What is available at Merchant House to enhance your stay?
Activities by the sea
Less than 8 mins walk from Merchant House, there are two beach coves to choose from, the first can get quite choppy and is surf-able with great snorkeling, the second a shaded swimmable cove protected by a natural breakwater making it safe to swim and you can also snorkel at. You will be able to see Angelfish, Damsels, Parrotfish, Sergent’s, Bannerfish and a lot more sea life, at dusk, starting from about 5 pm to sundown, you can see turtles popping their head up while they are feeding. It is a great spot to have a cold beer and watch the sun set.
Ahangama is known for its surfing, there are many surfing beaches along the coast all with amazing breaks. Midigama village is about 1 I’m from us and has surf shops, and cafes catering for the surfing community, if you ever needed to ask any advice on where to go and where to avoid there are plenty of surfers there to ask. You can also rent surfboards here for your stay or by the day
Weligama bay which is 15 mins tuk-tuk is a great surfing beach for beginners and small kid’s, plus you can watch them with their surf instructors from the comfort of a Beach side cafe! W15 on the beach in Welligama, the sister hotel of W15 Escape a few meters down the lane from us, is our favorite here.
Less than 10 minutes tuk-tuk ride from Merchant House you can indulge in some kayaking and Stand up Paddle Board around the backwaters, take in the stunning birdlife and nature. Ask our house manager Jazmin for booking recommendations.
If you prefer to dive, then head to Unawatuna beach which is a 25-minute drive from Merchant House – there a numerous diving school’s all PADI certified.
Feeling even more adventurous head to Mirissa Beach and take in a whale watching tour, spotting humpbacks, blue whales and many more, the whale watching season is from November to April. The drive is to Mirissa Harbour is less than 25 mins away.
Less than 15 mins tuk-tuk ride there are a few turtle sanctuaries and hatcheries which are always really interesting for a visit.
Landmarks and Temples
Galle Fort is a 25 min drive from Merchant House. The fort is a must see and is UNESCO listed. While you at the fort there are many things to see and do including many museums, antique shops jewelry shops, fashion and interior stores, hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, banks and ATMs. The Fort is steeped in history, we recommend going for a walk around the ramparts on your own or arrange a guided walking tour.
The Fort is also next to the famous Galle International Cricket Stadium.
Kathaluwa Temple is a 15 min tuk-tuk ride. The temple is off a beaten track. Filled with amazing wall paintings surrounding the inner room of the temple. Going back hundreds of years and slowly being restored, they tell the story of the Buddha. You will be guided around the temple by a local monk.
Handunogoda Tea Plantation famous for their ‘Virgin White tea’ is 5 km away from Merchant House.
Koggola lake is a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride away. Take one of the lake tours around the lake and discover many of Sri Lanka’s famous spices. There are even spice gardens along the lake you can stop off at and either browse at the incredible array of local spices or take a guided tour of the garden and see the plethora of herbs and spices grown locally that can cure almost anything and have been used in ancient Ayurvedic treatments for millennia as well as very modern medicine. They are fascinating and of course some elixirs are always able to be purchased there and then.
At Merchant House we have 4 bicycles for your use. Take the bicycles on a tour and discover the variety of fascinating things to see literally on a short loop around the house, they include local village life, rice paddies, ancient monasteries, ancient colonial villages with beautiful old houses.
See if you can spot the “Big 5” when you are exploring around the House and it’s surrounds; you will have to tick off Monkeys, Mongoose, Peacocks, Water Monitors, and Blue Kingfishers to get all 5, you may even get to 10 local wild animals, it’s perfectly possible!
If you prefer a longer guided bike tour, this can be arranged with a local bicycle tour company which specialises in tailoring the length experience and ages of your group to a bespoke guided tour just for you.
There are many places to eat and drink around Merchant House. We highly recommend the following places all of which are less than 10 mins away
W15 Escape – go to W15 which is a 5-minute walk from the house, grab yourself a sunset cocktail and take in the beautiful sea and sunset.
Mosvold Villa, is an 8 min tuk-tuk ride from the house. They have the most delicious seafood platters and it’s one of our favorite places for lunch and dinner. You can even camp for the day At Mosvold if you are having lunch there you can grab some sun loungers and have a day at the beach there too, but you must have lunch or dinner there!
Café Ceylon, is also a 8 min tuk-tuk from Merchant House. Café Ceylon do amazing Sri Lankan curries and even do outdoor movies sometime during the year, great cocktails and food.
The Fortress Hotel is a 15 Minute Tuk-Tuk ride. They have an international menu and impressive wine list. This is more on the pricey side but great for kids with a great poolside snack menu and also for fine dining if that’s what you prefer.
Spice Lane is a 4 minute tuk-tuk ride it’s a great little cafe which serves yummy food and delicious breakfasts in a chic courtyard.
Midigama another local village, to the south of us has very relaxed surfing style cafes and beach shacks to eat local food and have a casual beer at too.
There are many Yoga school’s around the house, you can either visit or arrange for a private lesson at Merchant House.
Around Merchant House there are many spa’s that offer Ayurvedic massage treatments. We can also arrange for the massage therapists to come to you.
Jazmin also has very good contacts in the massage community, and her partner Franco is a qualified masseur, who specializes in a very specific treatment range, speak to Jazmin for ideas on massage and where to go and who to use, no one knows better than she does!