Situated majestically on a hill bathed in vegetation, Villa Pooja Kanda is a tranquil five-bedroom villa just ten minutes’ inland from the beach at Habaraduwa on Sri Lanka’s south coast, close to historic Galle.
 
Wide verandas, cool wraparound balconies, arched doorways and lofty beamed ceilings characterise this serene Dutch-colonial style villa that’s perfect for groups and families looking to connect and unwind.  Villa Pooja Kanda’s tranquility is further enhanced by a garden enlivened by birdsong, squirrels and inquisitive monkeys.  The villa is fully staffed and comes with a swimming pool, an air-conditioned TV room and a fully equipped kitchen.

Location


Villa Pooja Kanda is located a few kilometres inland from the busy market town of Habaraduwa whose extensive sandy beach extends eastwards towards Koggala. The villa sits at the top of small rise around the base of which is a scattering of village homes. Aged trees and tropical plants characterise the large garden and provide respite for the many birds and wildlife that come to visit. The nearest beach is at Habaraduwa, however for the best swimming and for a wider range of facilities Dalawella and Unawatuna on the main road towards Galle are much better, especially for families with children.


Habaraduwa 2 km
Koggala 4 km
Talpe 4 km
Dalawella 6 km
Unawatuna 8 km
Ahangama 10 km
Galle 14 km
Mirissa 30 km
Hikkaduwa 33 km
International airport 161 km

About Habaraduwa -Koggala


With a long stretch of golden beach, peaceful inland lagoon, fascinating folk museum and famous airfield, Habaraduwa-Koggala is a great little destination 12km south east of Galle. The golden sands of the three-kilometre beach stretch from Habaraduwa – famed for its turtle-hatchery – to beyond Koggala, a Free Trade Zone further east, where big hotels stand shoulder to shoulder along the sand.
Habaraduwa’s palm-fringed beach is one of the widest and prettiest in the region, yet as you wander further east towards Koggala the beach narrows and it’s here you’ll see stilt fishermen at work. Inland is Koggala Lake, a meandering island-sprinkled lagoon which is a haven for wildlife lovers. Fishermen traverse the quiet depths leaving ripples in their wake as they hunt for fish, crabs and prawns. Spice islands and mystical temples also scatter the lake, and an early morning or evening punt atop the water in a traditional fishing catamaran is the best way to appreciate this quietly spoken scene.
Madul Doova, one of the islands in the lake, was the subject of a book written by the late Martin Wickramasinghe, a lauded local author. His home in Koggala is now a folk museum that charts the fascinating story of his life and times. Koggala Lake is also the landing strip for domestic Air Taxis, which reduce journey time to the south coast from Colombo's airport to just 40 minutes. Local restaurants centre on the beach hotels, and ATMs line the main road between Habaraduwa and Koggala.


About South Coast


Stretching between Galle and Hambantota, the south coast is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Sri Lanka. Characterised by historically significant fortified towns, numerous picture-perfect palm-fringed beaches, a sultry turquoise sea, swathes of iridescent green paddy fields fringed by lush green jungle, ancient Buddhist temples, expansive waterways, nature-filled rainforests and tea-carpeted hills it offers enough variety to be a destination in itself; fabulous for families, groups and couples alike.

Galle is one of the region’s most significant attractions for its sixteenth century Dutch fort filled with an evocatively rich collection of buildings, boutiques, museums and luxury digs that hug a peninsular to the south of town. Galle’s popular beaches are better-facilitated, more developed and safer for swimming than those in and around Tangalle, but the further you travel east the more expansive, deserted and nature-filled they become.

Surfing, snorkelling, diving, whale watching, sailing, fishing and kayaking can all be done along this magnificent stretch of coastline as well as cycling, walking and trying your hand at Sri Lankan cookery. Inland, the scene varies as the westerly wet zone’s lush jungle interior gives way to the arid dry zone plains a little beyond Tangalle. Taking off by bicycle is often the best way to explore the hills, plains, sanctuaries and jungle whilst a boat is a must to navigate the scenic lakes and rivers that wind in between.

Some of Sri Lanka’s most popular national parks – Uda Walawe for elephants and Yala for leopards and bears – as well as a trio of its most accessible rainforests – Sinharaja, Kottawa and Kanneliya - are easily visited on a day or overnight trip from anywhere along the south coast.

Our review   Overall Rating: 7.40


Villa Pooja Kanda is located a few kilometres from the beach. It feels well off the beaten track and is extremely tranquil. We thought that the villa would suit families very well – there’s certainly enough space for two families travelling together – or a group of friends.  The garden will enchant adventurous youngsters and the air-conditioned TV room with its big screen (and good selection of DVDs) will keep them occupied for hours when its time to head inside. The pool (which is enclosed by timber fencing) reflects its natural setting; built amongst the surrounding boulders and incorporating a little waterfall.

Since our first inspection in 2010, Villa Pooja Kanda has had quite a facelift. All the bedrooms now boast four-poster beds and vibrant soft furnishings. The first floor bathrooms have been refurbished and, like those on the ground floor, are now finished in smooth cement, making them feel much more up to date. The villa is filled with some lovely colonial antique furniture, and a good stock of books in various locations make it feel more homely. In 2015 the villa’s formerly jungly garden was severely cut back and this has opened up views of the lush surrounding countryside, as well as improved airflow.

The efficient management team drops into the villa daily – or on request, and the management company’s office is just at the foot of the hill, out of sight of the main house. If you’d like to eat out, there are a few good restaurants within a 10-15 minute drive. If you need an extra bed, two can be arranged for kids for no extra charge (note: these are mattresses with mosquito nets).

  Overall Rating: 9.50


We really enjoyed our stay in Pooja Kanda. Everything was first-class. We were warmly welcomed by all the staff on arrival and they looked after us superbly the whole time we were there. The pool is delightful and the monkeys put on a show for us in the front garden every morning and evening. Susanta, the chef, was brilliant and he served up beautiful Sri Lankan cuisine for us, with healthy child-friendly options for our three children. Dickman and Taranga were great fun and spent a lot of time with our youngest. The villa manager, Rob, and the villa supervisor, Loko, made sure we always had everyting we needed. Without doubt, this was one of the best stays we have had in Sri Lanka.

  Overall Rating: 8.70



  Overall Rating: 7.60


The property is beautiful, fantastic location, lovely pool hewn out of the rock, and the house is light and airy, with very comfortable bedrooms. Whilst the staff are friendly I'm afraid that they need a serious word in their ear about levels of service, which really let's the place down. The food was very average, in fact some of the party complained it was inedible. Pooja Kanda has so much potential, and we all had an amazing weekend there, but it was more to do with the location, ambiance and company than the service we received.

  Overall Rating: 8.60


We found Pooja Kanda to be one of the most magical places we have ever been. From the minute we arrived in the early morning mist to the day we (almost tearfully) left, we couldn't believe how lucky we were to have discovered this place. It has a charm and character that you will never find in a 5 star hotel, and you therefore feel as if you are experiencing something quite unique.
Although it is in the (vaguely) touristy South Coast of Sri Lanka it is located in a little real neighbourhood, and it seems as if it is the only foreign-owned house in the vicinity. So when we went walking around with our 3 sons, the people who live there were so friendly and gracious and seemed genuinely quite happy to come outside to wave to us or have a chat.
The staff at the villa could not have been better. The cook was sublime, and the staff were so helpful and kind. My son celebrated his 6th birthday there and they rushed out and bought him a cake and decorated the room and provided a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast. Amazing.
If you are looking for a modern, state of the art villa right on the beach this is not the place for you. But if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful snippet of real Sri Lankan life (Langur Monkeys in the garden and all) then this is the place for you. We really loved it.

  Overall Rating: 8.40


We had an excellent stay and thoroughly enjoyed our New Year visit with our family group. Pooja Kanda is a delightful villa, with an airy colonial feel. The layout is well-configured and there are plenty of areas both inside and on the various verandahs where you can just curl up with a book, magazine or ipod and relax. The size is perfect for an extended family or group of friends. It is spacious and secluded in the middle of nature. A walk down the road to the village gives you a real sense of the local life in that area of Sri Lanka. The villa is very child-friendly with a gate around the pool and a stair-gate if required for toddlers and the TV room is great as little playroom. Internet access was a bit erratic. The food was fabulous! We ate local dishes all the time. Malika was a great cook and made us a delicious spread everyday. However each meal was a bit of a surprise as we were never quite sure what we were going to get. We would just ask for fish, or chicken or a particular vegetable and she would conconct something amazing! Wildlife abounds! There were all kinds of animals and insects to see which fascinated both children and adults. Monkeys, birds, caterpillars as well mosquitos (take lots of spray!) Bats! Scores of them in the trees next to the house at the top of the rise. For things to do the Handunugoda Tea Factory, which is fascinating, is probably 20-30 mins drive. Galle is probably 25 minutes depending on the traffic. There is a turtle hatchery at the end of the road in Habaraduwa about 5 mins drive. Koggala Lagoon and the Spice Garden are about 10 mins away. We found the most beautiful beach at Habaraduwa just next to the turtle hatchery with nobody on it. It was clean and stretched for 2-3 km with beautiful sand for the children to play. A bit rough for swimming though. The famous Unawatuna beach was more crowded and there was not much space as the tide was up. Overall we had an excellent stay and I would not hesitate to recommend this villa to anyone. Thank you very much!

  Overall Rating: 9.60


Totally amazing experience. Awesome staff, delicious food, lovely environment. The facility is magnificent. Like living luxurious with a djungle feeling monkies schreeching around the corner. I would suggest anybody visiting Sri Lanka to rent Pooja Kanda a couple of nights. All the best recommendations.

  Overall Rating: 9.60



  Overall Rating: 10.00



  Overall Rating: 8.70


"Perfect Bachelors Party Weekend"
We were a group of 10 who had come to Sri Lanka for my Bachelors Party.
For the first time ever, I have booked a place online and found the place to be far better than the pictures posted on the Internet.

Right from the time we entered Pooja Kanda we felt at home with the warm and courteous staff. The location just perfect, lush & regal. There was absolutely nothing we could complain about the Villa and its amenities in any way.
Since we were celebrating my bachelors party at Pooja Kanda, we were having late night pool parties at the Villa. Special thanks to Sushant (Chef) and the house boys (Tharanga & Dickman) who put up with all our late night food requests. They made us feel at home with their everlasting smile and eagerness to make our stay comfortable.

The food too was absolutely stunning (Sri Lankan Cuisine) with Sushant preparing Huge Spread's fit for the Royals!

A HUGE Thanks to the Pooja Kanda Team for giving us a Memorable and Unforgettable Experience.

P.S: We are already in the process of planning our next trip back to Pooja Kanda, hopefully by the year end.

Cheers,
Shyam Srinivas
India

  Overall Rating: 8.70



  Overall Rating: 9.00




We felt very much a part of village life even though we were perched well above the nearly out of sight homes. Loved the early morning chanting,mullahs calls to prayer,drumming,and morning fires. Watched the morning ritual of monkeys crashing through the trees on their way to a day out feeding and watched it all in reverse at dusk. Marvelled at the busy birds of all colours and laughed at the squirrels antics. Pooja Kanda was a paradise for us....lush and floral. The property was beautifully maintained and the staff delightful. We ate delicious Sri Lankan cuisine for breakfast,lunch and dinner. Tell the chef how you like it and give him his head. Can't wait to go back...Cheers Charmaine.

  Overall Rating: 9.20


Wonderful, and absolutely unforgettable. Coming with my numerous 'family' - nine of us altogether, from 3-year-old twins upwards - from the tensions of the Middle East where we live, this really was a bit of paradise on earth. It's almost too difficult to single out particular memories, but playing cricket in the garden is something we don't do every day in Arabia. (Thank you, Tharanga and all the staff, for this and so much else.) If we had the time and the resources, we would come back to Pooja Kanda every single year.

  Overall Rating: 10.00


We enjoyed it to Pooja Kanda, everything was perfect.
The splendid villa, delicious cuisine carefully prepared by the chef and his team.
Loku, the supervisor has organized a party for a birthday party with dancers and musicians, fireworks, BBQ, ..... unforgettable.
Everything was done for our comfort and we really enjoyed!

Thank you to Rob, the manager and his team (supervisor, cooks, gardeners, cleaning lady, Guardians) .... it was a dream for us and you've done!

At another time perhaps, but with the kids because I think it will be paradise for them too!

Thank you.

Sylvie, Sophie, Joelle, JF, Benoit, Michel.

  Overall Rating: 9.30



Rooms

Bedroom:  5
Sleeping Capacity: 12
Location:  South Coast


Bedroom 1 King
Bedroom 2 King
Bedroom 3 King
Bedroom 4 Queen
Bedroom 5 King

Staff

  • Babysitter (On Request)
  • Chef/Cook (All meals)
  • Garden/Pool Staff
  • Housekeeping (Full time)
  • Manager (Restricted hrs)
  • Masseuse/Spa Therapist (On Request)
  • Security
  • Service Staff

Key Amenities

  •   Internet (WiFi)
  •   Swimming Pool (Private)
  •   TV (Satellite/Cable)

Other Amenities

  • Air-con (Bedrooms)
  • Baby Cot
  • BBQ
  • Bed Linen
  • Bicycles (On Request)
  • Board Games/Toys
  • Book Selection
  • Car Parking
  • CD Player/Stereo System
  • Ceiling Fans
  • DVD Library
  • DVD Player
  • Equipped Kitchen
  • Extra Bed (Roll away/mattress) (Extra)
  • Fax (On Request)
  • Hairdryers
  • High Chairs
  • iPod Dock/Speakers
  • Iron/Board (On Request)
  • Landline Phone (Local Calls)
  • Laundry Service
  • Main Dining (10 persons)
  • Microwave
  • Oven/Hotplates
  • Printer (On Request)
  • Safe
  • Swimming Pool Fence (On Request)
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
Pooja Kanda - an elite haven
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