Sri Lanka offers something for everyone. There's the ancient Sinhalese ruins of the Cultural Triangle; the Hill Country's colonial plantation bungalows, misty peaks and endless tea; Kandy's revered Temple of the Tooth; national parks where leopards, elephants and bears roam free; and the warm turquoise seas where you can see whales and dolphins, and scuba to coral reefs.
This island's endless swathes of un-spoilt palm-speckled beaches are its biggest draw. The sultry south-west stretch linking the water sports capital of Bentota, the historic 17th century fortified city of Galle and the rustic shoreline of Tangalle is the most developed, accessible and popular, and also where most of the island's villas – many atmospheric heritage homes - can be found.
Sri Lanka's relatively small size means that you can take in the best of the island's attractions within a few weeks. The south-west coast and hill country are at their climatic best between December and April, which is when the majority of visitors come. The inter-monsoonal northern summer months are not to be avoided either as quick downpours intersperse long sunny days.
Sited on the most desirable section of beach in Talpe, IF is a gorgeous Dutch-colonial-style villa with verdant garden, spacious sundeck, panoramic ocean views, private swimming pool and spacious dining pavilion. The property comes staffed with a cook and is perfectly set up for families and groups of friends.
Surrounded by paddy fields amidst a rural village just 10 minutes from Galle and south coast beaches, fully staffed Illuketia is a magnificent, tranquil 4-bedroom colonial plantation villa with a large garden featuring exotic plants and trees, shaded pathways, a pond house, an organic garden and a beautiful swimming pool.
Oceanfront Indisch is superbly located on a picturesque curve of sandy coastline south east of Galle and features a large swimming pool and an expansive lawned garden with kid’s playground. Ideal for families and groups, this hugely spacious villa comes with an exceptional staff team, and is very private and secure.
An elegant country villa overlooking a lowland valley of paddy fields, with 4 bedrooms, generous living spaces, a modern open-plan kitchen and a helpful team of staff. Enveloped by a lush palm-spiked tropical garden, Ivory House also has a gorgeous lap pool that takes full advantage of the rural vistas.
Kadju House is a contemporary 4-bedroom villa enhanced by tropical scenery, abundant wildlife and a fabulous location minutes away from beautiful, deserted beaches. With a minimalist design that frames the spectacular sea views, this fully-serviced beach pad with pool and spa offers blissful serenity for couples, groups and nature lovers.
This idyllic 2-bedroom beach pad on Sri Lanka’s tourist-scarce north-west coast is perfect for couples, families and even groups as daybeds increase capacity to ten. Khomba House is staffed and comes with a huge beachside garden and access to two swimming pools, a water sports centre, restaurants and a spa.
This fabulous 1-bedroom beach house bursts with colour, energy and soul. It’s perfect for couples who will love its privacy, intimacy and blissful comfort. Enhanced by the services of a housekeeper who’s also an excellent cook, Kikili Beach has a great location within sight of Unawatuna and close to Galle.
A 4-bedroomed family house just five minutes from Unawatuna Beach and ten from Galle. Featuring high timber ceilings, polished cement floors, antiques and warm furnishings, Kurulla Villa is a spacious fully-staffed property enveloped by large gardens with grassy lawns, palms and fruit trees, and enhanced by a fabulous swimming pool.
Comprising just two bedrooms, a living–dining area and kitchen (complete with great cook); this idyllic beach pad near Tangalle is without pretensions. Revelling in its sensational seaside situation, contemporary Kurumba’s emerald lawn is scattered with comfortable recliners, a hammock and a deeply cushioned ambalama just footsteps from the beach.
Breathtaking sea views, 4 stylish bedrooms, tantalising cuisine and incredible privacy – Lansiya has it all. Staffed by an excellent team of four, this piece of paradise near Tangalle features plentiful living space, a stunning infinity swimming pool and glorious garden overlooking a wide sandy bay; it’s the ultimate escape.
An exceptionally spacious 7-bedroom hillside villa, a short drive from Galle’s beaches. Rooms are spread across three buildings amidst meticulously landscaped tropical gardens, and standout features include a gorgeous 18-metre infinity pool with valley views, a gym, an entertainment room and full complement of staff including an excellent chef.
Charming 4-bedroom colonial villa with pool near Koggala Lake and not far from the beach; highlighted by a spacious tropical garden abundant in plants, trees and wildlife. A nature lover’s paradise and a great family home, Malgedara is serenity in an authentic village setting, ideally located to explore the Galle region.
Sited on the verdant banks of the picturesque Koggala Lake, just five minutes from the beach, Mandalay is a gorgeous 3-bedroomed staffed property that’s fabulous for families but equally terrific for two. Its large swimming pool is a treat and its glorious lakeside situation is tranquil and sure to inspire.
Wide access onto an almost deserted sandy beach near Ambalangoda coupled with a large palm-shaded garden are highlights of 5-bedroom Max Wadiya. Relaxing, spacious, comfortable and full of colonial antiques, this villa is ideal for extended families, two individual families or groups of friends. Rates include all meals.
This contemporary-styled but century-old manor house inland from Tangalle is the perfect tonic for anyone needing R&R. With 5 bedrooms, a 20m pool, an excellent chef and a two-acre garden that spills onto the facing rice fields, fully staffed Maya is a serene and beautiful place to relax and unwind.
This vibrant 4-bedroom beach house is just around the corner from Dalawella’s tranquil beach and restaurants, near historic Galle. Expansive living areas spill onto a convivial pool terrace and tropical garden, a staff of four includes a chef, and 10% of Mihiri House rental rates go to a local charity.
Set on a 50-acre cinnamon plantation, this spectacular 4-bedroom villa offers a breathtaking 360-degree panorama over the ocean and hills. Fully staffed and immaculately presented, this art-filled property with its spacious rooms, cooling verandas, swimming pool and fabulous ocean-facing lawn, is ideal for weddings, groups of friends and intimate celebrations.
Peaceful, comfortable and secluded, this charming early twentieth century, fully restored bungalow is set in wooded gardens on the edge of a cinnamon plantation close to the scenic bays of Mirissa and Weligama. The 3-bedroom Bungalow at Mirissa Hills is fully serviced and ideal for families, writers and long stays.
No. 39 Galle Fort is a three-bedroom heritage house located right in the heart of Galle’s 17th century Dutch-built fort, close to major landmarks, restaurants and shops. Grand and spacious, yet equipped with every home comfort, this atmospheric heritage home is staffed, and ideal for groups of friends and families.
Lush palm-shaded lawns topped with loungers soaking up the serenity of sun and sea stretch generously in front of this five-bedroom beach pad that feels spacious even when full. There’s a swimming pool and loads of living space whilst Olanda’s staff of four graciously tend to your needs.