Sri Lanka offers something for everyone. There's the ancient Sinhalese ruins of the Cultural Triangle; the Hill Country's colonial plantation bungalows, misty peaks and endless tea; Kandy's revered Temple of the Tooth; national parks where leopards, elephants and bears roam free; and the warm turquoise seas where you can see whales and dolphins, and scuba to coral reefs.
This island's endless swathes of un-spoilt palm-speckled beaches are its biggest draw. The sultry south-west stretch linking the water sports capital of Bentota, the historic 17th century fortified city of Galle and the rustic shoreline of Tangalle is the most developed, accessible and popular, and also where most of the island's villas – many atmospheric heritage homes - can be found.
Sri Lanka's relatively small size means that you can take in the best of the island's attractions within a few weeks. The south-west coast and hill country are at their climatic best between December and April, which is when the majority of visitors come. The inter-monsoonal northern summer months are not to be avoided either as quick downpours intersperse long sunny days.
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.
Comprising just two bedrooms, a living–dining area and kitchen (complete with great cook); this idyllic beach pad near Tangalle is without pretensions. Revelling in its sensational seaside situation, contemporary Kurumba’s emerald lawn is scattered with comfortable recliners, a hammock and a deeply cushioned ambalama just footsteps from the beach.
This idyllic 2-bedroom beach pad near Galle sits before an impressively wide strip of south coast sand. Featuring a huge ground floor living space bedecked with loungers, which spills onto a deep dining veranda and beyond, to an azure pool, there’s also a west-facing pavilion topping the lush green lawn.
Nisala shares a big pool and beachfront garden plus spectacular sunset views with its sister Sri Villa properties. Fully-staffed, it has expansive living and dining space plus two serene sea-view suites. A great family holiday home or, if all three villas are booked together, an excellent choice for extended groups.
An elevated 2-bedroom house overlooking a lush tropical garden boasting uninterrupted views across tranquil paddy fields. Only five minutes from the beach, The Petalsis a perfectly peaceful base for couples or a small family looking to explore the Galle region; best of all, it comes with an excellent cook.
A charming 2-bedroom wooden house set on a hillside overlooking the ocean, only two minutes’ walk from the beach. With a 12m swimming pool and a large palm grove garden full of tropical flowers and birds, Teak House is an enchanting retreat for families, couples, artists and nature lovers.
Close to Weligama’s famed surf breaks and Mirissa’s pretty bay, Kumara Villa is home to 3 luxurious bedroom suites with private walled gardens, a spacious living/dining pavilion and a sun-dappled terrace and infinity pool set in acres of tropical landscaping. The villa’s friendly staff team includes a manager and a cook.