Lunuganga Estate

Lunuganga Estate was the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa,  Sri Lanka’s and one of Asia’s most prolific and influential architects. The garden at the Lunuganga estate remained his first muse and experimental laboratory for new ideas. He continued to change and experiment with its spaces and structures throughout his life until his death in 1998. Left to the Lunuganga Trust on his demise in 2003, the gardens are now open to the public and the buildings on the estate are run as a country house hotel.

Recommended review time for sightseeing: 1 h

Tourist reviews about Lunuganga Estate

Exemplary service and a very comfortable stay!
ruhij103 [TA], , Bengaluru (Bangalore), India

I chanced upon this place while looking for off-beat places to stay near Bentota and I am so glad that I did! It's a paradise in the true sense- an idyllic estate tucked away in the middle of lovely gardens and overlooking the Dedduwa lake.

Well done rooms, exemplary service and exceptional food is what I will remember about the place. Even the little things like the holder for the water bottle in the rooms, the making of the beds every evening, laying the table for all meals are done very tastefully! Both me and my cousin are vegetarians and they took this into account and served us a Sri Lankan treat everyday. All meals were very thought out and delicious! The friendly staff was also able to help us with tips on places to visit and arrange for cabs for us. They were very efficient and did not read a reminder about anything.

The rooms have all the modern amenities like air conditioning, hot and cold showers, hair dryer etc. The place does not have any wi-fi and the network is also erratic, so it's truly an escape. I used my time to walk and explore the estate, the gardens, read under the trees and enjoyed my time away from the city. So go here for this, to spend some quality time with your loved ones or with yourself. I am sure to visit again!

hard to find-harder to get in
rimoonsba... [TA], , Dhaka

on our way from bentota to hikka, we thought we would stop here for a while as it seemed this was a place to easily fall in love with. unfortunately its really hard to through many road turns, while there are no any signs whatsoever-not even on their own gates!. we had to ask the neighbors if this was the right place. that wasnt the end-despite ringing the bell many times and honking the car, none came to open the gate! ultimately we just gave up and left. was very disappointing to say the least.

Respite from the hustle and bustle of the city
RAnilC [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The country estate of Sri Lanka's foremost architect is worth a visit. It is a charming, unkempt place right on the edge of Bentara River. There are guides to take you around and they serve a nice lunch. They also have a few rooms where you can stay.

Great Location
mandystum [TA], , Glasgow, United Kingdom

Great Location we ever visited in Sri Lanka. Friendly staff. If you ever visit Bentota this is a must

Possibly my best experience in Sri Lanka
DougInver... [TA], , Inverness

I tried walking, but would not have found it without a tuk-tuk driver. Magnificent gardens with quirky and beautiful features designed by Sri Lanka's best known architect. 1200 rupees (£6) got me a personal tour of the grounds and a look at some parts of Bawa' s house -now a hotel - altogether about an hour and a half. Fascinating architecture and landscaping, beautiful planting. I want to come back and stay in the hotel when I've saved up. Highly recommended!

Wonderful lunch spot
kme98 [TA], , Albury, Australia

We visited here and had delicious lunch under the trees, fantastic gardens, interesting house and spectacular monitor lizards1

Ajay_Kaus... [TA], , Gurgaon, India

This place is very beautiful. They are very nice garden and lake. This place is quite famous among locals also as well as foreigners

Aditi E [TA], ,

Everything about this place is amazing - the location, the gardens, the lake, the buildings, the rooms, the food, the staff and I could just go on and on.

My cousin and I spent 2 nights here. We were in the Guest room, which has a massive bed room area, a decent study area and a good sized dressing up area. The ensuite bathroom was comfortable.

Being vegetarians, we were expecting to be given minimal choices, but we were pleasantly surprised. Lunch and dinner was a proper 3 course affair, starting with soup, followed by main course that consisted of atleast 4 kinds of curry/ stir fried veg to go with rice or string hoppers or chappatis. Finally, there was always a dessert.

The estate itself is huge, and it is open to residents. My cousin spent a lot of time walking around the gardens and discovering tiny ponds or interesting trees. There was a young cow as well!

If I have to point out a fault, because nothing is perfect, then it is that it can be a bit difficult to get the management to return your phone calls or reply to emails.

I would give this place a 6 out of 5 if I could.

Spectacular Gardens
Leonie_Dw... [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The gardens and architecture are spectacular. I had a very informative guide. Definitely worth a visit during your stay in Bentota.

Serene & beautiful !
Ellemay [TA], , Sydney, Australia

I absolutely love good garden designs so visiting Lunuganga was a definite must do on my list.

We were staying at The Villa Paradise Road Hotel which was designed by Geoffrey Bawa so it was very easy to hop into a tuk tuk to take us to the gardens as it was only 10mins drive away.

We visited around 9ish as we wanted to go early to beat the heat of the day. It was the perfect time to visit as no crowds & it was cooler too.

The tour takes about 1 hour & the gardens lovely & well designed. It's a pity u cannot walk around the gardens alone.

We also were disappointed not knowing we could have stayed overnight , as it would have made a perfect stop over before our stay at The Villa.

Overall - a must do for garden / art / designers / lovers !

Paradise on Earth
Ong A [TA], , Hong Kong

Love the place and marveled at what my idol, Mr Bawa, could do with the garden. Wished we could just be allowed to wander in the garden on our own, spending more time in the garden but unfortunately it was not allowed by the keepers. It seems such a waste to have traveled so far and only allowed to walk in the garden for less than an hour. And worse it rained. Anyway, grateful we had lunch at the estate and if we have a chance to travel there again, will definitely want to stay. Every corner a feast to the eyes.

Well worth a visit
DWynG [TA], , Dorset, United Kingdom

We arrived almost too late for a visit with less than an hour until closing. Has we had heard so much about it we paid the fee anyway. However we quickly got joined onto a tour that had already started. It was great to see the garden as the day cooled down between 1600 and 1700 (closing time). The guide was informative and with only two other couples very relaxed. When the tour ended the guide restarted to make sure we did not miss anything and it was loser to 1800 before we left. Well worth a trip. If you like gardens you will like this. I am not a huge garden goer but I really enjoyed the garden and house. Make sure you also to visit Geoffry Bawas brother Bevis house at the Brief Garden.

Delightful garden, not open till 9.30
DavidY121 [TA], , Barnstaple, United Kingdom

The garden here does not open until 9.30, despite the fact that we had been told that it opens at 8.00, so don't arrive too early. The tour lasted just over an hour. There was no access to any of the buildings. Still the gardens are very attractive and interesting and worth the short tuk-tuk ride from Bentota. There was no opportunity for refreshment there, apparently you have to prebook.

Magic! Worth every rupee.
DonkScotl... [TA], , Scotland

Since learning of Geoffrey Bawa on our first trip to Sri Lanka, when we stayed at his iconic Lighthouse hotel in Galle, we have wanted to know more about him and his work. Visiting the place he made his home was a special day and reinforces the image of a man who knew exactly how to create surroundings that feed the soul and harmonise with the landscape. At each turn there is a new vista, a new theme, opening up before you and the whole estate merges into the most tranquil and refreshing of places to live or visit.
We arrived in the morning, were escorted on our visit by a delightful and knowledgeable gentleman who had worked there when Bawa was alive. There was no rush, time was allowed for us to take in each area and relish the views, the plants, the cleverly placed sculptures and buildings. Having booked lunch we had a short time on our own before our meal, which we spent in the shade of the little Roman pavilion that houses a bust of Bawa, and felt very privileged to share a space that had been special to him.
As others have noted, lunch was absolutely wonderful. Eaten on the terrace, overlooking the lake, we counted 10 separate dishes of curries and sambals, and it was all utterly delicious. We felt quite envious of other people nearby who were obviously staying on the premises - it is hard to think of anywhere more peaceful and uplifting to spend a few days as a very special treat. Staff were courteous and discreetly attentive. We left feeling completely relaxed and entranced and very glad we'd made time for this visit.

A magical place
SimonLich... [TA], , Lichfield, England

The spirit of Geoffrey Bawa permeates through this beautiful garden. The wonderful, natural gardens sit in their landscape like they have always been there. Simply magical and well worth a visit

A truly magical place
Charles A [TA], ,

Stay there or go for lunch and then have a tour of the garden taken around by your waiter who knows all about the history, architecture and artwork in this wonderful garden which overlooks the River Bentota. A cross between Kettle's Yard in Cambridge, where he studied, and the Gibberd Garden near Harlow. Go there for a unique Sri Lankan experience.

Fascinating and very beautiful
Hayley R [TA], , Alfold, United Kingdom

Very interesting to learn about the Bawa brothers and their passion for architecture and gardens. Lunuganga was a truly unexpected delight - the views and serenity were amazing.

Go early in the day
united33 [TA], , Edinburgh, United Kingdom

We decided to visit Lunuganga as it was only a short Tuctuc ride from our hotel. We went early as we thought it would be cooler. The real bonus for our start was we were the first visitors of the day so we and the staff had the place to ourselves. It is a wonderful piece of imagination made real by Geoffrey Bawa. He wanted peace and quiet and if you go early you will see it as intended. We were told there was a big group coming later and as we left others were arriving.

The vistas are wonderful in this garden and one must admire at least the man's ability in that direction. We were staying in the Avanti hotel which he also designed and one can recognise his touch there.

It opens at 9.00 am.

A forest garden...
Amali W [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

If you are wanting to roam in a flower garden with geometric shapes, this is not the place for you. However, if you love to see a garden blended with a forest atmosphere, it is a place to visit. What I liked in this garden is how it was organised into levels and the wide grounds including the many trees that are normally belonging to either timber or forest varieties. The buildings I personally didn't think much about since rustic is not exactly my taste. It was a dry spell when we visited but I hear that it is more luscious during the rainy days. I must however say that it was on entirely a 'wow, amazing' experience for me. It was more of a place that had a naturally fitting landscape that blended with a forest atmosphere.

Worth the hunt to find the place
ej111 [TA], , Cockermouth, United Kingdom

Saw some reviews of this attraction and set out to find it. Easily found on Google maps but there are no road signs leading to it. Followed a procession a tuk tuks with japanese tourist to go to an unmarked gate with a bell. All the Tuk tuk drivers know this place but our taxi driver and guide from Colombo did not.

Excellent gardens and designs of the eccentric Jeffrey Bawa. Nice tour with a knowledgeable friendly guide. Well worth a visit

What a treat!
Sarah M [TA], ,

If you like landscape design , interior design and architecture you will love Lunuganga. Very unique and beautiful place. If you don't appreciate understated elegance you might find it boring. It is not in your face fancy like a palace. Lunch was one of best Sri Lankan curries ever. Totally worth the extra money to sit on the lanai and enjoy the good food.

Second time
Gautham_S... [TA], , Gurgaon, India

The place never fails to amaze me. Never. Am not an architect but still he had a knack to get people like to to just appreciate architecture and classy gardens and above all...use nature in the way it is best. Naturally. Met the same tour guide inside the estate, Krishna and the tour was the same. Rooms in the estate are for the true ones who appreciate nature. No TV, no wifi. So its that sorta place and glad they exist in today's world. Super classy place for the sorted ones. To the trustees : Stay the same and don't change anything. Don't play to the gallery. The fee to see it is money well spent. And one thing you can do is maybe assure the visitors like me that you can take care of us if reptiles comes. Hahaha. That apart, superb place.

Wonderful vistas
Shirley O [TA], , Negombo, Sri Lanka

Worth visiting, loved the garden room but found some of the artefacts in the garden a bit shabby. The guide was very helpful.

Magical view of Bawa house and gardens
Sue M [TA], , London, United Kingdom

We spent one night here and it was a wonderful opportunity to wander round the house and gardens at our leisure. We had just visited No 11 in Colombo and had become intrigued by Bawa's architecture. The accommodation is comfortable and quirky but there was a/c in our room - the Gatehouse. The meals were delicious - we had lunch, dinner and breakfast. Staff all incredibly helpful and friendly. A very magical place. Persistence recommended when booking - we did it by email and phone 2 days beforehand.

The Must See of Bentota
Zubin K [TA], , Pune, India

The wonderful landscape and home of Geoffrey Bawa - beautifully merged with nature and a must see. Take a tuk-tuk from Bentota - its worth the fee and a nice time to spend an afternoon - excellent location for those holiday photographs.....

Pricey access! Only guided tours.
Wanderpat... [TA], , Geneva, switzerland

If you are in Bentota , the visit is of course a must. Lunuganga Estate was the country home of Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most prolific and influential architects.The gradens are beautiful and beautifully blend with its structures. But we were asked each the equivalent of 10 dollars to enter. And we could not enjoy the garden on our own, a forced escort which would take the charm away.

the quiet from within
Sara M [TA], , karachi

This is the kind of place one falls into.. gets lost in it.. and within oneself. I could stay there for hours and just stare at the gardens. it is the sort of unrestricted beauty in a restricted way. The gardens have grown and over grown. Obviously taken really good care of but every year, the place changes a little more. Never any less beautiful then before.

Wonderful Green Environment
Sam M [TA], , Sydney, Australia

So glad to visit this place. This was not in our plan before .Thanks to Mihin Villa Bentota for recommending this . Rainly day but still enjoyed big time .

Bawa Garden (Lunuganga Garden)
hemanthau [TA], , Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka

This is a nice place to visit if you are traveling along Galle road towards down south .it is near Bentota.You can reach this beautiful garden within 15 mins from Bentota Town ( Bentota-Elpitiya road).This is a place which is a great architect by Geoffrey Bawa.
This is open daily 9am -5 pm to visitors & 1 hour guided tour.

Nice hidden place in south coast Sri Lanka.

Beautiful Gardens
jbaussie7... [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

On the recommendation of the Manager at Saman Villas , we decided to visit the Famous Holiday home of Mr Geffory Bawa.The gardens are maintained and kept beautiful.Its beautiful place to just sit and have a cup of tea and relax.There are a large collection of some beautiful antiques.We read the book about the Famous Lunu Ganga which was available in the library of the hotel before we visited.You have to spend a couple of hours and explore the place.It was a well worth visit.

peterh125 [TA], , Rugeley, United Kingdom

The garden and buildings are the creation of Geoffrey Bawa - renowned for designing many public buildings and hotels in Sri Lanka - Lunuganga is an architect's indulgence!

The entrance to the site is not signposted in any way and when I arrived I was disconcerted that the iron gates were locked. However, a tug on a bell brought a guide running to let me in.

There is an entrance fee of just over 1000 LKR (plus a tip for a guide - necessary to get the best out of your visit).

The grounds and adjoining lake are extensive and Bawa has constructed a number of features and viewing points to make the best use of the landscape. There are several small buildings scattered around the estate some of which have now been converted to provide holiday accommodation for visitors

Unfortunately on my visit it was a wet day with very wet ground conditions and so the tour of the grounds was a little curtailed

the most significant architect in SL.
kt_hiker [TA], , Slovenian Littoral Region, Slovenia

Without a doubt this is the best kept secret garden in the country. A really interesting wander around the gardens, so quite and peaceful.
The true essence of Geoffrey is still there in this estate. This was the perfect getaway for us. We only stayed one night but we'll definitely return back for some more.

Really interesting - worth a visit
Berdy2014 [TA], , Camberley, United Kingdom

Hard to find but worth a visit. A veritable paradise. An incredible creation in the wilderness.very knowledgable guide

This place keeps amazing me with each visit!
Ayanthi S [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

It was my 3rd visit to Lunugana and I keep learning many new things about this amazing garden with each visit. Our guide given from Lunugana was excellent and he was as passionate about it as we were. Do keep enough time to do a nice walk here, best to do it early morning or late evening. We did it in the evening and it was lovely with the sun setting and birds foraging around us. You have to be out by 5pm and they stop taking guests by 4.30pm so do time it right. You can also go in the morning and have lunch as well which I am sure must be a great experience. Do visit this 25 acre forest garden that has so many amazing architectural marvels.

Tudu T [TA], , Bentota, Sri Lanka

Nice place to you can see in bentota.big and clean garden.hope to go back again soon. Near to the bentota town.

Fantastic blend of nature
siromi s [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Peaceful surroundings, luscious greenery. We had a tasty Sri Lankan meal seated by the lake (Lunuganga). Truly a paradise. Highly recommended for a day out.

Stunning gardens
UKbadiabr... [TA], , Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Really amazing architecture and a wonderful place to stroll around. The guide was knowledgeable and didn't rush, so the beauty of the place could really be appreciated. These gardens are well worth a visit.

beautiful in every way
ninjatrav... [TA], , Great Missenden, United Kingdom

What an idyllic spot. one could only dream of living in a place like this. tasteful in every way, beautiful gardens. A little piece of heaven. Ring me a bell and get me a G and T! (that will make sense when you go...) Plants, architecture and a great love for a nanny. Enjoy

Garden paradise
Armando05... [TA], , Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Beautiful and quiet lush location out of the beaten path but near everything. Beautiful grounds and gardens.

well worth a visit
Irene1927 [TA], , Beckenham, United Kingdom

We spent a couple of hours being taken for a tour around this beautiful place.
Would recommend if you are in Bentota

Beautiful Haven
sandydave... [TA], , Kusadasi, Turkey

A wonderful peaceful garden, very knowledgable guide,typical Bawa design, very close to Bentota but a million miles away because of the tranquility and beauty.

The most beautiful boutique hotel in Sri Lanka
Boho-Soho [TA], , London, United Kingdom

This is " the most beautiful boutique hotel in Sri Lanka". The garden is magical and the house is just soooooooo beautiful. It is just a magical place! Just so serene and it will capture your heart ... You will feel sad to leave ...

Great experience!! Fully recommended.
Gaurav A [TA], ,

Beautiful drive through small villages and along a lake to this tucked away estate. Ring the big old fashioned bell at the entrance. The guides will show you around the beautiful property. They are well informed and articulate. We had made a reservation the day before for a tour of the property and a lunch. Both were excellent. The property is sprawling and beautiful. The lunch was exceptionally good. There is a choice of continental and Sri Lankan. We were served in the shade of a tree on the lawns overlooking the beautiful lake.

Book lunch- the best meal we had in Sri Lanka!
sarge58Cu... [TA], , Cumbria

What an amazing place, very difficult to find- no signs at all, our driver had to ask a number of people where it was!
We booked the curry and rice lunch which includes a guided tour of the gardens. One of the highlights of our trip.

A Geoffrey Bawa gem
ChinaFanN... [TA], , New York, NY

Atmospheric and authentic. Do not miss - - a tour of the grounds is not free, but well worth the money and lasts about an hour. (Caveat: you cannot go inside the rooms.)

jenkle89 [TA], ,

Beautiful Gardens and amazing architecture! We had a really good guide who gave us lots of information on the grounds and took time to explain everything. Definately worth a visit!

gwynnethv [TA], , cambridge

Fabulous gardens and house - they have a number of rooms if you want to stay but it is quite isolated. Lots of mosquitos so take your insect repellant with you. Pity they don't have a pool for guests. We had lunch which was excellent. Highly recommended for a visit with lunch not necessarily to stay over.

Lunaganga...a magical haven
Gary S [TA], ,

An oasis of exquisite beauty and peace. Nestled amongst tranquil gardens and eclectic works of statuary and pottery are the main House and 6 Guest Houses of Sri Lankan Architect and Designer Geoffrey Bawa. Of all the Architects of Sri Lanka, Bawa stands out as the first among equals. He has created from an old Rubber Plantation a couple of hours south of Colombo an Estate and weekend Retreat to take your breath away. You will find Pavillions of his own creation, in his own style of 'tropical modernism', to sit and read, meditate and reflect surrounded by statuary and other works of Art by renowned Artists and friends. Water features, flights of garden steps lead you to magical spaces and places.
Of all the places visited in SL this was the highlight by far...a Must See...

Gorgeous and Peaceful
Siuzie [TA], , London, United Kingdom

If you love art, architecture and history, or if simply you get swooned over by beauty this is the place for you. Don't expect it to be perfectly updated, it is run by architects and not hoteliers, you won't be coming here for a corporate experience. You will come here to immerse yourself in history and beauty. The food is outstanding and you will get to enjoy it in a great setting. The manager will answer all your questions and even more. The staff is attentive and polite. I could stay here a month. It is perfect for thinking, writing, reading, walking and of course for exploring your surroundings.

Amazing gardens
cirocco [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

Geoffrey Bawa really exploited the level differences of the land to great advantage and created his villas with very different views and settings, and each of them equally private. The tree collection is also diverse, great excursion for plant lovers as well!

Bawa Architecture at its best
ThH_FFM [TA], , Frankfurt, Germany

What you have learned about Geoffrey Bawa's architecture here you can experience how it fits into the landscape.

Geoffrey Bawa's garden
Ulf-Gourm... [TA], , Alhaurin el Grande, Spain

It was a pleasant afternoon wandering around in this amazing garden.
We were lucky enough to get one of Geoffrey Bawa's relatives as a guide.
He told us about the architect's life, were on the site he was cremated and his ashes were scattered in different places in the garden.
He also had a lot of knowledge about trees and plants that we saw. Well worth a visit.

Beautiful setting
Bolsm [TA], , London, United Kingdom

We stayed a night at Lunuganga and really enjoyed the gorgeous setting. It's in the middle of nowhere so for us, one night was enough. We also enjoyed a lovely Sri Lankan lunch, nice selection. The perfect place to enjoy a peaceful and quite time.

Beautiful Garden
Bonniebea... [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

Lovely wander through beautiful grounds with lovely buildings offering views over the lawns. Excellent guide who showed us all the highlights of the gardens including the amazing sculptures.

Poka D [TA], ,

Value for money!!!! Went here for a few nights as it was so good! Has a lovely bar upstairs well worth a visit! :)

Must see if in Bentota
Shisho007 [TA], ,

Breathtaking and seren.
The long tour through the garden, learning about Bawa's work, the whole morning was a great change of breath from the beachs of Bentota.

A must if interested in Geoffrey Bawa architecture
Emanpee [TA], , Sydney, Australia

This is a property developed by Geoffrey Bawa as his country residence. Large grounds with very interesting buildings. We were with a group on a pre arranged visit, don't just turn up or you may find you are not welcome and without a tour guide I doubt you would find it. It is also has B&B accommodation which would make for an interesting one night stay. Our approximately one hour tour of gardens and building exteriors was not extremely educational but was interesting for getting a small feel for Bawa himself and making sure we covered the property's main highlights. I assume only those staying overnight would be allowed free unguided walks around the property.

Stunning landscape
ebaypoet [TA], , San Francisco, California

I found the Lunuganga to be breath-taking and experienced a 1 hour tour of the exterior of the property. Highly recommended for those with an interest in architecture and landscape.

Very interesting
DaveStirl... [TA], , Stirling

If you are interested in the impact of the architect Bawa or even if you like beautiful and original gardens then this will keep you interested for half a day. It is about 15 mins in a three wheeler but it is best to book. You get a guide and I would recommend their lunch not just because of the food but it is served in the house under an ancient Frangipani tree with a wonderful view of the gardens. It is a fascinating and peaceful place. It is run by a charitable trust to maintain the history of the estate.

One Mans dream
dsnelson1... [TA], , Glasgow

It's always an hon our to be allowed into the head & heart of a creative person. You are definitely in their dream and vision here with a real spence of Sri Lanka, the garden is part of the building is part of the landscape, all shared with nature & with nature trying to reclaim it so soon after it's left the page of design!
A must see at any season and a real insight into a colonials view of his environment!
Simply natural, but created !

Architectural buffs will appreciate this more
KY T [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

I feel that this is a place more for people who are into architecture and can appreciate the philosophy behind and thought that went into the construction of this sprawling gardens and the accompanying buildings.

Unfortunately, I do not have a deep interest in architecture. The grounds and gardens looked to me like they have been deliberately allowed to grow wild. In the gardens, seats were encrusted in moss and ponds were clouded up with weeds. Certain buildings on the grounds, such as a pavilion, also looked neglected and close to ruins.

Visitors on the guided tour are not allowed to go into the house and other rooms that now function as guest rooms, but from what I could see from the outside, the interiors looked pretty run down as well.

I suppose this place does carry a certain degree of charm, but you have to be in the know to appreciate it.

There were also plenty of mosquitoes so remember to bring insect repellent or risk being eaten alive. The good news is, our guide assured us that the mosquitoes there are wild jungle mosquitoes that do not carry the dengue virus.

Bawa's weekend retreat.
qtek [TA], , Markinch, United Kingdom

We visited last week 28th May.

Excellent gardens and buildings.

guide was very helpful and informative.

Unfortunately we had very heavy rain as we arrived via the 'tank testing' lane and had to sit in the tuk-tuk for 20 mins.

We were bitten alive by the mosquitos !

But all in all a great place to visit.

John & Thea Ballantyne

Beautiful property
Nivedita... [TA], , Hyderabad, India

This is the property of Mr Geoffrey Bawa, an Architect well known for his vernacular style of Architecture. The Lunuganga is an estate of his father, where he has experimented with styles and was his muse. It was very sad to see the property not maintained properly. a huge sum is charged for the tour of the property along with a guide. takes about 1 - 1hr 30 mins to complete the tour. It is not a very tourist friendly place, as there is no facility even to get a glass of water. no brochures of any books available about the place.
There are 6 rooms available for overnight stay. the views from every corner are superb. The approach road is really bad, hardly exists, so a small car is the best bet, otherwise you will need to take a tuk-tuk ( auto in India) who fleeces the visitors . the per night rent too is exorbitant.
but all said & done is a must visit destination for the architects. it does not have a barrier free design as the whole 15 acres are in a terrace formation & any person with physical problem shall not be in a position to negotiate the "n" number of steps.

Lovely Garden
sustravel... [TA], , Portland, Oregon

Be sure to get a guide, it is worth it so understand how and why the gardens were built. Lovely setting, lovely grounds.

Rainbow20... [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

What a great place! It is really worth visiting. The garden is nice with many water features. The tour guide was great and very informative. The Bells seem to be a motif in the garden. Each bell has a different sound... the trees are really lush though Bentota was a bit dry around that time. The garden offers accommodation. But I didn't plan to stay there, and I wish I did... The whole visit was great except for one thing. The driver who took me was asked to stay outside. The drivers take the time to bring tourists, to ask and find the place. They should not be treated like that. They could be let in the property and offered a place to wait for the clients. Maybe the managers of the garden have a reason for this, I just didn't see the reason behind it. In all cases, it was a great tour, and really worth it.

There is a massage place near the garden, Bentota Ayurveda Center. It would nice to plan a whole morning for both.

Magical Lunuganga Garden
Alison F [TA], , London

A privilege to stay at this georgeous location for 3 nights. Sitting on the terrace at sunset overlooking the view of the lake and listening to bird song and monkey calls was a joy. Stayed in the glass house and everything was like a film set from the book, with all the original furniture. No mod cons, or wifi which added to the experience of total seclusion. Walking around the grounds at dawn was very special. A quiet boat trip on the lake watching birds and fisherman. It's just a tuk tuk ride away to the amazing Brief Garden, started in the late '20s by Geoffrey's brother Bevis, the artist (and bon vivant) full of lush tropical planting.
As very few people stay the food is cooked to order and the Sri Lankan rice and curry dishes were delicious and plentiful!
The Manager is also starting a deer herd from rescued Hog deer, which are just georgeous and being hand reared before being released on to an island in the lake.

Realising a dream
Kandyman2... [TA], , Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom

I'd known about this garden for some years and have a book at home in the UK on this and the companion garden at Brief (which we didn't have time to visit). But the reality was even better than expected. The guide was very informative and has a real feel for the garden and its creator, the late great Geoffrey Bawa.

Geoffrey Bawa
Djumbe [TA], , Vancouver

Lunuganga is a "must see" if you are in the area. The buildings and landscaping are beautiful. The location is about 6kms from Bentota and 500Rps will pay for a tuk tuk to take you there and return. Our guide was very informative and the one hour tour did not seem rushed.

Gardens and home of Geoffrey Bawa
Dreesmens [TA], , Almelo, The Netherlands

This is the home of the famous architect Geoffrey Bawa. It is a great example of how he designed complete environments with buildings and gardens / surroundings. It's in the middle of the nature where you can experience peace and life at the optimum, just as he mentioned it.

It is possible to rent some of the apartments and buildings and enjoy the life.

okay garden
waterfall... [TA], , ella

I guess we were under impressed. Sure it was something to do in the area and while I would recommend having a walk around the gardens I wouldn't have too high an expectation.

Lovely gardens
Betula103 [TA], , Australia

This was the country retreat of the late Geoffrey Bawa a well known and apparently eccentric architect. There are expansive gardens, tall trees and a lake.In addition to the main house there is a separate reading pavilion and another which used to be a cowshed! Our group of 28 had a wonderful catered formal lunch at two large tables on the lawns near the house.

respect to mr. bawa for creating this place
Gautham_S... [TA], , Gurgaon, India

u run out of words to explain this place. its hard to choosen between saying its like heaven and it is heaven. this place needs a courageous heart to be seen though. the whole garden being set in a very tropical location with a lake within it is home to tall trees, and other flora and fauna that the feeble hearted like me should not speak off. and to my shock, i saw snakes and longish lizards (about 3 or 4 feet and dangerous if attacked) were spotted by me. yes, once has to expect this in such a large green expance.

all that aside the walk around and the views are breathtaking. from walking under tall trees to viewing the lake from close range to viewing it from far off on other parts. the guide patiently takes you around and explain. he also will casually tell u creepy crawlies are there. thats expected and once mentally you have crossed that you can be rest assured to be blown away with this slice of heaven.

if in bentota, see it. it will add perspective to a lot in life. the importance of nature in our lives gets reemphsized.

just feel in love with it. avoid taking kids there cos they may run around which you dont want.

Simply beautiful
j e [TA], , Kuwait City, Kuwait

Fabulous gardens, didn't realise you could stay there... we had a tour around the gardens which lasted around 45 minutes and was excellent

questions... [TA], , Los Angeles

It was beautiful. I didn't sleep there but just visited. The service was good and the place was beautiful.

Influential architect
DaveStirl... [TA], , Stirling

This is well worth a visit. We spent a morning there and had lunch as well. It was fascinating to see what the influences were on the most significant architect ever in SL. Phone for booking.

Best hideout in the country
Sanka W [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Without a doubt this is the best kept secret garden in the country. This is the perfect getaway for me. I love how rustic & silent the entire place is. The true essence of Geoffrey is still there in this estate.

I have only stayed for one night here, but I'm definitely going back for some more.

Paul G [TA], , London, United Kingdom

On a grander scale than his brother's garden at Brief, Lunuganga is a marvellous testament to the inspired vision of Geoffrey Bawa. Many of the island's hotels and public buildings are living symbols of his genius, but none more so than this spectacularly ethereal landscape.

Liitle peace of tranquility
JillonTou... [TA], , Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Visited here with our 11 year old son. Enjoyed the tour of the garden which was beautiful. We had hoped to wander round on our own but you have to go with the guide - who was very good and happy to indulge our slow pace. We wished we had booked in for lunch which would have given us extra time to enjoy the wonderful setting. We got a tuk tuk from the bus station in Bentota and did start to wonder where we were being taken as he drove off down the little road! He insisted on waiting for us while we went for the tour - which was probably a good thing as there was no one else passing by!

Bawa brothers and Lanagunga
moggie68 [TA], , Blackpool, United Kingdom

vast area to walk around on a larger scale than Brief Garden. Peaceful and amazing. Astounded at the scenery. Luckily i only had to share the groudns with another couple who i only saw once. The guide was very informative and friendly. I had booked online to have my lunch there and was not disappointed with the vast range and quality of food given. Definitely a must for tourist and you dont have to be of the architect background to appreciate the beauty and design that has been created. Worth a visit and i managed to visit both Brief garden and Lanagunga in one afternoon.

Geoffrey Bowa famed architect's home and gardens
busygarde... [TA], , USA

We made reservations to view the gardens and have lunch at Lunuganga the home of noted Sri Lanka architect, Geoffrey Bowa. We toured the extensive grounds with a guide who gave us a brief history. The house (which was not available to be toured) sits atop a knoll overlooking a meandering river and although it was raining, the setting was quite attractive. The extensive grounds proved varied in elevation and settings but, were not interesting in plantings or landscape design. A Sri Lanka curry lunch was served, which included 8 to 10 dishes in addition to red and white rice. This put to shame the western style lunch also ordered. All in all an interesting afternoon, but rather overpriced.

Good half-day out
Hatter10... [TA], , Delhi

Well maintaned gardens and decent guide to take us around. The tour takes about an hour and a half. Unfortunately the house was not open to the public which was a shame as it's sort of what the garden is all about, but on saying that I'm sure that those who rent the house are subsidising the garden maintenance so no hard feelings there. Definitely worth a visit if gardens are your sort of thing.

A wonderful experience
dee w [TA], , Havelock North, New Zealand

Wonderful setting and the best Sri Lankan food we tasted. You can take a tuc tuc and you need a couple of hours to eat and walk around the grounds and house. Bookings essential.

Calm & Serene
Ahmed Z [TA], , Bangalore, India

So may islands where you are in the midst of nature. Only you need one full day to see lunuganga. Would recommend all travellers to not miss this experience

A beautiful, imaginative garden
AdoptedLo... [TA], , London

Tours should be booked in advance and to protect the privacy of the hotel guests, visitors must be accompanied by a member of staff. Our tour was informative and unhurried and despite us grumbling initially about not being allowed to wander around ourselves, we very much enjoyed the morning we spent here. Tours are 1,250 rupees per person. Bawa's garden is stunning and imaginative.

Richard M [TA], , Alderney, United Kingdom

You can only visit the gardens but not the house . Our ( mandatory ) guide was excellent and was done at our rather slow pace . Gardens excellen , but some of the statues were a bit tacky !

Awesome - even for those of us who are clueless about design
jfpower [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

What an eye-opener! We were orginally going to turn around and leave when we were told the price, but I'm so glad we stayed. The guided tour was excellent, really informative about bawa and his deisgn ideas. And what a beautiful place he created, using the natural landsape features to their full. And up-cycling so much old "junk" in such clever ways. It was a great hour or so, maybe even longer. And worth the pricetag for entry too. Recommended (stay nearby at the lovely Haus Berlin if you want a great hotel to base yourself from in this area, too).

10mungbea... [TA], , New Delhi, India

We reserved a table for lunch and were not expecting a beautiful table for three set in a large lawn overlooking the river with no one in sight. We opted for the curry lunch option which involved some seven or so curries including a sublime cucumber one and two types of rice. Very much a good value.

Great landscaping
lisachamo... [TA], , Chamonix, France

Really interesting visit. The houses themselves are not very inspiring, and if I stayed at the hotel I think I would be disappointed, at the price. The grounds, though, are a proper clever bit of landscaping. Beautiful, and well worth the tutus ride out on the bumpy dirt track to get there.

A unique experience
DimitryK [TA], , Vinnitsa

Not as romantic as Brief, much larger, organized and ordered - but nevertheless great. With gorgeous architecture, English lawns and marvelous views. Which one is better - is a matter of taste - but it's definitely a must-to-see.
The guide though, comparing to the Brief, was of a little help, if not to say more.

Take the Tour
Wiener Sä... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The tour is worthwhile, and this place is just 4km from the Bentota National Resort. The sprawling 17 acre estate, now a 6-suite boutique hotel, is maintained by the Bawa Trust, which is headed by architect Channa Daswatte and socialite/political elite family member Sunethra Bandaranaike. The great man spent most of his life, about 67 years here, and spent about 4 years landscaping it. This is a must for architecture students in particular.

Spectacular place
Simoninri... [TA], , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Wonderful and tranquil place. Would love to return and stay a few nights

Serene retreat
Waffy03 [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Ideal place to spend a relaxed day walking around the beautifully laid out gardens

In a word: WOW.
Tassie_St... [TA], , Hobart

We set out from our hotel in Bentota to Lunuganga, as recommended by a friend of a friend. Lunuganga is the home of Geoffrey Bawa – and forgive me if I am preaching to the well-informed –an architect that pretty well defined Sri Lankan architecture of the 20th Century. We negotiated with a tuk-tuk driver to take us there, but he was fairly convinced that we were making a mistake, and that we should be going to the Brief Gardens, which he happily told us was where all the other tourists went. A place where all the other tourists go is a big red warming sign to me, and so we urged him on to Lunuganga, to be taken up narrow unpaved roads without so much as a single solitary sign to indicate that we were on the right track. We arrived at a huge iron gate, with a sign that ominously stated: "Private - No Unauthorised Entry", and absolutely no indicators that this was indeed Geoffrey Bawa's famed estate. Anyway, back to the story at hand, and I was quite concerned at this stage that we'd been led astray and were about to be target of some scam by the tuk-tuk driver. But, like in some Tim Burton movie, there was a single rope in the middle of the double gates, and attached to the rope was a bell that the tuk-tuk driver pulled hard on. After about a minute a handsome man appeared dressed in what was obviously his house outfit of blue singlet and short dhoti. He informed us that the estate was open for inspection, but not the house - and the cost would be 1250 rupees each, about $AUD10 each. This sounded relatively expensive, but on the basis of the aforementioned friend of a friend's recommendation, we were loathe to let the opportunity pass.

So in we went and were asked to take a seat in an outdoor undercover area. The man disappeared and came back 2 minutes later with an invoice for the 2,500 rupees. We gave him a larger amount and so he disappeared for 4 or 5 minutes this time, and then appeared with the change, but also wearing a new outfit - a resplendent white shirt and matching white sarong. He was going to personally show us around the estate. All of a sudden the 2,500 rupees was an absolute bargain. He was very friendly and reasonably knowledgeable about the estate. We were only allowed into one building on the property, a two level residence made entirely of recycled materials, which was nothing short of amazing. The furniture and bric-a-brac stored within, equally so. We had an opportunity to see inside a number of the other buildings through the windows and the furniture and art were to die for. We walked around the estate for an hour with our guide and it was a delightful experience. Well, well worth venturing past the "Private - No Unauthorised Entry" sign.

Post-script: We have since found out that the tours are supposed to be at 10am and 3pm only. I don’t whether we were lucky (as we were outside of these times), or that is no longer the case. It may pay to call Lunuganga first just to be sure.

Must see - the height of charm, culture, beauty and design
Curzongir... [TA], , London, United Kingdom

I visited Lunuganga a year ago and I have been dying to go back. I finally had a chance when I visited Sri Lanka on business and had a morning to spare. It has such charm and you can almost feel the presence of the great Geoffrey Bawa in the architecture and landscaping. If you have time go to see Brief Gardens that belonged to his brother Bevis.

Great visit and Lunch
Catcherbl... [TA], , Ballymena, United Kingdom

We wife arranged this visit while in the UK before we traveled to Sri Lanka. Took a took took to the house of Geoffrey Bawa from our hotel in Bentota. Given a personal tour by one of the staff of the wonderful gardens. It was very hot but the gardens were so lush and full of colour. Afterwards we were given a massive and lovely lunch which we had pre ordered in the UK. So much food and so many different types of curries! If you go and you should get the jack fruit curry!! Brilliant.

High Point of our Trip to Sri Lanka
GoggleEye... [TA], , New Delhi, India

This is a home made by Geoffrey Bawa, the most famous of Sril Lanka's architects. It is absoultely magical. It was recommended by a friend whose opinion I value and that got vindicated by this visit. We went for a pre-arranged lunch. It was pricey but worth the experience in every way. In case you plan on being in Bentota and want a leisurely experience, this is certainly it. Don't go there if you are looking for excitement. Even our children-15 years and 9 years who are extremely discriminating, had good things to say. I can't think of a stronger endorsement.

Its worth checking out...
dxbtravel... [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Given what I had heard of Geoffrey Bawa, I expected this place to be some magical wonderland. It was just a case of expectations mismanaged. The estate is still beautiful, and instructive for those who like architecture.

Despite the pricey entrance (they are clearly targeting only Western tourists), they did not have a proper tour guide when we visited. Check in advance, and make sure there is a qualified guide when you visit.

A must
IntrepidH... [TA], , Estepa, Spain

This is a unique garden. Actually more a section of landscape. And it is designed by one of Sri Lanka's legends, Geoffrey Bawa. It's beautiful. Tip - spray yourself liberally with mosquito repellent before visiting.

Truly delightful
Trunkix4 [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

We only visited Lunuganga for lunch and are delighted that are did. To enjoy the views, the breeze and the gardens while sampling a very tasty Sri Lankan curry was a genuine pleasure. The service was attentive yet discreet. I would recommend that for anybody who stays in Bentota, a visit to Lunuganga is a must. We were also pleasantly surprised when the bill arrived, apart from being a wonderful experience, lunch at Lunuganga also represents excellent value for money.

Lunuganga is a delight.
johannaau... [TA], , australia

Lunuganga is a larger garden than brief, and here one is escorted by a guide through the garden. It very well maintained and one may stay in one of the six houses on the estate. The structure appears firmer than that of Brief, and long expanses of lawn invite one to stroll through the estate.
Teas and coffees could be bought, and were served on outdoor tables with long views of the river.
The house was 'out of bounds' and only resident guests were allowed in.
My husband preferred this garden, I loved Brief. Visit both, they are well worth the visit, and the story of the Bawa brothers, told to us by the Garden of Brief host was fascinating.

Would love to have stayed here!
worktotra... [TA], , Perth, Australia

We only had the one opportunity to visit and it was fully booked for lunch however they were very happy to give us a guided tour of the gardens, I was so impressed that I have just ordered the hardback book Lunuganga room Amazon (too heavy to carry home). Don't miss this sensational property, you really feel like Geoffrey Bawa is still there!

Pouring rain gave a different twist
EE_on_the... [TA], , East Anglia, UK

Wonderful gardens and location, especially for those interested in lanscape architecture. There were probably over 2 inches of rain during our 90 minute visit - but one could still see the attractions of the place!

Nice Lagoon.
Bent0ta [TA], , Bentota, Sri Lanka

Very beautiful bird watching by catamaran. And lagoon trip.

A magical escape
Trisand [TA], , Sydney, Australia

We visited Lunuganga for lunch in 2009 and promised that next time we returned to Sri Lanka we would spend a night. Our visit this time around did not disappoint as we immersed ourselves in Bawa's great masterpiece.

Lunuganga is an architectural and landscaping jewel and it is so serene and peaceful to walk around the estate in the early morning or evening.

The estate managers kindly organised a sunset cruise on the lake on a boat that they promised "was safer than the titanic". The views were unsurpassed and we came back with a camera full of photos and beautiful lotus flowers picked fresh from the lake.

The food at Lunuganga is delicious, do try the Sri Lankan curry menu, you won't regret it.

If you are after a beautiful and inspiring space to enjoy some downtime, you can't go past Lunuganga.

Exciting property!
Koni21 [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Wonderfull gardens and a place to relax! In every corner you still feel the presence of the famous architect Bewis Bawa!

Wonderful gardens and a lovely cup of tea
Janis O [TA], , Hornchurch, United Kingdom

If you are staying in the Bentota area please visit the gardens. The gardens are set out in a wonderful way and the guide explains the history of the Bawa brothers.

A must for those who love architecture and gardens
baliboy_1... [TA], , Melbourne, Australia

Many will know of Geoffrey Bawa, arguably Sri Lanka's best and most famous architect. Lunuganga was his home and is a fine place to visit to see his work - in the design of both the homes and gardens of this wonderful estate.
The property relies on donations and entry fees from interested visitors for its upkeep - and this must have been very challenging during the prolonged civl war years. It is a tribute to the dedicated staff that both the buildings and gardens are as well preserved as they are.
We visited Lunuganga twice, once to see the house and gardens, the second time for lunch. Both were memorable visits. The tour guides at Lunuganga are enthusiastic and knowledgable and you get to know a lot about Geoffrey Bawa, his philosophy of design and eccentricities - for example his love of black and white not only is found in the design if the various houses, it also inspired his choice of cattle and dogs for the property - Friesians and Dalmatians.
You are bound to enjoy the sweeping gardens and fascinating intimate architectural spaces. But take it from me it is a much more rewarding experience if you book ahead for lunch. The 8 curries served by Bawa's original old cook were without question the best we ate during our stay in Sri Lanka, and as we had the patio overlooking the nearby waters all tom ourself, it felt as if we were Bawa's private guests (even if he is no longer with us). Go to Lunuganga to enjoy the gardens and help preserve this wonderful piece of Sri Lankan history.

Excellent lunch in remarkable gardens
Seawall A [TA], , Adelaide

The lunch we had here was some of the best Sri Lankan fare on our 2 week trip. The view out to the river and the gardens are just magnificent. I wish we had known about the hotel, the rooms are stylish and full of beautiful art and sculptures. Highly recommended.

This is a must see House and Garden - an amazing Experience.
YakkaAust... [TA], , Australia

The Gardens of
‘LUNUGANGA’ Bentota – Sri Lanka

The homes of the late Mr. Geoffrey Bawa

If one visits Sri Lanka, one must go to Bentota and visit the house & gardens of Geoffrey Bawa at ‘Lunuganga’. Geoffrey was a world famous ‘award winning’ architect whose buildings continue to inspire all who visit them. He has only recently died.

Geoffrey’s skills set a “world class” standard of style. In his day, Geoffrey and his brother Bevis, were the centre of Ceylon social life of the day and were frequently hosts to royalty, movie stars and the social and artistic elite.

Geoffrey Bawa’s exotic hotels can be seen throughout the island (you can even do a Bawa hotel tour) and have given sublime pleasure to many. Just before he died, Geoffrey was honored with a visit from the Prince Charles of England, who visited ‘Lunuganga’, giving this architect the distinction that he deserved.

“Lunuganga” is without doubt, one of the great gardens of this world. This magnificent property is grand in scale and reflects the architectural skills for which Geoffrey Bawa was justly famous. The garden is immense and the house a wonderful example of ‘grand comfort’. Both house and garden are beautifully cared for and the property is set overlooking the Bentota River.

The large commanding house is situated on a hill overlooking the Bentota River with distant views, reminiscent of the grand estates of England - it is a property not to be missed for those interested in architecture and style.

An added bonus to the visit to ‘Lunuganga’ is that you can have Luncheon there if you book ahead. Luncheon is served on the verandah overlooking the river. Wonderful waiters clad in traditional sarongs serve it in the most discrete style.

Normally a 3-course lunch is served so a ‘snooze’ is essential after lunch before the tour of the property. Days here are usually hot so a tour in the afternoon is desirable.

The property has 3 Bungalows, which can be rented as accommodation for those wishing to stay in sublime comfort. Each Bungalow is surrounded, by the superb landscaped garden.

You need to telephone ahead to make a reservation to visit and to avoid disappointment – both Bawa properties are a ‘world class’ experience and worthy of support.

Visitors to ‘Lunuganga’ should check with their accommodation house in Bentota for details or you can telephone the ‘Bawa Trust’ in Colombo for further details – 1143-37335 – Prior reservation are essential for visiting this property.

Bentota is an easy drive from Colombo and a great day out. Most Colombo hotels will arrange a car and driver for you as well as an inspection of both properties – it is a truly memorable day out. Bentota is a very pretty village and the beach is beautiful- you can get there by rickety (but very cheap) train from Colombo but it is probably preferable to get off the train at the station prior to reaching Bentota as often trains do not stop there – so be warned.


The house where Geoffrey Bawa lived in
tabiatama [TA], , kanagawa yokosuka

There is it in the place that I ran by a mini-taxi from Bentota for 15 minutes.Lunuganga turns around with a special guide.It was a very wonderful,peaceful place.Admission is 1,500 rupee per person.When I went, the reservation was not necessary.

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