3-bedroom Villas in North West Coast, Sri Lanka

This spectacular region to the north of Colombo is a magical destination largely untouched by tourism. Highlighted by wildlife-filled wetlands, a sweeping stretch of largely undeveloped coastline, a friendly, multi-cultural people and stunning rural landscapes punctuated by huge boulders, lotus-topped lakes and jungle, it is historic, wild and raw.

Stretching from Negombo, a popular beach resort that’s close to the airport, the coastline continues all the way north via Waikkal and Marawila past lagoons and wetlands to the elbow-like peninsular of palm-fringed Kalpitiya and the stunning, recently-opened Wilpattu National Park, home to elephants, bears and leopards.

The beaches along the coastal stretch north of Negombo are beautifully unspoilt; the sea off Kalpitiya is famed for its dolphins and whales (between November and April) and is also a popular spot for kite surfers as well as anyone looking to escape the crowds. Each town along this coastal stretch – Chilaw, Puttalam, Kalpitiya – are important trading centres and are still home to remnants of the island’s colonial past - Dutch forts, Portuguese churches and British administrative buildings.

Inland the scene is very rural with the numerous coconut plantations of the golden triangle north of Gampaha soon giving way to small-scale farmlands that stretch between huge boulders and pretty lakes as the climate gets drier and the people much less used to visitors. Fascinating archaeological sites at Kurunegala, Tonigala, Yapahuwa, Dambadeniya and Panduwasnuwara are also located in the North West of the country and are beautiful, if seldom-visited illustrations of the island’s rich historical past.

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Sri Lanka » North West Coast » Gampaha

We simply adored Hideaway, which does exactly what it says on the tin. If you want to hide away and really escape the stresses and strains of everyday life, then this is the place for you. An hour from the airport, it’s the perfect place to recuperate from a long-haul flight and a much better option than staying in Colombo. Not only was the environment blissfully relaxing, but the staff had a similar effect on us as they were clearly well-versed in pampering. Continually reminding us to treat the property as our own, they prepared the most excellent meals, and our dinner under the stars was made even more incredible by the fact that it was completely illuminated by candles. Being wined and dined so well (five unpretentious courses), yet miles from anywhere, was a real highlight for us. Whilst the property would be excellent for groups of friends or for families (big garden and shallow area in the pool for paddlers), the private open-air jacuzzis, the isolation and the staff’s discreet service urge us to highly recommend this modest house as a romantic hideaway as well.  Although the F&B arrangements are restaurant-style – with the choice of either reasonably priced set meals or à la carte options – and we were discouraged from using the kitchen, there is little that we didn’t like about Hideaway. However this villa is not the place for those looking for nightlife, or who want to be close to beaches and a good selection of restaurants or shops.
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