What is a Waluawa?

You may often see us use the terms walauwa or walawwa in our descriptions of large old houses. Walauwa is generally translated in to English as manor house but in reality Sri Lankan walauwas are typically much grander affairs originally being associated with members of the Royal Court in Kandy.

Walauwas vary in style, elegance and grandeur depending upon the financial resources of the individual families but most tend to incorporate aspects of traditional pre-colonial Ceylonese architecture, as well as Dutch and later colonial influences. Suffice to say, the waluawas that remain are beautiful buildings and amongst the most desirable homes in the country. Happily, some have been repurposed as boutique hotels giving us all the opportunity to experience their splendour, even if only for one night.