“Idyllic staffed villa for 4-6 with infinity pool and excellent food, 10 minutes’ drive from Galle and beaches”
The 3 ensuite bedrooms open onto a deep wraparound veranda that's scattered with easy chairs for surveying the neighbours - birds, mongeese and squirrels (although we chose to watch them more lazily from bed!).
We stayed in the Red Room, whose double doors looked out through the boughs of a sacred bo-tree. Furnished with a kingsize four-poster bed, it also had an antique chest of drawers and a built-in mirror-panelled wardrobe. The grey-cement bathroom had twin washbasins and a star-shaped rain shower. Lullabied by crickets and cooled by ceiling fans, we slept incredibly well.
At the opposite end of the house is the spacious Master Bedroom, which gazes onto the pool and garden. Taking pride of place is a kingsize bed positioned between a 17th-century dresser (topped with a silver heirloom brush set) and an eye-catching marquetry bureau. The sand-coloured bathroom has a sunken rain shower, Victorian mother-of-pearl mirror and twin glass washbasins.
The Green Room is a mirror image of the Red Room, attached to a similarly designed grey-hued bathroom with twin sinks and a shower. Ideal for children as it opens directly onto the breezy, open-plan living room, it has 2 four-poster single beds, a Queen Anne chest-of-drawers, a walnut bureau and a mirror-panelled wardrobe. This room can also be set up as a double.
Communal spaces include a lounge with sofas and stacks of books, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a poolside pavilion, and a TV lounge with a vast library of films and board games.
Although you can self-cater, Podi, the villa’s English-speaking cook, is on-hand to make breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you might as well have a complete holiday! All groceries are priced at cost and meals are served family-style, with everyone sharing dishes. Podi buys fresh stocks at Galle’s markets daily after taking your orders for lunch and dinner.
Breakfast can be Western or Sri Lankan, accompanied by buffalo curd and honey (which also makes a great dessert), tropical fruits and cereals or museli. We woke to a cooked breakfast of eggs, toast and bacon washed down with Podi’s special mixed fruit juice. The Sri Lankan option includes vegetarian curries, a fish or chicken curry and string hoppers (steamed vermicelli-like rice flour nests).
Lunches and dinners can be as light or as indulgent as you’d like; Podi's menu lists plenty of fish and seafood, plus veggie options. Think iced carrot and coriander soup, crispy fried whitebait, Moroccan lamb koftas, Sicilian crushed tuna and, of course, plenty of delicious Sri Lankan curries.
For lunch, Podi prepared us a delicious herb-encrusted coral fish with a lightly dressed salad, chive-flecked mashed potatoes and his special porcini mushroom dressing. In the evening, deep fried tuna fish balls (very moreish!) were paired with pre-dinner drinks, and our 3-course dinner included a delicious coq au riesling (with crispy roast potatoes) and a wicked chocolate mousse.
Within a 10-15 minute tuk-tuk drive are many excellent restaurants; ask staff for their tips. Take-out options include Lime Leaf, a nearby Indian, whose big menu of spicy dishes includes tandoori chicken and fresh garlic naan.
Children are warmly welcomed and Uda Kanda is great for kids of all ages, although toddlers will need supervision around the pool area, which is unfenced (as is common in Sri Lanka). Staff will happily take kids on little tours of the estate and local village, and past young guests have loved having the run of the tropical garden and watching the morning milking of Cassie the cow. There's lots of baby equipment to borrow.
The villa has a baby cot with a mosquito net, which can fit in any of the bedrooms. The Green Room has twin beds, so is ideal for kids.
Available for an additional fee
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's no specific kids' menu, but the cook is happy to tailor meals to children