Evening cocktails as the sun sets over the fort – immensely enjoyable.
Thambili House is a delightful restored (virtually rebuilt) house where one can enjoy the charm of the 18th century with the convenience of a modern fit out. We enjoyed the master suite very much, especially the superb bathroom. That said, all the bedrooms and bathrooms are very good, although the top bedroom is a little compact. The rear courtyard, with its small pool overlooked by a pleasant lounge and dining terrace, is a particular delight. It is surprisingly peaceful too. (It’s worth noting that between the swimming pool and the terrace there is a wooden gate, which is a useful safety feature for families with young children.)
The house is made all the more special by the delightfully helpful (but very quietly spoken!) staff who went out of their way to ensure our stay was comfortable and enjoyable. The food out of the simple but well-equipped kitchen was excellent. When we returned to the villa recently the chef told us that he’d just done a cooking course in western cuisine, so his repertoire is now even more extensive.
Thambili House has a great location where one can enjoy all the advantages of being in the Fort and also benefit from many other attractions close by, such as a good range of beaches. Since we last visited, many more boutiques, cafés and restaurants have opened in the Fort so there’s now a decent selection on your doorstep should you wish to eat out.
Difficult to know which is better: breakfast on the master suite terrace as the sun rises from behind and the morning crowd walk the ramparts; or evening cocktails as the sun sets in front of you and the Fort buzzes with activity (mainly cricket of course). Both are immensely enjoyable.
Going to bed on our first night turned into a bit of an epic – 17 light switches in the master suite alone. It took a good 15 minutes to find them all, with the final batch located above the headboard hidden by the mosquito nets. Note also that electricity in Sri Lanka is not the most reliable; however, the team are well trained with candles which do actually make the villa look beautifully romantic. Finally do establish your requirements with the chef early on otherwise you are going to put on loads of weight. We think he has a phobia about running out of food so the meals are huge, excessive even.
- Jo Eglington, United Arab Emirates checked out on 29-Dec-2012