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When you go to more exotic destinations do you often bypass self-catering and look to book a hotel? I know that I certainly do because perhaps it’s embedded in my psyche that it would be easier to stay in a hotel because you don’t get the same level of service in self-catering villas.

But when I came across some attractive family-friendly Sri Lanka villas that are available to rent, I began to wonder why I’ve never considered this option when we’ve travelled further afield. After all, I am a real advocate of villa holidays – it gives you more freedom to do what you want, to come and go as you please, and be able to work around young children and their routines. It also provides a good base in which you can go off and explore the rest of your surrounding area and you also get the added bonus of having your own privacy.

Sri Lanka Villas To Rent: Family Holiday Inspiration

Why Sri Lanka?

With endless beaches and epic rainforests, colourful food markets, roaming elephants and tons of beautiful ancient ruins, a visit to Sri Lanka mean an assault on the senses. Not only does it have eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a compacted area, but it is easy to travel the distances. One minute you could be watching elephants gather in Minneriya and then walking amongst 2000-year-old temples, before hitting the surf in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Villas To Rent: Family Holiday Inspiration

Rich in culture, this tear-drop island is a natural playground for the whole family, and while there are many adventurous family activities such as exploring caves, going fishing or whale watching, and playing cricket or taking the train to enjoy the scenery of the tea plantations and rolling green hills, there are also plenty of spots to sit back, relax and enjoy this unfettered paradise.

Sri Lanka Villas

There are a large number of family-friendly resorts in Sri Lanka including Negombo and the south coast of the island, Galle is also a great base to be able to explore the rest of the island. With colonial Dutch architecture, this UNESCO heritage site is full of history and wonder – as well as a prominent cafe culture, museums and lots of winding streets to get lost in.

Galle also had plenty of accommodation from hotels to guest houses, but if you’re looking for a more unique and personalised experience, the utmost privacy, and bags of room to be able to let the family go wild, then srilanka-villa.com’s list of gorgeous rental options are really worth considering – and not only do you get the seclusion of your own property, but you also get house staff to offer you a hotel service in your own surroundings. Here are a few top picks:

Sri Lanka Villas To Rent: Family Holiday Inspiration

Skinny Beach House

Skinny Beach House is situated in Dalawella with direct access to the beach – and with two ensuite bedrooms as well as a large living/dining space and plunge pool, it’s the perfect place to relax and watch the waves crashing against the shoreline after a hard day of exploring.

Sri Lanka Villas To Rent: Family Holiday Inspiration

Villa Victoria

With views of the Indian Ocean, the spacious Villa Victoria can sleep up to 10 people, and not only has lovely gardens which are child-friendly but a stunning swimming pool in which to relax by. The media room for movies is an added bonus, as are the canopied four-poster beds.

Sri Lanka Villas To Rent: Family Holiday Inspiration

Woolamai Beach House

Able to accommodate two families, the Woolamai Beach House is well-placed to explore Galle and beyond. Set against the backdrop of a lush tropical jungle, the modern interiors are bright and spacious, while the pool area has stunning views of the beach. The home is also very kid-friendly with the addition of kids toys, games, beach gear and pool toys. Cots, high chairs and other child-friendly equipment can also be arranged.

Sri Lanka Villas To Rent: Family Holiday Inspiration

Villa Sisindu T

If you’re looking for something with the wow factor then Villa Sisindu T is the perfect home. Sleeping up to 12 people, this six-bedroomed villa exudes luxury and timeless elegance. Not only is the pool area set amidst tropical gardens a great place to relax, but there’s also a rooftop terrace – perfect for sundowners and amazing views of the countryside and beyond.

* This post was written in collaboration with Villa-Finder