Going For Golf Villas in Hill Country, Sri Lanka

No point in lugging the clubs for hours for a game. For golfing addicts these selected villas are within 20 minutes drive of a golf club, many of which are world class. Some of the villas are even on the course itself – fore!

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Brockenhurst

Brockenhurst

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Nuwara Eliya

Brockenhurst is a good private base for visiting Nuwara Eliya town and nearby attractions. Although there are few facilities – the kitchen is basic and there is no swimming pool – Brockenhurst does represent very good value.

The house can accommodate up to twelve guests; since the master bedroom has space for five (rather like a dorm room we thought) and the second bedroom can sleep three, it’s a great house for a couple of families. We felt that the ground floor bedroom would be suitable for elderly relatives who weren’t keen on stairs, making the house a good choice for extended family holidays too. Whilst the number of bathrooms equals the number of bedrooms, only two are ensuite, but this doesn’t really pose a problem. We felt that the house reflected bygone days when entertainment was made, not provided, which is certainly part of its charm.

Whilst Brockenhurst has probably changed little aesthetically since its colonial days, it has been updated; bathrooms are modern and have scorching hot showers (although the bathtubs could do with a few touch-ups here and there), and whilst the bedrooms are comfortable, they are sparsely furnished. The Sri Lankan-style kitchen is practical for staff use only. There are no menus, you can discuss meal requirements daily with Godwin, the chef, and buy your own groceries or give money to Karu, the multi-tasking caretaker of Brockenhurst, to buy them on your behalf. The chef lives in and his English is good so we didn’t have any difficulties.

Brockenhurst has been refurbished since our first visit. The hallway and living room floors have been laid with timber, which feels much warmer underfoot and more homely than the previous cement flooring. The sofas in the living room have been replaced, and the fireplace here has also been remodelled. These upgrades all make the room feel more sophisticated than it did before.

There’s a new flat-screen TV, a DVD player (although no DVDs) and WiFi internet (works best downstairs). Karu and Godwin are both still there, and were as warm and friendly as ever. They have a third team member helping them out now too. The kitchen remains fairly basic (although with Godwin cooking there’s really no reason to use this room at all) and we noticed that two of the bathrooms have been slightly upgraded.

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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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Rangala House

Rangala House

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Kandy Region

Rangala House is a low key tea plantation bungalow of great value and charming character. If, like us, you love a tranquil setting, stunning views and an opportunity to walk some lovely hills and tea plantations of Sri Lanka, then this is definitely worth the one-hour drive from Kandy. We spent many relaxed hours sitting on the long terrace enjoying the views, catching glimpses of the wildlife and just unwinding in the cool hill climate. Having a roaring log fire during the cooler times of year must be a delight, but for us the most pleasant surprise was the swimming pool – it’s a great size, beautifully bedded into the gardens and so refreshing after a hot walk. Anthony, Rangala House’s owner, lives just around the corner and can be on hand if need be – we do recommend you invite him over as he’s a fabulous host and a mine of information on the area. He can really give a good insight into the local culture and is also pretty handy on the piano. Anthony has a wonderful team around him and the kitchen produces some fabulous food – you really will need those walks to burn off the calories. More homestay than villa but very charming and enjoyable.

The only downside to this mountainous location is that there are no restaurants or shops nearby, but this, conversely, is also the beauty of it! With this in mind, it’s perhaps best to book in for half-board, or even full-board if you don’t intend to do much travelling - it’s definitely the best food you’ll find anywhere for miles!

On our follow-up visit to Rangala, the chef excelled again and we enjoyed a fabulous lunch. The house was well maintained and the bedrooms were looking lovely and cosy. This was our first visit to The Studio, built back in 2011, which enjoys complete independence from the main house although it is right next door. We think it works well for friends travelling together or a family unit, although the ladder leading to the upper sleeping area is unsuitable for small children. With its own TV and DVD player (on request), this room is the most private of the four.
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