South Point Abbey, Koggala Sri Lanka, The South Coast
This great value 4 bedroom villa is cosy, well constructed and perfect for families or a small group of friends. The beach in front is quiet and peaceful - a small headland shared only with fishermen and the larger villa next door (Southpoint Villa). The reef just off shore means that swimming in the sea is safe all year round extremely unusual in Sri Lanka where strong currents make sea swimming dangerous in most places outside of January to April.
There are 2 master bedrooms on the first floor, one with a connected twin room attached. On the ground floor there is a smaller double room. All bedrooms have an attached en-suite. The best part of the villa is the lovely veranda on the first floor absolutely perfect for lounging during the day and long slow meals in the evening.
The pool is small but perfectly formed and the pleasant garden leads down to some rocks and then the wide beach below.
It is worth noting that noise from the road can be heard from the master bedrooms, despite the huge wall built to minimise this. This reviewer didnt noticed it at all, but very light sleepers and those very sensitive to noise might.
Like the sister property next door, Southpoint Abbey is run like a small private hotel- with well trained staff and extra-ordinarily high standards of quality and service. The staff are friendly and eager to please and guests are encouraged to set the level of service that they feel happy with.
Staff are well used to children and enjoy interacting with them while local nannys can be arranged too.
The cook is excellent with a wide repertoire of eastern and western dishes, with seafood obviously featured heavily. For guests staying a few days there is a good value menu and guests staying longer can, if they prefer, get staff to purchase food for them and reimburse at cost.
Villa - The 'Villa' is a similar concept to the 'holiday home' in Europe, with some key differences. Our villas in Asia are always fully staffed with cooking and service provided for you. Staff will generally cook meals to your specification and purchase food and drink for you at cost price. They are generally pretty smart and luxurious too and feel in many ways like a small private hotel. Nonetheless, your villa is still effectively a home and therefore you cannot expect the same level of training, English speaking or slickness that you might expect from a hotel at a similar cost. As the owners are not generally holiday professionals we cannot guarantee the quality of a villa matches expectations in a way we can with hotels. That said, the personal local touch means villas are generally much more friendly and interactive than hotels and have much to recommend them. The privacy and space makes them wonderful for families, groups of friends or couples looking for privacy and relaxation.
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This was an excellently organised, tailor-made trip. We stayed in friendly hotels in a number of different locations, including a mud house in the jungle, beside a lake and in the hills among the tea plantations. We had a wonderful guide/driver and visited some amazing temples, spectacular world heritage sites, lovely villages and ate delicious, freshly harvested and cooked local food. It was a fabulous holiday!