Kandy, Sri Lanka
Striking historic manor house outside Kandy, converted into a small luxury boutique hotel with infinity pool
It may sound like a sweet shop, but it's actually the former home
of an aristocratic Sri Lankan family. After a sensitive and stylish
restoration, The Kandy House opened in 2005 as the region's first
(and much needed) high-end boutique hotel. Set within a 6-acre
estate on a forested hillside just a few miles from the ancient
city of Kandy, it's a quiet, luxurious place to spend a few days
near Sri Lanka's cultural capital.
From the outside it's an impressive building, striking in its simplicity with white arches, pillared verandas and rooms set around a central courtyard. Inside, it's comfortably furnished with Dutch colonial antiques, sepia photographs, hand-woven silks and claw-foot baths. Peace and quiet abound, broken only by Buddhist chanting from a nearby monastery and the colourful parrots that dart from tree to tree.
With just 9 calm, elegant bedrooms and friendly, efficient hosts, you'll be well looked after. Explore the lush jungle gardens, spot birds and butterflies, and cool down in the large infinity-edge pool overlooking the surrounding paddy fields. Take a tuk-tuk into Kandy to visit the botanical gardens and the famous Temple of the Tooth (the hotel's English-speaking staff can assist you with your plans) and return for afternoon tea or a cocktail and dinner on the veranda.
Reviewed by Kate Parsons
- Still Kandy's finest boutique hotel, after all these years
- Incredibly peaceful location away from the hustle and bustle of Kandy's congested centre
- Beautiful freshwater infinity pool overlooking vibrant paddy fields and the jungle (many small hotels in Kandy don't have a pool)
- Friendly, efficient managers who can arrange excursions and onward travel
- Only accepts children over 12 years old (although this will be considered a plus by some)
- The temple nearby has now purchased speakers so on holy days the noise of chanting may carry
- Mosquitoes can be a real problem at certain times - however you will find a natural repellent in your room and mosquito nets on the bed (but no screens on the windows)
- Don't expect mod cons: rooms don't come with TVs, minibars, phones or air conditioning, but WiFi is available in the Butterfly Bar
- It's a 20-minute drive into town to find restaurants
A 400-year-old manor converted into a boutique hotel furnished with antiques and arched verandas...The New York Times