Lunuganga Country Estate

Lunuganga Country Estate Joins The Teardrop Hotels Collection, Sri Lanka

As of February 2020, Teardrop Hotels have also taken over the management of the world famous, Lunuganga, the country estate of renowned Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa.

From a 17th Century townhouse in the legendary Galle Fort to traditional tea planters’ bungalows high up in the hills, the Teardrop collection of beautifully renovated, historic properties are sewn together by three founding principles; genuine Sri Lankan hospitality; fabulous Sri Lankan and Asian fusion cuisine using locally sourced fresh ingredients; and experiences that put guests face to face with the warm and colorful sights and sounds of Sri Lanka, the teardrop island.

Teardrop Hotels is working closely with custodians of Lunuganga, The Bawa Trust, to revitalise the six-bedroom property as well as opening the three bedrooms of revered batik artist, Ena de Silva’s relocated home. In addition, garden tours within the 15 acres of gardens, will enhance the entire experience of the estate for a new generation of traveller. Lunuganga will join Teardrop Hotels’ portfolio of stylish properties dotted throughout the country, giving guests an insight into the country’s past, whilst delivering genuine Sri Lankan hospitality and authentic local cuisine.

To create a more all-round Teardrop Hotel’s feel, a Resident Manager will join the current team on the 1st July to enhance the service offering. Meanwhile, the F&B team is working to bring a taste of Teardrop Hotels signature local dishes ensuring that the menu is focused on authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. In addition, Teardrop Hotels’ team of destination experts is creating a series of experiences and excursions to incorporate visits to the world famous Bawa properties dotted around Sri Lanka, cooking demonstrations and trips to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort.


Lunuganga (meaning ‘Salt River’) was originally a derelict rubber estate, which resided on a promontory in the Dedduwa Lake on the island’s South Coast in Bentota. Over the course of 50 years, Bawa worked tirelessly to transform it into his own personal Garden of Eden and today it is regarded as a national treasure. The estate’s design includes elements of Italian Renaissance, English romantic and Japanese garden arts. Since Bawa’s death in 2003, the Lunuganga Trust have preserved the estate to ensure that visitors are able to experience Bawa’s vision just as he intended.

The property itself comprises a former 1930’s plantation bungalow, with six private guest suites located around the estate and is an ode to ‘tropical modernism’ – a blend of antique and modern furniture with traditional and contemporary art, which was a trademark of Bawa’s eclectic signature style. Common rooms include the sitting room and veranda in the main house where Bawa would enjoy tea each afternoon overlooking the lake. There is also the Garden Room, an airy structure constructed almost entirely out of recycled materials and plenty of other terraces and pavilions to encourage those wandering around the estate to stop and take in the surrounding vistas.


Teardrop Hotels will also launch the three bedroom house of Ena de Silva as part of the offering. A batik artist and Bawa’s dear friend, Ena de Silva and her husband Osmund commissioned Bawa to design her home in 1962, which went on to become a pivotal project in his life’s work as it was one of the first times he executed the joining of radically modern design with traditional Sri Lankan elements. In 2009, she decided to sell the house, which in turn prompted The Bawa Trust to move the property brick by brick from its location in Colombo to the Lunuganga Estate in Bentota. The house took three months to disassemble piece by piece and six years to rebuild, led by Architect Amila de Mel and conservation specialist Nilan Cooray. Everything from the frangipani tree in the front courtyard to the slabs of river stone remains just as it was in the original house.

A representative of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust commented: ‘We are very pleased to partner with Teardrop Hotels in the running of the Lunuganga Country Estate. They will bring in their very successful style of boutique hotel management and marketing to the property itself and training to the staff to provide guests with the unique experience of country estate living as envisioned by Geoffrey Bawa.’

Managing Director of Teardrop Hotels, Henry Fitch states ‘The spectacular location and stunning gardens are a masterclass in landscape design. Lunuganga is one of the most treasured properties in Sri Lanka and Teardrop Hotels is thrilled to have been entrusted with its management.’

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