Party Pads Villas in Hill Country, Sri Lanka

A special birthday or event to organise? From a few friends to a few hundred these villas are just perfect for letting your hair down and partying the night away. Most will feature great staff, big kitchens, and lots of space to make lots of noise – some even with a DJ booth! Pop the champagne, turn up the music and let the party begin. (If you are planning a large event, please let us know at the time of booking.)

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Anilana Craigbank Nuwara Eliya

Anilana Craigbank Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Nuwara Eliya

Anilana Craigbank is wonderfully warm and welcoming. Décor is contemporary colonial as befits this 160-year-old house which was expertly renovated and modernised by a previous French owner who lived here for many years. Despite the grand feel of the house and the enjoyable formalities of a good staff team, the atmosphere is relaxed. Each of the bedrooms is very comfortable with wonderful garden views. A selection of magazines, books, board games, DVDs and satellite TV kept us well occupied in the evenings. The Drawing Room is a cosy place to curl up with a book, and the DVD library in the TV room will keep the kids amused. It can get quite cold at night, so rooms are heated by working fireplaces whilst heavy curtains, knitted bedspreads and draught excluders all help to keep you toasty and warm.

The staff are friendly, warm and eager to make your stay as comfortable as possible; their natural hospitality also adds to the charm of staying at Anilana Craigbank. On our most recent visit, the house had come under new management. They have refurbished the house, replacing soft furnishings – the dusky walls of the bedrooms are brightened up by a contrasting collection of vibrant Sri Lankan artwork, colonial prints and Ceylonese maps; installed WiFi and brought in a few new staff. There are now a selection of priced menus for all meals, including breakfast. Two to three-course set menus for lunch and dinner always list a local and a western option, and tend to change daily. There is also a snack menu available. No alcohol is served at the house, however guests can bring their own tipples and no corkage will be charged. The house’s two tubby yet adorable labradors – Gin and Tonic – are still popular characters on the property, but can be shut away if guests would prefer. Hot water still takes a little time to work its way through the pipes!

During Sri Lankan New Year in April (typically the 13th and 14th) many Colombo residents flock here for family holidays. During this time the town is in full bloom and has a carnival atmosphere with many events – horse racing, car rallies, motor cross, golf tournaments, garden competitions and discos – being held. Prices often triple during this period and the town can get very noisy and busy. Unless you would particularly like to be here for this occasion, it is probably better avoided.

 
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The Lavender House

The Lavender House

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Pussellawa

We liked that The Lavender House blends authentic colonial hospitality with contemporary living as this resulted in just the right balance of comfort and personality. The location too, though isolated, complements the experience as views are of endless tea fields and mountains. As a couple, its privacy and seclusion felt romantic; however I imagine that the bungalow would be great, if not better for bigger groups. Families will appreciate the bungalow’s spaciousness; large lawn, big pool and generous grounds hosting a jogging track and clay tennis court provide plenty to entertain different members of the family; there are also many places both inside and out where pockets of privacy can be found – each suite’s own private garden is a delight. Aside from walking the tea trails and visiting a factory, there was little else to do in the immediate local area, making it was a good place to concentrate on thoroughly relaxing rather than feeling the pressure to explore – take some good books. Rooms are generously sized and although the master bedroom is a little larger than the others each room is tastefully decorated; we particularly loved the dreamy cushioned window seat in the twin room. The bathrooms were a real delight and we loved the generous selection of toiletries. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the cellar’s selection of wine (including bubbly) and full bar; there’s more quantity and range than we have found elsewhere in the region. The staff were always professional and the chef’s cooking was excellent; we liked the fact that we could go into the kitchen and watch him prepare our meal or have an impromptu curry demonstration. Guests can use the kitchen too if they wish although given the quality of the food we feel this is unlikely. It was great being able to plug our iPod into the Bose sound system and listen to our own music even when down by the pool.
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
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