If the call of the peacocks doesn’t gently lure you from your four-poster bed, the soft pounding of the waves breaking on the beach definitely will. Three-bedroomed Wetakeiya House may be only a kilometre from Dickwella, a bustling fishing village on Sri Lanka’s south coast, but its hillside location lends it an ambiance that is at once rustic, rural and relaxed.
The house is framed by gently swaying coconut palms, while a tumbling garden, beautifully landscaped with an emerald upper lawn and a pool tucked just below, makes the setting all the more idyllic. Wetakeiya, the house’s namesake, are spiked ‘walking palms’, and many of these are clustered at the lower end of the garden through which a pathway leads precariously out to a rocky outcrop smashed by the sea.
Wetakeiya is a treasured second home. Furnished with a collection of family antiques, it basks in cosy informality. A magnificent deep veranda at the front of the villa, spiked with white, Dutch-style pillars, is the prime place for dining and reclining; the huge daybeds here encourage you to spend long afternoons gazing at the squirrels chasing each other on the lawn or the ships topping the hazy sea. For those rare, rainy days, a small TV snug with deep cushioned sofa, shelves full of DVDs and books, along with a Kenwood stereo (wired to wall-mounted speakers throughout the house), is the perfect tonic.
The house is managed and maintained by four staff, including an amiable husband-and-wife team (one of whom does all the cooking) who live just next door. They can help with any queries, including onward travel arrangements, shopping requests and transport to local sights and attractions.