This cosy house on the southeastern corner of the fort, within sight of the slender white British-built lighthouse, Point Utrecht Bastion and a swimming beach, is amply reflective of the hybrid nature of this historic colonial port town. The main portion of the house, and indeed its layout, reflects the 18th century Dutch period whilst the gorgeous stained glass windows and rear two-storey extension date to the late 19th century British era. Many of the fort’s impressive houses have been restored and transformed since the millennium, and 79 Leyn Baan Street follows suit; the house was modernised fairly recently with a contemporary kitchen and bathrooms, comfy furnishings and essential mod cons all added.
Despite this, No.79, with its two double bedrooms and bunk room, has an intimacy unlike many others in the fort. For many years this was the British owner’s first home and it is filled with a treasured collection of antiques and artefacts sourced from her sojourns around the world, including beautiful Indonesian textiles, Sri Lankan timber stags heads, artwork and brass tinder boxes. Book-stacked shelves and a cupboard brimming with board games further serve to give the house a family atmosphere and homely fullness. Although outdoor space is limited, there is a rear courtyard and a fabulous roof terrace attached to the romantic first-floor master bedroom with sun deck, dining pavilion and sea views.
This is a self-catering house and it comes with a daytime maid who keeps everything clean and tidy (as well as an efficient management team on call 24 hours a day). The kitchen is equipped with all the basics for self-caterers however there is an abundance of cafes and restaurants within the fort for dining out, as well as many atmospheric heritage buildings, chic boutiques, gelato parlours and museums to explore.
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.