Lunuganga garden in Bentota is a destination in itself – the artistry that went into the evolution of this iconic country house deserves slow and gentle exploration. Hosted garden tours are included in stays though in-house guests can explore the estate at their own leisure. Bawa created Lunuganga over a period of 40 years and it is a revelation of his architectural evolution where many of his trademark innovations sit alongside experimental flourishes.
Bawa’s brother Bevis lived near Lunuganga and his former country estate, Brief, has also been preserved for future generations. Tours of this more intimate property, its structured gardens and low slung, simplistic house brimming with detailed murals, ghoulish statues, personal photos and colonial-era antiques make this another Bentota experience not to miss. Team this with a garden tour of Boutique 87, an elegant early 18th century former shopfront set in tranquil lakeside gardens, to appreciate more of Geoffrey Bawa’s visionary handiwork.
Other things to do and places to visit in Bentota, Sri Lanka’s water sports capital, include jet skiing and wind surfing, and boat trips on the Madu Ganga river estuary, an important wetland. Hikkaduwa is a popular surfing resort and Ambalangoda famous for southern culture and folk masks.