Designed by the noted Aussie architect Bruce Fell-Smith, who was also responsible for a number of other prominent villas along this stretch of coastline, Kingsley’s Pearl was built around 15 years ago and is one of the most established properties on the south coast. The villa comes with five bedrooms, including two master suites whose soaring timber ceilings hark back to the period of the Dutch in Ceylon, an era mirrored in the traditionally deep verandas that encircle the pool. Each of the villa’s bedrooms – named visually after continents or countries – lead off to one side of the house with a living room tucked neatly inbetween. The kitchen is beside an open plan dining area that’s backed by a magically floating wall providing privacy from the entrance of the house.
With such a congenital layout, Kingsley’s Pearl is a fabulously sociable villa. Family and friends can gather on the rattan cushion-topped furniture of the verandas and enjoy long conversations together as the sea scenes lay out beyond the garden, and the staff tend to every guest’s whim. The villa comes with a full staff team including a manager and a chef well versed in a number of the owner’s favourite home cooked dishes including lasagne, baked seafood and delicious rice and curry spreads. There are no boundaries between the villa’s hammock-strung palm-shaded garden and the ocean beyond, and close to the villa are a number of good eateries and bars, turtle hatcheries, tea plantations and lakes.
Book the entire villa for maximum privacy and exclusivity. Yours to enjoy are five bedrooms, lots of living and dining space, an equipped kitchen, a swimming pool and a grassy beach-edged garden.
– Ride inland on mountain bikes to discover a stunning emerald landscape of paddy fields, white-washed Buddhist temples, and rural villages
– Spend the day on one of the golden beaches along the coast: Unawatuna, Thalpe or Mirissa
– Head to Sinharaja and take a walk through dense, virgin rainforest, home to thousands of plant and animal species
– Go whale and dolphin watching from Mirissa
– Visit the virgin white tea plantation in Titagalla and learn how tea, cinnamon and rubber is produced
Start your day with either a western or a Sri Lankan breakfast. If you love curries and don’t mind trying them for breakfast then choosing the Sri Lankan option is a meal you cannot miss! Light lunches typically comprise soups and salads whilst dinner is a little more extravagant. Aside from rice and curry you can enjoy chicken or pork casseroles, baked seafood and fish, lasagne or even a garden barbeque. Sri Lanka’s famous desserts such as wattalapan (steamed custard with cashew nuts, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg) and buffalo curd share menu space with more familiar sweets such as bread and butter pudding, pineapple fritters and fruit crumble.
Food at the villa is offered on a kitty system so you only pay for your meals at cost price. Discuss with Ravi or Nishantha (the manager) in the morning of your preferences for the day and then they will organise the shopping on your behalf. If you give an initial float that you top up over your stay this works best. As for alcohol, there’s none sold in the villa so either bring your own with you from the airport or buy from the local liquor shops. Beer, soft drinks and mixers can all easily be bought locally.