Partner content: Olcote in Ceylon

Olcote in Ceylon is one of Sri Lanka’s best kept secrets

Thursday, June 13, 2019,
By Olcote In Ceylon
Olcote in Ceylon
Olcote in Ceylon
Photograph by Olcote in Ceylon

Olcote in Ceylon is one of Sri Lanka’s best kept secrets. This hidden treasure is a recently renovated private villa hotel, complete with private chefs and chauffeurs. Olcote is located just outside the bustling village of Madapatha, roughly 40 minutes from Colombo airport, and 20 minutes from the beach. If they wish, guests can take over the entire villa and have the eight luxury, five-star suites all to themselves for family gatherings, weddings, parties and events. The house also runs artist and wellness retreats for private groups.

Olcote in Ceylon has lush tropical gardens, games rooms for younger guests, a private gym, and relaxation and massage suites. There’s also a full Irish bar, something that Olcote’s jet-setting owner, Tess de Kretser, thought would go down well. Tess — who is also an art enthusiast and businesswoman — developed Olcote as a dream holiday destination, and when she’s not in Ireland, is busy in Sri Lanka with philanthropic work.

Each private suite at Olcote is named after areas of Dublin, a place that holds fond memories for Tess and her family. Each suite is totally different, but they all have stunning mosaic bathrooms, super-king size beds, air conditioning, Egyptian cotton sheets, sarongs, slippers and an array of Ayurvedic treats, all of which are complementary. There’s plenty of room for extra beds for children, who go completely free and all inclusive, so the villa is also ideal for families.

Food at Olcote in Ceylon is something of a marvel. Guests eat together at a magnificent, hand-carved table and the chef prepares dishes according to individual tastes. Picnics are also available on demand should guests wish to go to the beach, on an elephant safari, or on one of Olcote’s other bespoke excursions including cultural highlights like Sigurya Palace, and the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Galle Fort and the Golden Temple of Dambulla.

Olcote in Ceylon is a very special villa hotel in Sri Lanka — it offers guests the perfect base from which to explore the varied charms of the country. It’s ideal for everyone, from couples, families with young children and special occasion groups too.


The chance to bring home some bargain artwork — stroll around the leafy square beside the Art Museum in Colombo



• Eight suites
• Private airport transfers
• Personal chef
• Dedicated drivers
• Gym
• Spa
• Close to the beach


• Elephant excursions
• Tailored excursions


T: +353 85 773 1604


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