Villa Don Hendrick

near Tangalle, Tangalle & South Coast, Sri Lanka
Book from Book from £110 per night

Gloriously intimate and relaxing: just 3 adult-only hideaways in sprawling tropical grounds, with delicious dinners on request

Hidden away between jungle and paddy fields, near the coastal market town of Tangalle, you’ll find Villa Don Hendrick: a gorgeous colonial building that oozes authentic style and design. Once home to eminent 20th-century judge Don Hendrick Wickramarathne, it was the first stone house ever built in the hamlet of Wagegoda, and his portrait still hangs on the old veranda.

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 or solo traveller (no children allowed). 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 and solo travellers to have some downtime. Space, peace and privacy are in abundance, and it's adults only
  • 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

Best time to go

November to April are considered the best months in this part of the country, for both their hours of sunshine and their calmer seas. July and August generally have lovely weather, too. The heavy rain usually falls in May/June and September/October.

Our top tips

Look out for monitor holes when you’re swimming in the pool. If you’re lucky, the lizards will poke their heads out to say hello. If you’re super lucky, they will roam prehistorically across the grounds!

And ask the hosts for their insider knowledge on local restaurants and places to visit. They’re full of insightful tips on Sri Lanka.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 3 rooms
  • Breakfast + dinners on request
  • Adults only
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • 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.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Mosquito net
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


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.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • 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:

    • Cycling


Adults only. Santeen is a twin bungalow.

Kid Friendly:


Villa Don Hendrick is 3km inland from the fishing town of Tangalle on Sri Lanka's southeast coast. It's 2 hours from Galle and 3 hours from Colombo airport.

By Air:
International flights will land at Colombo Bandaranaike International (230km away) - click on the links below for a list of airlines. Raf and Harold can arrange a transfer from here (enquire when booking, extra cost), or you can catch an air taxi service from Colombo to Dikwella, which takes 1 hour 20 minutes. It's then a 20-minute tuk-tuk or transfer from there to Villa Don Henrick.

By Car:
If you want to hire a car and driver for your whole holiday, enquire through our Tailormade Tour Operator; they can collect you at the airport when you land, drive you down to Tangalle, then drive you to your onward destination after your stay.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Sri Lanka and getting around


  • Dikwella 15.0 km DIW
  • Colombo (Bandaranaike International) 230.0 km CMB


  • Beach 4.0 km
  • Shops 3.0 km
  • Restaurant 3.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests


Excellent stay. Barefoot elegance, unbeatable eye for detail, idyllic landscape garden, pool and peace. Lots of peace because at Villa don Hendrick you come to unwind, to listen to the birds, to watch the feather show of the peacocks and to swim in the beautiful pool, you are also here to look forward to the next morning delicious breakfast, to have a laugh and a chat with Harold and Raf. You feel pampered, looked after like an old friend, when you leave after a few turns on the road, you would want to already come back . After one month on the island, after staying in over 10 different selected accommodation, Villa don Hendrick has, without any doubt, gifted us best home stay away from home.


What an amazing place - it really is a slice of paradise in such a tranquil setting, but still only a short tuk-tuk ride to the beautiful beaches around Tangalle. Harold and Raf have poured their heart and soul into this place and it really shows - nothing was too much trouble (recommendations, transport, arranging massages on-site). Everything was organised to perfection. The food was absolutely delicious - those breakfasts! The accommodation was spotless, stylish and full of so many special touches that made it feel like home. Honestly one of the best boutique hotels I’ve stayed at and such unbelievable value. You are missing out if you don’t stay here - it was one of the highlights of my trip around Sri Lanka.


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