Villas in Sri Lanka

There are few islands in the world where the scenery is so diverse, and so quickly varied. Visitors who come to Sri Lanka cannot fail to be moved by this irresistible chameleon-like charm, her warm-hearted people and her rich multi-cultural vibe. And, despite the island’s popularity with visitors, it still feels like an untouched paradise.

Sri Lanka offers something for everyone. There’s the ancient Sinhalese ruins of the Cultural Triangle; the Hill Country’s colonial plantation bungalows, misty peaks and endless tea; Kandy’s revered Temple of the Tooth; national parks where leopards, elephants and bears roam free; and the warm turquoise seas where you can see whales and dolphins, and scuba to coral reefs.

This island’s endless swathes of unspoilt palm-speckled beaches are its biggest draw. The sultry south-west stretch linking the water sports capital of Bentota, the historic 17th century fortified city of Galle and the rustic shoreline of Tangalle is the most developed, accessible and popular, and also where most of the island’s villas – many atmospheric heritage homes - can be found.

Both the island’s geography and its multi-ethnic community are reflected in the national cuisine. Spices, particularly cinnamon, attracted overseas traders many years ago, and they feature strongly in the island’s wonderful curries, which tend to be much hotter (and better!) than their Indian equivalents.

Sri Lanka’s relatively small size means that you can take in the best of the island’s attractions within a few weeks. The south-west coast and hill country are at their climatic best between December and April, which is when the majority of visitors come. The inter-monsoonal northern summer months are not to be avoided either as quick downpours intersperse long sunny days.

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Villas in Sri Lanka by region

Hill Country, North West Coast, South Coast, West Coast
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Sri Villas - Sagara (Villa One)

Sri Villas - Sagara (Villa One)

Sri Lanka » West Coast » Bentota

Sagara was our favourite of the three Sri Villas; it’s intimate, comfortable and – being the furthest away from the main staff area – seemed the most private. It also has the most ‘hidden’ living and dining areas plus a kitchen that we had all to ourselves (the staff/chef have their own) making self-catering easy. There’s little true privacy outdoors and if all the properties were occupied I could imagine the ambiance would feel more like a small boutique hotel (certainly around the pool) than a villa, but if you don’t mind sharing then this is a good villa for you. If you’re a small group (maybe even a couple) looking for the personality of a villa, or perhaps are new to villa renting, this communal setup works well as having extra people around (if there are any) provides a little more atmosphere so that you don’t feel completely alone. The houseboy assigned to our villa was very polite and helpful, as were the rest of the staff who took over the cooking, cleaning, securing and beautifying while we relaxed and topped up our tans on the terrace. The food was good (there was lots of choice), the smiles genuine and their experienced system of dealing with guests shone through. I liked that fresh juices were left in the fridge for us to help ourselves to (or brought to us in chilled glasses) and that we could order whatever we liked, when we liked. Typically guests choose to pay their food bills via a grocery system (staff doing the shopping and presenting you with receipts), which we did; however you could otherwise opt to pay $40 per person per day for full-board.
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Strathdon Bungalow

Strathdon Bungalow

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Hatton

It’s always a joy to stay in such evocative surroundings and take a trip back in time. Strathdon Bungalow manages to combine the sensitivities of yesteryear – both in terms of ambiance and hospitality – with today’s essential comforts and modernities. The bungalow dates back over a century, however the current management performed the latest refurb back in 2010 so plush sofas, thick duvets, dozens of cushions and bedspreads all nestle nicely into a setting reminiscent of days gone by. The caretaker of the bungalow has worked on the estate since 1983 so if you need to know something about the house, or indeed the estate, he’s your man and more than happy to tell a tale or two! He’s also incredibly courteous and did all he could to make us feel at home. Since he’s also the chef (his curries are absolutely delicious), he loves nothing more than seeing his guests’ plates empty. The bungalow has an unusual layout. Most of the bedrooms and living rooms lead off a central passageway (some with windows into it) and the dining room tucked to the back of the house is not particularly atmospheric as it feels a little out of the way (as does bedroom 2, the smaller of the two triples). You may find it nicer to either sit out on the front veranda to eat (weather permitting), which is a wonderful place for breakfast, or ask for the tables to be set up in the sociable hallway, as this setting feels much more convivial. The manager of Strathdon Bungalow, Siri, also manages two neighbouring sister-properties and he pops in to visit guests regularly and can be called upon anytime. He’s a friendly character and a wealth of knowledge on the local area.
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Talaramba Reef Villas - Villa Sulanga

Talaramba Reef Villas - Villa Sulanga

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Mirissa

What an excellent holiday home! Villa Sulanga is exceptionally spacious, tastefully furnished, well facilitated and, even more importantly, dreamily peaceful. Accompanying the steady sounds of the sea were the gentle melodies of birds and the chirruping of squirrels, but little else. Situated away from the road (yet only 1.5km from the pretty bay of Mirissa) in a residential area, Villa Sulanga really is a true escape, and with a good cook on the staff team who prepared wonderful curries for us and a delicious evening barbecue, we felt little need to head out. Kids will love the huge swimming pool and flat grassy lawn, with its gateway leading to the beach. A pétanque court and croquet set offer further outdoor diversions.

Having bedrooms all of equal size, presentation and décor means there’s no reason to squabble over a master suite, and each has a trundle bed for sleeping extra kids. Bathrooms are partly open to the bedrooms and the built-in tubs have super sea views. The only TV and DVD player is located in the ground floor bedroom (could be moved if needed), and wildlife handbooks and binoculars are provided in the living room for nature lovers. 

An advantage of booking the two Talaramba Reef villas together is that they make an excellent event venue (although, for large numbers, a professional organiser would be required).

With breakfast and afternoon tea (from a local tea plantation which welcomes visitors) and cake included in the rate, we felt that Villa Sulanga offered excellent value for money.

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Taprobane Island

Taprobane Island

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Weligama

Taprobane is utterly unique, quirky and cool. Whilst it feels very sociable, it also offers plenty of private spots that maximise the views. Photos, letters and prints bring out its fun personality whilst the elegant colonial furnishings, some of their colours faded, sophisticate the property and give it a 1930’s feel.

The garden is a delight, its meandering pathways through the mature tropical foliage managing to make the island feel larger than it is. Artists and writers will be particularly drawn to Taprobane; the American writer Paul Bowles wrote the Spider House here. The infinity pool is a great place to watch the fishermen as they take to the sea or return heavily laden with their catch, whilst the seemingly endless number of scenic dining locations makes the most of the island from sunrise to sunset.

Families, groups of friends, honeymooners and decadent couples will adore Taprobane’s peace and privacy and whilst older children will love its Adventure Island appeal, it is possibly less suitable for younger kids who would need a lot of supervision. The sea crossing and number of steps on the island also might prove difficult for the elderly.

The staff of 12 includes a cook, a villa manager, six houseboys who have their own quarters and two security guards so guests are not only very well looked after but their privacy from the outside world is also guaranteed. Sunset drinks are served promptly on the veranda followed by meals that favour the fresh seafood for which Weligama is so renowned. Meals are discussed with the chef every morning so that the staff can head out to do the shopping (provisions on guest account). In the unlikely event that guests feel inclined to leave the tranquility of the island, the staff will assist in organising transport and recommending sight-seeing tours.

Note that there is no TV or DVD player at the villa, and internet is accessed via a USB dongle (provided).  The kitchen is part of the staff quarters in a lower portion of the house and unavailable to guests, yet with your own personal chef you’ll have little need of it. There is a pantry fridge on the dining terrace, which is kept stocked with cool drinks.
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The Teak House

The Teak House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Tangalle

Tucked away on the hillside, Teak House is a place where we could really relax and forget about the outside world.  We sat peacefully reading and relaxing beside the lovely new 12m swimming pool or in the hammock under the palms and watched the birds and squirrels as the ocean constantly played in our ears.  The garden is large and slopes down the hill; we liked the front area the most with its many flowers and its soft lawn.  A green wire fence surrounds most of the property which provided security without making us feel enclosed as we could still appreciate the jungle and views.

Inside the bungalow, we were reminded of the traditional wooden Thai houses, and although this one differs in design, the atmosphere is similarly romantic.  The bungalow has an elegant design and its bedrooms are a good size; beds are large and comfortable and the bathrooms are modern with good hot-water showers.  For entertainment there’s a selection of books and board games and the villa does have WiFi internet and iPod speakers, but no TVs or DVD players.  However the large garden offers a good space for outdoor games such as cricket.

We felt that Teak House would be great for a family holiday and would also suit couples as it is intimately sized.  It’s ideally placed to explore some excellent local beaches, wildlife parks and temples. Outdoorsy types, escapists, artists, writers and nature lovers will find it especially appealing here.

The bungalow is looked after by houseboy and multi-tasker Roshan who cleans, cooks and shops for you.  We found him to be quiet, hospitable and discreet.  He anticipated our needs for tea in the afternoon and let us choose our own mealtimes.  He cooks on a cost basis (his repoirtoire of dishes is constantly growing).  There is a washing machine for guest use, however Roshan can even do your laundry for you if you’d prefer – and the ironing (charges apply)!  You can also ask him to help you arrange local transport.
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Talaramba Reef Villas - Villa Vatura

Talaramba Reef Villas - Villa Vatura

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Mirissa

We loved Villa Vatura’s peacefulness and its convivial set up. Situated away from the road (yet only 1.5km from the pretty bay of Mirissa) amidst residential housing, Villa Vatura felt like a true escape, and with a good cook on the staff team who prepared wonderful curries and a delicious evening barbecue, we felt little reason to go anywhere else. The villa itself is spacious, elegantly furnished and illustrated with lots of great artwork. It has a huge swimming pool (with shallow kid-friendly section) and flat grassy lawn, which the youngsters will love. A pétanque court and croquet set offer further outdoor diversions.

Having bedrooms all of equal size, presentation and décor means there’s no reason to squabble over a master suite, and each has a trundle bed for sleeping extra kids. Bathrooms are partly open to the bedrooms and the built-in tubs have super sea views. Wildlife handbooks and binoculars are provided in each bedroom and the TV Room is a fab addition for hiding away with a movie or even snuggling up quietly with a book on a rainy day. Complementing the kitchen is a pantry, designed purely for making drinks and storing food and milk for babies and children.

An advantage of booking the two Talaramba Reef villas together is that they make an excellent event venue, but do note that for large numbers a professional organiser would be required. With breakfast and afternoon tea (produced at a local tea plantation which welcomes visitors) and cake included in the rate, we felt that Villa Vatura offered excellent value for money.
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Villa Tusk

Villa Tusk

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Unawatuna

Villa Tusk works really well for families and groups. It’s in an excellent location beside a charming beach and, as it’s close to Galle, makes a comfortable base to explore the area. The deep sea-view veranda is a sociable place to relax and dine (and you can easily watch kids playing on the front lawn) whilst each bedroom’s semi-outdoor sitting area provides a little extra private space. No bedrooms have sea views although we felt this didn’t matter much as the living room is very generous and there are plenty of places to sit and admire the ocean.

Our most recent visit to the villa (February 2013) coincided with a change of ownership, and the new staff team of three seemed very enthusiastic. There is a small (satellite) TV in the fourth bedroom, but this can be moved to the living room if needed, and a DVD player made available on request. The front garden now features a little cushion-scattered lounge pavilion.

On the villa’s small staff team is a cook, however, the F&B set-up is a little unusual. Although she will cook lunch and dinner for you (Sri Lankan cuisine), you need to actually go out and purchase the groceries yourself, which is a bit daunting if you’ve only just arrived!
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The Weir House

The Weir House

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Kandy Region

If you’re looking for a secluded, stress-free environment then this is the place for you. The Weir House celebrates escapism and from the moment we arrived we felt enveloped by the relaxing ambiance of the location and pampered by the small but able staff team who unobtrusively kept the house in order and prepared the most excellent meals for us. Because, breakfast and a three-course set dinner are included in the rate (as well as unlimited coffee, tea and fruit juice) we felt that it represented good value for money for couples and groups alike; especially since the villa rate varies according to the number of people staying. And lunch is only an extra $5 per person. The house itself is contemporary, minimal and although a little colourless, photographs of the owners and their book collection in the lounge did make it feel like a home. We loved the plunge pool. It might be small but it has a great location in the garden; we enjoyed lounging in the Jacuzzi whilst meditating over the mountain views which were at their best at sunset. Although the house doesn’t have internet (this is a place to get away from the world anyway), it does have satellite TV, a good music system, a DVD player and a few board games. There’s a children’s play area on a lower lawn and benches in hidden spots in the garden for reading and relaxing away from everyone else. As there are a lot of steps and slopes we don’t recommend The Weir House for the elderly or disabled (for similar reasons the owners do not deem it suitable for children below six years old). The villa has good eco-credentials: waste is recycled; showers are solar-heated; some of the fresh veg comes from its organic garden, and tap water comes from natural mountain springs.
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White House at Bird Lake No. 2

White House at Bird Lake No. 2

Sri Lanka » West Coast » Hikkaduwa

This is an excellent holiday home for independent couples, families or groups of friends looking to self-cater or enjoy an extended holiday as it offers good value too. The villa’s imaginative build celebrates its picturesque and very serene natural location. The interiors feel homely and, since the rooms are spread across three floors, either sociable or intimate depending upon the occasion. When we first visited the villa back in 2009 it was brand new. Nearly four years on, the villa still felt charming, and the garden beautifully lush, but we noticed that the interiors were starting to look a little tired in places - the fish tank, particularly, looked forlorn. An iPod dock has been added though, along with many more books, CDs, DVDs and games.

The villa is set up for self-caterers. There are a few restaurants located within walking distance of the villa which means that if you don’t feel like cooking, you don’t have far to go to eat out – these include Asian Jewel, where you can enjoy a hearty English breakfast, and Kallabongo Resort. The White House manager, Chaminda, is also the manager of Sun Beach Hotel in Hikkaduwa and can arrange a chef to come to the house to cook for you with advance notice; rice and curry is recommended. A staff of two assists self-catering guests and are on hand to clean, tidy and make drinks for you throughout the day. Their English is limited, but they do understand guests’ needs. Chaminda can be called at any time to assist with more complex queries - local calls from the house telephone are free – and the villa has a very detailed information guide. The staff can arrange a tuk tuk if you’d like to head into Hikkaduwa or you could jump aboard the villa’s two (slightly dilapidated) bicycles to peddle there yourself. Chaminda can organise scooter hire or a car  for onward travel.

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Why House

Why House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Talpe

We visited Why House with a few friends and organised a special surprise birthday dinner for one of them in the evening. The villa staff pulled out all the stops and made our simple request into a real occasion. Rum cocktails and dips on the veranda at dusk were followed by an authentic British roast. The meal was superb and it was difficult to believe that the chef wasn’t English given the delectable cauliflower cheese and bread sauce! The lemon birthday cake for dessert was equally divine and the setting – tropical flower displays adorning the table - further enhanced the occasion. The whole evening was a great example of exactly why Why is such a good choice for groups and for entertaining. The staff – headed by wonderful hostess Henrietta – are equally proficient at looking after guests’ day-to-day needs. I found the main house bedrooms and bathrooms to be more luxurious than the others but they all come with their own special charm and are equally well-facilitated – air conditioning, satellite TVs, mini fridges and baskets full of mags, sarongs and games all come as standard in the rooms. DVD players are available on request and there’s a library of movies to choose from. The main living room has sound wired into the ceiling so it makes a great spot for getting together and having a bit of a bash! Why House might not be on the beach but you’ll find a sandy selection just five minutes away. We loved the villa’s inland location and spacious surroundings that couldn’t have felt more tropical and serene. A number of restaurants are within easy reach although with the chef’s excellent cooking – the menu lists Sri Lankan and Thai dishes, seafood grills, BBQs plus other western cuisines – it’s very likely you’ll choose to stay in. Breakfast is included in the rate and all other meals are at cost price plus a 10% charge for service. The villa is great value since several other services such as laundry, fax and WiFi are included in the rate.
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Search Results: 80 Villa(s) in 8 page(s)
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