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Holiday inspiration in Sri Lanka

Sandy beaches, a rich culture and plenty of sunshine, Sri Lanka is a fantastic destination. We've rounded up some of the most exciting new stay options to throw open their doors.

Cool down at Trebartha East The Round House.

Heritage villas
Villa holiday at Teardrop Villas in Sri Lanka

In the thick of it in Galle Fort.

Teardrop Hotels has ventured into villa territory for the first time. The luxury hospitality group owns a collection of boutique hotels that showcases Sri Lanka’s rich history and culture, but following an uptick in demand for family travel it’s now moving into villa rental. The hotel portfolio includes grand heritage properties such as the country estate of legendary Sri Lankan artist Geoffrey Bawa and a collection of ‘tea planter’ bungalows in the hills and the villas look to follow this lead.

The two new properties to the group are located in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle Fort on Lighthouse Street.

41 Lighthouse Street is a three-bedroom property that can accommodate up to seven guests. It’s undergone a three-year renovation programme and now boasts a sparkling pool.

42 Lighthouse Street was once the home of an eighteenth century Dutch merchant and is a grand, four-bedroom house that can host up to ten people. Watch the world go by from the terrace or head to the sky terrace to see the sun go down over the Galle Fort ramparts and the Indian Ocean.

Both villas are fully serviced and with a villa manager on-call to assist with any requirements such as arranging excursions or sourcing a nanny or babysitter.

A cot, extra bed and high chairs are available on request and the villas are around 15 minutes from the nearest beaches at Talpe and Unawatuna.

According to Teardrop Hotels boss Henry Fitsch, there’s a growing trend of families looking for exclusive-use villas.

“These two villas are just the beginning of a collection of (Teardrop) holiday homes that will elevate the luxury villa experience in Sri Lanka,” he told Asia Family Traveller. Watch this space…

Tea time
Villa holiday at a tea plantation in Sri Lanka

Time for a brew at Rosyth Estate.

Head for the hills and enjoy a cuppa brewed from leaves grown by your hotel.

The 65-acre tea plantation Rosyth Estate has created an artisanal tea processing factory from a local tea factory that was destroyed by a fire in early 2022.

The estate is located in Sabaragamuwa Province at an elevation of 1,000 feet and was first established in the 1920s by the Marikkar Dobbs family. Since then, a delightful boutique hotel has been developed from the original planters’ bungalow.

The tea processing regeneration project is a social enterprise initiative that aims to share the fruits of its success with its employees and contribute ten percent of turnover to the local community.

Extensive replanting of the tea fields has taken place, with a move towards organic cultivation. Experienced tea pickers have undergone retraining to adopt a fresh plucking approach. The freshest leaves are picked and sorted and then hand-processed through withering, rolling, fermentation and drying. Small-batch production ensures attention to detail and quality, resulting in leaves that capture the essence of the finest Ceylon tea.

The whole team has been expertly trained in partnership with other artisanal manufacturers and the Ceylon Artisanal Tea Association. Teas produced on the estate will be served to the estate’s boutique hotel guests and as production increases, Rosyth Tea will be exported around the world.

Cinnamon plantations
Villa Holiday at the Round House in Sri Lanka

In the loop on Sri Lanka's south coast.

A boutique hotel set on a 12-acre cinnamon plantation has opened on Sri Lanka’s south coast.

Trebartha East The Round House is a design-led hotel with just four guest rooms. They are offered as adults-only hotel rooms, but the property can also be rented privately as a family-friendly villa.

The abandoned cinnamon plantation was painstakingly brought back to life by Brits Patrick and Benny Latham who bought the property in 2017.

“It was sitting untended but majestically in the paddy, surrounded by hills of cinnamon, rubber and tea plantations as well as unmanaged jungle,” recalls Patrick. “We knew this site deserved something unique and felt that in Sri Lanka, with its rich heritage of architecture and craftsmanship, anything was possible.”

The furniture was designed in Colombo and sits alongside rattan pieces and rugs handmade by local artisans. An art collection has been curated from the studios of established Sri Lankan artists. Spacious bedrooms come with four poster beds and floor-to-ceiling views over the plantation.

Outside, there’s an 18m curved infinity pool and the gardens are fanned by hilltop breezes. The secluded house enjoys views over rice fields and jungle and is just a ten-minute stroll from the beaches and restaurants of Ahangama.

Read more about Sri Lanka

The Ena de Silva cottage sits on Geoffrey Bawa's Lununganga country estate.

The group went from a single villa to one of Sri Lanka's most successful hospitality groups.

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