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Overview

Stylish colonial hotel ideal for young couples seeking tranquillity yet with activities within easy access.

Set off the main road in the middle of a coconut plantation, Club Villa is the epitome of boutique hotels- a quiet residence with 15 deluxe rooms.

A relaxed atmosphere that makes every guest feel at home. Enter the private gates and be greeted by a refreshing fruit cocktail and the sound of truly enormous jumping catfish.

His friend, and once neighbour, Geoffrey Bawa designed this 19th Century Dutch colonial style beach residence, based on Hameed's inspiration of majestic pillars, calming fish pools and serene décor that compliments the white-washed walls and soporific sway of the palm trees glimpsed outside.  Long, grey stone corridors end with sitting rooms scattered with marble tables and brightly coloured cotton cushions.

Immaculately manicured gardens run along the white sandy beach.  Soak in the crystal blue pool or take a nap in the many hammocks strung between the frangipani trees. 

Manager, Mr Vasu, is a fountain of local knowledge for the nearby sights.  Ideally located for trips to historic Galle, tours of Geoffrey Bawa's eclectic architecture, and the Brief Gardens of brother Bevin Bawa.

Club Villa has a young feel and families are a familiar sight, as the long, sandy beaches and calm tides are a castle-maker's paradise. Couples chat quietly and swap elephant and leopard sighting stories over afternoon tea.

 

 Highs
 

 Lows

  •  Showering under the stars in the Club Suites
     
  • Candlelit dinners on the beach with a personal Maitre d'
     
  • Wonderful balance of opulence and simple living
     
  • Excellent cuisine
     
  • Christmas and New Year parties
     
  • Just a stroll away from water sports, local markets, turtle hatcheries and many village crafts
     
  •  The 6-7am  rattling trains that run past the end of the garden about 5 times during day to 9pm. Guests claim that you don't notice them after the first night
       
  • At Christmas and New Year the hotel is full and  it can get a little noisy around the pool
     
  • Some say the restaurant can be slow in peak season but the delicious daily set-menu is always extremely swift.
     
  • Whilst you face the Ocean at the bottom of the garden, the belt of coconut  trees masks a sunset on the horizon. The sound of the ocean is always present

 

 

     
     
     
     
   Swimming Pool
   Beach Access
   Ayurveda
   Bird Watching
   Fine Dining

Rooms

The 11 deluxe standard rooms are" jig-sawed" around the estate, all overlooking the gardens and ocean.  Modern and spotless, the deluxe spacious rooms have brightly coloured silk king-size bedspreads and cushions, neatly turned down each night and decorated with scented flowers

The colonial influences of Sri Lanka are highlighted throughout the house with antique Dutch furniture, symbolic Buddhist statues, British post boxes and Sri Lankan art.

The 2 Club Suites offer the added comfort of tranquil living rooms with bay windows where you may sit to enjoy cocktails against the backdrop of soft music and the calling of migrant cuckoos.

The en-suite bathrooms are spotless and have luxurious shower rooms and huge fluffy towels. The Club Suite showers are ceilinged by the stars or morning sun, giving you a sense of a set from "Jewel in the Crown".

The modern and locally crafted furniture and mezzanine floors allow you to hide away your luggage and imagine a life flowing on beyond 2 weeks here.

 

 

 

     

Dining

The tables are spread throughout the gardens under candle-light and flares during peak season. The sea winds can be a bit chilly in the summer months and the open verandah is preferable.  By request, you can have your private cook and butler serve you in the garden by the pool. Very romantic.  The Club Villa restaurant has an excellent reputation and chef Mr De Mel is proud to add to its extensive a la Carte menu on a regular basis.

A wide range of fish-harvest dishes through to Curries and daily specials such as apple and plum glazed supreme of chicken, with roast potatoes and petit vegetables, Hungarian Goulash or Nasi Goreng for 2.

We enjoyed the set menu with a light bottle of Chianti : Crab baskets with a cocktail sauce accompanied by beetroot salad, followed by a gorgeous pureed carrot soup topped with roasted hazelnuts. Entrée was a peppered steak with stuffed snake gout and boiled vegetables. The steak was tender but a little salty (common in Sri lanka).  To finish we indulged in apple pie with an orange coulis.  Delicious and well balanced.

The set menu was $9/pp but the a la carte would be more.  The lobster thermador is definitely worth ordering in season ($17 for 2).  The wide selection of wines is very reasonably priced at $12-20/bottle.  Lunch time snacks of salads and sandwiches or Sri Lankan bites, such as Spicy Fisherman`s Net average at about $2-4/pp.  Breakfast is a standard Western continental breakfast or Sri Lankan breakfast if requested 24 hrs before.  Complimentary afternoon tea is served in the gardens daily.

 

 

   

Things to do & local tips

 

Local Trips:

Explore the local villages on bike or by boat. Typical trips include:

  • Take a river trip for ½ day to see wildlife and baby crocodiles or make a day of it and travel out to Little Adams Peak.
  • Visit the local small turtle farms at Kosgoda. Join in the egg burial by night, admire the baby turtles by day and take a journey to the sea to release the young back into their natural environment.
  • Monday is market day in Aluthgama, just 15 minutes stroll across the bridge. Bustling with locals selling fresh fish, meat and vegetables, the produce is as colourful as the saris they wear.
  • Jewellery shops line the streets but if you are looking for a special piece visit more distinguished stores to ensure certified stones and quality gold.
  • Kalutara temple is fascinating and beautifully maintained. The guides speak good English and pitch the history at your level of interest.
  • Water-sports centres are everywhere but the quality of equipment and instruction varies. The river is perfectly calm for water-skiing and windsurfing but we would not recommend you swim in these rather dirty waters. After rain, the river can stir up a lot of scum, which can be off- putting. Next- door is one of Aluthgama's best watersports and deep fishing excursion centres.
  • Many craft shops where skilled carpenters carve and paint masks of health.
  • Meander into Bentota village and join a family at breakfast.
  • Visit more of Geoffrey Bawa's work including his original home "Lunaganga" or enjoy lunch at one of his many neighbouring works like Villa Mohotti.
  • Gardeners will love strolling through the landscaped estate of the Brief Gardens, created by Bevis Bawa (brother to Geoffrey).
  • Take a taxi to one of the quietest waterfalls in the South West- just behind the paddy fields that surround Dharga town and Kalutara. A picnic and your bathing costume is all that's required.

Slightly further afield

  • About 2 hours drive inland to Ratnapura, you can watch the mine workers climb deep into the shafts to source gems such as sapphires, moonstones and topaz. The workshop craftsmanship is second to none.
  • Just 1 hour further and your mind shifts to admire another natural gem - Sri Lanka's only rainforest - Sinharaja. Admire the unique orchids and the sounds of the Woodpeckers and the grey tailed monkey.
  • A memorable overnight excursion South/East will include Yala safari, Galle Fort and Galleries, Kosgoda Turtle Farm and Welligama's stilt fishermen.
  • Take a good camera and a big heart and follow the elephant herds to water at Uda walawe - just 2 hours east and inland.
  • Colombo is a shopper's paradise. A number of department stores and a few ladies' clothes shops where you will find up to the minute fashions at extremely discounted prices. For a list of stores, restaurants and evening entertainment, check-out our regional guides.

For recommendations on local restaurants, places of interest and activities on the South West Coast, click here.