Just before the Christmas rush I was able to escape for a day to visit some new properties in the Bentota area last week. One of these was the wonderful Bawa House 87 where I spent an utterly peaceful morning. Enter through the large white gates and an instant sense of serenity takes over as your eyes gaze down the green lawns leading to a lake. Set on 17 acres of jungle gardens, lakes, and marshland, this inspiring setting was created by Geoffrey Bawa in the 1960’s for artist Lydia Gunasekera. The property is now opened for guests and has two tastefully designed bungalows – The Pavilion with two double rooms and The Shop House which has two single rooms. Similar to Bawa’s Lunuganga situated close by, the gardens at Bawa House 87 are a work of art in itself with meandering pathways, gigantic Bird’s Nest ferns, 100 year old Banyan and Tamarind trees and plenty of exotic birds hovering on the tree tops. This is an oasis of calm and tranquility.