Walatta House harmonises beautifully with its natural surroundings, flowing seamlessly down a steeply sloping palm-spiked hillside, gently mimicking – rather than altering – the contours of the land. As you wander down the stone pathway that leads from the car park to the entrance door, all that’s visible of the house is an expansive grassy rooftop ‘lawn’ punctuated by bamboo canes and framed by swaying coconut palms.
The house follows sustainable design principles. Although the three ensuite bedrooms and cosy TV snug are fitted with air conditioners, there are green courtyards edging every room with sliding doors that open widely to the fresh air. All the rooms lie under one flat roof that’s cut out in sections above these garden courtyards to allow for the tropical foliage – particularly bamboo – to flourish and protrude uninterrupted towards the sky. These openings usher in breezes and diffused sunlight, and also welcome the monsoon rains. The melee of textures in the exposed brick and cement walls are another interesting design feature which, coupled with the owner’s chic collection of contemporary furnishings and fittings, makes the house as fascinating to look at as it is to live in.
Walatta House’s spacious living and dining ‘room’ is open on three sides and revels in the sea views. Connected to the house by a deck of recycled railway sleepers bleached silver by the sun lies a 20-metre swimming pool. The well-maintained lawns beyond host a six-seater dining table, and a pathway leads down the hillside to a sandy bay below. For the best views – especially at sunset – the roof terrace above the house is the place to be.
The villa is staffed by a small team, including a cook who works from an equipped kitchen adjacent to the house. All groceries for food and drinks are charged at cost to the guest account.
This idyllic 2-bedroom beach pad on Sri Lanka’s tourist-scarce north-west coast is perfect for couples, families and even groups as daybeds increase capacity to ten. Khomba House is staffed and comes with a huge beachside garden and access to two swimming pools, a water sports centre, restaurants and a spa.