With palm-fringed beaches, captivating local culture, super-chilled surf scene and serenely spiritual heritage, Sri Lanka is top of #TeamCoco’s destinations to visit in 2019. Given the country’s seriously seductive charms, it’s little wonder it was crowned Lonely Planet’s number one destination to visit this year.
While that accolade may mean tourist numbers continue to increase, over the last ten years Sri Lanka’s burgeoning tourism industry has opened up a country previously ravaged by Civil War. Railway renovations have recently allowed access to some areas of the north for the first time, while expressways built to the south has made the region more easily reachable. Alongside this has come investment in hotels, with a spate of stylish openings, like the Wild Coast Tented Lodge.
To meet this demand, the number of private houses and luxury villas opening their doors has also increased. Today, the selection of villas to be found, particularly on the South Coast are not only some of the most luxurious but also the best value to be found in Asia. Take Eden Villas – their selection of luxury properties come with a staff to rival that of any five-star hotel, usually including a chef, security and house manager. Many offer direct access to more secluded stretches of sand and even semi-private beaches, and range from more traditional beach houses with upmarket interiors to spectacular feats of architecture.
If you needed any further excuse, here are five of our favourite luxury villas to rent if you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka, or visit Eden Villas in Sri Lanka (www.evinsl.com) to pick your own.
1. Walatta House
One of our favourite beach villas in Sri Lanka, Walatta mixes modernism and traditional wooden touches to create a blissful beach house vibe. With a private gate directly onto the shoreline, 180-degree views of the ocean, and a staff of five (plus Wally the dog) to look after you during your stay, this is the ultimate Sri Lankan beach house.
2. Red Cliffs
A three bedroom, Geoffrey Bawa designed cliff-top villa, this architectural masterpiece offers guests sweeping views out over Weligama Bay from the corner infinity pool. Spread over two levels, indoor-outdoor living maximises the clifftop location, while steps lead you down to a stretch of private beach.
3. Wetakeiya House
With tiered gardens leading down to the ocean, with a large pool set beneath the palms this beautifully finished three bedroom property is perfectly located, with two beaches either side just a short walk away – one perfect for surfing, the other the place to unwind over a sundowner and a passionfruit mojito.
4. Boundary House
Set among the paddy fields, this restorative, 4 bedroomed house offers tropical views from the collonaded veranda, a large t-shaped pool and yoga shala, with panoramic views out over the terraced green fields.
5. Kumara Villa
A mix of modern and distinctive traditional charm, Kumara lies inland, yet close to the surf breaks of Weligama and beaches of Mirissa. The villas elevated setting allows guests to take in palm-fringed views from its open plan pavillions. Each of the three king rooms have their own walled garden and private terraces, for indoor and outdoor bathing.
Check out our guide to Sri Lanka’s South Coast for more.