Club Villa is an exquisite beachside boutique hotel, one of several fine small properties that enhance the coastline in south Bentota where the beach is broad and relatively peaceful. It was originally designed by Sri Lanka’s iconic architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa and is an enchanting spot, a beach property loved by a loyal clientele for its high standards of personal attention, immaculate service and good food in a restaurant that received a welcome upgrade in 2018. Set on a coconut grove, this 17-bedroom property is not really a hotel, but a welcoming retreat where time unfolds as you wish. Although it has expanded over the years, Club Villa retains its original Bawa architectural features of courtyards and verandahs; ponds and waterways; cooling cement floors and clay-tiled roofs festooned with flowering trees and shrubs. Improvements have remained true to Bawa’s skillfully blended windows, doors and even a wooden staircase taken from an old 19C century southern villa with modern features. Interiors are decorated with black and white photography, local art, hand-woven murals and furniture which mixes modern and Dutch period antiques. Enjoy a calm and peaceful day by the poolside; take a stroll along the beach and taken in the beautiful sunsets; and by nightfall, indulge in a romantic candlelit dinner under the stars or retreat to the small restaurant. Tea and cake in late afternoon is another welcome touch. The turquoise sea that fronts the property is safe for swimming during the season from December to April. The beach is accessed by a few strides across the simple, single-track West coast railway line that runs at the edge of the garden. This dissuades a small minority from staying here perhaps, but overwhelming feedback is that the occasional train is not intrusive, but rather adds occasional interest to an otherwise blissfully quiet day. Due to this railway line, young children should be well supervised.
There are 16 rooms and one luxurious Club Suite. All the bedrooms have a/c and overhead fans and open out to either a balcony or veranda with garden views. Bedroom interiors are comfortably furnished with double beds fitted with mosquito netting. Rooms are decorated with Dutch period antiques and murals. Ensuite bathroom have h/w showers.
Standard Rooms: The nine Standard Rooms open on to a bay window, balcony or a verandah. Ensuite bathrooms have h/w showers.
Deluxe Rooms: There are seven Deluxe Rooms which are more spacious that the Standard Rooms. Some of the rooms have a mezzanine floor with an extra bed. These bedrooms open on to a balcony or verandah with views across the garden to the beach beyond. Ensuite bathrooms have h/w showers.
Club Suite: This is a luxurious suite with a separate bedroom, living room and a long split level garden bathroom with a Jacuzzi bath, h/w rain shower. The Club Suite opens on to an expansive terrace overlooking the gardens.
A choice of high-class Sri Lankan and western cuisine is served here prepared with fresh seafood brought right to the doorstep by the village fishermen. There are no set meal times and guests can dine when and wherever they wish whether indoors or out in the gardens. A selection of alcoholic beverages is on offer in a stylish lounge bar. There is a lounge area opening out to the gardens and a swimming pools set amidst the gardens which are scattered with flowering tropical trees and shallow ponds. An upgrade has seen the addition of TVs in all rooms with an impressive range of satellite channels, without affecting the tranquil atmosphere Wi-Fi is available throughout. There is also a small massage room, with massages available by prior appointment.
Why We Like It
An old favourite with a sense of history, hints of Bawa and tea and cake on the lawn in late afternoon
Club Villa Bentota encourages guests to be mindful of electricity and water use through signage displayed around the room. Waste separation is also encouraged for both guests and employees.
Club Villa lies to the south of Bentota town, about a 10-minute stroll away around a small rocky outcrop that divides it from more traditional beach properties. Bentota is only two hours from Colombo’s international airport and about an hour north of Galle.
Location: Bentota, West Coast
Style: Boutique Hotel
No. of Rooms: 17
Key Features: Sprawling gardens edged by a train track and the sea; designed by Geoffrey Bawa