With Sri Lanka topping #TeamCoco’s destinations to visit in 2019, we’re out to uncover some of the best places to stay, going beyond your average hotel chains to discover the unique private homes and luxury villas that dot the surf-swept south coast. It’s here, along a stretch of sand and beneath a grove of swaying palms, that you’ll find a set of stairs. Descending into a concrete facade, you’ll emerge not into the bunker you might have imagined but in a jungle oasis of luxury living – arguably Sri Lanka’s chicest beach villa, Walatta House…

Set into the hillside, this eco-chic design retreat uses locally sourced materials to blend seamlessly into the tropical landscape. A low slung roof is just visible among the greenery, while an oversized rectangular infinity pool mirrors the palms above. Entering the property, open plan living and dining areas and huge windows bring the outside in, engulfing guests in their stunning natural surrounds. With 180 degree views out over the gardens and to the beach beyond from the open-sided dining and living areas, you can relax atop the headland, listening to the waves crash below. Touches of teak add warmth to the ultra-modern interiors, with details like hanging light fixtures and boho soft furnishing adding a more rustic, livable vibe to the house.

With 3 bedrooms, Walatta House is the ideal retreat for friends or family looking for a peaceful escape, and to immerse themselves Sri Lanka’s spectacular scenery without compromising on luxury or design. From the swimming pool, the only sound you’ll hear apart from the waves is the chorus of birdsong and occasional frog, while peacocks roam around the garden and monkeys play in the trees above you.

All of the bedrooms at Walatta House are air-conditioned and en-suite, with two queens and one twin – each with the loveliest linens and romantic mosquito nets draped over them for the soundest nights sleep. Echoing the indoor-outdoor vibe, all have al fresco bathrooms, and garden views from their courtyards. The master is our favourite, with French sliding floor to ceiling windows and a terrace overlooking the pool.

While you might feel sequestered away from the world in your palm-fringed pool, the property boasts a great location too, with gardens leading down to a private gate for direct access to a postcard-perfect sweep of white sand, fringed with towering palms. Within walking distance, you’ll also find a beach bar, complete with insta-worthy rope swing – just the spot for a sundowner.

Yet, with a team of truly dedicated staff to look after you during your stay (including Wally the friendly dog) – you might find little reason to leave the property. Madhura the truly excellent chef whips up unbelievable meals, from Sri Lankan classics (egg hoppers and curries are our favourites) to more continental fare. If you do decide to venture out, the staff are happy to recommend local activities, as well as organise a tuk-tuk to whizz you wherever you need to go. Even in a country renowned for their excellent hospitality, the ever-smiling staff at Walatta stand out. Better yet, with rates starting from $75 USD per person per night, the level of luxury you are able to get for your money is seriously impressive. The only downside in #Teamcoco’s book? Working out when exactly we can plot our return.

Walatta House is available to book through Eden Villas in Sri Lanka (www.evinsl.com) and starts from $450 USD per night based on 6 people.


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