Beach In Ten Villas in Bentota, West Coast, Sri Lanka

If being near the sea is a holiday ‘must have’, but walking into your bedroom with sand between your toes isn’t, these villas are less than 10 minutes drive from the beach - many within the soothing sound of the surf. (If you have to be right on the sand then try our Beachfront villas.)

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Apsara

Apsara

Sri Lanka » West Coast » Bentota

What a wonderful villa! Apsara offered us plush comfort, an excellent chef and a wonderful riverside location all within easy reach of Bentota’s long sweep of beach. We enjoyed the company of the staff who always greeted us with a smile and made us feel so welcome. The chef, in particular, stood out for his conviviality and amazing food. The house and garden were both immaculate: it felt as though we were the first ever visitors. The lighting was also especially good. The bedrooms and living areas are all air conditioned, although we just left the doors open as there was always a refreshing breeze coming off the river.

There’s a wall-mounted DVD and Blu-ray disc player in the living room (loads of DVDs) and a surround-sound music system with iPod dock set up so you can hear your favourite tunes inside or by the pool. There’s also a good WiFi connection throughout the villa so you can easily get online if you bring your own kit.

Apsara has its own private jetty and is well connected with a locally renowned water sports outfitter who can come and pick you up from the villa in their boat. There’s a good supermarket just up the road from the villa that stocks loads of imported goods and the fresh produce market is right on your doorstep too. The staff will buy groceries for you though, and with such an amazing chef to feed you (and a wonderful menu) it’s unlikely you’ll be doing much more than ‘window’ shopping.

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Villa Republic Bentota

Villa Republic Bentota

Sri Lanka » West Coast » Bentota

    Villa Republic bursts with character and is definitely one-of-a-kind. Apart from its more obvious links with social revolution, the colour red makes its presence felt in many other exotic forms here; the heliconia flowers that droop heavily onto the lawn, the windsurfing boards criss-crossing the river and the great big ball of fiery sun that descends right in front of the villa every evening. This is a magical place to stay, not only because the villa is homely and convivial but also because there’s so much right on its doorstep; water sports, beaches, river exploration, inland cycling, spas, restaurants, and the list goes on.

    The master suite is a lot more spacious than the other four bedrooms, which means a toss of a coin if staying with friends, but heaven for parents with a gaggle of kids in tow. For a five-bedroom property, Villa Republic Bentota is very good value. All food is charged at cost price and we enjoyed delicious local curries and pasta dishes during our stay. Mr Fernando heads up the staff team of three (plus security guards) and although he strived to make sure we were always well-fed and watered, we liked that he left us to our own devices too.

    We weren’t massively keen on the fixed glass panels in the master suite that covered two of the side doorways, as it would have been nice to have the breeze flowing freely from the garden. That said, the glass panelling at the front was wonderful for maximising views of the river right from the bed (with AC on high!): by day we watched water skiers, jet skiers and wind surfers, and in the early morning before anyone was around, we watched fishermen embarking upriver. Note that the villa’s garden isn’t large, so although you’ve got loads to do on your doorstep, space might be limiting for energetic young kids.
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