Halala Kanda

Falling in love with a century old Sri Lankan villa

Halala Kanda is the culmination of everything that makes Sri Lanka special. Located in Weligama, a pocket of paradise on the southern coast of Sri Lanka

Come to Sri Lanka’s Weligama region for its views, cuisine and architecture

Halala Kanda is the culmination of everything that makes Sri Lanka special. Located in Weligama, a pocket of paradise on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, this romantic century-old villa is perched atop a lush plantation hill and surrounded by two acres of groomed gardens and lush foliage. Built in 1912 by a wealthy man to win the heart of his young local bride, Halala Kanda is all sweeping verandas and cavernous pavilions that make the perfect place to enjoy a cool sundowner after a day’s work.

It was rediscovered by four friends several years ago, who instantly fell in love with the grounds. Restoring the plantation became a labour of love they readily undertook, and they set to work tirelessly with local craftsmen to restore the plantation to its opulent splendour – this time, with several eclectic design touches thrown in the mix.

Bedrooms are almost too-large – each of the six cavernous rooms boast soaring ceilings and French doors that open to either the main lawn, terraced lounge areas, or a private garden. The villa’s private salt-water pool is also just steps away from the main house, which offers up a view that stretches beyond the neighbouring jungle and the paddy fields on the coast.

On the fully-staffed grounds of Halala Kanda, you can find gardens replete with tea bushes and a variety of different trees that ranging from coconut to cinnamon growing – all of which can be incorporated into meals by the villa’s private chef at your behest. If you feel peckish at any time of the day, simply drop your chef a note – he can even teach you to make his signature Sri Lankan curry in the spacious, open-concept kitchen.

Halala Kanda's private salt-water pool
Halala Kanda’s private salt-water pool
Halala Kanda's open plan living surrounded by greenery
Halala Kanda’s open plan living surrounded by greenery

Transport to the nearby town ofWeligama and the beach via tuk-tukis fun in its own unique way. The town, whose name aptly means ‘Sandy Village’, is a blend of a lively fishing town packed with colour and candour mixed in with the serenity of a beachfront resort. You can find stretches of beaches offering a wealth of water activities and a well-kept turtle conservatory, where you can learn more about the preservation efforts surrounding the abundant local wildlife. ◼

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© This article was first published online in Feb 2019 – World Travel Magazine.

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