The Villa, Bentota

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The Villa Bentota by KK Collection was once a colonial plantation villa, which was converted into a boutique hotel in the 1970s by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most celebrated architect. Today it remains a hotel and is cool, airy and glamorous. Fortunately its years of changing hands hasn’t watered down its history and charm, it now combines sleek lines with colonial architecture and tropical gardens impeccably. The food here is divine; they serve traditional dishes with a modern twist in The Villa Café, a pillared pavilion that is semi open air. There’s a slate lined swimming pool, a small spa, and luminous lawns covered in frangipani and coconut palms.

All rooms and suites are different due to the nature of the colonial building, but they are all very stylish and airy, with air-conditioning, king size beds and chic interiors. The Standard and Superior Rooms are the smallest but are very comfortable, some have private patios or a balcony, while others have direct access to the garden. The Superior Suites and Executive Suites are much larger with bathtubs. The grandest is the Mohotti suite, with two bedrooms, a freestanding bath, and a separate living room; as well as the Family Room which also consists of two bedrooms and ample space to spread out.

You need to cross the train track to get to the beach (30 seconds away) which we found charming, and you’ll often see the locals playing cricket under the palm trees.

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