Spacious Talaramba Reef is great for big gatherings of friends and families looking to celebrate a birthday, get together for a reunion or just holiday in peace and privacy. The villas are equally good for individual families too since both Sulanga and Vatura can be booked independently and come fully self-contained. Separate equipped kitchens, cosy living rooms, garden side dining terraces and private swimming pools are unique to each villa as they’ve been tastefully decorated according to each owner’s tastes. Vatura to the east has a basic pantry, a sumptuous lounge and a separate air-conditioned TV Room whilst Sulanga to the west flaunts a much bigger kitchen, a bar in the living room and a deeper swimming pool. Talaramba Reef’s staff team includes a cook and the villas come with WiFi Internet.
With such a huge palm-shaded garden to enjoy, days at Talaramba Reef are likely to amount to nothing more than a few laps of the pool, snoozy siestas on sunbeds and convivial chats on the front veranda as the sun sinks into the sea. The beach outside the villa hidden behind lush foliage is great for strolls. Although you can’t swim here, you can saunter five minutes down the sand to a protected lagoon for a quick dip. Mirissa Beach is a 15-minute wander and its palm-dotted sands are some of the most sought-after in Sri Lanka. Surfers ride the waves, snorkelers enjoy some underwater action and boat rides set sail daily in search of whales and dolphins out at sea. Back at the villa, you can play petangue and croquet or jump aboard one of the bicycles for a trans-neighbourhood familiarisation spin.
The westernmost villa, Sulanga – meaning ‘wind’ – comes with four ensuite bedrooms as well as its own swimming pool in the garden. Three bedrooms are located on the upper floor while a fourth is found on the ground floor next to the living room. Long verandas run the length of the house between which sits the airy living room with sofas, armchairs and a garden-view bar. The kitchen here is well equipped and the broad front veranda beside the garden is furnished with a long dining table for ten. Each of Sulanga’s bedrooms is spacious and comes with a furnished veranda or balcony, plus door less bathrooms with oval terrazzo seaview tubs, twin sinks and hot water showers. Four-poster king-size beds are dressed in the softest cotton linen and all bedrooms come with air conditioning and ceiling fans. The ground floor bedroom additionally has a flat screen TV with satellite connection and DVD player.
Situated to the east of Sulanga, four-bedroom Vatura – meaning‘water’ – has a near identical layout to its sister-property Sulanga but differs in its interior design. There’s a plush living room with squashy sofas set underneath an eloquent brass chandelier and although the kitchen is smaller than Sulanga’s, Vatura compensates by having a child-friendly air conditioned lounge with sofa, flat screen TV, DVD player and shelves stacked with books and board games. Broad verandas to either side of the living room include a breezy dining area to the front with a timber table for ten. Vatura’s bedrooms – three on the upper floor and one on the ground floor – come with air conditioning, ceiling fans, king size four-poster beds dressed in soft cotton linen and furnished verandas or balconies. Doorless ensuite bathrooms flaunt oval seaview terrazzo tubs, twin sinks and hot water showers. Vatura’s swimming pool stretches out towards the sea and comes with a kid-friendly shallow section.
For large parties and big groups, Talaramba Reef – comprising both Vatura and Sulanga villas – is a great value option. This gives you eight king-size ensuite bedrooms (able to sleep up to 24 in total), two living rooms, two kitchens, an air conditioned TV Room, a pair of furnished dining verandas, two swimming pools, a large private tropical garden and a staff team including cook.
Lunch and dinner menus are a similar combination of western and Sri Lankan dishes. Seafood is abundant in this area so you can expect to see plenty of it on the menu alongside lots of grilled, curried, baked and even BBQ’d fish. Salads, soups and sandwiches are great light options for lunch whilst for dinner you could enjoy a traditional rice and curry spread. If you’re taken with the local cuisine, you could even get in the kitchen with the cook to swot up on a recipe or two.
All food at the villa is charged at cost price and the staff will go out daily to shop on your behalf. It helps if you chat to the cook after breakfast to give her an idea of your meal preferences for the day. There is no alcohol sold at the villa so it’s best to stock up before you come although local spirits, beer and a limited selection of wines are available locally. The staff can buy in soft drinks and mixers on their daily shopping trips.