Ambalangoda Beach Villa, The Max Wadiya

Home » Asia » Ambalangoda Beach Villa, The Max Wadiya

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Max Wadiya villa on Ambalangoda Beach is something totally different, for us and probably for you. We normally talk about value for money and how far your dollar will stretch in each country you visit. This time we won’t be talking price. Sometimes we throw a curved ball at you and hop on a cruise ship or buy ourselves a house to renovate, we like to keep you entertained. This time we’re bringing you a magnificent luxury full-service villa. We’re no strangers to luxury, my husband’s career in hospitality has taken us to some incredible 5 star properties all over the world, but this place, this villa on the beach with everything taken care of, was very special indeed.

Big hotels with beautiful pools and fine dining are all well and good, but the personal service and attention we received during our stay at the Max Wadiya villa was, we think, the ultimate Sri Lankan experience.

I’ve visited this island 5 times, as a package tourist, backpacker (with and without children) and luxury hotel guest.

The Max Wadiya experience comes out on top for me. Take a look at availability, pricing, and current

Whatever we needed, whatever question we asked, “We can help you with that.” was the standard reply.

Total relaxation, no stresses or worries, are what they deliver here.

Mostly, the amazing Ranjan and his staff didn’t even have to be asked.

If they thought we needed refreshing, they’d bring us a king coconut, when I was sick they brought me Ayurvedic tea, if they saw us heading to the pool, they’d bring out the pool toys for the children, and so it went on. Take a look at The Max Wadiya and what they can offer you today here, on

The Max Wadiya family couldn’t do enough to make our stay as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

welcome drinkmax wadiya
Welcome to Max Wadiya. Now relax!


Ambalangoda Beach

Ambalangoda Beach is quiet. Certain parts of Sri Lanka are, quite frankly, over-run with package tourists in season and these days we avoid those places.

Ambalangoda isn’t like that.

The beachfront at Max Wadiya had a few holidaymakers, I don’t think I ever saw more than 2 or 3 on the beach at one time.

There are a handful of other hotels nearby, each set back in their grounds, there were no beach bars or touts.

colours ambalangoda beach sri lanka
Colours of Ambalangoda beach, outside Max Wadiya.

The sea is turquoise with crashing waves and in the early morning fishermen set immensely long nets from colourful wooden boats before hauling their catch, hand over hand, onto the shore.

max wadiya villa ambalangoda beach.fishermen at dawn.
Be up early to see the fishermen land their catch on Ambalangoda beach.

They are very happy for visitors to help them work.

Turtles lay here, you’ll find turtle hatcheries nearby.

The morning's catch. Ambalangoda beach, SriLanka
The morning’s catch, after hours of work for the fishermen on the beach.

Ambalangoda is famous for traditional Sri Lankan mask making, it’s THE place in Sri Lanka to see these craftsmen at work.

It’s also a bustling little town with small supermarkets, fruit stalls and plenty of street food options. It’s not a tourist town like, for instance, Hikkaduwa or Unawatuna.

It feels far more “Sri Lankan” than that.

The Madu Ganga meets the sea just north of Ambalangoda and Balapitya. There is a well-established river safari industry here.

We took a boat tour organised by Max Wadiya, the second time I’ve done this trip, the first for the children.

They really enjoyed this half-day tour. I’ll post fully about the river cruise soon.

Cinamon production on the Madu Ganga cruise
Discover traditional cinnamon production methods on the Madu Ganga river safari.

Ambalangoda is within easy reach of the international airport, you can take a fixed-rate airport taxi from the arrivals lounge and be in Ambalangoda within about 2 hours.  

We took the train, a lovely scenic route which tracks the coast.

If you’re looking for a base from which to explore Sri Lanka, Ambalangoda also fits the bill.

Trips further south or to Kandy and the historic sites in the north can be arranged from here.

Some will involve an overnight stay. We’ve taken these tours before by air-con mini bus and found them a great way of seeing Sri Lanka.

The Max Wadiya team will help you with any travel plans you have.

The Max Wadiya Private Villa Food Experience

All food is included during your stay at Max Wadiya.

Egg hopprs Sri Lanka
Breakfast at Max Wadiya features trditional Sri Lankan specialities, such as these egg hoppers or coconut roti with fiery fresh sambols, but made more accessible to delicate  palates with cool buffalo curd, butter, fruit and jam. The fresh pressed tropical juices are a real treat too.

Ranjan is the manager and head chef, he has 2 other chefs who work beside him to create exquisite Sri Lankan food along with Western dishes for those who prefer less spice.

Sri Lankan food. Learning about Sri Lankan cookery at Max Wadiya
A cookery demonstration, preparing a curry of red cucumbers. Dinner always featured at least 6 different dishes.

I really can’t overstate the quality of the Sri Lankan food here, it’s better than anything I’ve eaten on the island, ever.

There are no shortcuts, every spice, herb and plant is prepared fresh and it shows in the complexity of flavours that the dishes deliver.

You can also be certain that every piece of fish, every crustacean and piece of meat is fresh and handled to proper hygiene standards.

Lunch featured more Western dishes. Here a seafood pasta dish, a fresh mango salad and a delicious side of green beans with a little Sri Lankan flair.

Ranjan likes to turn out “medium hot” Sri Lankan food. He is from Kandy where the curries have less heat than in the fiery south.

His “medium” is our “very hot” but not all Sri Lankan dishes are fearsome, the white curries he prepared were mild enough for our children to enjoy and came loaded with creamy coconut, vegetables and nuts.

Si Lankan white curry cooking class
A luxurious Sri Lankan white curry in the making. These are mild enough for my children, creamy with coconut and loaded with exotic vegetables and nuts.

He will prepare dishes to suit you, Chef and I enjoy the heat.

Breakfast brings a mix of Sri Lankan and Western tastes, lunch tends towards European-style comfort food.

Sri Lankan spice 3 times daily is too much for most guests, but that said, they will tailor the menu to individuals and dietary needs.

Ranjan proudly told me that if you stay for a month ( and people do) he can present a different menu every day.

Cookery class in Sri Lankan food. Ambalangoda beach Max Wadiya
Ranjan, a serious, enthusiastic cook, gives us a very detailed Sri Lankan cookery master-class.

As well as dining here, guests can visit the kitchen to find out more about Sri Lankan cooking.

We were intrigued to see how string hoppers were produced, that was just a quick demo, but on the following evening we had a full, in-depth, Sri Lankan cooking master class.

Nothing hands-on, we were audience and spectators only, but still we both (including my Executive Chef husband) learned a lot from this master.

Again, this will have to go in another post.

The Accommodation and Facilities at Max Wadiya Villa, Ambalangoda Beach

max wadiya villa
The Max Wadiya villa from the beach-side gardens.

We occupied the two upstairs bedrooms in the villa.

Between the rooms was a large hallway opening onto a spacious balcony with a magnificent sea view. The hallway had a TV area where the children enjoyed watching DVDs (provided by Max Wadiya) and a desk where I could work.

Wi-fi was good.

The master bedroom max wdiya villa ambalangoda
The cool, colonial style master bedroom at Max Wadiya villa. Ranjan’s team would discretely set up the mosquito nets and air con while we were at dinner.

Both rooms had private bathrooms, fans and air-con. The master bedroom had a walk-in wardrobe and seating area.

This colonial-style floor was essentially our private space, it was light and airy, cooled by the sea breezes and ceiling fans.

The antique and local-style furniture and decorations were quite delightful.

Downstairs twin bedroom max wadiya villa
More tropical colours in the downstairs twin bedroom at the villa.

I noted that there was a built-in stair gate upstairs to keep visiting toddlers safe.

Downstairs, the villa has a third double bedroom and a large open dining area leading out onto the patio and gardens.

The gardens are beautiful, immaculately kept, and feature several hammocks, a large saltwater pool (with toddler pool), a private massage room and two outdoor eating pavilions.

From the garden, there is a gate to the beach.

Lunch in the garden at max wadiya
Ranjan serves us a delicious western-style lunch in one of the garden pavilions at Max Wadiya.

The villa is separated from a second building, housing two self-contained apartments, by a covered walkway connecting the kitchen and shady ornamental fish pool.

The villa, as you would expect, was immaculately clean, the beds and bedding were superbly comfortable.

Everything you could need is provided at Max Wadiya. All food, teas, coffees, coconuts and water.

The only exception being alcoholic drinks and sodas. Clients can buy their own locally and keep them at the villa.

Staff are happy to help with this.

Badminton in the gardens at Max Wadiya
Two of my boys enjoying a game of badminton in the Max Wadiya gardens. Those hammocks also make great badminton nets!

A lovely touch, is the provision of outdoor toys for children and adults.

Everything from pool toys to badminton sets, to cricket bats, is on hand.

This went down very well indeed with my family, the children loved being able to play sports in the garden with their dad. Real family time, memories in the making, and something you wouldn’t be able to do in a regular hotel.

We made this pin or you to bookmark to Pinterest. Thanks!

The Max Wadiya Family Villa Holiday Sri Lanka

Why Max Wadiya at Ambalangoda, and What Does Total Relaxation Cost?

The cost is on a par with my husband’s 5-star resort hotel in Australia, but his hotel doesn’t include 3 meals a day or the superb personal service you will find here.

This is luxury travel and it does have a premium price tag. To check prices for your requirements, you need to visit the Max Wadiya website. (link below) or go to here.

The villa and apartments are perfect for large families or groups of friends wanting to spend time together in a home-like atmosphere on a paradise beach where everything is taken care of.

This is a place to fully relax and unwind, the outside world and the logistics of travel need not bother you at all during your stay.

Ranjan and his wonderful team will take care of everything with grace and efficiency.

Max Wadiya is truly a foodie’s dream. If you want to learn about Sri Lankan cuisine, this place is for you.

As I said previously, the complexity of the dishes and the attention to detail in the food is stunning. Without a doubt, the best Sri Lankan food we have ever eaten.

We loved the relaxed atmosphere, there was no pressure to dress for dinner or to be formal in any way. It was like being at home, but with better food and superb staff. When we travel we normally have to find restaurants at meal times, to have everything provided and not have to go out searching was luxury indeed.

In a way, Max Wadiya reminded me of our cruise ship voyages, where we would go out on shore excursions all day and return to an immaculate room, a hot shower and dinner waiting for us. It was similar, but for us, better, to be in a private, family setting rather than elbow to elbow with our co-passengers.

Helping Turtles and the Environment at Ambalangoda Beach

If I haven’t said enough already, I should mention that Max Wadiya is committed to being as eco friendly as possible. They gather rainwater to keep the gardens green, use solar power and reduce electrical consumption where they can. You won’t see wasteful air-conditioners running all day here, the sea breezes take most of the strain.

Turtle conservation is also something the Max Wadiya team are involved in, they’ve been trying to increase survival rates for the green turtles and olive ridley turtles that lay on Ambalangoda beach for the last 7 years. Both are highly endangered but locals will still take the eggs as food.

The crew at Max Wadiya buy them back from the fishermen and rebury them within their grounds. Once the babies hatch, they hold them back until after dark, to give them the best possible chance against beach predators. 1 in 1,000 hatchlings survives to adulthood in the wild. That’s if they make it past the fishermen. The Max Wadiya staff and owners have released more than 4,000 hatchlings into the sea since they started their project, helping those babies stand a fighting chance.

Where Is Ambalangoda Beach?

Ambalangoda Beach Sri Lanka
Beautiful Ambalangoda Beach

Ambalangoda Beach is on Sri Lanka’s Southeast coast, south of Bandaranaike International Airport at Negombo (near Colombo). Ambalangoda Beach is on the map here. Ambalangoda is north of the popular holiday spot, Hikkaduwa, and of Mirissa and Galle. It is south of The Golden Mile (Beruwala).

The distance from Bandaranaike Airport to Ambalangoda is about 130 Km, 80 miles, a 2 hour drive. Alternatively, you can take the train south from Colombo to Ambalangoda Station.

The railway code is ABA for Ambalangoda Station, and it is between Kandegoda and Madampagama in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province.

Contact Max Wadiya

Visit the Max Wadiya website or find them on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.

You can also view their Trip Advisor profile here.


The Max Wadiya

147 Galle Road (Parrot Junction)



Tel: +94 91 225 7926

Tel Ruth Max, the owner: +44 796 3554 639  Ranjan Priyankara, the manager  +94 773 170 369


We were delighted to be guests of Max Wadiya during our stay. All views are 100% honest and our own, as always. If the Max Wadiya isn’t for you, try searching for other hotels and villas on Ambalangoda Beach. Start here. Alternatively, visit our Sri Lanka travel blog page for more information on travel in and to Sri Lanka.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

7 thoughts on “Ambalangoda Beach Villa, The Max Wadiya”

  1. Hi, thanks for the giving us such a great overview of this holiday destination! It sounds incredibly relaxing, and the ‘host’ family seem so lovely too. I am adding this to my vacation list!

  2. Maybe our travel blog link would explain more
    PS We are totally hooked on exchanging homes with other families, in order to experience how they live!

  3. Hi Travel Family
    I have just started following you and am fascinated. Our family does the extreme version of you but with stay at home jobs.
    I am a nurse anesthetist and my husband works for an airline. We use our income and my husband’s travel to bring extreme experiences to our family. Although we still need a home base, we are inspired to travel the world with our children. We have had wonderful opportunities to exchange homes with families all over the world through Just this past summer we spent 6 weeks traveling, with 4 weeks on home exchange in Brisbane, Australia. Amazing experience! What Americans can say they have held a Koala bear and petted a Kangaroo on summer break… or Australia’s winter break. My daughter even continued her tennis lessons in Australia. It really is possible! We are not ‘rich or privileged’. We are just travelers by our heart. And hope to inspire our children with that in mind. To us traveling is the best experience!
    I must say the best part of the traveling is getting ‘in tune’ as a family. We spend all our time together with minimal distractions.
    I think your family could agree with that.
    Unfortunately, society has gone away from the bond of a family! We even spent one Easter break with no electronic devices! We did watch one family movie a night, but we love movies as a family.
    Enough said! I love your blog and am inspired by it! Thank you for all your tips. It is possible to travel for everyone. You just have to want too!
    Thank you for sharing!!!

    Jessica Dziak
    Charlotte, NC

      • Well I guess extreme is relative, I feel your family is since it is extremely not typical.

        Our children have been to 41 countries and they are 14 and 9 years old. I never left the USA until I was 18, and that was only Niagara Falls, Canada and I grew up not too far away in Cleveland, Ohio.

        We recently went to Fiji for a week over Christmas break. A long way to go for a week but we love an experience. I wouldn’t say it was the best, many lessons learned along the way. Kids and my hubby got swimmers ear and we didn’t quite get the full experience we were looking for or used too. I realized every trip can’t be perfect. It still was a wonderfully memorable experience! Family time is the best. Adventures included:)

  4. As the saying goes “What not to like?” This looks fabulous, such a beautiful location, facilities, quiet beach, very personalised service and great food. I might go easy on the spices but I think the chef could easily accommodate my taste buds.

    For a premium resort, I better start saving the pounds £££££s.


Leave a comment