Tangalle is a beach-lover's paradise and is untouched by the commercial hand. The Beach House sits at the tip of the island and boasts its own beach at the foot of its 3-acre estate.
The blue and white beach bungalow has combined colonial architecture with the quaint style of English beach huts. Damika, the local manager and his efficient team of housekeepers, chef and gardener fulfil your every need and allow you to relax in the quiet atmosphere.
Family portraits, stags' heads, colonial artefacts and a beautiful collection of shells and coral decorate the 7 rooms. Desert Island discs can be played on the gramophone or shift to more modern tunes on the CD player. The main house has an air of tranquillity, whilst friends or teenagers can enjoy their own adventure in the pool or garden chalets.
The tropical gardens encircle the house with dainty frangipani trees and vivid Romiods highlighting the lush foliage. The 15m infinity pool glistens next to the pavilion, allowing guests to dip and doze as they wish. Wander to the foot of the garden and discover the secluded beach via the secret gate. Boogie-boarding in the morning before breakfast is a real wake-up call, whilst crimson velvet sunsets flood the imagination. For the less active guest, the enchanting library will beckon.
The front verandah faces out to sea and the sitting room opens out to garden sofas and the manicured lawn. The sitting room is quite formal but filled with fascinating antiques.
The main house comprises:
Master room: A large room with an antique, king size 4 poster bed and complementary wardrobes and writing desk. The shuttered windows opposite the bed give panoramic views out to sea. Pastel linens dress the bed and there are piles of fluffy white towels. The bathroom has an indoor vanity unit and stone floors and opens further to the outdoor toilet (a little strange if you're half-asleep); an outdoor shower and a superb hot water ceramic bath under the swaying palms and the star filled sky complete the facillities.
Twin Room: A slightly smaller corner room that has no garden views but remains cool with shutters filtering the sunlight. Twin four poster beds ideal for children. The bathroom is open plan with a dividing stone-faced wall. Mosquitoes can pester if they get in. The bath/shower room and vanity unit sit behind with modern cement finish and sunken basins.
Mr Peter's Room: A large bedroom to the rear of the house, similar to the Master Room. A little dark, but large wooden temple doors open onto a granite courtyard with a massage/ treatment table. The indoor, en-suite bathroom has a luxurious feel with a choice of bath and shower.
All the rooms have unusual, interesting paintings, quaint bedside tables and ample antique furniture for storage. The many light sources can be a little irritating. Mosquito nets are provided but are rather holey and in need of repair. For the adventurous or extra guests there are two picturesque chalets in the garden.
Pool Room: A pretty ochre-washed chalet beside the pool pavilion. The temple doors open onto the romantic antique bed. Temple wall hangings, small writing desk and wardrobe are all that furnish the room. The central archways lead you to the vanity area and white tiled hot water shower room with piles of fluffy white towels.
Garden Room: Hidden under bamboo fronds and behind a pretty verandah is a distressed blue summer- house, equipped with a double bed, basic furniture and an en-suite shower room. The Garden Room is very tired looking and not immaculately clean as the sea air has tarnished the mirrors and insects wander in. Best reserved in an emergency or for adventurous children.
The evening air is filled with sounds of the sea, whistling grasshoppers and the occasional mating call from the abundant bird life. Damika, the manager will wait on you at evening, lunch and breakfast, and tempt you with afternoon tea delicacies in the garden. Master chef at sister villas Sun/Dutch House creates the menu. His protégé 'Sathi 'at Beach House delights guests with a daily set menu but personal favourites and dietary needs are always considered in the planning.
We enjoyed a dinner of:
Clam spaghetti in a white wine and garlic sauce
Toffee cardamom oranges with ginger snaps and vanilla cream
Breakfast was an indulgence of French toast, kithul treacle and spicy fried eggs.
Traditional curries and fish steaks in mango salsa, or simple salads could be selected from the many alternatives.
Wine must be ordered in advance through the Sun House management when making final payment. Spirits and soft drinks are always in stock and fresh fruit juices from local trees are sweet and refreshing. The soft candle lights and furniture can be located wherever you desire to dine - the house terrace, pool pavilion or the beach (careful- the sand flies are fierce).
There is an excellent Italian restaurant, "Il Cameno" close by if the family fancy a change.
For our recommendations on places of interest, restaurants and local transport in Tangalle and the South Coast, click here.