“Imagine how it is to be perched a hundred feet atop a promontory that separates the Mirissa and Weligama Bays, opening to a panorama of vistas looking over blue ocean.” Red Cliffs Villa
Perched on the top of the clifftop between Weligama and Mirissa, Red Cliffs Villa was designed by renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffery Bawa. In true Bawa style the open air villa has an industrial vibe set in a lush tropical coconut tree grove and manicured private garden with the most amazing views across the bays below.
Access to the property is via a steep, uneven track off the main Galle Road, the villa’s unique elevated position gives it guaranteed privacy, in fact it’s so private that it’s tricky to even find the entrance gate even with google maps. The nightly sunsets are incredible with the large garden offering plenty of vantage points to enjoy the colourful skies. The villa is set amongst nature so expect to see monkeys, squirrels, birds, tiny geckos and larger monitor lizards sauntering across the lawn. Mosquitos are a problem and relentless so repellent is a must and should be applied religiously from 4pm onwards.
The living space is completely open air, the relaxing lounge area offers panoramic views and a separate dining area situated under the structure of black columns and giant steel floating roof. The master bedroom is on the mezzanine level and offers a four poster bed with mosquito nets and separate bathroom with semi-outdoor showers and toilet. The bathroom is in need of some renovation due to its constant exposure to the elements and it’s not air-conditioned so can get quite warm.
The resident family of monkeys that live in the surrounding trees may join you along with geckos and giant spiders. This room also has a small outdoor veranda with seating and additional beds can be arranged for a family to share the room. The villa requires vigilant parenting as there’s literally a sheer drop off the cliff and no perimeter barrier.
Downstairs on the lower level there’s an additional two rooms, a larger double room with ensuite that opens onto the lower garden area and a smaller twin room. A compact lounge area offers a mini library and TV, there’s an additional bathroom and bijou kitchen area for storing drinks and making tea and coffee. The villa comes fully staffed with a housekeeper that caters to your every need and a resident chef who will prepare meals to your requirements.
You liaise with the chef daily and he visits the local markets for fresh fish, meat, fruits and vegetables to cook traditional Sri Lankan and Western dishes, also catering for dietary requirements and special requests. We bought our own alcohol at the airport but local Lion beer and other beverages are readily available and the staff will re-stock for you upon request. The chef and housekeeping team operate from a separate kitchen away from the main house.
The swimming pool is located just below the lounge area in the lower garden with views across to Mirissa harbour, sunloungers are available in the garden along with a hammock and lookout seating area. The private beach is accessed down a narrow stone staircase, it’s shaded by the cliff early in the day and worth a walk down, the walk back up definitely gets the heart pumping. A second beach area is tricker to access.
The local area is ripe for exploring and the villa is well placed between Weligama and Mirissa (read more about what to do in the area HERE). My recommendations include Zephyr and Petti Petti on Mirissa beach for food and sunset drinks, Coconut Tree Hill for sunset views and Instagram shot among the palms. In Weligama pop to the very cool Ceylon Sliders for coffee, chocolate brownies and cocktails (daily happy hour on the rooftop from 4pm – 6pm.Yoga and surfing are available here too) and to W15 hotel for lunch, drinks and access to the surf beach. If you fancy venturing further afield head to Angel Beach Club in Unawatuna for a dip in the pool, food and drinks. Another must visit is nearby Galle and don’t forget to take a traditional tuk tuk ride.
Red Cliffs Villa is a sought after property and although the interior would benefit from a makeover the cliffside location is marvelous. If you are looking for somewhere to relax and chill out this is the villa for you with the added bonus of a central location from which to explore if you can tear yourself away from your sunlounger.
The Nitty Gritty
Red Cliffs Villa, Mirissa, Sri Lanka
Private cliff top location
The Not so Good…..
Interior needs some updating especially the bathrooms
Food was a little underwhelming
Not great for younger children due to clifftop location and no boundary walls/fences
Read more about Sri Lanka in my previous posts HERE
We travelled from Abu Dhabi to Sri Lanka with Etihad Airways. We stayed at Red Cliffs Villa in Mirissa booked via Eden Villas in Sri Lanka and Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. We used the very reliable, friendly and reasonable priced Pradeep Nirukshan of Travel with Pradeep for our airport transfers – www.pradeeptours.com
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2020. All rights reserved. Additional photos used with courtesy of Eden Villas in Sri Lanka