spot for a leisurely meal.
Breakfast is a tempting spread of fresh fruit juice, muesli, pancakes, eggs and Sri Lankan specialties such as hoppers. Lunches tend to reflect the beachside location, with an abundance of seafood salads and risottos on offer. We tucked into a calamari and tuna salad, which was light, refreshing and perfect in the heat.
But it’s dinner that will really grab your attention. The fabulous meals make the most of the ocean - perhaps crab salad with spicy coconut sauce to start, grilled fennel-crusted tuna with wilted garlic kangkong and curd raita for the main, and a refreshing passion fruit curd tart to round things off. We were lucky enough to be there for the twice-weekly Sri Lankan curry night: a 10-dish feast of fish, beef and tropical veg curries.
Remember that alcohol isn’t sold on site, so if you want a drink with dinner you’ll need to bring your own. Choice is limited in the local area, so it’s a good idea to stock up in Colombo or one of the larger towns before you arrive.
- Coffee / tea making
- Dinner by arrangement
- In house cook
- Lunch by arrangement
- Shopping service
- Vegetarian menu
- Step from the garden onto the golden sands of Mawella beach, where you can swim in the shallows or hit the waves (boogie boards are available)
- Take a bike ride or go on a fishing trip, then relax with an Ayurvedic massage or a yoga class (all available through the hotel)
- Visit the turtle sanctuary in nearby Rekawa to witness nocturnal hatching and sea release
- Take a tuk-tuk to the fishing town of Tangalle. Its bustling market and harbour offer an interesting insight into local life, and the surrounding coast is peppered with deserted beaches
- There's a magnificent blowhole at Kudawella, and a Buddhist temple complex built into the mountain at Mulkirigala (25km away); climb to the top for spectacular views
- A little further afield you’ll find the Uda Walawe reserve for elephants and migrating birds (some of which are rare)
- Head to Kataragama (about 70km from Tangalle) for one of the country’s most important religious sites. Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus all visit, and the Hindu festival in August usually draws a good crowd
- The Yala National Park and Bundala Bird Sanctuary are also within striking distance, though they're extensive enough to warrant an overnight stay
- Back at the hotel, there's an antique chest full of board games, plus inflatable animals and lilos for the pool, and equipment for football, cricket, badminton and rugby
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
Children of all ages are welcome. Extra beds incur a supplement, but baby cots are provided free of charge. Babysitting is available by arrangement and most food requirements can be accommodated. Children under 12 years will be charged 50% of usual half board or full board food rates.
Family friendly accommodation:
The Cinnamon Hill Suite is a good option for larger families as it has a large double bedroom and 2 twin rooms, plus space for a baby cot. Smaller families may prefer to stay in Moonamal, Atteriya or Na, all of which have space for 1 extra bed or a baby cot. The rooms in the Cinnamon Hill Suite (2 Cinnamon Hill Twins and a Cinnamon Hill Double) can also be booked separately, and each can fit a baby cot.
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
- Baby cot
- Changing mat
- Baby stroller
- Swimming armbands
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities on site:
- Rugby balls
- Boogie boards
- Board games
- Swimming pool
Kids Activities nearby:
- Turtle sanctuary at Rekawa
- Tuk-tuk rides into Tangalle