A two hour drive from Colombo, you will find the coastal destination of Balapitiya. Hotels line the golden beaches of this small, picturesque village. Balapitiya offers a more authentic Sri Lankan experience away from the more commercial areas and large tourist resorts. Shinagawa Beach Balapitiya is a charming choice for accommodation; it is also on the list of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
An hour north of Balapitiya, is Kalutara, another coastal town. Kalutara has several cultural gems that are worth inspecting. One is Lunuganga, a country home belonging to a rambling water’s edge estate. The owner of the property was the late Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa. To this day, Bawa’s creations and legacy go unmatched by any other Sri Lankan artist. The estate boasts some of the most beautifully landscaped gardens in the country. Through much of Bawa’s career, the sprawling lawns were his muse and canvas for fashioning new designs.
Lunuganga now takes in guests, and with its four suites, functions as a country house hotel. The buildings’ interiors remain much the same as during the years they were used by Geoffrey Bawa. The fifteen acre garden can be viewed separately, it is open daily from 9am to 5pm for public viewing. An entrance fee is charged at the gate. Guided tours of the lawns are also available but must be booked in advance.
A typically Sri Lankan lunch can also be arranged with prior notice but is dependent on space and availability. The property is also given out for use as a function venue and can be booked for corporate and personal events. The garden provides plenty of opportunities for stunning photographs and it can hold a total of seventy five guests at a time.
Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+