Lanka Lodge's pool waterfall will be adored by the young and young at heart.
We felt that the set up at Lanka Lodge was very much suited to families (for instance, only one room comes with an ensuite bathroom). Kids will love the garden and the waterfall in the pool while parents can sit back and watch them from the front veranda. The house has WiFi and a stereo but no TV or DVD player, however there is a cabinet full of books both in English and German (the owners are from Germany).
Whilst the villa is full of character, facilities are fairly simple and the main kitchen is a little inconveniently situated (for self-caterers) in what feels like the staff area. The villa cook is most confident serving up Sri Lankan food; however he can prepare a number of grilled seafood and fish dishes too. Service is friendly and laid-back rather than polished and although the staff speak satisfactory English, their German is even better!
The garden is a wonderful place to soak up the sun and coastal views and will be adored by kids who can ramble at will. They'll also have plenty of fun with the waterfall in the swimming pool. Care must be taken at the highest point of the garden however since there is a steep drop with no boundary. As long as younger kids stick to the areas around the house and pool they'll be fine.
Although the villa has a coastal location, the shore here has seen a lot of erosion (as has the garden) making the beach tricky to negotiate and access, and it's inadvisable to swim in the sea as it can be very rough. As such, the beach provides more of a view than an activity. Also, the property's boundary with the beach (which is as high as six metres in places) is not fenced, so take care; there's plenty more garden to explore without venturing close to this section. Lanka Lodge shows its age in places and we thought the plastic dining chairs were a bit disappointing. The shortage of ensuite bathrooms, and having air conditioning in only two bedrooms, might cause a bit of a fight over who sleeps where, but for a family looking for a good value, out-of-doors holiday away from all things screen-based, this villa has a lot to offer.