The Last House

Near Tangalle, Tangalle & South Coast, Sri Lanka
Book from GBP Book from £199 per night

The Last House

Near Tangalle, Tangalle & South Coast, Sri Lanka

Intimate Bawa-designed hotel (or house rental for up to 12), with peaceful grounds, elegant interiors and a brilliant beachside location

Intimate Bawa-designed hotel (or house rental for up to 12), with peaceful grounds, elegant interiors and a brilliant beachside location

Sitting just along the coast from the up-and-coming town of Tangalle, and overlooking an often-deserted bay, is The Last House - the final residential work of famous Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Now a small hotel, it has views that stretch through coconut trees to the horizon, and airy interiors which fill the rooms with light. Simple, uncluttered style runs throughout, and a signature Bawa veranda encircles the property, giving shade to the scattered planter chairs which face out to sea. Just beyond the garden gate, the Indian Ocean laps gently on the palm-fringed sands of Mawella beach.

Couples can hide away in one of the 3 rooms set in the grounds, while families can spread out in the vast 2-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 12
  • 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
  • Na may feel a little hotter as it's set at the back of the property, but air-con will solve this problem

Best time to go

December to April brings the best weather and the calmest waters for swimming. May-June and Oct-Nov see the monsoons. July to September are still pleasant, plus prices are likely to be cheaper and the area is much quieter. During peak season (normally 20 December - 12 January), The Last House is only available as a whole house rental.

Our top tips

We think this would make a great base for a group holiday. There's a good amount of privacy, no need to nominate a cook, and you get plenty of opportunity for fun and frolics; expect to find surf boards, footballs, rugby balls, cricket and badminton equipment, board games, inflatables for the pool and even a private fishing boat.

Great for...

  • Boutique Hotel
  • 5 bedrooms
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • Over 5s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Laundry Service
  • Communal TV
  • Games equipment
  • Boogie boards


There are 5 guest rooms: 3 rooms set in the grounds of the property, and 2 on the first floor of the main house. 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.

The 3 rooms 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 queensize bed. 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 (although air-con will solve this issue).

But it's the Cinnamon Hill rooms - one double, one twin - that we loved most. Set on the upper floor, they open onto the house's wraparound balcony with imperious views of the ocean. The double in particular 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. These rooms would work well for families as they share the upper floor.

You can also hire the whole house (sleeping up to 12 people), which would work well for 2 families or a group.

Features include:

  • Fan
  • In room treatments available
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • WiFi


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.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • In house cook
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Shopping service
  • Vegetarian options


  • 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:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga


Children aged 5 and over are welcome, and all ages are welcome for a whole house booking. Extra beds incur a supplement. Most food requirements can be accommodated. Children under 12 years will be charged 50% of usual half board or full board food.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Cinnamon Hill rooms (one double, one twin) are a good option for families as they share the upper floor and have their own entrance up a staircase. Smaller families may prefer to stay in Moonamal, Atteriya or Na, all of which have space for 1 extra bed or a baby cot.

Extra Beds Available

Kids Activities on site:

  • Footballs
  • Rugby balls
  • Cricket
  • Badminton
  • Bicycles
  • Boogie boards
  • Board games
  • Beach
  • Swimming pool

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Turtle sanctuary at Rekawa
  • Tuk-tuk rides into Tangalle

Kid Friendly: del


The Last House is set 7km from the town of Tangalle on Sri Lanka's southeast coast. It's an hour from Galle and 2.5 hours from Colombo airport.

By Air:
Fly into Colombo Bandaranaike International (189km away)

From the Airport
Staff can arrange transfers (enquire when booking; extra cost), or you can catch the Sri Lankan Airlines air taxi service from Colombo to Koggala Lake, which takes 1 hour 20 minutes. The hotel can arrange a transfer from Koggala Lake.

By Public Transport:
There's a train from Colombo to Beliatta. From Beliatta it's a 15-minute taxi ride to the hotel.

By Car:
If you want to hire a car and driver for your whole holiday, enquire through our Tailormade Tour Operator.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through


  • Colombo Bandaranaike International 189.0 km CMB


  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 7.0 km
  • Restaurant 0.3 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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