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.
There are five bedrooms, four doubles and one twin room that sleep up to 10 guests. Rooms are comfortably furnished with antique four-poster Dutch period beds fitted with mosquito netting and have a spacious ensuite bathroom where you can gaze at the sky whilst taking a private shower. Two bathrooms have sunken showers, one of which is shared by two bedrooms. Rooms are cooled by the sea breeze and overhead fans. A terrace wraps round most of the villa’s octagonal structure – all double rooms open out to their own private veranda with planter’s chairs and magnificent Indian Ocean views. Be lulled to sleep by the gentle sounds of the sea.
Taprobane Island has extensive tropical gardens scattered with Frangipani, coconut palms, bougainvillea and heliconia, and an exquisite infinity pool spills into the sea on the west of the island. A modern kitchen and four house staff, including a cook, are there to serve you. Mainly seafood and Asian cuisine including Sri Lankan rice and curries is served here. PADI diving courses can be arranged at a nearby hotel and the scuba diving is reputed to be good during the high season (December to April). Uniformed security personnel ensure guest’s privacy and safety at all times.
Why we like it
Stay on your own private island and experience one of Sri Lanka's most iconic photos from the inside of this lightly-renovated time-warp property
This extraordinary island retreat lies 200 yards off the coast in Weligama Bay close to Sri Lanka’s most southerly tip and is reached by wading through the shallow waters on foot. The journey from Colombo’s International airport to your own island paradise will take around three hours by road, or take an air taxi to nearby Koggala. If you are heading to the hills afterwards, we offer competitive rates on a sea plane service from Koggala lake to Hatton.