“Gloriously intimate and relaxing: just 3 hideaways in sprawling tropical grounds, with delicious dinners on request”
Nowadays, the acres of tropical garden are also home to an emerald-green infinity pool, swaying coconut palms and 3 guest bungalows, each a perfect bolthole for a couple. With red pitched roofs and little columned terraces, they were designed to emulate the look and feel of the original villa. Don Hendrick's former home now provides communal space: dining and seating areas filled with beautiful antique furniture, plus a library. And whilst you can tuk-tuk to local restaurants, the highlight of our stay here was owner Harold's home-cooked food, an amazing fusion of European and Sri Lankan flavours.
- The hospitality of Belgian owners Raf and Harold is faultless; an incredibly personal service without being intrusive
- A perfect place for couples to have some downtime. Space, peace and privacy are in abundance
- Really great value, considering the high standards
- Delicious home-cooked dinners
- A taste of the Sri Lankan jungle, with monitor lizards and wild peacocks around daily, but just a 5-minute tuk-tuk from beaches
- Dinner is only served on certain nights (changing days, according to demand) and you'll need to head out for lunch
- Creepy crawlies abound, but rooms have plug-in insect repellent (non-toxic) and mosquito nets
- No credit cards accepted - balance payments can be made by bank transfer or in cash at time of stay
- No children under 12 (a high for some)
Best time to go
Our top tips
And ask the hosts for their insider knowledge on local restaurants and places to visit. They’re full of insightful tips on Sri Lanka.”
- Boutique Guesthouse
- Breakfast + dinners on request
- Over 12s only
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
The 3 elegant bungalows are named after Don Hendrick’s 3 sons: Henry, David and Santeen. They are set well apart from one another, giving lots of privacy - you really feel like you have the place to yourselves even when other guests are around.
We loved the comfort and luxury of our four-poster bed, with its pocket-sprung mattress and soft, crisp sheets. Ensuite bathrooms have a rainfall shower (solar-powered) and lovely Spa Ceylon toiletries.
Other nice touches include a free soft-drinks minibar that gets refilled daily, a torch, tea-making facilities and a Nespresso coffee machine. There's no air con but you won't need it; the bungalows were built according to the ancient Sinhalese principle of ventilation, and we found ours perfectly airy. There are fans in case you want a bit more of a breeze.
Henry and David have double beds; Santeen is a twin. Each has a lovely columned front terrace overlooking the pool, with cushioned easy chairs and rattan blinds.
- Coffee / tea making
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
Harold and Raf will let you know at breakfast if they are cooking dinner that evening. We absolutely recommend you dine in at least once to experience Harold's divine culinary skills. His dinners are a delicious fusion of European and Sri Lankan flavours, and the tableware and decorations are prepared to perfection.
We had white fish balls with wasabi sauce and spiralised cucumber to start, followed by a creamy cuttlefish risotto, then a tangy passion-fruit meringue to finish. While eating out in Sri Lanka is a pleasure, there isn’t always much of a variety from beachside restaurants, which is why our home-cooked meal was such a treat. If dinner isn't served when you stay, Raf will recommend local eateries that you can tuk-tuk to.
Breakfast on-site is also an absolute treat, and varies each day. Sip a homemade green juice and eat a deliciously fresh fruit platter while the owners cook scrambled eggs and bacon, or pancakes with honey. We loved their papaya and vanilla jam so much we bought some from the small gift shop to take home.
- Coffee / tea making
- Dinner by arrangement
- Restaurants nearby
- Take the free bicycles for a spin around the beautiful paddy fields nearby. You'll probably see water buffaloes and herons
- Or cycle into Tangalle (3km), where you'll find an authentic fishing harbour, local shops and regional markets on Wednesdays and Sundays
- Raf and Harold give you a mobile phone on arrival with useful numbers programmed into it. Call Lalli and he’ll take you into town or to local beaches in his tuk-tuk. He’s a lovely chap!
- Nearby Unakuruwa Beach has reef breaks for experienced surfers. If you want to take surfing lessons, the Bandula Surf School will pick you up and take you to the best local beach for your ability level
- Sunbathing wise, Medaketiya, Marakolliya, Madilla and Goyambokka are local beaches worth visiting
- Go hiking and bird watching in Bandula National Park
- Or kayak and picnic at a local lagoon
- Visit the Mulkirigala Rock Temple at sunset
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Traditional cultures
- Well being