Paradise Road The Villa Bentota was once a colonial plantation villa, which was converted into a boutique hotel in the 1970s by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most celebrated architect. Today it remains a hotel and is cool, airy and glamorous. Fortunately its years of changing hands hasn’t watered down its history and charm, it now combines sleek lines with colonial architecture and tropical gardens impeccably. The food here is divine; they serve traditional dishes with a modern twist in The Villa Café, a pillared pavilion that is semi open air. There’s a slate lined swimming pool, a small spa, and luminous lawns covered in frangipani and coconut palms.
All rooms and suites are different due to the nature of the colonial building, but they are all very stylish and airy, with air-conditioning, king size beds and sharp black and white interiors. The Rooms are the smallest but are comfortable; some have private patios while others have direct access to the garden. The Executive Suites are much larger but don’t have views, so if you want both space and views go for the Superior Suites. Much grander is the Mohotti suite, with two bedrooms, a freestanding bath, and a separate living room. This is the perfect retreat at the beginning or at the end of your tour.