The Great Outdoors Villas in Sri Lanka

Lazing by the pool all day not your idea of fun? Try one of these villas which are perfectly placed for discovering the great outdoors – be it hiking or biking, bird-spotting or white-water-rafting – there will be something nearby to suit those who prefer a more active holiday.

Search Results: 30 Villa(s) in 3 page(s)
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Blue Heights

Blue Heights

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Dickwella

For a lazy, languid holiday where you come armed with a stack of books and great company, Blue Heights is the business.  The simple design and minimal interiors are unfussy and free of distractions so that you focus on the job at hand – relaxing, catching up with friends and family and absorbing the restful environment.  The ocean views and hilltop locale create a feeling of space and the convivial pool area, with sunset-worthy jacuzzi, soon became one of our favourite spots.  The open-sided dining area made the most of the views and even from the glass-walled lounge you can spy the sea whilst watching TV.  Those staying in the master bedroom do get a lot more value as the room is huge and is attached to a little private lounge with pergola roof, although the bathroom is rather narrow.  The bedroom in the main house works well for elderly relations or independent couples.

The staff, a husband and wife team, plus houseboy, were very welcoming – as was Timmy, the house’s loveable dog!  Service is casual and their English was limited so communicating was a bit of a struggle at times.  However, the villa is looked after by a management team whose area manager is always at the end of the phone.  The kitchen is basic and uninspiring, however there is a little pantry with sink and fridge for making drinks.  In any case, a cook prepares all of your meals (Sri Lankan cuisine mainly, plus a few fried rice and noodle dishes).

Note that the beach is not at the end of the garden – you need to go through the gate, turn right along the road and then wander for five minutes to the beach.  Swimming is best in the middle of the bay.
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From $650 ++

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 7.4

Claughton House

Claughton House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Dickwella

Without doubt, this is one of Sri Lanka’s most engaging villas and in one of the most breathtaking locations on the island – the views are nothing short of spectacular. Its links to Geoffrey Bawa and its interesting, yet short, history makes a stay here all the more engaging. The house itself is fairly modest – there are no fancy mod cons and the simple yet imaginative design evokes the past as much as the present – however the new owners are currently upgrading the house. The interiors have already been given a sensitive facelift, and look lovely, whilst two more bedrooms and a TV lounge are due to be completed by the end of 2014; they were renovating existing buildings for these behind the main house at the time of our visit (March 2014) but we were not disturbed by the work at all.

Our favourite place to pass the time was around the main swimming pool (there is a second pool to the side of the property, close to the driveway). This cliff-top pool complements the house – it’s been here for a few decades and we liked its old-school geometric design. The different shades of blue reflected the sea beyond and the terrace surrounding it was scattered with sun loungers and beanbags, one of which was placed on a protruding corner from where we could sit and watch surfers in the bay below. A little staircase leads down the hillside to the beach, and it’s a lovely spot for long strolls, swimming or body boarding (there’s a big collection of boards in the house) with care for much of the year – the sea is fairly shallow.

The staff really went out of their way to ensure that we had everything we needed, in particular the lovely chef who produced some heart-warming food. We recommend his rice and curry, which we enjoyed by candlelight down by the pool. Make sure you have a chat to the maintenance manager who’s worked at the house from the very beginning. He showed us some 25-year-old photos of the house.
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Ivory House

Ivory House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Galle

The rural setting of Ivory House is undeniably idyllic.  Often when you stay on the coast you miss out on experiencing the island’s lush, rural hinterland.  Here you can enjoy the best of both worlds as beaches are accessible in 10-15 minutes (there are plenty of local sprays of sand for sunbathing).  Families will find this house suits them well; the gentle lawns and shallow ledge of the pool are both child-friendly.

The villa’s wraparound veranda makes the most of the rural environs, and although it is scantily furnished with only a round table for six, there are loungers in the garden and beside the pool.  Wide folding doors bridge the gap between indoors and out, and thanks to their location to the front of the house, the huge living room and the front master suite benefit most from the rural vistas.  The second master bedroom is tucked behind, but has its own side veranda, whilst the remaining two bedrooms – one of which is very small and would suit a single traveller, a child or perhaps even a nanny – open onto the living room.

The staff looked after us well and we were happy with the chef’s cooking – amongst other items, his sweet potato and coriander soup was delicious.  We’d also recommend the Sri Lankan breakfast.  Also try to visit the nearby Kahanda Kanda hotel for afternoon tea or a meal at least once during your stay.
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From $575 ++ Special 5br Rate

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 10

Our
Rating 7.6

Villa Kumara

Villa Kumara

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Mirissa

Built in 2013 (and extended to add a third bedroom suite in 2015), Kumara Villa presents a contemporary Sri Lankan aesthetic. The self-contained bedroom suites ideally suit three couples or a couple of families travelling together, as there is ample space in each suite to sleep a child in an extra bed. The living pavilion is very spacious, made even more so by the bi-fold doors that seamlessly blend the indoors with the pool terrace, and share the views. We loved the guest kitchen (it’s also aptly equipped) and spent hours beside the pool watching the birds and monkeys in the trees beyond.

The staff were efficient and organised, whilst also being discreet. The maids have set times in the morning and evening for cleaning the bedrooms, and the whole villa was spotless. The food we ate was good, particularly the Sri Lankan curries and all meals (except the daily ‘Tropical’ breakfast, which is included in the rate) are charged to the guest account on a cost basis. Our only complaint was that the staff were perhaps a little too prompt with meal service, meaning that if we weren’t as prompt at getting to the table, our meals might have been cold.

It takes about 15 minutes to walk to Weligama’s eastern strands although taking a tuk-tuk to the main surfing beach or Mirissa’s pretty sands is a quicker option. There are a couple of bicycles at the villa for guest use, but these are better for exploring the quieter lanes inland.
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From $600 ++

Bedrooms 2

Sleeps 4-6*

Our
Rating 8.0

Lansiya

Lansiya

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Tangalle

What an amazing villa! Everything from the magnificent setting to the food, the service and the comfort are second to none. Lansiya exudes character and personality through artistic touches and an intelligent design, whilst the staff’s warm and discreet nature was of just the right balance to ensure that we enjoyed ourselves but also felt very much at home.

What we really loved about this villa was its spaciousness and its privacy; you can enjoy the superb views without feeling hemmed in by walls as the gardens descend down the gently sloping hillside to the boulders beside the sea. We didn’t hear any traffic noise (what a relief!); instead there’s the unrelenting sound of the waves – especially loud and sensuous from the master suite. The sun sets almost directly in front of the property and with its generous lawn it would make an incredible location for a wedding or other special event.

We loved staying in the Lansiya Hill suite, the most private and exclusive bedroom. It’s a true couples’ hideaway but also perfect for parents looking to enjoy some luxurious private time whilst their older kids occupy Lansiya House (with its cosy TV Room on the ground floor). And we’d certainly encourage honeymooning couples to be decadent and book the whole property exclusively for themselves at just $100 on top of the Lansiya Hill rate. None of Lansiya’s bedrooms has air conditioning, but thanks to the breezy hillside location we didn’t miss it at all.

The food prepared by chef Sylvester is top quality; warm date pudding and butterscotch sauce served with afternoon tea was a treat as was our Japanese lunch feast! This passionate chef has 40 years experience in the food industry, learning his craft in Japan, India, Thailand and Europe. We loved that breakfast is different everyday and all bread, sauces, dips and accompaniments are freshly made. There are no menus; you discuss your daily requirements with Sylvester and all meals and soft drinks are included in the price.

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From $1,050 ++

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 8-12*

Our
Rating 8.3

Mandalay Lake Villa

Mandalay Lake Villa

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Habaraduwa-Koggala

Mandalay is a rare slice of heaven. Its tranquil setting instantly relaxes the mind and makes work feel like a distant memory. Despite its out-of-the-way location (it takes 25 minutes to drive to Galle), it doesn’t feel completely cut off from the outside world as you can always enjoy the endless theatre atop the lake and watch the enthusiastic play of wildlife in the garden.

Although the villa makes a lovely retreat for a group of friends (it’s a great place for entertaining) there could well be some room-envy as the master bedroom is far bigger and more decadent than the other two (although the soft furnishings in each of these downstairs bedrooms were upgraded in 2013). For families or a decadent couple, Mandalay is an excellent choice. There are beaches within easy reach and plenty to explore in the locality.

The villa has a very generous swimming pool and a flat open garden that makes keeping an eye on the kids a breeze. The lounge in the main house, with TV and DVD player, is great for keeping the kids entertained at night and can also be used to sleep two more guests since the built-in sofas are the size of a single bed whilst the room itself is air conditioned.

The friendly cook (who’s also the villa manager) prepares some great meals; his rice and curry comes highly recommended, and he can prepare western dishes too. The staff leave you to your own devices which heightens the villa’s sense of privacy and seclusion.
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Ocean’s Edge

Ocean’s Edge

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Tangalle

Ocean’s Edge feels very remote, isolated even, but its 23 acres of grounds, not to mention a near deserted strip of tropical beach, more than compensate for any lack of nearby amenities.  Tangalle, the nearest town, is 21 kilometres away and until recently was the only option for eating out, but a slow wave of development along neighbouring Rekawa and Ranna beaches means that hotel restaurants are now opening up closer to the villa.

As if mimicking its surroundings, Ocean’s Edge is very spacious and bright, its tall arched doorways allowing plenty of light and air to infiltrate.  The bedroom configuration is particularly good for families as the master interconnects with one of the guest rooms and all of the upstairs bedrooms can easily accommodate a cot. The master’s anteroom – used as a TV or reading lounge – has its own bathroom (with tub) and could also be used to sleep a child if required.

The beach – which is ideal for walking and jogging – is around 50 metres beyond the front of the villa.  The sea here is usually too rough for swimming but the lovely pool more than makes up for this. If you do want a dip in the ocean we recommend you head towards Tangalle, whose westerly beaches are better for bathing.  The garden is perfect for fun and games (there are a few cricket bats and balls at the villa).  

The staff made sure we had everything we needed.  The kitchen is well equipped so although you do have a cook at your disposal (his Sri Lankan dishes are very popular), self-catering is entirely possible and the staff will shop for anything you require on a cash and receipt basis.

From Ocean’s Edge you can easily embark on half-day trips to nearby bird or turtle sanctuaries and national parks; the staff can arrange transport.
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Skye House

Skye House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Habaraduwa-Koggala

We loved everything about this fabulous house, perched on Habaraduwa’s beautiful beach.  The two upstairs suites are very grand and open directly onto a balcony that wraps around the top floor of the house and reveals incredible coastal views (you can’t really see the sea from the ground floor due to a screen of beach foliage, planted for privacy).  The house is definitely designed for families, and the ground floor twin bedroom works well for independent teens or perhaps elderly relatives keen to avoid the stairs.

The staff team are efficient and we had all of our meals cooked for us.  Most memorable was our fabulous lunch of grilled tiger prawns followed by a delicious tropical fruit pavlova.  Although there is no outdoor dining area as such, the staff can move the dining table onto the veranda or even set up lunch or dinner for you on the beach (highly recommended).  We really liked the L-shaped swimming pool and its visibility/proximity from the dining area and living pavilion, as it made it easy to keep an eye on kids.

Whilst the sea here can be rough at times (and there are no lifeguards), bathing is best during the high season (December to April), and for strong swimmers the rest of the year.  If you do plan to take a dip in the sea, let the staff know and they can advise you on the best places for a bathe.
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From $1,100 ++ Special 5br Rate

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 10

Our
Rating 8.1

Villa Suriyawatta

Villa Suriyawatta

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Weligama

Suriyawatta has immediate appeal:  the location of the pool is amazing, the sea views stunning and Duminda’s cooking heightened our appreciation even more.   Relaxation comes easy here – evident from the wide lounging ledge in the pool, the comfy loungers, the cushioned daybeds and the shelves bursting with novels (both English and French, spanning all genres and eras, along with an eye-catching number of architecture and design tomes).

With three twin bedrooms, kids’ chairs, pool inflatables, garden games, a swing, and babysitters-on-call, this is an excellent villa for families (it sleeps 6 adults and four kids), and the fence between the upper and lower lawn (and the pool) provides peace of mind. Groups of friends will find the Sonos sound system wired to the pool area particularly appealing.

The excellent staff team is very professional, finding the right balance between being attentive and discreet. Great food comes out of the kitchen (and there’s a big suggestion menu), the stewards are there before you know what you need and the manager keeps everything shipshape. Distractions are well hidden; the main living room does have a TV and DVD player, but it is inside an antique cabinet. The kitchen is slightly separate from the house yet easily accessible and well equipped.
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From $1,100 ++

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 6-10*

Our
Rating 8.0

Walatta House

Walatta House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Tangalle

This is one of those fabulous finds you really want to keep for yourself.  We loved Walatta House – from its eco-chic concept to its beautiful ocean views and tranquil hillside location – and no sooner had we arrived than we were working out when we could come back again with friends.  The design is simple and the size manageable, even for two people, and the house is furnished with an eye-catching collection of design-orientated furnishings and fittings – the bulb installation above the dining table caught our eye.

The 20m swimming pool is a treat for long leisurely swims, and the air-conditioned TV room is a top addition as it provides the perfect snug for watching movies (bring your own) or catching up on the news and sports.  There’s a desk and computer here too.  We wandered down to the pretty beach, but currents can be strong so the staff advised us to head for Seenimodera Beach (over the hillside, and accessed via road) if we wanted to swim or jog as the beach here stretches for a few kilometres.

There’s a small staff team at Walatta House, including a chef who also acts as the manager.  Having worked in various Middle Eastern countries he specialises in Middle Eastern / Arabian food, however you won’t find it on the menu, so if you fancy some hummus or tabbouleh, make a special request.  The kitchen is not located within the house (there is a little pantry with drinks cooler, coffee machine and tea making facilities) but is adjacent to the main building, and can be used by guests.
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From $600 ++

Bedrooms 3

Sleeps 6-8*

Our
Rating 7.9

* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
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Search Results: 30 Villa(s) in 3 page(s)
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