Is a holiday on a private tropical island on your Bucket List? If so, then this two-and-a-half-acre, foliage-embraced, unbelievably romantic islet just off the golden shoreline of Weligama’s broad bay could be just the place. After wading through the warm turquoise water of the Indian Ocean to reach this paradise isle you are warmly welcomed by staff proffering towels. A stone pathway leads up from the bright white jetty through the island’s lush tropical gardens into a charming Neo-Palladian five-bedroom octagonal house, which was built in the 1920s by the eccentric French Count de Mauny Talvanade.
The Count de Mauny was a fantasist and a gentleman of leisure who indulged in carpentry and who also designed Taprobane’s magnificent gardens. Today this exotic wonderland with its cascading terraces and sandy pathways is filled with frangipani, palms, flame trees, hibiscus, bougainvillea, heliconia and bromeliads that spill onto the verandas of the house. Stone seats and wooden benches mark some of the most breathtaking spots for appreciating the magnificent 360 degree views of the sea, bay and blushing sunset. Each of these places offer not only pockets of privacy but also locations for writing, drawing or painting with each scene changing as the sun makes its daily journey across the sky.
Ageing colonial furniture, faded fabrics, interesting artefacts, well-loved books, paintings, photographs, maps and framed letters add nostalgia and personality to the property. Few guests choose to leave the island aside from swimming or snorkelling around its entirety or playing cricket with the locals on the beach.
A dedicated staff team expertly takes care of your every need, from carrying your luggage across the sea and finding you transport, to cooking meals that can be served in a variety of locations according to your mood. Taprobane is a rustic, yet elegant and highly unique retreat ideal for extended families and groups of friends, and makes a perfect venue for special events.