Neighboured by tiny village homes hidden amongst the coconut palms that line the golden sands of Ambalangoda, Max Wadiya has a wide beach frontage where the ocean is always in view and where the only other people you’re likely to see are fishermen – and even then, only if you are up early enough to spy them pulling in their morning catch.
Max Wadiya was once an antiques salesroom and the owner has maintained this theme by filling the house with colonial furnishings, interesting antiques and artwork, much of which is sourced locally from Ambalangoda. The original building has a deep veranda on both floors and houses three comfortable bedrooms furnished in traditional Sri Lankan style. A newer building, just to the side of the first, houses two modern suites whose sliding glass doors and windows maximise the sea views. Each bedroom overlooks the ocean and a large grassy palm-shaded garden brimming with lush tropical foliage. Kids will love all the space at Max Wadiya, where they can play cricket, badminton and boules, swim in the gorgeous saltwater pool or borrow fishing rods and try their luck in the ocean. There’s even a turtle hatching box in the garden to support the conservation of these gentle sea creatures. And adults will no doubt appreciate the complimentary WiFi, cookery and yoga classes, massage and spa treatments – all in-house.
Max Wadiya is gloriously private. Guests are looked after by a staff of seven, including a friendly live-in manager who can organize airport transfers, car hire and day trips. Rates include full board with authentic Sri Lankan home-cooked cuisine being at the forefront of the menu. Only a short distance from Max Wadiya is the town of Ambalangoda, which is famed as a centre of southern culture; dancing and mask-making in particular. And if this isn’t enough, the beach mecca of Hikkaduwa is only a 15-minute drive down the road.
The Old Lady at the Sea is a great value, fully staffed property set in lawned gardens, and is ideal for extended families and big groups. Nine ensuite bedrooms, equipped with TVs and DVD players, sit either side of the sea-view swimming pool at this renovated 300-year-old Dutch house.
Sri Villas, a fully-staffed trio of boutique seaside properties, share a tropical garden, a large swimming pool and direct beach access. Sleeping 18 in total, these villas are perfect for large groups and for entertaining. Each is fully self-contained with its own living areas, dining space and kitchen.