Oh! What a Weekend! Down by the Seaside.
Olanda Beach Villas. The thought of it was exciting enough. This was one weekend that I was determined to enjoy. The sun, sand and sea were pure seduction!
Located about 15 minutes past Galle, between Talpe and Koggala, along the Southern coast of Sri Lanka, are the Olanda Beach Villas. Along the way are many boutique styled abodes that have become private havens for holiday seekers. Soon, I am able to locate the huge wooden double door gate with a charming bell tied to a rope. A few hard tugs and a gardener cum houseboy comes running out to open the gates to a small, compact car park.
Even before I could alight from the jeep, I could feel the roar of the waves and almost taste the salt in the air as the winds swept through the early afternoon. Entering the garden of the Olanda Beach Villas is like entering a special place of paradise. The first thing I see is a manicured lawn with some delightful outdoor seating arrangements, which I will try my best to explain.
Olanda Beach Villa is an ancestral home which has been renovated into a charming holiday home. Whilst most of the one-acre coconut grove remains untouched, paved paths lead past frangipani trees down to the wide beach front. I have to say that the most alluring sight is from the seating area by the beach, which is reminiscent of a Mediterranean villa seen in glossy travel magazines. Low lying, white benches dressed in black and white covers with bright red cushions to spoil me as I loll about, savoring the sight of the calming ocean, which is almost at my feet. On the far left of the garden is a delightful open deck with a double-sized day bed enclosed by fluttering white cloth to add to the Mediterranean ambiance. This is just perfect for an afternoon siesta. On the far right is a discreet alcove under a large beach umbrella overlooking the Indian Ocean.
The view from any one of these sit outs is the traditional, picture-perfect sight of stilted fishermen, patiently angling for their next meal. The sea is, as always, magnificent. An added feature at Olanda is the rare lagoon a couple of minutes along the beach that is as good as a natural pool and extremely safe for swimming.
If the sea is not your idea of fun, then dip into the pool that is paved in stone making it look like an oversized rock pool. Deck chairs are lined up alongside for anyone who has the inclination to soak up the sun. This is a picture perfect garden.
Oh…btw, there is also a pavilion overlooking the swimming pool with a pool table for entertainment. And for those who take their work on holiday, there is Wi-Fi access across the property. Imagine sitting by the beach, a wine in hand, the wind in your hair and sun in your face and sending out a work schedule to your colleagues! As Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, ‘Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air’. I wish….
The main villa is an open, white-pillared home with high ceilings and terra cotta floors suggestive of yesteryear’s southern architecture. A wrap-around verandah has a selection of seating options; from lounge chairs to comfortable sofas, planter’s chairs to rattan rocking chairs. All these are adorned with the most colorful fabric.
Inside is a large living room with colorful and comfortable large sofas. An impressive antique low coffee table in the middle has some interesting antique artifacts. The walls complemented the white and orange chair covers with huge paintings of abstract art giving it a wonderful happy ambiance.
Leading off from this large living area are three bedrooms, with typical four-poster beds draped in black and white. Each of the rooms is air conditioned which adds to the luxury of the comfortable pillows and soft linen. The en suite bathroom is as big as an average room. A granite bathtub, which I can only describe as massive, is an option to the outdoor shower which is in a private garden. I was torn between standing under the open cloudy sky and luxuriating in the tub.
In addition to the three main bedrooms is an adjoining storied building with 2 duplexes, each big enough to comfortably accommodate a whole family.
About 20 minutes further South from the Olanda Beach Villas is Mirissa, famous for water sports. Since 2006, Mirissa has gained worldwide reputation as being one of the hotspots for whale watching where extensive sightings have been documented. Studies have shown that some of the Blue Whales off Dondra Head/ Mirissa are resident whales while others could be migratory, crossing over to the Arabian Sea from the Bay of Bengal.
Soon, my idyllic weekend comes to an end and with one last wistful look back at this beautiful property, I am back on the road again.