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Galle Henna Estate (Formerly Polheena Estate)

Galle area


This delightful property offers the best of everything; peace and privacy, elegant and comfortable accommodation, a secluded garden with swimmimg pool, wonderful walks in the countryside and along the beach and nearby, vibrant Galle with its designer boutiques and sophisticated restaurants.

The house owes its origins to the Colonial days of both the Dutch and the British, reflected in the high exposed ceilings and thick arched walls now white washed to perfection. The owners have a wonderful eye for design and comfort.

The open- plan ground floor was skilfully designed in the days before electric fans to allow the sea breezes to waft through the rooms maintaining equable temperatures. Beautiful Sri Lankan fretwork has been fitted above the windows allowing the sound of the ocean and bird song from the garden to give a new meaning to background music.

 The comfortable, relaxing ambiance owes much to the eclectic mix of 'tropical modern'  furnishing, stylish and attractive without a 'House and Gardens' feel. Cool, polished cement floors throughout, an antique chandelier over the dining table and smart linen upholstered chairs in the sitting area all blend without effort. 

Two of the five bedrooms are situated on the ground floor, convenient for any guest with mobility problems. The other three are reached via a sweeping staircase and an attractive gallery library.

The surrounding, walled, mature gardens are well stocked with spice and fruit trees such as mahogany, mango coconut and avocado. These were once an important source of revenue for the estate, now merely a very convenient breakfast or snack for guests. Antique paving leads from the house down towards the manicured lawns and swimming pool, set amidst white terraces with loungers and parasols.  Beneath the benign gaze of a pair of stone elephants, a picturesque poolside pagoda is fitted with fans, blinds and seating to provide refuge from the mid day sun. Spot lights lengthen the day while you finish your book or enjoy your pre dinner gin and tonic while the whole area adopts a magic of its own when the pool and garden lights are switched on.

The staff residence is located on the adjacent plot so the houseboy can easily be summoned should any problem arise. General cleaning and maintenance is carried out daily. A modern kitchen is available for self catering, breakfast and evening meals can be provided by arrangement.

   Child Friendly
   Swimming Pool
   Groups Welcomed
   Bird Watching


Two large, ground floor bedrooms have wonderful antique four poster beds, complete with muslin drapes. Polished cement flooring is cool to the touch and eye.  Windows give views over the gardens to the paddy fields beyond. The luxury, spa-inspired en suite bathrooms have enormous, centrally placed marble baths, marble vanity tables and open showers.  The large louvred shutters open onto the garden for a refreshing indoor/outdoor tropical bathing experience.

Three bedrooms are reached via the elegant sweeping staircase from the sitting area. The master bedroom features a four poster bed and beautifully upholstered French furniture. Two of the en suites have cast iron roll top baths placed next to the windows from where you can spy on the kingfishers or enjoy the spectacular sunset.

Each bedroom has its own private balcony overlooking the pool, gardens and onto the paddy fields. Take your breakfast here and watch the local farmers working the land with their buffalo.







Polheena is primarily a self-catering villa, allowing maximum flexibility for sightseeing and sampling the many restaurants of the region. However a chef can be provided at extra cost on request.

A well equipped, modern kitchen  will allow you to experiment with local produce or dish up beans on toast for a less venturesome child. Food platters and coconut drinks can be prepared for your breakfast by the resident staff who will also be happy to treat you to traditional Sri Lankan curries. The villa staff will be more than happy to visit the local market to buy ingredients on your behalf and you'll benefit from local prices (you will receive receipts for all the food). 

Evening meals can also be arranged through a delivery service from a nearby boutique hotel

Any special food requirements can be fulfilled prior to your visit.  

There are many interesting restaurants in the area; traditional, european, casual or sophisticated.  Whatever your taste you will find it here. 

Things to do & local tips

  • Close by Koggala Lake will fill an afternoon. Take a rowing boat out to the island temple and visit the bird sanctuary.
  • Scuba diving or snorkelling in the reef at Unawatuna (3km)
  • Visit historic Galle (8km) and walk around the 17th Century Fort,especially at sunset.
  • Visit local rice, cinnamon, tea and rubber plantations about 35 mins away.
  • Visit the small Buddhist temple of Kataluwa set in the jungle near Galle.
  • Relax your mind and body with and in-suite massage.
  • Head 1 hr. North for Bentota's River trips and Bevin Bawa's Brief Gardens. Stop at Ambalangoda's antique and craft shops or Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Farm en route.
  • Visit the forested nature reserves a couple of hours away, perhaps have an overnight stay.

For recommendations on places of interest, shopping, restaurants, activities and local transport on the South Coast, click here.