Beautiful conversions of historic manor houses are a highlight of Sri Lanka’s villa scene, and this house is no exception. Dating back to the mid-nineteenth century, Siri Wedamadura is a sensitively restored house that’s been stylishly renovated for the modern age. From the outside, this four-bedroom house regales its heyday; raised gingerbread fretwork porches framing the windows and doors are characteristic of houses of this period whilst the original shuttered doors and windows – above which stand similarly intricately carved ventilation panels – further evoke the era. The roof has been raised for enhanced airflow and to create a second floor.
Step indoors and, although the essence of the house remains the same, the interiors are chic, stylish and contemporary. The light pastel colour scheme – pale olive, soft grey and limewashed timber – sets a soothing scene. Each of the rooms is furnished minimally, which enhances the feeling of space, and the beds, chairs and tables mix authentic antiques with retro-esque reproductions. Living and dining areas flow onto pillared terraces open to the extensive five-acre tropical garden inhabited by peacocks and monkeys. It grows wilder as it rises to a peak behind the house with panoramas across Weligama Bay – worth the hike at sunset.
Flanked by a terrace furnished with circular sun loungers is Siri Wedamadura’s beautiful pool, beckoning you to swim cooling lengths. The house is a five-minute walk from Mirissa’s picturesque palm-fringed beach and even closer to the fishing harbour from which whale- and dolphin-watching cruises depart (between November to April). Among the house’s staff are a housekeeper and a cook, and there’s an off-site management team on call to assist you in booking local tours. An extensive suggestion menu of western and Sri Lankan dishes is available, with food and beverages charged to guests at cost price.
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.
Boasting absolute beachfront on a delicious slice of sand south of Ambalangoda, Six Degrees North is a chilled tropical retreat for a family or group of friends. Homely, relaxed and fully staffed, this 5-bedroom property with palm-peppered garden, pool and garden pavilion also offers a variety of Ayurvedic treatments.