Malabar Hill’s privileged setting in forested hills above Weligama Bay calls for a confident property with a sense of ambition – and this Indo-Islamic styled property is certainly that. A heady mix of contemporary luxury and Mughul influences combine to give it a distinctive feel among Sri Lankan boutique hotels. A good restaurant, sizeable infinity pool and well-appointed villas are allied to antique Rajasthani furniture and grand architectural flourishes to which the Mughul Empire would have given a nod of recognition. This is an adults-only property (above 16 years).
Fourteen villas are set within a semi-circle around the main building and swimming pool in a wooded setting affording considerable seclusion and inviting views, either of the coast or the hills. All villas have artisan furniture and Mediterranean-style furnishings, a rooftop terrace, and floor to ceiling glass doors which open out onto private terraces with a small infinity pool. The rooftop can be used for dining and early morning Yoga. Rooms have free WiFi, safe, sarongs, beach bags, binoculars and field guides; minibar, free tea & coffee, Green Pearl bath products. People with disability should note that one of the villas is wheelchair enabled as is the main house.
Ocean View Villas: These villas are ocean-facing with views of Weligama Bay.
Wetland Sanctuary Pool Villas: These villas have hillside views over a wetland sanctuary, with paddy fields and jungles.
The Signature Hill House Restaurant offers a menu inspired both by Sri Lanka’s food heritage and Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. An ornately carved wooden bar is shaped in an arc of polished petals and has 270-degree views from hillside to ocean. A long salt-water infinity pool lies directly below the main building. Nature trails and a yoga lawn are relaxing pursuits for those so lulled by Malabar Hill’s charms that they decide to give the beach a miss. Spa massages and beauty treatments either in the Spa building or on your own terrace. Malabar Hill also has a strong sustainability commitment. It uses solar power to heat its water and keeps rain water for irrigation and has a waste-water treatment plant. Electric tuk tuks provide buzz around the grounds. A reforestation project is planned to recover habitat for birds and insects. There are no TVs.
Why we like it
The daring design of Malabar Hill adds a distinctive flavour to Sri lanka’s excellent boutique sector.
Malabar Hill rests in wooded hills above the south coast beach town of Weligama, a short journey from the coast through rice paddies frequented by water buffalo. About half-an-hour from Galle.
Location: Weligama, South Coast
Style: Boutique hotel with Mughul influences
No. of Rooms: 14
Key Features: Wooded hillside setting; Indo-Islamic style; ocean views