Searching for the ultimate jungle retreat? Guava House is a contemporary holiday villa hidden among the trees of Sri Lanka’s lush Kegalle district.
Designed by architect-owner Ranjan Aluwihare, principal of RA Designs, the five-bedroom property sits on shallow stilts atop a tree-covered hill with views of Bible Rock, the Ambuluwawa Mountains and Hemmathagama village’s paddy fields.
Its simple design evokes the form of a traditional mountain chalet that’s been tailored to the tropical climate, with folding glass doors opening up living spaces to the outdoors. A thatched ‘iluk’ roof blends Guava House with the surrounding tree canopy, while a large wooden deck runs the width of the property, shaded by an oversized pergola.
Interiors feature mango wood and teak floors and walls, as well as burnt-orange and dusky-red furnishings, and carved four poster beds. Aluwihare jokes that the contemporary kitchen is ‘the best place to do washing up in the country,’ thanks to its views of Bible Rock.
The Sri Lankan holiday villa – available to rent via Airbnb starting from £242 per night – has a 5ft-deep plunge pool for cooling off in, and is best suited to those in search of a digital detox owing to its somewhat unreliable internet connection.
Guests can wander freely among the paddy fields and the four-acre rubber tree plantation that surround the home, while Bible Rock is a 5 km hike away. Venturing further afield, Sri Lanka’s famous elephant orphanage is also around an hour’s drive from the villa.