The late Douglas Johnson - a prominent American artist – fell so in love with this characterful colonial cottage on the sandy shores of Seenimodera two decades ago that he immediately bought it. He adored the tranquillity, the seclusion and the beauty of this coastal location so much that he spent every winter painting here. Johnson worked on the house and grounds, adding the ‘Yellow Studio’ near to the entrance gate and the ‘Blue House’ to one corner of the garden, along with the help of his very good friend, the late Geoffrey Bawa – Sri Lanka’s architectural maestro.
After Johnson died, the house was brought gracefully up to date. Outdoor bathrooms were added, a striking emerald green swimming pool was installed and cosy interior furnishings brightened the indoors. But even despite these contemporary additions its artistic ambiance endures. Many of Johnson’s paintings and shell-encrusted picture frames still adorn the walls. That so many of his creations were salvaged after the tsunami swept through the house seven years ago was nothing short of a miracle.
A luscious garden envelopes the house, leading down to an iconic garden gate that transports you to the beach. Heliconias and bright white frangipani flowers provide a touch of colour amid the garden’s verdant green whilst a little sand garden has been created near to the border with the beach so you can sunbathe on your own private patch of sand. The beach itself is beautifully unspoilt and rarely do you see many people. Its most frequent visitors are the crabs that skitter in and out of holes as the tide ebbs and flows, and the fishermen who haul their nets hopefully onto the soft golden shore.
The house comes with a gentle staff of five (including one who started out with Johnson over 16 years ago) who discreetly tend to the needs of the guests including cooking and provisioning (food costs on guest account). The Beach House is all about escapism and it is just perfect for families and friends in search of reclusive relaxation as well as artists and writers seeking inspiration and the utmost tranquility to carry out their work.
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|• Bedroom 1||Double|
|• Bedroom 2||Double|
|• Bedroom 3||Twin|
|• Bedroom 4 (The Blue Room)||Double|
|• Bedroom 5 (The Yellow Studio)||Double|