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  • A tour around the work of Geoffrey Bawa

    Heritance Kandalama

    Uga Residence

    Jetwing Beach

    The Last House


    In the footsteps of Geoffrey Bawa architectural touring holiday

    11 nights/12 days
    Unravel the legacy of world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, the father of contemporary Sri Lankan architecture, discovering the beauty of Sri Lanka along the way. You will stay in some Bawa-designed hotels and have the chance to explore some of his other work. 

    Click here to download a pdf itinerary for this tour.
    This tour incorporates the cultural destinations that must be visited on any touring holiday of Sri Lanka; but, there is the added benefit of staying in the most renowned accomplishments of Geoffrey Bawa along the way. After arriving at Bandaranaike International Airport, you begin in Negombo, a modern beachside city. Then, head into the Cultural Triangle to the historic sites around Dambulla, including the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Dambulla Caves. From here, continue to Bandarawela near Kandy, to see Bawa’s Bandarawela Chapel. Next spend two nights in Tangalle on the south coast, near the beautiful inland green forests and waterways. From Tangalle, continue east to the historic fort of Galle, and then slightly north to the beach resort of Bentota for two days by the sea. Spend your final night in Colombo for easy access to the airport on your final morning.

    Day 1 Arrive Colombo to Negombo
    Arrive in Colombo and meet your personal chauffeur guide who will be your travelling companion throughout your tour of Sri Lanka. Drive to the chic and contemporary Jetwing Beach for one night in Negombo (approximately 20 minutes drive). This hotel was originally designed by Geoffrey Bawa and since renovated in 2004. Negombo, set amid lush groves of coconut palms, breathes the spirit of the sea. The town itself shows its interesting colonial past with many historical buildings. 

    Day 2 Negombo to Dambulla
    After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the Heritance Kandalama in Dambulla (approximately 5 hours), another great work by Geoffrey Bawa in the Cultural Triangle. The hotel is built into a mountainside, surrounded by jungle and overlooking the Kandalama tank (lake). The simple geometry and lack of decoration of the building helps to identify the natural environment. When Bawa first built the hotel, he said that one day it would peer out from under a canopy of lush vegetation, which is exactly how it appears today. Spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying your surroundings. 

    Day 3 Sigiriya
    In the morning, visit Sigiriya rock fortress - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sigiriya was built in the 5th century during the reign of King Kasyapa and is probably the most fantastic wonder of Sri Lanka. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the Palace on the summit of the 600-foot rock.

    Day 4 Dambulla to Bandarawela
    After breakfast, drive to Bandarawela (approximately 6 hours). En route you could opt to do some sightseeing in the hill capital city of Kandy. During the drive, enjoy the endless views of tea-carpeted valleys, processing factories and the bright flash of female ‘tea pluckers’ in their saris picking their way through the plantations. Stop at a tea factory where the process of tea producing and grading will be explained. You will also be able to taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. Check-in to the 1920s colonial planter’s Kirchhayn Bungalow for two nights.

    Day 5 Bandarawela
    Visit the granite-built Bandarawela Chapel of the Good Shepherd’s Convent, designed by Geoffrey Bawa and Ulrik Plesner. The chapel sits on a ridge above the town and consists of a solid hulk of rubble masonry culminating in a square tower which acts as the skylight for the altar. Spend the rest of the day at leisure doing some trekking around the area and enjoying the views.

    Day 6 Bandarawela to Tangalle
    From the hills of Bandarawela descend to Tangalle on the coast (approximately 6 hours). En route admire one of Sri Lanka’s finest views and visit the Rawana Ella Falls. The dramatic Rawana Ella Falls are 49 metres high with water cascading down the mountainside in a series of mini waterfalls. On arrival in Tangalle, check in to the Last House, which is the last property built by Geoffrey Bawa in Sri Lanka. This luxury seaside escape’s airy, antique-filled interiors spill into al fresco spaces as if no boundaries exist.

    Day 7 Tangalle

    Visit Fitzherbert House, which is now known as Claughton House, in Dickwella (approximately 30 minutes). This, too, is a great work of Bawa’s. Spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying some time at the beach and the hotel facilities.

    Day 8 Tangalle to Galle
    Drive this morning to the colonial city of Galle (approximately 2 hours). En route, drop by another of Bawa’s works – the Ruhunu University Campus and the Matara Office building. Check-in to the Jetwing Lighthouse, an architectural triumph of Geoffrey Bawa, where you will be spending the night. In the afternoon, enjoy some sightseeing in Galle Fort. Its rich heritage is derived from the colonial influences of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British respectively, spanning four centuries. The town’s centrepiece is the Dutch Fort, around which the city is built. The Fort remains a hive of activity and is one of the few World Heritage listed sites in which a bustling population continues to thrive.

    Day 9 Galle to Bentota
    After breakfast, drive to Bentota (approximately 2 hours), visiting Heritance Ahungalla en route, where Bawa created features such as interconnecting expanses of water leading the guest into the hotel. Spend two nights at boutique hotel, Villa Bentota.

    Day 10 Bentota
    Spend the morning at leisure, perhaps with some time on the beach enjoying the water sports on offer. For afternoon tea, visit Geoffrey Bawa’s country residence Lunuganga where you will find that nature has been incorporated in the very design of the house. Return to your hotel for the night.

    Day 11 Bentota to Colombo
    In the morning drive to the commercial capital of Colombo (approximately 2 hours). En route stop at Blue Waters in Wadduwa, designed by Geoffrey Bawa. Check-in to the Uga Residence for the night. Spend the rest of your day at leisure in Colombo, enjoying some sightseeing and shopping. It may be possible to visit one of the world’s leading tea auctions, an 18 hole Golf Course or seasonal Buddhist and Hindu pageants. In the evening visit Number 11, the residence of Geoffrey Bawa.

    Day 12 Departure from Colombo 
    After breakfast, leave for the airport for your onward flight. 

    Prices from £2,750 per person
    A shorter version of this tour is also available for those with more limited time.

    Included in this tour:
    • Return scheduled flights with British Airways or Sri Lankan Airlines to Colombo in economy class
    • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room
    • Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary
    • Entrance fees to the monuments listed above

    Not included:
    • Visas
    • Meals, except as specified above 
    • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
    • Camera fees where applicable
    • Insurance

    Click here to download a pdf itinerary for this tour.
    Click on the 'Hotel Information' tab above to find out about the hotels featured in this itinerary.
    Find out more about Geoffrey Bawa's hotels.

    Geoffrey Bawa tour map

    Hotel information

    Below is some information about the hotels featured in this touring holiday itinerary.

    Negombo:Jetwing Beach, the cool, contemporary architecture complements a charming stretch of beach. There is a lovely spa, great restaurant and a choice of water sports (Deluxe Room)
    Kandalama:Heritance Kandalama, this award-winning eco resort blends with its natural environment and overlooks the Kandalama Tank (lake). Every guest room has its own private balcony. There are three restaurants, three pools and a Six Senses Spa (Standard Room)
    Bandarawela:Kirchhayn Bungalow, enjoy a taste of tea plantation life in this secluded planter’s bungalow surrounded by 50 acres of its own manicured tea slopes and sprawling gardens (Standard Room)
    Tangalle: Last House, this luxury seaside escape was Geoffrey Bawa’s ultimate commission. It’s possible to cycle, surf or play croquet or simply relax and enjoy fresh seafood prepared by the chef (Atteriya Room)
    Galle:Jetwing Lighthouse, commanding superb views across the Indian Ocean and just two kilometres from Galle, this hotel offers two restaurants, two pools plus a children’s pool, spa, tennis and squash courts (Deluxe Room)
    Bentota: Villa Bentota, this 19th century colonial villa blends traditional period design with post-modern touches. There is a restaurant, bar and swimming pool (Standard Room)
    Colombo:Uga Residence, a luxury boutique hotel on a leafy street in the heart of the city. The 12 rooms are airy and spacious and the restaurant is popular with Colombo residents for al fresco dining (Deluxe Room)

    Prices from £2,750 per person

    Included in the prices mentioned above:
    • Return scheduled flights with British Airways or Sri Lankan Airlines to Colombo in economy class
    • Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room
    • Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary
    • Entrance fees to the monuments listed above

    Not included in the prices mentioned above:
    • Visas
    • Meals, except as specified above
    • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses
    • Camera fees where applicable
    • Insurance


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