Columnists,Tina Edward Gunawardhana,TRAVEL & CUISINE l by Tina Edward Gunawardhana l 7 May 2019     - 256

Rock Star Luxury! The Rock Villa, Part of the Rosyth Estate House is a modern villa built on a rock face which defines contemporary living

Blending the old with the new, the Rosyth Estate House is a combination of a 1926 colonial planter’s bungalow and a 2019 state of the art modern villa built on a rock face.

Set in a 62 acre private tea and rubber estate in Kegalle the original bungalow boasts an interesting history. Records retained at the Rosyth Estate House reveal that the house and estate was originally part of a 350 acre estate developed by Aollin Ondaatje a local Kegalle resident whose great nephew is the well known author Michael Ondaatje. With the passage of time Rosyth changed hands many times before being acquired by Dr. Richard Spittal a well known Sri Lankan doctor who was often referred to as the ‘Surgeon of the Wild’. During the land reform process in the 1970’s the estate was broken up before it came in to the ownership of the Marrikkar family.

Today the estate produces tea and rubber along with fruit and spices. Its current owners, descendants of the Marrikkar family who are in travel and tourism have lovingly restored the old bungalow to its former glory. In a brave new move they have also used a solitary rock on the estate on top of which they have constructed a fantastic villa with a plunge pool.

Known collectively as the Rosyth Estate House, the complex provides guests with the opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of rural Sri Lanka. While retaining its colonial features, they offer a boutique hotel service. It is evident that the owners, Farzana and Neil Dobbs have paid great attention to the interior using colourful furnishings with antique furniture and fittings.

The piece de resistance of the complex is the gravity defying Rock Villa. Situated a stone’s throw from the main house, the Rock Villa consists of the Rock master suite and interconnecting Banyan suite which extends over 226 square meters making it very spacious. The two suites can be offered independently or when combined, give guests exclusive use of the whole villa.

The Rock House is perfectly suited for two couples or a family of four adults. There is provision to accommodate two additional children if required.

Enjoying sweeping views of the estate below, the Rock master suite, enjoys the use of the central living room, plunge pool plus the master bedroom. Furnished with colonial style furniture, the room includes a super-king size four poster bed. A sliding door accesses the dressing area which opens up into the bathroom with double wash basins, a separate shower and the only room on property with a bathtub.

A door to the outside leads to a double out door shower located in a raised private courtyard, open to the sky.

The imposing central living room also has panoramic views overlooking the infinity plunge pool. This living and dining space can accommodate six guests with ease. The kitchenette within the room includes a sink, fridge, mini bar, microwave, complimentary soft drinks, tea and coffee making facilities including a Nespresso machine. A TV with limited satellite channels and a Bose sound bar are provided for entertainment. A small guest toilet is accessed from the living room.

The Rock Villa also has a mezzanine area which is furnished with a futon sofa bed, desk and a relaxation space with spectacular views of the surrounding hills. A computer is available for accessing the internet. This space is perfect for families looking for a third sleeping space within the villa. Whilst not a separate room, blackout blinds within the living room make this a flexible sleeping space.

There is also the Banyan suite which is accessed by its own front door. However if booked along with the Rock suite it interconnects through the living room. This large bedroom is furnished with colonial style furniture including an imposing antique four poster king size bed, plus a day bed. The panoramic full width windows open up on to a raised terrace with uninterrupted views over the valley.

Both the Rock Suite and Banyan Suite enjoy the use of the large Sky Terrace. Reached by an external staircase and situated above the Banyan Suite, the sky terrace is a perfect place to soak up the sun during the day, to take a sundowner drink, watching the valley below or to star gaze at night for which the owners have very thoughtfully provided a telescope.

Guests staying in the Rock Villa have full access to all of the other facilities of the main property including the living room, pool and spa.

The dining options are varied. Chefs use local ingredients, some from their garden to prepare delectable Sri Lankan cuisine from spicy local curries and coconut infused rice to other traditional local fare.

The staff at the complex are able to organize local nature treks, yoga classes, cookery classes and trips to local attractions.

Far from the maddening crowds and the hustle and bustle of cosmopolitan living, the Rock Villa at the Rosyth Estate offers discerning travellers a luxurious experience replete with all comforts.

The luxurious surrounds, exceptional Sri Lankan dining and unforgettable service combine to create an outstanding experience. The Rosyth Estate House sets world-class standards for a boutique plantation experience.


Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is the Features Editor of Hi!! Magazine. She writes on a variety of topics which include travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also a journalist for the Daily Mirror Life. An intrepid traveller, Tina likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno or email her at


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