PARADISE SEARCH : the Wallawwa, Sri Lanka

It’s impossible to believe you were in the airport just moments ago, but here you are, amazed by the contrast between the impossibly lush garden and the clean and quiet lines of the building. This is a very old colonial mansion – 18th century or so – yet the recent renovation makes it look surprisingly “modern”, in a tropical modernist kind a way.

Every detail is making you wonder whether it’s ancient or contemporary. Those wood and metal columns? Those giant concrete spheres? This geometric pond? Probably somewhere in between…

And then there’s the space, even though it’s not a vast hotel you definitely get a nice feeling of emptiness, the calming kind. There’s some antique furniture here and there, in the half-lit reading rooms, but it’s all very well-balanced : not to museum-like and certainly not cold like too many hotel lobbys. In fact, it feels like maybe you live here,  it feels like just the right amount of cosiness.


“How could the vegetation be so diverse is the question?” you ask yourself all the time in Sri Lanka. “Why is there two trees growing on that tree ?” is another common interrogation.
Those chains hanging from the roof remained a mystery until it started to rain, when it rains very hard – which happens quite often – the chains help direct the water flow.


The dining area is completely open on the garden. Oh, and the food is superb. The breakfast in particular -not a common feat in Sri Lanka- with a tropical granola that I’ll remember for a while…


The colors are very sophisticated. It’s all about the contrast between dark tones and delicate hues like pale green, soft blue and washed red. The abundance of white obviously helps making everything modern and gives a much needed feeling of freshness.


The comfortable rooms are all opening on the garden, with a little table outside to enjoy the warm evening air.


The bathroom was really a personal favourite. It had huge ceilings with a skylight, a stone shower and  felt like such a peaceful room.


A view of one corner of the shower, with a ladder/towel rack.
I was quite intrigued by those wide blue and white stripes scattered around the property, both on interior and exterior walls. I thought they were giving a surprising Dutch edge to the decor and that the contrast with the exotic foliage was very unique.


Hidden in the back of the garden the pool is really a special place : completely surrounded by vegetation, with dark green tiles and adorned by those almost mystic spheres.


The Wallawwa, book a room there
Minuwangoda Road, Kotugoda, Sri Lanka


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