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Taprobane Island

Welligama Bay

Overview

Taprobane Island was discovered and the house built by Count De Mauney in 1922 (descendant of one of Napoleon's Generals).

Various artists and celebrities have lived here, including Arthur C. Clarke and Paul Bowles, who wrote "Spider House" here. We certainly found no "˜spiders' in this beautifully restored octagonal beach residence, set amidst 2 acres of lush tropical garden with 360-degree views of the Indian Ocean. 

Set 50m off the Welligama beach, this 5-suite villa accommodates a maximum of 10 people.  Host venue to Asia's Elephant Polo Ball each year, it is renowned as a prestigious party venue for weddings, festivities or a family looking for a private adventure.

English speaking manager, Shan, and his 4 staff attend to your every need. White walls, bright "˜Barefoot' fabrics, Dutch antiques and an enviable collection of art, including "˜Saskia' modern works, enhance the house throughout its various floor levels.

Pause on the various courting seats, plunge into the natural rock pool or relax by the infinity pool, sipping cocktails.

 Highs
 

 Lows

  • An idyllic, Private Island and luxurious villa for a memorable family occasion.
     
  • Freshly caught fish for dinner enjoyed whilst surrounded by candlelight and flaming torches, under a canopy of giant trees.
     

  • Lose yourself in the gardens as you follow the trail of fallen Araliya flowers, into a colourful array of Hibiscus, Romiods, and purple grass and coconut trees.

  • Welligama Beach is uninspiring and close to the busy roadside.
     
  • On arrival, guests must de-robe and wade out to the island steps. The tide can be waist high during full moon.
     

  • The bathrooms are occasionally disappointing and do not reflect the luxury of the communal rooms and bed rooms. Since our visit we understand these have been refurbished. to a high standard.

     
     
     
   Swimming Pool
   Beach Access
   Groups Welcomed
   Ayurveda
   Bird Watching
   Fine Dining

Rooms

The Octagonal shaped house centres around the hallway.  Sunlight floods through the very high glass roof onto the sitting area below. Saskia's modern canvasses add colour to the walls whilst the air is filled with the exotic perfumes drifting from the statuesque flower displays.  A further sitting room has cosy, plump sofas and a music system playing soporific background music.  A wide verandah circles the house, offering numerous dining and sunbathing opportunities.

The main house has two double rooms and a twin, ideal for children. There are two rooms with sea views, one large suite with a wall of glass and further bay windows facing the sea, the other a slightly smaller double, shaded by swaying palms.

Each of the rooms has antique four poster beds with framed mosquito nets. The sea breeze and architectural style ensures a cool airflow whilst fans are often used in the evenings.

Each corner displays beautiful antique chests, writing desks, table lamps and bookshelves, yet there is still a feeling of space. There are always hideaway corners for reading on the many terraces, patios and the garden. Vibrant, graphic cotton fabrics are used throughout the rooms whilst the natural light creates differing moods throughout the day.

The bathrooms are not luxurious but each has a tiled shower, outdoors in the case of the twin room. The master bathrooms have huge recessed shower areas.

 

     

 

Dining

"Kapilla', a well travelled and experienced private chef creates delicious dishes each day.  Guests can select from the menu each evening or at the beginning of the week.  A sample of his delights:

Breakfast begins with omelettes or banana bread and homemade jams.

Lunch: Thai-style minced chicken noodle salad.

Afternoon Tea: Pots of tea and homemade pineapple and passion fruit cheesecake.

Dinner: Chickpea battered prawns dipped in mango sauce.  Pan-fried fillets of fish with fresh vegetables.  Crème Caramel.

Two popular imported wines are stocked but special requests should be pre-ordered. A simple e-mail  before arrival is fine. Guests are welcome to bring their own.

Breakfast and lunch may be taken on the sun terrace where it is cool and fresh.  Although dining locations can be varied, the most enchanting is below the branches of the giant overhanging trees with flaming torches surrounding the area.

Things to do & local tips

  • Day excursions will always begin with a walk across the sea so patience is required for carrying towels etc.
     
  • Yala Safari to the East and Galle's Historic Fort are excellent excursions for a full day.
     
  • More locally are the Ho-o-maniya, "˜Blowhole', the fishing harbour at early morning or the stilt fisherman at 10am or 6pm.
     
  • Taprobane Island is best appreciated during a week long stay, before moving on to explore more of Sri Lanka. 

 

However, for more recommendations on places of interest, activities, restaurants or local transport, click here.