Jim’s Farm’s two villas may be booked independently, or by the room. Located at opposite ends of the estate, one is situated amidst a spice garden and the other perched atop a hillock looking across the tops of spidery palm trees to neighboring verdant hills. A large swimming pool and pavilion languish outside this ‘Hilltop Villa’, which comes with its own open plan living and dining space, plus a kitchen, making it well-suited to families and groups. Dinner is served communally from the first floor balcony of the lower ‘Spice Villa’, and the hotel’s Gordon Ramsay-trained chef serves up delicious Western and Asian cuisine.
The farm manager will happily give guests a tour of the estate and show them how the coconuts are plucked, the pepper collected and how their sustainable farming practices are put to use. The estate boasts stunning views over the neighboring hills and its extent makes it a satisfying place for a stroll. As many as 74 species of birds have been spotted in the estate (along with other wildlife), and handbooks and binoculars are provided to help you identify them. There are also a few bicycles that you can use to explore the local back lanes.
Situated amidst a garden of fruit trees and spice vines, the Spice Villa is home to four en-suite bedrooms, all of which are on the first floor. To the front are two large double bedrooms, which directly access the front balcony. Bathrooms feature alfresco tropical rain showers, and a selection of toiletries. The second pair of bedrooms also feature double beds, but are much larger. The extra space allows for an extra bed to be added, which makes them work well as family rooms. Bathrooms also have alfresco showers as well as indoor tubs.
The Hilltop Villa is situated some 300m from the Spice Villa, and is home to a further four en-suite bedrooms. Three of these are standard doubles with indoor en-suite bathrooms, and the fourth is a larger bedroom with views over the hills. Rooms are all air conditioned, and also come with ceiling fans, hairdryers and facilities for making tea and coffee. On the ground floor of the villa are an open plan living and dining area with satellite TV, plus kitchen, and direct access to the swimming pool terrace. For groups or families, this villa is an excellent option.
On the ground floor of each villa is a single bedroom that may be rented upon request. Since all of the bedrooms are located up a flight of stairs, these smaller en-suite bedrooms provide an attractive option for the elderly or less mobile.
– Stroll through the estate and go bird watching
– Trek in the Knuckles Mountain Range and visit a tea factory
– Visit the Popham Arboretum to glimpse indigenous trees and plants
– Safari at Minneriya National Park to see elephants and birds
– Climb up Sigiriya Rock, a former palace dating back to the 8th century
– Marvel at the magnificent cave murals and Buddhas at Dambulla
– Visit the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa
From your own private balcony or the veranda of the villa, devour filling breakfasts of muesli, cereal, fresh fruit, toast and free range eggs. The lunch menu features a selection of Asian dishes such as Sri Lankan rice and curry, mixed fried rice and chicken buriyani alongside sandwiches and pasta.
Dinner is generally western and always a four course meal. The long table on the upstairs balcony of the Spice Villa is laid for everyone to dine communally. Fresh fish and seafood is bought from local suppliers and often features on the set menu that’s created daily by the chef. Guests are given a small choice of mains.
Typical appetisers include crushed pepper rolls, beef carpaccio and salad nicoise followed by a soup based on the freshest seasonal vegetables of the day. Mains include jumbo prawn thermidor, seafood kebabs, seared kingfish and fillet of beef. The dessert menu is equally appetising; expect treats such as cheesecake, baked Alaska, mango and banana tart, five-spice wattalapam and ice cream.