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Modern-day manor house

Perched beside rippling rice paddies, Maya boutique hotel near Tangalle is immersed in a mature two-acre garden that's teeming with wildlife. This colonial-chic manor house enshrines its traditional designs with piles of style and modern-luxe touches. Small is beautiful here, as just five suites are split between the atmospheric Old House and sleek New Wing, with a midnight-blue pool snaking between the two.

Bring your yoga mat to practice the warrior pose in the lush gardens. Instructors will come to the house for solo sessions, but need to be booked in advance.Cycle rides through Aranwella village take you past tiny homes and down foliage-flanked lanes bursting with wildlife. Visit the village temple behind Maya to see the head monk, who will bestow serene Buddhist blessings on you, if asked. Further afield at Rekawa, learn and observe the rituals of marine turtles laying and hatching on the sands by moonlight with the Turtle Conservation Project (+94 (0)77 781 0508; www.tcpsrilanka.org) or, between November and April, head off whale-watching with Mirissa Water Sports (Mirissa Harbour; +94 (0)77 359 7731; www.mirissawatersorts.com), 70km south-west of the hotel.
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The Old House, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
+94 475 679 026