Where is it? South of Colombo on the west coast of Sri Lanka, at the 69km mark on Galle Road in the village of Induruwa. The villas stand about 5km south of the popular resort zone of Bentota. Why go to Induruwa? To avoid the noise, vehicle pollution and bustle of the island's busier tourist traps. Here you can spend quiet time on a 2km golden-brown beach with few people, relax in Sri Villas' infinity pool overlooking the ocean, visit tranquil gardens and enjoy the island's best seafood and vegetables, prepared just as you wish by Jaya, the villas' excellent cook. On Saturdays, the village hosts a pola, or market, just across the road. There is also a turtle hatchery nearby. What's the layout? The three villas were recently built according to plans laid down by the expatriate owners, who are based in Hong Kong and Singapore. The spacious, two-storey properties have high ceilings and can be booked separately or as a group. All have two bedrooms upstairs with en suite bathrooms and balconies, and two villas have at least one bedroom downstairs. Each villa has a large downstairs living area with stylish wooden furniture, shuttered doors that open to provide striking sea views and oversized dining tables for family or group meals. Cushioned deckchairs sit beside the infinity pool and the beach is 20 steps away. Who goes there? Sri Villas was spared the full impact of the 2004 tsunami and suffered little damage. It reopened on November 1 and has proved popular with couples, families and groups looking for an upmarket alternative to beach resorts. Anything else we should know? It may sound like a cliche, but the seven friendly members of staff who cook at, service and clean Sri Villas make the place special. One worked in Hong Kong and speaks Cantonese, and the rest speak good English. They will assist you in planning activities and quietly disappear when you want some time to yourself. How do I get there? Frequent visitors to Sri Lanka know what conditions on the roads are like: crazy. The journey to Induruwa takes about 90 minutes and it is best to have Sri Villas arrange a driver to meet you at the airport, although most drivers hired in Colombo, for about $225, will be able to find the property. What's the bottom line? At first glance, the villas may seem expensive at US$300 to US$500 each a day. But compared with the island's top hotels and beach resorts, they represent good value for families and groups. Special rates can be arranged when booking more than one villa. See www.srivillas.com .