Romantic Retreats Villas in South Coast, Sri Lanka

Whether it is a honeymoon, anniversary or your partnership just needs a little rekindling, be it a cosy hideaway or a stunning chic retreat, try one of these romantic villas for just the two of you.

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No. 39 Galle Fort

No. 39 Galle Fort

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Galle

Atmospheric, well located and very comfortable sum up our stay at No.39. After the hustle and bustle of the fort, diving in and out of cafés and boutiques, and photographing iconic landmarks, it was heaven to return to our tranquil and comfortable abode, which was right at the heart of everything.

Ajith, the housekeeper, welcomed us in his quiet way, always with a shy smile and, with assistance from a second member of staff, kept the house clean and tidy.  He was also the cook, and although still a novice in the kitchen, we were pleased with his efforts, especially his curries.  The menu is fairly limited but included grilled fish, salads, sandwiches and kids’ meals – all dishes Ajith felt confidant cooking.

Although this is a great family house, the cement stairs (sans stairgates) and minimal kids’ facilities make it less suitable for toddlers.  That said, there are two daybeds at the entrance to the master bedroom that can sleep children up to ten years old.
 
The soft pillowy quilts made the beds very comfortable and we particularly loved the upstairs bedroom for its extra space and breezy rooftop views.  We found the bathrooms to be fairly small, but all were nicely finished in smooth polished cement. Note that Ajith is a live-in housekeeper and spends much of his time in the kitchen or discretely in his quarters, which are located next to the garden bedroom.
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From $280 Special 2br Rate

Bedrooms 3

Sleeps 4

Our
Rating 7.2
Guest Rating 8.9

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No. 39 Galle Fort

No. 39 Galle Fort

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Galle

Atmospheric, well located and very comfortable sum up our stay at No.39. After the hustle and bustle of the fort, diving in and out of cafés and boutiques, and photographing iconic landmarks, it was heaven to return to our tranquil and comfortable abode, which was right at the heart of everything.

Ajith, the housekeeper, welcomed us in his quiet way, always with a shy smile and, with assistance from a second member of staff, kept the house clean and tidy.  He was also the cook, and although still a novice in the kitchen, we were pleased with his efforts, especially his curries.  The menu is fairly limited but included grilled fish, salads, sandwiches and kids’ meals – all dishes Ajith felt confidant cooking.

Although this is a great family house, the cement stairs (sans stairgates) and minimal kids’ facilities make it less suitable for toddlers.  That said, there are two daybeds at the entrance to the master bedroom that can sleep children up to ten years old.
 
The soft pillowy quilts made the beds very comfortable and we particularly loved the upstairs bedroom for its extra space and breezy rooftop views.  We found the bathrooms to be fairly small, but all were nicely finished in smooth polished cement. Note that Ajith is a live-in housekeeper and spends much of his time in the kitchen or discretely in his quarters, which are located next to the garden bedroom.
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79 Leyn Baan Street

79 Leyn Baan Street

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Galle

There are few homes in Galle Fort that feel as homely and as eclectic as this one.  79 Leyn Baan Street is a long house, stretching between two streets, but the configuration makes it feel very intimate.  Rooms are filled with interesting books, including many coffee table tomes on Sri Lankan architecture and design, one of which features the house itself.  Those looking for an informal home-from-home in the fort will love it here.

It is obvious that this is a family house – there is a kid’s bunkroom on the ground floor and a cupboard brimming with board games and toys – however hazards like the courtyard pond and a steep master bedroom staircase mean that we wouldn’t recommend it for children under 10.  What 79 Leyn Baan Street suits best are decadent couples looking for a private, personal and unpretentious retreat in the fort.

A trusted daily housekeeper cleans and helps in the kitchen, and the management company is on call should you need further assistance (they can also arrange for a chef to cook at the villa for a reasonable daily charge).  But the fort’s plethora of cafes and restaurants are less than a 10-minute stroll away so there’s no shortage of options for lunch and dinner.  Guests will also be kept company by Ruby, the house’s friendly dachshund.   A second entrance at the rear of the house provides nippy access to the ramparts and the little beach beyond.
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From $500 ++

Bedrooms 3

Sleeps 6

Our
Rating 7.0

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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Villa Saldana

Villa Saldana

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Habaraduwa-Koggala

We enjoyed three wonderful days at Saldana and adored the villa’s cosiness. Its design is grand but homely with the sea nearly always in view. The living room was especially comfortable and the front veranda is best sited to soak in the ocean vistas – drag a few chairs out there or even the dining table for a wave-chorused lunch as you count the lumbering ships on the misty horizon. The house and the swimming pool appear to float above the lawn and this aspect improves the airiness of the property.

The two master bedrooms both have sea-view terraces, but the bedroom opening onto the swimming pool terrace is less private - fine if you’re a single family grouping or a couple but maybe less so if you’re a group of friends. It’s ideal for midnight skinny dips though! The twin bedroom is ideal for children although the high beds might be a worry for parents with younger kids.

The kitchen is great and comes with everything that you’ll need if you’re looking to self-cater. The small staff team includes a cook who’s more confident in cooking Sri Lankan cuisine and simple snacks than elaborate western meals, but learning fast. The staff were always very discreet and gave us privacy, which we liked, although they were a little bit shy at times. Knowledgeable managers are on-call however, and they can help with restaurant bookings, massage appointments and onward travel. The turtle hatchery (0.2km) will be a delight for young children who can learn about the five species of marine turtles in tanks that come to lay their eggs on Sri Lankan shores. They’ll also have the opportunity to set new hatchlings free into the sea.

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Wetakeiya House

Wetakeiya House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Dickwella

You could easily hole yourself up for weeks on end here. As a writer, I thought Wetakeiya House felt like the perfect bolthole for composing and relaxing. It’s clearly a cherished home, and we loved the oversized daybeds, the interesting photographs and prints, and the eye-catching antiques artfully scattered throughout the house. There is loads of living space for six people and we liked that the pool was out of sight of the house as it gave yet another private spot for chilling out. The garden eventually leads to a collection of huge rocks smashed by the sea – a great scene for photographing but definitely not for swimming!
 
With three bedrooms, Wetakeiya House is ideal for a family, but since the garden drops off in places and slopes down towards the rocky beach, it’s probably more suitable for children over three. Since the two guest bedrooms are situated to the back of the house, and the master opens straight onto the main veranda, the house would also work really well for an indulgent couple looking for a little extra privacy and space. With a garden ripe for barbecues, fairly equally sized bedrooms, convivial living spaces and a good music system, groups of friends (singles or couples) could have lots of fun here too.
 
There’s a small staff team of four, and the lovely couple who manage the villa have recently returned from over 30 years in the Middle East and Greece. One of the pair, Chris, who is also the cook, prepares the usual Sri Lankan fare along with dishes she’s discovered on her travels. We dined on baked cheese gnocchi with salad, and for breakfast, tried her amazing pol sambol (grated coconut with lime, chilli and tomato).
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From $500 ++

Bedrooms 3

Sleeps 6

Our
Rating 7.8

Kikili Beach

Kikili Beach

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Talpe

Kikili Beach is one of a kind; fresh, fun and fabulous. We loved its bright and bubbly design but also its emphasis on complete and utter rest and relaxation away from the crowds. It was a real privilege to stay here as it felt exactly as though we had walked into someone else’s well loved home. The atmosphere is totally stress free and we felt truly pampered. The housekeeper is an excellent chef and his culinary creations made us unwilling to go out; we picked out daily menus of succulent seafood, crisp salads and wickedly tempting desserts that were also economical as groceries are bought by the chef and charged at cost price. Although there’s an iPod dock we enjoyed listening to the owner’s collection of CDs, and found the book collection captivating (foodies will adore the cookery books). There are also plenty of magazines to get stuck into, as well as lots of information about the house and the local attractions – very useful. Whilst the house is quite small, it doesn’t feel that way as the generous verandah provides further scope for relaxing and dining. With only one bedroom, Kikili is really designed for couples (will suit younger couples best), but with the addition of a spare mattress or cot (on request) families with young children could be comfortable staying here too (babysitting can be organised on request). Kikili is also a wonderfully social house (especially with Kumara – the chef/housekeeper – taking care of everything from the shopping and cooking to the serving and cleaning up!) so if you want to have friends round for drinks and dinner it is entirely possible. Certainly Kikili’s guestbook is filled with superlatives from visitors who have not only enjoyed the tranquillity of the house but also the company of Kumara. He has a couple of nights off a week, so use this time to wander down to Wijaya to enjoy the chilled vibes and excellent food of this rustic beach restaurant or take your pick from the ones in Unawatuna.
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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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Kurumba House

Kurumba House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Tangalle

What a great beachside bolthole; simple, unfussy and most importantly, very relaxed. Minimal clothing, stacks of books and an iPod are all you’re ever going to need to bring with you on a visit to Kurumba House, if that. Its idyllic seaside situation was quiet and peaceful. The good-natured staff team immediately enveloped us on arrival meaning that for most of our stay our feet were nowhere near the ground, though this was due in large part to the surplus of comfy seating and the fact that we could gaze out at the ocean even whilst lying in bed. Tekla cooked enthusiastically (provisions are on guest account) though if you fancy cooking for yourself then the staff will happily go out shopping on your behalf if you furnish them with a list. Tangalle is a very laid back beach resort with few places to go out and eat – there’s only one restaurant along Mawella Beach – but this matches the property’s nature perfectly. Kurumba has very few facilities (no swimming pool, TVs or music systems) however with a beach to explore, a sea to enjoy and a beautiful climate to soak up this is the type of place you visit to escape the distractions of everyday life.
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Kurumba House

Kurumba House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Tangalle

What a great beachside bolthole; simple, unfussy and most importantly, very relaxed. Minimal clothing, stacks of books and an iPod are all you’re ever going to need to bring with you on a visit to Kurumba House, if that. Its idyllic seaside situation was quiet and peaceful. The good-natured staff team immediately enveloped us on arrival meaning that for most of our stay our feet were nowhere near the ground, though this was due in large part to the surplus of comfy seating and the fact that we could gaze out at the ocean even whilst lying in bed. Tekla cooked enthusiastically (provisions are on guest account) though if you fancy cooking for yourself then the staff will happily go out shopping on your behalf if you furnish them with a list. Tangalle is a very laid back beach resort with few places to go out and eat – there’s only one restaurant along Mawella Beach – but this matches the property’s nature perfectly. Kurumba has very few facilities (no swimming pool, TVs or music systems) however with a beach to explore, a sea to enjoy and a beautiful climate to soak up this is the type of place you visit to escape the distractions of everyday life.
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