Talalla- on the sun-baked Southern coast, is a small fishing village, just 14 kilometres off Matara. Talalla Bay is one of the attractive stretches of beaches, yet ignored by most of the beach lovers and travellers.
Adding glamour to this unrevealed calm and quiet place, where the rhythm of typical Sri Lankan countryside flair continues, ‘Handun Villas’ is a blessing for true nature lovers.
Located amidst a ten acre land of coconut, mango, jack and other fruit trees, just opposite the Tallala Bay off the main Mataratangalle main road, ‘Handun Villas’ is a 122year old colonial manor (ancient walauwa) built in 1895 with a touch of authentic Sri Lankan –Dutch grandeur.
For the serene holiday seeker, ‘Handun Villas’ is the perfect getaway with the scenic natural Talalla Bay on the opposite side and rural village setup from the other sides. Based around an ancient walauwa, it has been restored to its original glory and was opened in June 2017. ‘Handun Villas’ was named to celebrate its history, derived from ‘Handunnetti’, the name of the family, whose ancestral home it is. This Villa project is the brain child of the present owner Ranesh Handunnetti and managed by Naomi Handunnetti.
‘The villas, built on an open plan, provide privacy in a simple, comfortable setting that enhances the guests’ connection to the beautiful natural surroundings. The surrounding garden filled with lush greenery, giant squirrels, monkeys, number of peacock and other birds , all the best that nature has to offer’ said Naomi Handunnetti, the Director of the property.
‘Handun Villas’, a place to embrace nature and return revived, is equipped with amenities that enhance the bliss of relaxation starting from the all-natural luxury spa, to the restaurant that serves divine island cuisine.
“As guests arrive, they are welcomed into the history of the mansion followed by the traditional lighting of an oil lamp, a prayer and finally be treated to a cool herbal or a king coconut drink that takes away the heat and travel stress” explained Naomi about the typical Sothern hospitality practice. ‘Handun Villas’ has eight rooms -two in the main walauwa and six built in two clusters.
‘Kohomba’ is a superior deluxe room with Dutch inspired architecture and is located in the main house. This room also has a private verandah and a courtyard. ‘Karanda’ is deluxe room with a private verandah and a courtyard. ‘Sepalika’, ‘Soorya’ and ‘Kurundu’ are three deluxe rooms with a garden view.
‘Mai Mara’, ‘Kiri Palu’ and ‘Hal Milla’ are three standard rooms with a garden view. Comparatively, these three rooms are smaller than the rest.
All rooms are equipped with modern amenities including satellite TV, a safe, bathtub and rain shower, complimentary toiletries, mini fridge, A/C, free Wi-fi and complimentary tea/ coffee making facilities.
Adding a touch of home living, the dining room and lounge open onto a long rear verandah overlooking the swimming pool and the back yard.
‘Handun Villas’ offers more than accommodation and cuisine. They offer you an experience. Designed with complete comfort and luxury living, ‘Handun Villas’ offer traditional dining practice to its guests. “The cuisine too is authentic Sri Lankan, but we are geared to cater to any kind of global food” she added.
“This is a family destination. Triple room occupancy could be arranged. Almost every room is designed to suit family requirements and it is a home away from home” said Damian Casiechetty, the Manager of the Retreat. Aware that health starts from the inside, ‘Handun Villas’ prepares its cuisine with care.
Guests can sample delicious fruit juices and fresh salads at the juice and salad bar, or enjoy a meal made of garden-fresh, home-grown vegetables from the property’s farm. The child-friendly menu will keep little ones’ taste buds happy, while parents can choose to enjoy a more sophisticated fine dining experience. “In keeping with its authenticity, celebration of culture, and immersion in the island’s heritage, visitors can learn how to cook Sri Lankan meals. Also our authentic Ayurvedha spa, stocked with high-quality organic products made especially for it, emphasizes the focus on wellness’ Naomi said.
Talalla is accessible via the Southern Highway and is a great place to explore from. Uda Walawe, Yala Kataragama, Mulkirigala and hot water wells at Suriya Wewa, the Waulpane Caves are in close proximity.
Deep sea fishing is a favourite pastime in Talalla. It is an ideal place for exploring shipwrecks, snorkeling and watching whales, in addition to water sports.
PIX BY Shan Bandu Weerasinghe
For more details call 0773470830, 0414933016, 0712714341 or log onto www.handunvillas.com