This one is special!
We paid a little more, but not a huge amount, for a luxurious stay at a secluded and relaxed family villa in a less-touristed part of Sri-Lanka’s west coast.
Sri Lanka has many of these villas, all over the island, this one is on the west coast between Ambalangoda and Balapitya, not too far south, easily reached from the airport.
Here we found something we’ve never seen before in Sri Lanka, beaches totally devoid of tourists, no beach bars, no gift shops, just Sri Lanka, unmodified and natural
The Family Villa and Gardens
What a beautiful place to stay.
For our money we had 2 bedrooms, 2 huge double beds with mosquito nets, a basic kitchen, rain shower and living room with TV, an outdoor area for relaxed dining and an immaculately maintained tropical garden to explore.
This villa also gave us the best internet connection we’ve ever had in Sri Lanka, thanks to a portable hot-spot.
We particularly loved the wildlife round the villa, a huge monitor lizard, stunning blue kingfishers, egrets and little three striped squirrels were all regular visitors.
The Beach, Between Balapitya and Ambalangoda
The beach is just steps away from the villa. There is a road to cross, but once on the beach you are away from everything.
You won’t see another tourist.
Sometimes local boys hang out down there, they were keen to teach us to jump from the rocks when the waves are highest, but otherwise, deserted. A walk south along the beach delivers more unspoilt coastline, tourism is very low-key in this part of Sri Lanka.
There is a small natural pool on the beach, refreshed by the waves and filled with small fish. It is perfect for very small children to play safely. Sri Lanka has some powerful waves, unless your kids are good swimmers and you’re a good lifeguard, I’d be very cautious..
Breakfast for 4 is included in the price of the villa and is served on your patio at a time of your choice. Guests can choose Sri Lankan or Western, or a mix of the two. We selected Sri Lankan ( one of our favourite breakfasts in the world) and mentioned that the kids loved anything involving jam.
What we received was superb, one of the best dal dishes I’ve ever tasted with fresh coconut sambol and string hoppers. We’d watched the gardeners picking the coconuts the day before and got one to eat/drink, delicious!
There were hard-boiled eggs, bread, butter and jam to please the kids. All this came with a fine china pot of Sri Lankan tea.
An excellent way to start the day.
The villa owners will also provide evening meals or lunch if asked. It would be lovely to enjoy a quiet family dinner here, watching the wildlife in the garden, but after such a delicious breakfast we were happy to eat light.
The only other food we ordered at the villa was a late breakfast/snack after an early arrival. The cheese and tomato toasties, tea, omelettes and sausages were very good indeed and came in at around $2.50/head
There are no restaurants in easy (kids’ ) walking distance, we took a bus or tuk tuk into Ambalangoda or Balapitya to buy hoppers, samosas, roti, beer , bread, fruit, etc. 4 egg hoppers will set you back under a pound in Ambalangoda, tuk tuk fare 1-2 pounds. You could easily take a tuk tuk to a restaurant, the owners will help you.
Getting to the Villa
We took the train from Colombo (take a taxi from Bandaranaike Airport to the station) to Ambalangoda station (£1.50 adult, 75p child approx 2 hours). From there we took a tuk tuk the 5 minutes to the villa (£1-2). You could also take the bus along the coastal road or a tourist taxi from the fixed-price airport taxi desk.
Things to Do in the Area
Ambalangoda has long been famous for mask making, it’s THE place to visit museums or see craftsmen at work.
There is a large turtle hatchery in the area( link to a cute child’s blog) as well as a few smaller ones.
We found the area around the river at Ambalangoda/Balapitya to be absolutely fascinating and unspoilt.
There is snorkeling and diving nearby.
It would be simple to take the local bus to Hikkaduwa, Galle, anywhere nearby.
Sri Lanka is a relatively small country, anywhere on the island makes a great base for your explorations. The Villa Balapitya is no exception, tours and day trips are easy to arranged locally. For more information, see the Visit Balapitya website.
What This Villa Cost
We paid £75/night for 4 including breakfast. We always book via Agoda, you can find the Villa Balapitya on their website. We think we were upgraded, the villa normally costs more than this, we actually booked a 2 bedroom apartment at the same property.
We hope you stay with us to follow our 1 month journey around Sri Lanka, we’ll be covering some new destinations and a real mix of family accommodation styles. Our next stop is giving us a full-service private villa with staff, chefs, a beach-side location and swimming pool. Sound like heaven? It is. We’ll also go budget at times. at others, stay in some top-mid range half board hotels. This trip, we think, is our most interesting yet.
We chose this villa and paid for it ourselves, all views are our own. As always, this post may contain an affiliate link or two, they cost you nothing and help us a lot.