Mirissa Hills is located a few minutes from beautiful Weligama Bay, commanding extensive views of the Ruhunu landscape – Sri Lanka’s “deep south”.
The property is a working cinnamon estate. Which has been restored in recent years by its current owner to produce cinnamon of the highest grade. Within the estate there are three sets of accommodation to let, each of which provides a relaxing and pampered stay.
At the base of the hill is an immaculately restored old estate house, or walauwa, The Bungalow at Mirissa Hills. Set amidst a well-kept lawn and indigenous trees, The Bungalow is a true retreat in the countryside.
Half-way up the hill is the Cinnamon Museum and Visitors’ Centre, which has four charming rooms allowing guests literally to live within the world’s only museum dedicated to the history and uses of cinnamon.
And, at the top, with extensive 360 o views, is Mount Cinnamon, a luxurious contemporary house dramatically set above the landscape, representing the very best of Sri Lankan art and design.
Each property is lettable separately, or, for large groups, can be rented together or in combination.
Built in the early part of the last century, the delightful, fretwork-adorned and ochre-coloured building recently has been restored and re-designed. Tastefully furnished in a style which blends old and modern, and decorated with contemporary artworks, the Bungalow at Mirissa Hills affords a sense of peace and serenity.
The sitting room is light and airy, and furnished in traditional style. It opens onto a beautiful dining room, with a grand single plank wooden table which can seat ten or more. A breakfast area adjoins the kitchen.
There are three bedrooms, all for double occupancy, and one with a double bed. Each has en-suite showers with hot and cold running water and toilets, and is equipped with mosquito nets and fans.
Your houseboy will pamper you from your first cup of tea in the morning through your first sundowner on the lawn outside to your last night cap before bedtime. Just relax and experiencee the tranquillity of the countryside.
Mount Cinnamon is a luxury villa situated at the summit of the plantation, with extensive 360o views to sea over Weligama Bay and also in-land to the Denipitiya Hills. From sunrise to sunset it captures the changing light and moods of the landscape.
The house has been designed by C. Anjalendran, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost living architects, and is a pure and elegant essay in the island’s vernacular. It is designed for the tropical climate: to be very comfortable, but without ostentation or alien touches. Floating like a “fortress in the sky” it commands the site but is also very respectful of its surroundings.
There are three double bedrooms and one single bedroom that can sleep two. All bedrooms are air-conditioned and have fans. The beds are dressed with specially-woven “cinnamon” fabric. They are both cool and serene. Each has en suite showers and toilets.
There are three sitting areas: on the long sea-facing terrace outside; an interior, informal area ideal for pre-dinner drinks; and a comfy drawing room.
A magnificent sculpted screen divides the drawing room from the dining room, which at night is always candle-lit. Outside, there is a breakfast terrace which can, of course, be used at any time of the day.
The house has an extra kitchen which you can use should you wish to experiment with local produce, knock up something simple or prepare food for the baby. Within the courtyard a swimming pool provides a refreshing way to begin or end the day.
The world’s only Cinnamon Museum provides a totally unique encounter with the spice which has been associated with Sri Lanka for thousands of years.
In the hart of plantation, it is purpose-designed to provide comfortable accommodation, and set within a secluded courtyard, four air-conditioned bedrooms cater for two persons each. Each furnished in classic style, and with cheerful contemporary fabrics. Bathrooms with showers (hot and cold running water) and wc’s are en-suite. The rooms are air conditioned.
At night the courtyard is designed to transform into an attractive candle-lit dining area, with an atmospheric bar at one end where one can “chill out” to one’s heart content.
The building is furnished with specially commissioned paintings and sculptures, including a magnificent statue of a Phoenix, symbolizing the legend which describes how the dying Phoenix gathered branches of cinnamon on his last night to create a pyre – which, after his immolation, allowed his successor to be born from within the ashes.
The Museum itself will occupy a space on the upper floor of the building. Contents for it are being gathered from all over the world, and it will be opened to the public in the course of 2010.
We pride ourselves on the excellence of our food. Most of the ingredients are sourced locally. The freshest fish from Weligama Bay is, of course, a joy; and we also have a wide variety of fruit and vegetables growing on the plantation. Nothing can beat the taste of just-picked papaya at breakfast time.
We offer a choice of Sri Lankan or Western breakfast. But whether you choose eggs and bacon or a prawn curry with roti, you will enjoy a platter of fruit and freshly squeezed juice first.
Lunch tends to be traditional Sri Lankan curry and rice (it is rarely “hot” but the spiciness is always adjustable!). We pride ourselves in serving the best for miles around, and in creating a repast which reflects the balance traditional to the meal. All our chutneys are homemade.
Afternoon tea is served on request – using Handunugoda Tea, from our neighbouring Lowland Tea Estate. At drinks time, it’s nice to try a “short eat” – fish cutlets, perhaps.
Dinner can be Western or Sri Lankan, or a mixture of both. It is normally served, in style, in the dining room. Start with a Mount Cinnamon Sour! For special occasions, crab can be ordered the night before. They come from the lagoon or Koggala Lake – and are quite simply the best in the world. Lobster is also available.
Naturally, vegetarians are catered for, and there is a microwave for preparing baby food.
One of the unique aspects of Mirissa Hills is its fine collection of Sri Lankan art, much of which has been intentionally incorporated into the design.
At Mount Cinnamon, the screen designed by Laki Senenakaye, Sri Lanka’s own “Renaissance man”, is entitled the “Enchanted Forest”.
The gallery which runs the length of the house at the lower level is expected in time to house other sculptures, the preference of the owner being to showcase local artists.
Older and younger generations are represented in all three buildings from Ivan Peiris, who dominated the art scene of the 70’s and 80’s, to younger artists such as Druvinka and Mohammed Cader.
In the museum, the Phoenix sculpture by young Chinese sculptor Zhang Zhaohong is the first known depiction of the legend as it pertains to cinnamon, while Laki’s “Cinnomolgus”, the other mythical bird associated with the spice, is also a first.
The Australian-born artist, Kevin Pearsh, much of whose oevre is inspired by South Asia, has painted the magnificent “Cinnamon Dyptch” for the bar.
For wines, we find South African wines drink well in the Sri Lankan climate, and the house red (Cabernet Sauvignon) and white (Chardonnay) are both bottled by KWV. Fine wines are also available.
Apart from just lounging around, there is a wealth of activities in the area.
Beaches abound in this coast, and some of the nicest are only a few minutes away. We own some land on the bay, and beachside picnics can be arranged there, or elsewhere.
Together with our partner, Mirissa Water Sports, sports fishing is available on the boat “Spirit of Dondra”, a 54 feet converted fishing trawler: the continental shelf drops less than 8 miles off the coast, where tuna, marlin, wahoo and other game fish can be found. Or you can just do a coastal cruise, stopping at bays for swimming or picnics, or dolphin watching in season. Sailing in Weligama Bay is arranged on a 24 foot classic gaff-rigged dhoni. Diving and snorkeling can also be arranged in the bay with equipment rental, as can sea kayaking. Sailing lessons can be taken, as can and diving lessons.
Both snorkeling and surfing instruction is available, from beginners’ level up.
The in-land backwaters along the Polwatte Ganga can also be explored by boat-ideal for bird watchers or sightseers alike. There you regularly see egrets, bee eaters, fish eagles – as well as monitor lizards and crocodiles.
For exploration of the countryside, bicycles are available. A bit further afield, the Dutch colonial towns of Galle and Matara afford the chance to browse amidst the historic buildings on foot. The nearby sea turtle hatcheries are also well worth a visit.
Expeditions to the amazing Sinharaja Rainforest can be arranged. Both Yala and Udawalawe national wildlife parks are also within striking distance.
Mirissa Hills is one of members of the “Serendib Triangle” – a combination of three plantations which aim to give visitors a unique insight into Sri Lankan life. Our sister plantation, the Handunugoda Tea Factory, is a lowland tea estate where visitors receive a guided tour and unique tasting experience. South Charley Mount is a coconut plantation, where a “coconut trail” is offered.
A Yoga instructor can be brought to Mirissa Hills on request, as can herbal and Ayurvedic masseurs.
Romantic wadding destination to choose for a romantic wedding, culminating in that magical moment in the evening when the sun sets over the ocean behind the newly weds, and followed by a wedding banquet.
Mirissa Hills a Fantastic wedding resort offer some of the world’s most romantic location with spectacular scenery and very friendly and hospitable locals, you’ll have a paradise wedding forever to remember. Wedding in Sri Lanka is enchanted by the culture, stunned by the scenery and welcomed by the Sri Lankans, couples can easily combine a fabulous wedding with beautiful exotic honeymoon.
Complete guide to Wedding in Sri Lanka. We have experience of making all the necessary arrangements, from organizing the Registrar to booking a photographer, from ordering the cake to arranging the flowers.
Every wedding has its different needs and personality: we will be pleased to work through with you all the planning and the details of implementation.
Credit: the beautiful wedding photographs are taken by Lucy Llewellyn Byard