Boutique 87, Bentota

‘It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of climbing roses which were so thick that they were matted together… It was this hazy tangle from tree to tree which made it all look so mysterious. Mary had thought it must be different from other gardens which had not been left all by themselves so long; and indeed it was different from any other place she had ever seen in her life…’ (The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett)

If you want to feel like Mary in The Secret Garden, stay at Boutique 87, Bentota: a mysterious, Geoffrey Bawa-designed hideaway with just two rooms, set on a tranquil tropical estate with a glittering lake. There’s an inky dark swimming pool in the sun-dappled grounds and Bentota Beach is just a five-minute stroll away. Spend some time on dry land and explore Boutique 87’s quiet, tranquil corners; each of the two bedrooms is styled with restrained Sri Lankan elegance, decorated with handsome, heavy antiques, and there’s a sort of hushed lounge upstairs, where guests can read and relax. There are beautiful statues, trailing with trimmings and tassels of overgrown greenery, and plenty of resident wildlife to admire. Designed to feel like your very own luxurious Sri Lankan home, Boutique 87 has butler service. Ring one of the heavy bells if you’re hungry or thirsty and the discreet manager will oblige. Venture out to explore the colourful southwest coast, but don’t miss a candlelit dinner in the grounds, starring an array of delicious curries and sambols. PS If you like Boutique 87, you might fall for its sister property in Colombo: mellow Maniumpathy. (We loved both.)

For more information about Boutique 87, please contact The Sri Lanka Collection: a selection of the island’s most stylish sleeping-quarters.

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