Taprobane Island provides one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic photographs, an impossibly romantic destination perfect for a traveller seeking a truly escapist location. It peers from behind trees on a rocky outcrop in Weligama Bay, surrounded by two-and-a-half acres of secluded gardens, jungle and the sea. Look north for the mainland; look south and there is nothing between you and the South Pole. The island was bought for the princely sum of Rs250 in the 1920s by the Count de Mauny of Talvande, a Frenchman driven to Ceylon by marital and financial problems, who was so inspired that he remained to build his dream home. The villa’s history is lovingly recorded by framed letters and photos. The original octagonal villa has been beautifully restored: it has five spacious suites, high wooden ceilings and cooling white terrazzo floors. Views of the ocean are magnificent from each part of the island, and there is no better way to start the day than with a swim in the sea before breakfast on the terrace. It can be a little blowy during bad weather, but it all adds to the enchanting appeal of this island retreat. Taprobane Island is an ideal venue to celebrate a special occasion, may it be a wedding or a private party – with prior notice, the management will make any special arrangements.