Founded by Jack Eden, Eden Villas is Sri Lanka’s leading luxury villa specialist, offering a gorgeous selection of high-end properties along the south coast of Sri Lanka. From historic inland retreats to lakeside hideaways, and from modernist hilltop villas to ultra-glamorous beach houses, Eden Villas has 29 breathtaking properties to choose from, all of which come fully staffed and with the services of a devoted Concierge team, drawing on over 20 years of Sri Lanka expertise.
After falling in love with Sri Lanka whilst on holiday from his home in Hong Kong, Eden relocated with his family, investing in and renovating a house in Galle Fort in the late 90s. He then founded Eden Villas in 1999 to manage and rent out villas in Sri Lanka for others, using his connections and passion for the island to build Eden Villas’ reputation as the go-to name for luxury Sri Lankan villas. Today, Jack is still very much involved in the company and leads his team of 12 from his Galle-based head office.
All of Eden Villas’ properties are located along the serene south coast of Sri Lanka, home to shorelines of honeyed sand and emerald forested hills. Each property is managed with meticulous attention to detail and a passion to deliver the highest level of service, whether it’s a lakeside home with an amazing mixologist in residence, or a beachfront estate with an exceptional chef. Some of our favourites include:
Armitage Hill, Galle – Inland historic house, reimagined by architect Kerry Hill (5 bedrooms, sleeps 10)
The property has a 200 year history, and has been a private home to a number of notable and notorious occupants. For a period (1840-1880) it was owned by the Ephraim family who were the proprietors of the New Oriental Hotel, now Amangalla. The property’s subsequent development over the past 30 years by architect Kerry Hill forms part of an important architectural legacy.
The property is a serene secluded sanctuary set on 20 acres, 7.5kms from Galle Fort and just a short drive to beautiful white sand beaches. Built as a collection of separate pavilion buildings centred around the original plantation house built in 1820, the property has five en-suite bedrooms, numerous large living and communal areas, courtyards, a dining pavilion designed to comfortably seat 20 guests, a 70ft pool and large pool pavilion plus kitchen and separate staff buildings. All the buildings are set high up on a hill, overlooking vast flood plains with views to Adam’s Peak from the verandah of the main house to the north, and the winding river Gin to the south.
Nearby: A trip to UNESCO World Heritage Site Galle Fort is a must.
Buona Vista South, Unawatuna – Hilltop villa above the jungle canopy (3 bedrooms, sleeps 6)
Perched on a ridge overlooking the jungle canopy, with stunning views inland and out to sea, Buona Vista Heights is made up of two 3-bedroom villas, one of which is Buona Vista South. This is a cleverly designed modern villa built over three floors, with flourishes of creativity and fun.
On the ground floor sits the kitchen/dining room, lounging area, garden and pool. The bedrooms are on the 1st and 2nd floors. The interior is finished to a very high standard – think king size beds, rain showers, teak flooring, and huge floor to ceiling windows that slide open to incredible far reaching views. Head up to the roof and there are circular sofas facing east with views that stretch towards the hill country. Sunrise from here is incredible to witness.
Nearby: There are wonderful beaches nearby: jungle beach which can be accessed by a 15 min walk through jungle, Unawatuna beach is also walkable but easier in a 5 minute Tuk Tuk, and the beaches at Thalpe are 10 minutes away by Tuk Tuk.
Meda Gedara, Dickwella – The ultimate beach house (7 bedrooms, sleeps 18)
The attention to detail at Meda Gedara is apparent the moment you step through the large antique double fronted doors onto the beautiful hand-made Vietnamese tiles. The gaze is immediately taken through the sitting area and into the garden with an incredible view of the ocean. In between this staggering view, on a lower terraced deck, is the main swimming pool.
Upstairs, the bedrooms have four-posted beds and are adorned with interesting curios and artwork, in keeping with the rest of this wonderfully decorated house. You can see why the property has been described as “the most beautiful villa in Sri Lanka”.
Meda Gedara is full of fun touches – on the lawn an umpire’s hut is appropriately situated for cricket games, whilst also doubling up as a look-out point to the beach, or as a shaded ‘refreshment pavilion’. And, hidden amongst the tropical planting lies a 20-metre water slide snaking its way into a plunge pool, at a safe distance so as not to disturb those relaxing in calm waters. The beautifully landscaped garden ensures a tranquil spot for the yoga pavilion, whilst hammocks swing between the palm trees, down by the beach.
The chef here is excellent and offers cooking lessons to guests who wish to learn, including truly inspired vegetarian and vegan menus. The chef is supported by a fantastic team of seven staff, seamlessly working behind the scenes to create the ultimate holiday experience.
Nearby: If you can tear yourself away from the house, Handunugoda is a family owned tea estate in Tittagalla, Ahangama, about 45 minutes away. It’s worth a visit to taste the famous ‘Virgin White Tea’ which is untouched by human hands!
Ranawara, Kahandamodara – Spectacular beach villa (7 bedrooms, sleeps 14)
Built on a sprawling 23 acre estate, Villa Ranawara is a stunning south-facing beachfront villa. In the main house, five bedrooms sit across two levels, each offering unobstructed views of the gardens, ocean and beyond. Guests seeking more privacy will find solace in the two garden bungalows located in the grounds. A resident manager and a full strength of staff including chef, butlers and room attendants are available to create a truly pampered holiday experience.
There’s plenty of space – two living areas including a formal double height palatial sitting room and library on the ground floor and an open-sided room on the first floor, which allows guests to take in the spectacular 360 degree views of the gardens, lakes and ocean. Nearby is the cinema room and a library. There is also a bar area with wonderful sunset views. In the grounds, there’s a massage pavilion to enjoy relaxing spa treatments, the pool and an open-sided pavilion for outdoor dining. Guests can also enjoy tennis on the hard court. It’s possible to arrive by helicopter, landing in the gardens.
Nearby: Foodies must visit the fish and food markets of Tangalle, 30 minutes from Ranawana. Discover the core components of Sri Lankan cuisine here, from fragrant aromatics, chillies and the local fishermen’s catch sold at stalls lining the streets.