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Reviewed July 20, 2018

Lunuganga, one of Jeffrey Bawa's homes, is well worth a stop over when in Bentota. Its serene gardens, painstaking landscape architecture design and experimentation in Bawa's architectural designs are essential viewing for any Bawa or architecture fan.

A few things to keep in mind when visiting: 1) When coming from Bentota, Google Maps seems to want to direct you to a very small lane. Make sure to get accurate directions from the main road. 2) That said, actually finding the estate in the last half mile is a bit tricky. There is no signage and the final turnoff is not obvious. 3) Don't be late for the tour starts. If you miss the appointed hours, the guides may not allow you to go on the tour.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank malathyknight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 4, 2018

Which ever way you look around Lunuganga there are beautiful vistas - huge green swards disappearing into the distance, lakes with forest beyond, huge trees and dense jungle, pleasing buildings, intriguing paths and stairways to follow. We were accommodated in the Glass House which is a very long room over the arrival court. As its name suggests, there is glass on nearly all sides with natural ventilation through huge hopper windows.
Nearby is the main house with a terrace facing the magnificent view of the lake and forest. Here you may relax, have a drink or meal overlooking the lawn and a huge sculptural frangipani tree, several statues and works by the Australian artist Donald Friend. On the estate are several examples of Bawa's experimental houses. Samples of Laki Senanayeka's art and sculpture abound. A walk around the estate is very rewarding to appreciate all the years of work and thought which have gone into the creation of Lunuganga.
The exemplary staff take wonderful care of their guests' every need and the meals are excellent.

Stayed: May 2018
1  Thank Val H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 23, 2018 via mobile

If you are a Geoffrey Bawa fan, then this is the holy grail... the late architect’s private paradise... to see the objects of art placed around this estate shows what kind of a person he was.... experience the stay... and you get to wander all around the estate...

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with friends
1  Thank WasPY6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 7, 2018

We were at Lunuganga touring the estate with other visitors there last week (Apr 5, 2018). We had to drive through a narrow and somewhat chaotic village to get to the estate. The estate is not well maintained, compared to a Cinnamon farm/boutique hotel in Ahangama that we visited just before touring Lunuganga. Our guide is arrogant. Mostly giving information on trees and creatures seen around the property. Not much background on Bawa. We were not allowed to wonder around to other areas near the entrance while waiting for the tour to start. We were not allowed to use the washroom on our exit because we had to cut short on the visit. His explanation was he was the only staff attending to the visitors and therefore had not time to escort us to the washroom. The entrance is US$10 per person and cafe is only open for lunch. Avoid hot months to visit there as you might get a lot of mosquito bites even with repellent on.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
1  Thank mayhsuan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 10, 2018

What if you could immerse yourself in a futuristic setting of the past? Actually, you can, at the Lunuganga Country Estate, the former private mansion of Sri Lanka’s iconic architect, Geoffrey Bawa. More than that, the huge park with several unconventional buildings and specifically designed nooks became his personal experimental space and eventually turned into a unique, holistic oeuvre that carries his personal spirit in an unparalleled way.

The main house, which includes his former apartment, today serves as the sitting and dining area. A splendid open place which feels like a slightly upgraded terrace in the best possible position: On the one side, you overlook the lake and the various nature parcels he designed below (including a rice field, small ponds, sitting areas). On the other side, you look across the lowered public street towards cinnamon hill with a windmill tower two mini pavilions and one of the guest houses.

The currently six rooms are located in five individually designed buildings in different parts of the premises. We chose the glass room for its exceptional layout (mainly windows) and we also saw the gatehouse suite and the garden room. Each room has its very personal touch including a cool mixture of old and more recent furniture and art, both local and from abroad. Bawa created a unique style incorporating elements from different cultures, which conveys futuristic thinking with a museum touch. I have not seen anything like this or close to this anywhere in the world and I strongly recommend a stay as a truly memorable experience.

The staff of the boutique hotel matches the style of the estate. Very discrete, helpful and more professional than in most places in Sri Lanka. You can take your tea, breakfast, lunch or dinner in your preferred space in or around the main house, even out in the park or on the terrace if you want to experience a truly colonial setting. The salons offer large books about Bawa and his works, but we also recommend that you just sit and listen to the few quiet sounds of nature that this estate offers.

In most respects, Lunuganga provides the impossibly perfect blends: modest luxury, futuristic history, designed nature and tangible spirituality. For us, the ultimate highlight of our Sri Lanka tour.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled on business
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2  Thank EuropeanDiversity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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