The explorers feet found the luxuries of Bentota. The two directors of Tropical Vacations escaped to explore what we believed as the finest luxury villas in Bentota. Our stay was a combination of late Geoffrey Bawa properties The Paradise Road’s The Villa Bentota and the Club Villa Bentota and also Taru’s one of the most intimate creation the Rock Villa Bentota.
Bentota was Sri Lanka’s first to emerge in the luxury resorts scene. It is also much easier to access now from Colombo, thanks to the connections of highways. Its accommodation facing the amazing gold coast of Bentota beach offers conventional hotels such as Bentota Beach, Avani Bentota. But as we at Tropical Vacations believe the real luxury of Sri Lankan accommodation is in the boutique experience, our first preferences will always incline to the best boutique resorts in the area.
Below is our own experience and an unbiased review of the three villas which we believe are the best of the boutique resorts in Bentota.
Paradise Road’s The Villa Bentota
It was designed by the late Geoffrey Bawa and later refurbished and converted in to a luxury boutique resort by one of Sri Lanka’s top design guru’s Shanth Fernando. Today the villa is full of character for a lover of classical properties. This is Sri Lanka’s boutique resort architecture at its prime. Its design made the most of the riches of the nature. While the structure which is painted in white and black stripes; a fusion of Portuguese, British and Old Sri Lankan (and the spirit of Kerala) architecture, blends well with the tropical landscape which compliments this exquisite villa. Their stylish rambling corridors will keep you excited!
The Villa Bentota has a separate bar area open to the back garden and the view of the swimming pool in distance. The dining area does resemble a bit of Paradise Road’s Gallery Café’ in Colombo and infact the menu is almost the same. As Paradise Road is renowned for its cuisine, it is indeed a treat for epicures. However the portions we’ve had for dinner were larger than our usual fine dining, but can’t complaint for giving more! We’d definitely recommend the addictive Sri Lankan sea food dishes they offer.
It was spacious, and well appointed. The four poster bed, the large bath room with the bath tub, the balcony
opened to its garden; calls for intimacy. Hence the Villa IS ideal for couples who wishes for a romantic stay.
To hang out in the Garden pavilion was my favorite. It is spacious, over looks the exquisitely design swimming pool and you can peek through the bushes to the coastline. You can spend hours there rejuvenating yourself and watch all the work stress ware off. You can also arrange to have your meals there too.
Close attentive service is highly expected from a luxury boutique villa and The Villa Bentota scores high in this department. The dapper stewards are well disciplined; available; yet understands the subtlety in silent service.
Overall we loved our stay and will certainly return again for a longer stay. I checked-out from the villa and noticed my car is washed too! One of the staff said ‘ As it was covered with the flowers fell off from the trees in the parking we thought we’ll give it a wash’
The Villa Bentota is a treasure for the Boutique scene in Sri Lanka. For those who escape from Europe’s winter The Villa Bentota will create Paradise in a classical serene setting. It is ideal for couples or families with older children who prefers a quite, intimate resort where they’d prefer to indulge in the resorts luxuries with little or no other activities. If you are completing a round tour in Sri Lanka we’d recommend to end the tour in style staying at this villa ideally for four nights.
• Staircase to the rooms upstairs are narrow and low wall in some. Mind your head!
• You have to cross the railway to find the beach although you will soon start enjoying it.
• We do not recommend it to the families with smaller children for the only reason being there’s only a smaller gate which separates villas entrance to the railway line.
To view more images click here.
Rock Villa Bentota – Taru’s Private Residence
Our next stay was just a few meters away. A white washed boutique resort designed by probably the next best designer of Sri Lanka, Nanyanathara Fonseka. Rock Villa is a six bed room villa which she named ‘ Taru’s Private residence’. We felt the design was very refreshing, uplifting and fine tuned with all the smallest details. It has a beautifully designed reception, a quality first impression for anyone. The staff are lightly spoken, kind and attentive. Rock Villa has a larger garden compare to Paradise Road’s and they have mitigated the train noise well by growing a line of large bushes which covered the sight of passing trains which also worked well as a sound barrier.
The dining area overlooks the swimming pool and the large garden. The frangipani trees, the tall swaying palm trees and the tropical grass in a calm refreshing setting, the fine dining are the riches that will make you indulge over and over again while you stay at the Rock Villa.
The greenery was a soothing sight to the eye. It was evident that its landscaping was done with lots of attention. We were told that the villa is expanding by adding two more suits which will be available for bookings for winter this year.
The room we stayed also had a patio to enjoy the afternoon tea in. the room was spacious. It has simple elegance with plain clear painting, traditional doors and windows.
The pool area in the evening with those lanterns hanging on the frangipani trees is our favorite place of the villa. Take a dip in the pool, gaze at the clear sky full of stars and step over to the dining area for your dinner.
Rock Villa is ideal to book as a whole villa for a large family or a group of friends.
Rock Villa takes care of their immediate beach front setting an example for the rest. It also has a board which clearly states ‘maintains by Taru Villas and not loitering’ .
You still have to cross the railway to get there, but there is a better taller gate to block the way. It is also further back so families with children can stay but still need to keep a good eye on where your child is.
As mentioned, the senior staff are long serving members and quite knowledgeable. They are also soft spoken but the service is on par to a boutique resort. But we felt it could be fine tuned!
• Though there is a gate separating the railway it can be opened easily. If you are traveling with younger children, keep an eye on them.
Click here to see more images of Rock Villa
The Club Villa Bentota
The Club Villa is located right next door of The Paradise Road’s – The Villa. It is another master piece by the iconic architect Geoffrey Bawa. According to the Villa management, Club Villa has preserved the original design by Bawa and do not intend to make any changes. That’s what differentiate the Club Villa from the rest. We love the slightly narrow but classical veranda the elegantly designed zen-like reception.
It also has a larger garden and the sight of the railway was covered by the bushes. The dining area was smaller than we’ve expected but it can be arranged in the garden when its full house. The rooms were smaller but most of their double rooms have a mezzanine floor which is ideal for families or close friends. The balcony which opens directly in to the garden is a character though its not entirely private.
It has to be the suite. The Club Villa had the best suite of all three villas. ‘The Club Suite’ as its called has a separate living area, a split level large bath room with Jacuzzi, rain water shower, interior garden and elegantly decorated with antiques and paintings.
We’ve had our clients stayed there in the previous years and received positive reviews. Hence we are confident to offer the Club Villa to our clients who opt to stay in Bentota.
The Club Villa is a hidden gem for those who love the originality of classical boutique properties. We believe it is perfect ending to a round tour and head to the airport within easy reach through the new highways.
• As with other villas mentioned above, keep an eye on your children due to the single railway when access the beach.
• Bathrooms of the standard rooms are smaller and we strongly recommend to go for deluxe room.
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