“You can sit on the verandah by day looking out to the sea or under the star filled skies at night.” Olanda Villas
The Talpe coastline is awash with gorgeous private villas, the beautiful Olanda Beach House (OBH) is a place of tranquillity set in an abundance of coconut palms. We were lucky enough to call this colonial designed piece of paradise our home for a few nights at the end of our Sri Lanka trip.
OBH underwent a charming renovation six years ago that included the addition of a two-storey separate extension that houses two extra ensuite bedrooms to complement the original three in the main building. As the property is owned by designer and antiques dealer Ziham Hussain it’s tastefully furnished with antiques, traditional Sri Lankan furniture and bold colourful art and accessories that complete the stylish interior.
The villa is surrounded by a large wrap-around verandah with colonnades furnished with stunning antique wooden and rattan planter chairs and tables, a place to sit, relax and watch the crashing waves under the shade of the overhanging roof. Whether it’s morning coffee, afternoon tea (we had lots of leftover red velvet wedding cake to consume) or pre and post dinner drinks the verandah is a great spot for all the guests to come together.
Each of the good sized three bedrooms in the main building offer a combination of sleeping options (two doubles, one twin) with wooden four posted beds dressed with mosquito nets, open-roofed ensuite bathrooms and private gardens. The master bedroom is a huge suite with a dressing area, an oversized terrazzo bath alongside the outdoor shower.
The villa has a large centralised living room with high ceilings, a terracotta tiled floor with comfortable daybeds arranged to look out to sea. There is a open air separate dining pavilion with a large dining table and adjacent lounging area. A games room with a pool table sits between the dining area and kitchen, a TV and DVD player are available for those who want it.
Across the immaculate lawn there’s a large swimming pool, plenty of sunloungers, seating areas with cushions and a separate open-sided gazebo that’s used for massages by the masseuse that comes every evening to provide treatments (at an additional cost). Its elevated position and whitewashed perimeter wall gives the beach house complete privacy, an antique style wooden gate leads to the palm lined unfrequented beach. While the beach may look picturesque the water was unsafe for swimming due to the ferocious waves, rocks and undercurrent. The small coral reef attracts fisherman who spend hours waiting patiently in the scourching sun for their catch. The nightly sunsets are incredible, the garden had lots of vantage points to enjoy the colourful skies.
The villa comes fully staffed with housekeepers that cater to your every need as well as a gardener, night watchman and a chef who cooked up some fantastic feasts at every mealtime. Guests can liaise with the chef for dietary requirements and special requests including bbqs, he provided us with some great Sri Lankan influenced dishes using fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood bought daily at the local market. I would advise stocking up with your own alcohol that can be purchased from the local bottle shops. If you fancy venturing out for a change of scenery out both WB (Why Beach) and Talpe Beach are within easy walking distance along the beach or the road.
The villa is at one with nature, local nocturnal monkeys play havoc at night on the roof (super scary until you realise they can’t get in), squirrels run to and fro all day across the lawn and into their nests in the roof and you can spot the odd monitor lizard and tiny ghettos if you look closely. Take lots of deet as the mosquitos are relentless even when sleeping inside the mosquito net.
If you want to explore the local area, Koggala is the nearest town where the Giniwella Kathaluwa and the ancient Temples are located. You can also see the traditional stilt fishermen, who fish chest-deep standing on a pole. Nearby Unawatuna has suffered from mass over-development, budget accommodations, way too many international tourists and local vendors selling cheap textiles and trinkets. The beach road is lined with small shops selling traditional souvenirs, beachwear, art, jewellery and inexpensive colourful elephant adorned clothing. Galle is just a twenty minute tuk tuk ride away, negotiate a return fare and they will meet you at a designated time and place.
Olanda Beach House is a charming villa set in a garden of coconut palms, popular with tourists and high profile Sri Lankans (a former president checked out the day we arrived). It’s an elegant property in a secluded spot that’s perfect for relaxing and being pampered. Talpe maybe a quiet fishing village but it’s an ideal location for exploring nearby Unawatuna and Galle. I would recommend the villa for groups of friends and families.
The Nitty Gritty
Olanda Beach House, Galle Road, Talpe, Sri Lanka
Telephone: +94 (0)91 223 3874
Comfortable accommodation and serene setting
The Not so Good…..
Intermittent hot water
Poor wifi connection
Read more about Sri Lanka in my previous posts In Pictures | A Postcard From Sri Lanka, Discover Sri Lanka | Hikkaduwa, Discover Sri Lanka | Weligama and Mirissa, W15 | Weligama and Discover Sri Lanka | Talpe and Unawatuna
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved.