PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget
Villa Maya is definitely on the road less travelled. It is about as Yonder as they come. Small, elegant, and away from the masses, it is a little sanctuary of serenity set near Tangalle in Sri Lanka and about 8km from beautiful beaches. A five-bedroom property that has an old manor house at its core, it has been tastefully redesigned and renovated by the British interior designer Nikki Fairchild.
Set in a couple of acres, this perfect Tangalle boutique hotel overlooks a lush paddyfield and has a plenty of old fruit tropical trees between which hammocks are conveniently strung.
There are two rooms in the converted old house and a further three rooms are contained in a new building. Expect to find polished concrete and bespoke furniture, while and a little sweetener for those in the new rooms are the internal courtyards. The two architectural styles are blended harmoniously and form a U-shape around the inky blue, L-shaped pool. The open air ambalama (or dining pavilion) sports a huge formed concrete communal dining table, along with individual tables for those feeling less gregarious.
There are two lounge areas: a super contemporary set of sofas and chairs in the ambalama and a more traditional colonial setting in the front verandah of the old house. We found both to have a purpose. There was nothing better than a pot of Ceylon tea in the afternoon, sitting in the open-air ambalama scribbling notes into our journals. And then in the early evening, the Villa Maya signature mango daiquiri was always a sensation in the sophisticated environs of the old colonial terrace. All of this is enjoyed with the scent of cinnamon wafting through the air in the evenings as delicate oils perfume the common areas.
Feasting on chef Darshana’s mouthwatering creations can be enjoyed in the ambalama, by the pool, at your favourite spot in the garden or in the Old House’s atmospheric dining room.
Maya’s supremely peaceful setting is perfect for those who seek calm and serenity. The morning sunrise over infinite paddyfields, the fresh, clean air, lightly scented with frangipani flowers and exotic fruit trees, sets the scene for you to restore and renew. Yoga packages are available.
There is no spa in this very special Tangalle boutique hotel, but in-room massage by a visiting masseur is superb (and very reasonably priced).
On your doorstep
The Amanwella hotel is only a 15-minute drive. Villa Maya guests can eat at the beach restaurant and use the beach facilities if they fancy a dip in the ocean.