The Lunuganga Estate was the country home of famous Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, younger brother to landscape architect Bevis Bawa. It began as a cinnamon estate during Sri Lanka’s time under the Dutch, before becoming a rubber plantation while under British rule. Geoffrey Bawa bought the 15 acres of land that encompassed the property of the Lunuganga Estate in 1948. He named the estate Lunuganga (meaning “Salt River” in the Sinhalese language), and he meticulously planned and experimented with the design of the spaces within the Estate during his lifetime; a journey that took place over a period of 50 years, until he fell ill in 1998. Upon his death in 2003, the Estate was left to the Lunuganga Trust and now operates as a country house boutique hotel near the Bentota coast.
The design of Lunuganga Estate draws inspiration from the stories of Sri Lanka’s history such as the country’s ancient water gardens, as well as showcasing elements of garden design from around the world including the Italian Renaissance, English landscaping designs and Japanese garden art. Classical statues and surreal sculptures alike are positioned all around the garden, delighting visitors in the same way that they once delighted their owner. Guests at the hotel can enjoy Sri Lankan food that is prepared in a similar manner to the way that it was prepared during Geoffrey Bawa’s time, as well as being able to partake in a variety of international menu options.