Kahanda Kanda

Near Galle, Galle & Environs, Sri Lanka
Book from GBP Book from £195 per night

Kahanda Kanda

Near Galle, Galle & Environs, Sri Lanka

Totally indulgent hideaway hotel with sweeping views over a tea estate and lake, just 15 minutes from the beach

Totally indulgent hideaway hotel with sweeping views over a tea estate and lake, just 15 minutes from the beach

Perched on a ridge overlooking Koggala Lake and surrounded by 12 acres of a working tea estate, Kahanda Kanda is a small, luxurious and totally indulgent retreat. From the moment you're welcomed with a refreshing fruit drink, a chilled hand towel and a broad smile, you feel any stress start to melt away.

The amazing views are on display at every turn – behind the shimmering infinity pool, mirrored in the lily-strewn ponds around the open-sided living and dining pavilions, or from your very private suite. Even the 80m saffron wall which juts across the property has windows judiciously cut out to frame glimpses of the estate, the verdant jungle and the lake in the distance. The exotic-chic interiors combine polished concrete floors and a quirky mix of Asian antiques and contemporary Sri Lankan furnishings which, together with the impeccably friendly service, make Kahanda Kanda a thoroughly sophisticated and romantic place that you'll find hard to leave.


  • Stylish and soothing design both inside and out, and seven of the suites have private plunge pools
  • You'll find utter peace and tranquility
  • Resident owner George Cooper and his staff make you feel totally at home
  • Stunning gardens, filled with colourful birdlife (including peacocks and parakeets)
  • Have we mentioned the breathtaking views?


  • Mozzies can be a problem here but the hotel provides insect repellent in the rooms
  • It's a (bumpy) drive to get anywhere, however, the hotel offers free shuttles to the beach, and can arrange for a tuk-tuk to take you to Galle (20 minutes), or a car and driver for places further afield
  • It's 10 minutes inland from the coast

Best time to go

November to April is Sri Lanka's dry season. The rest of the year can bring heavy monsoon downpours, but you'll often find air fares are cheaper and the towns and beaches are less crowded with tourists. Book well ahead for the busy Christmas period.

Our top tips

Southern Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world for spotting blue whales. Ask the hotel about bespoke whale-watching trips off the coast of Galle.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12 rooms
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Over 12s welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available


The 12 air-conditioned suites are spread among several free-standing pavilions in the garden for maximum privacy. Interiors are beautifully designed, with canopied beds, daybeds built into window bays, and pillow-strewn rattan couches for lounging about on and enjoying the views.

The finest, with the added luxury of a private swimming pool, is Dubu, the Honeymoon Villa. It sits inside a beautiful (if unusual) Javanese-style house set away from the other suites, with timbered walls, an ornately carved ceiling and 2 outdoor bathrooms. Similarly luxe are the secluded Luxury Pool Villas, which have private pools and a lawn area. Slightly smaller but just as sumptuous, Pool Villas come with four-poster kingsize beds, infinity plunge pools and double showers.

We stayed in one of the gorgeous Plantation Villas, and whiled away hours on the veranda watching parakeets flitting overhead and water buffalo plodding across the rice paddies below.

Located on a lower terraced level beyond the swimming pool, the Plantation Suites are more traditional in style than the other rooms. We loved the four-poster beds and open-air shower bathrooms, and the rooms share a veranda where you can relax or dine in total tranquility.

All rooms have Bluetooth speakers, custom-made toiletries, bathrobes and slippers, and insect repellent.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Bluetooth sound system
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi


At Kahanda Kanda (or KK, as it's become known), you can eat when and where you want: on the terrace, in the open-sided dining pavilion, or on cushions underneath a candlelit gazebo in the beautiful tropical gardens.

Staff will check each morning whether you plan to stay in for lunch and dinner, and the chefs will prepare meals to suit your tastes. The food is fresh, healthy and very tasty, combining Sri Lankan, Western and Thai influences. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of pumpkin and lemongrass soup, Thai prawn curry with coconut rice, and a range of homemade ice creams (including a mouthwatering wood apple sorbet), and a white chocolate brownie that cannot be missed out on. Most of the fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown on the estate, and seafood and meat are bought daily at the local market.

Breakfast begins with toast and zingy homemade jam (we loved the passionfruit option), plus tea, coffee and fresh juice. This is followed by a choice of local delicacies, perhaps hoppers, fruit salad with creamy buffalo curd, or coconut pancakes with pineapple or bananas.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options


  • Visit the historic town of Galle (17km away and 30 minutes by tuk-tuk) and explore the narrow maze of streets within its Dutch fort. You'll find a growing collection of art galleries, antique shops, cafés and restaurants
  • The beaches of Unawatuna and Mirissa (both a 15-minute drive away, the hotel arranges free shuttles) are great for swimming, surfing and snorkelling. Also around 15 minutes away is Wijaya beach, a sheltered stretch of sand with a reef and a lively beach café favoured by ex-pats
  • Take a boat ride on Koggala Lake, which is scattered with little islands, including Fish Eagle Island, where hundreds of eagles come to nest at dusk, and Cinnamon Island, where several families process cinnamon into essential oils
  • Tour the nearby tea plantation (staff can arrange this for you) - a highlight for us. It's run by local legend Herman Gunaratne and supplies salons in London and Paris. You'll see the factory with its beautiful old machinery, and enjoy tasting different varieties
  • Head to the Uda Walawe and Yala national parks. It's a long drive but you'll spot elephants, leopards and countless species of bird
  • Back at Kahanda Kanda, relax in the bird-filled gardens and by the pool, unwind with a massage, or borrow a bike to potter around the estate. Yoga can also be arranged on request
  • Try your hand at Sri Lankan cuisine during informal cookery classes

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tea plantation tours
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being
  • Whale watching
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga


Kahanda Kanda does not accept children under 12. This is a very intimate and romantic spot and is not suitable for young children, particularly because of the many lily pools and the steep drops from some of the rooms.

Extra beds are available on request.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:


Kahanda Kanda is 17km from Galle (20-minute drive), 10 minutes' drive inland, on the south west coast of Sri Lanka. It's about 2 hours from Colombo by road; more by train.

By Air:
Colombo Bandaranaike (165km away) is the closest international airport. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving it.

From the Airport
The hotel can organise a transfer from the airport. There is also a slow but scenic coastal train from Colombo to Galle, where staff will collect you.

Alternatively, you could consider taking the Sri Lankan Airlines air taxi, which flies to Koggala Lake (enquire when booking). From there you can get a taxi to the hotel.

By Car:
If you want to hire a driver and car for your whole holiday, enquire through our Tailormade Tour Operator; they can collect you at the airport when you land, drive you to Kahanda Kanda, then drive you to your onward destination after your stay.

Getting Around:
The hotel's secluded location means it's a drive to get anywhere. Staff can arrange tuk-tuks or cars with drivers for day trips.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Sri Lanka and getting around


  • Colombo Bandaranaike International 165.0 km CMB


  • Beach 8.0 km
  • Shops 7.0 km
  • Restaurant 8.0 km

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