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 $330 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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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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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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Mandalay Lake Villa

Mandalay Lake Villa

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Habaraduwa-Koggala

Mandalay is a rare slice of heaven. Its tranquil setting instantly relaxes the mind and makes work feel like a distant memory. Despite its out-of-the-way location (it takes 25 minutes to drive to Galle), it doesn’t feel completely cut off from the outside world as you can always enjoy the endless theatre atop the lake and watch the enthusiastic play of wildlife in the garden.

Although the villa makes a lovely retreat for a group of friends (it’s a great place for entertaining) there could well be some room-envy as the master bedroom is far bigger and more decadent than the other two (although the soft furnishings in each of these downstairs bedrooms were upgraded in 2013). For families or a decadent couple, Mandalay is an excellent choice. There are beaches within easy reach and plenty to explore in the locality.

The villa has a very generous swimming pool and a flat open garden that makes keeping an eye on the kids a breeze. The lounge in the main house, with TV and DVD player, is great for keeping the kids entertained at night and can also be used to sleep two more guests since the built-in sofas are the size of a single bed whilst the room itself is air conditioned.

The friendly cook (who’s also the villa manager) prepares some great meals; his rice and curry comes highly recommended, and he can prepare western dishes too. The staff leave you to your own devices which heightens the villa’s sense of privacy and seclusion.
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The Petals

The Petals

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Unawatuna

This is a really lovely little hideaway and we cherished the short time we spent here. Few places so close to the beach are more peaceful and private than The Petals.  Although the house itself is fairly compact, it has a big tropical garden and contains all the basics for a relaxing holiday, including a fabulous pool.  It would be ideal for two couples (bearing in mind that one bedroom is a little smaller than the other) or a family of four; the terrace living space is generous, and you can always escape to the hammocks at the bottom of the garden if you need a little peace and quiet: this lovely spot beyond the pool feels far removed from the house.  The two members of staff are both very polite though speak limited English which can be a bit of a struggle at times although one is learning so over time this won't be an issue.  Service is unfussy and relaxed (more home-style than hotel-polished), and the staff left us to our own devices much of the time but were never far away if we needed something (there’s a small staff house close to the gateway where they stay).  The kitchen is well-equipped and the house comes with a CD player, iPod dock and WiFi internet connection.  There isn’t much to divert you from reading and relaxing as there’s no TV so we’d suggest bringing a laptop and a selection of DVDs with you if you fancy watching a few films.
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
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