A scenic setting on the edge of a valley of rice fields injects this four-bedroom family friendly house with an authentic rural vibe, while the gorgeous 20m lap pool and gardens brimming with wildlife only add to its outdoor appeal. Scattered almost invisibly within the palm-pricked fringes of this ocean of rice are village homes, their occupants often to be seen traversing the muddy paddy bunds on foot or precariously by bicycle. At dawn, when mist creeps above the marshy fields and tangles itself in the fringing vegetation, the distant crow of cockerels and temple chants linger in the air. Depending upon the time of year, farmers may be tending to their crops or herding buffalo through the harvested plots.
Ivory House is a part-old, part-new sunset-facing country villa. The main portion of the house, home to the expansive living room and two small ensuite bedrooms, has stood for over 70 years, whilst the newer extension – its differentiation almost invisible to the eye – tags onto the side, and hosts a kitchen/dining galley area and two big ensuite master bedrooms. Although many of the original timber windows have been retained in the old wing of the house and complemented by artefacts such as antique typewriters and fans, the wide folding doors, minimal decor and soft furnishings provide contemporary relevance too. The stylish living room, furnished with squashy sofas and floor lamps verges on a retro aesthetic.
An able staff team care of everything at the house, and the experienced cook can prepare a variety of western and Sri Lankan dishes (all groceries on guest account) to be enjoyed either indoors or on the front veranda overlooking the theatre of rural village life. Although the nearest beaches and restaurants are a ten-minute drive away, Kahanda Kanda hotel, 2.5km distant, is an attractive local dining venue.