Nisala Arana, which aptly translates as `abode of peace’, is a wonderful spot discovered down a narrow country lane a couple of miles inland from Sri Lanka's much-loved west coast beach resort of Bentota. Its strikingly serene and refined atmosphere makes it an ideal romantic retreat – many weddings and celebrations have taken place in the gardens. Nisala Arana was once the estate of the village Ayurvedic doctor or `vedha mahattaya’: the mid-19C ‘doctor’s house’ and the extensive gardens filled with fruit and medicinal trees have all been caringly maintained. The property houses a private collection of vintage cars, pieces of art, photographs and antiques. This is a restful space ideal for yoga, a cooling swim or a good book.
Nisala Arana has seven a/c bedrooms set in the Doctor’s House, Coconut Wing and Mango Wing – these are three separate villas that can be booked by the room or as a whole. Meals are charged separately. All rooms are comfortably furnished with exquisite antique Dutch-period furniture including four-poster canopied beds, almairahs, writing desks and planter’s chairs.
Doctor’s house: This 150 year old `wallawwa’ (manor house) was the original residence of an Ayurvedic doctor. Traditional architectural features such as the veranda, central courtyard pond, ornate arches and columns and flowered trellis window panels have been retained. There are three rooms – a Master Suite with a king-sized four-poster bed, and a twin room with two canopied, antique single beds – which share a bathroom with open-air h/w shower. Living area is equipped with TV, home theatre system, play station, IPod station and books. There is also a photocopier, printer and Wi-Fi. A dining area furnished with a six-seater antique table overlooks the central courtyard pond and a fully-equipped kitchen. Guests are free to cook their own meals or order in from the main restaurant. Doctor’s House is rented to one party at a time and accommodates up to four guests.
Coconut Wing: Named after the coconut tree that rises from the veranda, this wing has two double ensuite bedrooms. Rooms have large canopied beds on cement bases and writing desks. Ensuite bathrooms have open-air h/w showers. These two rooms can be booked separately.
Mango Wing: Located on the upper floor over the garage, there are two suites, both furnished with king-sized beds and day beds. Additional bedding is provided for children. Rooms open out to a veranda overlooking the gardens and accommodate two adults and two children. Can be booked by the room.
The extensive gardens are scattered with medicinal and fruit trees that attract numerous species of birds. A separate dining pavilion in the garden overlooks the swimming pool. Meals are served in the pavilion, the gardens or on the veranda of your own villa. Sri Lankan and Western cuisine is served here, prepared with fresh, local seafood, meats and vegetables. Other facilities include a badminton court, croquet lawn and holistic wellness treatments including relaxing Ayurveda massages and yoga sessions. The owner has a couple of wonderful vintage cars that are used to take guests on excursions upon request. Nisala Arana can host special events including weddings and will do all the necessary arrangements from the ceremony to a romantic dinner set in the garden. Click here for Nisala Arana’s wedding package details.
Why We Like It
We love the beautiful gardens and recommend the rooms in the main house and the Mango Wing.
Nisala Arana can be discovered in a four-acre private estate in the village of Kommala, only five minutes inland from Bentota, the west coast's leading family resort. The journey from Colombo’s international airport will take about two hours.
Location: Bentota, West Coast
Style: Boutique Hotel
No. of Rooms: 7
Key Features: Beautiful gardens; swimming pool