Paradise Road The Villa Bentota is a unique and private beachside hotel located 1.5 hours’ drive south of Colombo, set on 2 acres of land and housed in the ‘Mohotti Walauwa’, Sri Lanka’s first boutique hotel converted in the1970s by world-renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa. Offering 15 individually designed Rooms and Suites with all modern amenities and services, the original villa was refurbished and extended with incredible sensitivity to the original design by Udayshanth Fernando in 2007.
There are 15 a/c rooms, most with magnificent sea views, separated into five categories. Suites are more spacious and have a day bed that can convert into an additional bed and a private balcony or terrace. Some have private plunge pools. En-suite bathrooms have h/w rain showers. In-room facilities include LCD TV, mini-bar, safe and tea/coffee making facilities. Extra beds, cots and baby baths are provided upon request on a complimentary basis.
The Villa Café is the hotel’s open-sided restaurant and presents neatly arranged wicker chairs beneath a lofty pillared roof. The casual vibe belies their seriousness about food as they offer some of the island’s best Sri Lankan dishes (black pork curry is a must-try) alongside a consistently excellent range of international options such as baked crab, lemongrass chicken, squash ravioli and roast pork, though their pizzas are disappointing. Desserts are to die for; opt for the delicious lemon (or passionfruit) meringue or one of the homemade ice-creams. The bar, decked out with giant wicker sofas, opens onto the front lawn and serves zesty cocktails.
Staff are polite and accommodating. Those at the front office are clued up about what to see and do nearby and will hail you a tuk tuk if you wish to explore. There are two pools – one long lap pool flanked by a sun deck, and a smaller three-feet deep kids’ pool in a courtyard near the restaurant; glasses of cool water and afternoon snacks are handed out to anyone reclining poolside. There is a small massage room as well as a boutique proffering a small taster (handicrafts, crockery and linen) of items from their Colombo Paradise Road store.