Mas Villa has a colourful history since it was the home of Gamini Dissanayake, a prominent politician during the 1980’s and 1990’s who was both a presidential candidate and leader of the main opposition party before he died at the hands of a suicide bomber in Colombo in 1994. Mas Villa is actually Gamini’s mother’s ancestral home; his father’s family lived on the other side of the river until the Kothmale Dam project was initiated in 1985 whereby 400m of water flooded the valley and submerged a number of villages as well as Gamini’s father’s house in the process. As such the views over the softly rippling reservoir today are not marred by buildings at all, and it is only at night when homes are illuminated that you see where your neighbours reside.
As the former home of a politician, Mas Villa is respectively grand; its size strikes you immediately as you go down the hill and towards its entrance lobby with the swimming pool tucked in neatly to the side. On entering the hotel though you feel instantly at home, such is the welcoming nature of the staff and its elegant design; the property is well-maintained and refurbishments over the years have spruced up the original four bedrooms that circle a pretty open air courtyard enhanced by tranquil fish ponds. Living areas – a sitting room, a TV / Games Room and an elegant dining room – also encircle this sociable open-air space whilst the first floor of the building is taken up by a magnificent double suite. To the front of the dining room is a deep veranda ideally designed for soaking up the fantastic views.
This is our favourite guestroom. Spacious and light, the Cordyline Suite is located above the dining room on the first floor of the hotel. Formerly a political meeting room, it has easily the best views of any other guestroom through its multiple sets of windows overlooking the beautiful view of reservoir and mountains on one side, and over the courtyard on the other. The suite boasts a 20ft high ceiling, warm timber floorboards and a four-poster king-sized bed, and comes with its own private sitting area furnished with striped sofas, a TV with satellite connection, DVD player and stereo. The ensuite bathroom features a raised Jacuzzi bathtub and a separate hot water shower room.
Dracaena (Superior Deluxe)
Located on the ground floor of the property with views over the paddy fields to the side and verdant mountains beyond, this bedroom has a TV with satellite connection and DVD player plus an ensuite bathroom with tub and hot water shower.
Sanderiana, Heliconia & Calathea (Deluxe)
These standard bedrooms are located off the courtyard and offer views over the paddy fields and towards the verdant mountains beyond. Bathrooms come with hot water showers.
– Explore Adisham monastery
– Step back in time and try betting on a horse at the Nuwara Eliya races, held every April
– Cheer from the sidelines as vintage cars take part in the annual Mahagasthota hill climb
– Take time to bird-watch in the spectacular hills carpeted in tea
– Walk along trails established over the last century by tea planters and pickers
– For some exhilaration try white-water rafting
– Visit a tea plantation and factory and learn how the plant is grown, picked and processed
– Enjoy English high teas on perfectly manicured lawns
Days usually begin at Mas Villa with a choice of either a western or Sri Lankan breakfast. Featuring tropical fruit platters and exotic fruit juices as part of both options, you could even have a bit of both! Lunches are typically beautiful rice and curry spreads where your choice of fish or chicken is offered alongside a mouth-watering assortment of vegetable curries, chutneys, sambols and crispy pappadams; as much fresh local produce is used in preparing the dishes as possible.
Dinners are four course affairs and typically comprise a salad starter, a homemade soup such as pumpkin and orange, a main course of fish, poultry or meat followed by a delicious dessert such as crème caramel. Tea and coffee follow any meal and can be ordered at any time of the day to your table, your guestroom or anywhere else in the hotel. A small selection of wine, spirits, fruit juices and soft drinks can also be ordered alongside all meals.