“Intimate Bawa-designed hotel (or house rental for 12-14), with peaceful grounds, elegant interiors and a brilliant beachside location”
There are just 4 guest rooms: 3 rooms set in the grounds of the property, plus a 3-bedroom suite on the first floor of the main house whose double and twin rooms can also be booked separately. 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 double rooms 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 the option to have twin beds; elevated on stilts, it’s windowed on 3 sides and looks out onto a small lagoon with resident herons and kingfishers.
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. The 3 bedrooms can be booked individually, too.
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).
Guests eat in an open-air dining area overlooking the colourful pool and gardens - the ideal spot for a leisurely meal. Room rates include breakfast, and lunch and dinner are available on request (there are half- and full-board options, too). If you’re renting the whole house, you can choose between cooking for yourself in the kitchen (bring your own food or use the shopping service) or being catered for. Either way, manager Ananda is your main point of contact and will discuss menus and any dietary requirements with you.
Breakfast is a tempting spread of fresh fruit juice, muesli, pancakes, eggs and Sri Lankan specialities such as hoppers. Lunches tend to reflect the beachside location, with an abundance of seafood salads and risottos on offer.
But it’s dinner that will really get your attention. The fabulous 3-course 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.
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.
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.
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.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking