The Divine Villa is a luxury boutique property considered an architectural masterpiece, spanning a 200-perch area located in Heenatigala, Galle. The property features an expansive 54,000 sq. ft. garden area and is flanked by a dense paddy field and a tea plantation. Founded by French travel enthusiasts Christophe and Diane Chambre in December 2021, the cascading design and feature interiors of this sustainably built property comes from the mastery of Sri Lankan architect Manjula Kalhara De Silva and Engineer Mahesh Nandana.
Brunch had the opportunity to experience the property on their opening day and have a chat with the Co-Founders.
“In 2010, after numerous holidays around the world, we visited Sri Lanka for the first time and fell in love with the beauty of this paradise nation and its unique island hospitality,” Diane shared, talking about the inspiration behind the villa. She said that this is when the two decided on opening something of their own to offer to the locals as well as foreigners something unique.
Speaking with Christophe, he stated: “The Rs. 200 million property was created to cater to the modern, environmentally conscious traveller and promises an escape that brings to life the essence of paradise, serenity, and a truly tropical experience.”
He said that whilst the world continues to be ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic, the facts remain that the travel and tourism industry will once again boom and with it, Sri Lanka’s popularity as a tourist destination.
After taking a stroll around the villa, we can conclude that the property does indeed provide guests with access to local attractions and immerse them in a uniquely Sri Lanka experience – from mask-making, lace-making, lacquer work, and fishing to sightseeing and tours of heritage sites in Galle.
Chambre added that the property provides a boost to the local economy with all food items sourced locally and provides jobs to locals.
What to expect
The property’s architectural design and landscaping works with its natural shape and form to ensure minimal soil erosion and environmental disturbance. The designs follow a minimalistic plan with the manipulation of cubic forms, rustic materials, and natural topography with open indoor spaces. The property is rooted in Sri Lankan-styled architecture, whilst being inspired by French living.
The villa has five luxury villa-style suites that overlook a garden, plantations, paddy fields, and the mountain. The Ambalama-style restaurant and bar is designed to offer a truly unique Sri Lankan experience, offering international cuisine and dining options for its in-house guests. We actually had the opportunity to try some of their food, and it knocked our socks off – well worth the visit. The property also provides guests with access to a private fitness pavilion, spa and wellness pavilion, meditation and relaxation area, as well as the unique tea-plucking experience, Sri Lankan cooking experience, cycling, and bike rentals.
In addition, the luxury concierge services available when at the property allow for guests to enjoy every whim and fancy whilst staying at The Divine Villa.
On a concluding note, Dianne added that Sri Lanka continues to be the wonder of Asia and they are confident that with the influx of tourists, along with the subsequent ease of travel restrictions internationally, Sri Lanka’s hospitality industry will once again gain traction.