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Villa | 5 bedrooms | sleeps 11

Key Info
  • Beach / lakeside relaxation
  • Nearest beach 0 km
  • Swimming pool
  • Great for children of all ages
  • Car advised
  • Air conditioning
  • No pets allowed
  • Private garden

Sergeant House is a small, unique, premium boutique villa adjacent Unawatuna Beach. It successfully meshes its colonial period style architectural splendour with 21st century luxury in a serene garden setting. The House and the surrounding pavilions are furnished with an elegant array of antique furniture, comfortable lounges and richly textured fabrics allowing guests to relax in style and comfort. It can be booked as a whole or as individual suites.

The kernel of the House is formed around the original bungalow, built in the early 1800's for the local police sergeant. It is the oldest remaining building in the village of Ganahena. Both Portuguese and Dutch influences can be seen in its construction, together with its original classic Tuscan style verandah columns.

Over two hundred years later Mark Smoot saw a vision for this place based on its unique attributes and proximity to the beach and Galle. So began the long process of sensitively restoring and expanding the property to form a cluster of pavilions interwoven around the original bungalow, its gardens, ponds, fountains, courtyards and wrap-around swimming pool.

A quick stroll from Sergeant House to Unawatuna Beach will reveal a white sand half moon beach with its azure blue waters luring both locals and visitors. Here you will find swimmers, sun-seekers, kite flyers, or perhaps a few young cricketers in the late afternoon. Others spend their time enjoying refreshments and light meals at the cafes and restaurants scattered along the beach. At night time the beach side is transformed into a variety of restaurants, cafes, bars and beach side dance clubs for the night owls in your party. All of this is a safe distance away from Sergeant House to preserve your peace and quite.

With only the bungalow and two suites, our aim is to give guests a pampered, private experience not often found in larger hotels and a memorable journey to the Southern Province of Sri Lanka.

Size Sleeps up to 11, 5 bedrooms
Nearest beach Unawatuna Beach 50 m
Will consider Long term lets (over 1 month)
Access Car advised
Nearest Amenities 500 m
Nearest travel links Nearest airport: Colombo International Airport 150 km, Nearest railway: Galle Railway Station 6 km
Family friendly Great for children of all ages
Notes No pets allowed, No smoking at this property

Features and Facilities

Luxuries Internet access, DVD player, Boat available, Sea view
General Air conditioning, TV, Video player, CD player, Safe, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available
Standard Kettle, Iron, Hair dryer
Utilities Clothes dryer, Fridge, Washing machine
Rooms 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms of which 5 Family bathrooms
Furniture Single beds (1), Double beds (5), Dining seats for 2, Lounge seats for 5
Other Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair
Outdoors Balcony or terrace, Private garden, Shared garden, BBQ, Bicycles available
Access Secure parking

The Sri Lanka Southern Coast region

the village and rural landscape

Sergeant House is situated in the village of Ganahena, at the edge of Unawatuna. The simple well kept cottages and gardens of the village dot the surrounding hills and coastal strip. Their gardens are full of coconut palms, fruit trees, vanilla vines, vegetables and herbs. They paint an idyllic picture of a verdant tropical scene. Within a few minutes of leaving the coast the brilliant green of new rice shoots in the paddies can be seen in the valley floors whilst coastal tea plantations are located on some of the hillsides. Some of these tea plantations are close by and can be visited if you are keen to explore the process of tea growing and processing. This is one of Sri Lanka's top export industries and 'Ceylon' tea is synonymous with quality around the world. In addition to the tea estates, cinnamon plantations are widely seen and were the reason many seafaring nations such as Portugal, Holland and China visited Sri Lanka's shores over the last four centuries as they exploited this resource. Ongoing world demand has continued to sustain it as a plantation crop since this time. Or you may wish to simply enjoy the Unawatuna beach, 3 minute walk away, or Sergeant House Kayaks to explore the coast line and estuaries.

the coast

A short trip south along the coast to Marissa is a wonderful way to spend the day. It takes approximately 40 minutes if you head there directly from Sergeant House however coastline is full of interest and is worth a full day. There are numerous beautiful beaches and sheltered coves along the way. If the tide is favourable you may see the unique stilt fishermen as you venture out from Unawatuna to Weligama or visit the turtle hatchery trying to ensure that the 5 species of turtles found along the coast of Sri Lanka survive. Better still, relax with a cool drink at a seaside cafe and watch the turtles pop their heads up at the edge of the reef.

If you are staying at Sergeant House between December and April you may also spot Blue Whales off the coast on your way to Marissa. Blue Whales are the largest living mammal on earth and are an awe inspiring site seen close up with their blowholes emitting water up to 10 metres or more into the air as they surface to breathe. At Mirissa Harbour you can board a boat restored for leisure cruising and head north to Weligama Bay. The whales cruise close to the coast here and sometimes enter the harbour. Guests aboard can swim and snorkel from the boat, watch for whales and dolphins, fish or have a picnic in a small attractive cove. If you are interested in exploring this idea further we can assist with bookings for the trip.

One of the most picturesque sights along the coast are the hand crafted colourfully painted fishing boats north of Weligama and in many small sheltered inlets. Their design, craftsmanship and riot of colour combined with sight of the fishermen as they haul and mend their nets, sort their fish and sell them on the foreshore is an alluring experience.

Venturing a few kilometres further on from Weligama, is the beach of Marissa. The beach is less developed than Unawatuna with stronger surf and currents but it's clear waters and quiet, low key development make it a popular place for day trippers and surfing enthusiasts. While away a few hours in the sun or lie in the shade of the coconut palm fringed cafe watching the waves as they break around the point and the sun glistens off the water.

temple life

There are many temples located across Sri Lanka. Buddhism is the dominant religion and is highly entrenched into the thoughts and life of most Sinhalese. A much smaller percentage of the population (about 15%) are Hindu, Muslims 9%, and Christians about 7%.

We are fortunate that two very significant Buddhist temples are located within 10- 15 minutes of Sergeant House. Yatagala Temple (or more correctly, Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya) is located just inland from Sergeant House on a hill top above a serene setting of paddy fields, tropical vegetation and small village hamlets. The site could be 2,300 years old but the current temple is thought to be approximately 1,200 years old and has had royal patronage of three Sri Lankan kings. It is built in and around a group of massive granite boulders and the statue of Buddha is set in an overhang formed by the boulders. The large Bodhi Tree forming an umbrella over the temple is believed to be a sapling of the revered Sri Maha Bodhi tree planted under the reign of King Devanam Piyatissa of the Anuradhapura Period.

By contrast, the headland forming the divide between Unawatuna Beach and Galle Harbour is known as Rhummasala and this has a new Buddhist temple built with funds contributed from Japan following the destruction of the old temple in the 2004 tsunami. The temple has a striking elegance and simplicity. Visitors are welcome to visit. From the temple there are panoramic views of Unawatuna, Galle and the Indian Ocean. If you are close by on Poya Day (full moon) you can observe puja by offering flowers and incense. (Please observe temple etiquette.) It should be noted that Rhummasala is also sacred to Hindu's who believe that this headland is associated with the Ramanaya.


Sergeant House is located directly across the coastal road from the water's edge. Less than 50 metres along the road is the entry to the southern end of the famous crescent shaped Unawatuna Beach. The beach is considered to be one of the best and safest swimming beaches in Sri Lanka. The golden white sands of the beach are fringed with tall swaying coconut palms, cafes, restaurants and other village shops. The entry gates to Sergeant House open to reveal the waves breaking on the shore opposite and vistas of the water are possible from both the Sea View Pavilion and Poolside Pavilion.

During the main dry season (December - April) the sea around Unawatuna is relatively calm and perfect for swimming and snorkelling particularly around the Rhumassala Headland where turtles are often seen.

During the wet season months the larger waves make swimming conditions less favourable but the good swells make surfing conditions attractive. The best waves are seen between May and November.

Sergeant House provides sea kayaks and snorkelling gear for guest to rent for the day.

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Sergeant H.

80% Response rate

Calendar last updated:27 Jul 2014

Based in Sri Lanka

Languages spoken
  • English