“Striking historic manor house outside Kandy, converted into a small luxury boutique hotel with infinity pool”
Named after the butterflies that flutter through the grounds, the rooms differ in size and outlook, though most have large four-poster beds with soft white linen, colourful cushions and Victorian bathtubs (except Pioneer and Monkey Puzzle, which have showers only). Dark hardwood floorboards hint at the past, white-washed walls create a light and airy feel, and polished concrete in the bathrooms adds a contemporary touch.
The largest are the 4 Ultra Rooms. These include the spacious Peacock Royal and Red Spot Duke, which open onto the wide veranda surrounding the outside of the house, and the beautiful Black Rajah Garden Suite, with a private massage area and octagonal double bath set in the middle of the room. When booked together with the small adjoining twin room (Monkey Puzzle), it's ideal for families with older children.
We stayed in the romantic Indian Admiral, with a cooling breeze wafting through the windows and beautiful views over the gardens. Ask the staff to arrange an aromatherapy bath complete with frangipani blossom, although for the less romantic there is also a separate rain shower. We particularly enjoyed breakfast on our veranda and the helpful inclusion of a natural mosquito repellent.
The 5 slightly cheaper Deluxe Rooms are set around the large 2-storey central courtyard. Of these, Monkey Puzzle and Pioneer (a turquoise-hued room with its own swing seat in the garden) have twin beds, while Sunbeam, Lime Butterfly and Cornelian have double beds. These rooms are a bit smaller, darker and less secluded than the Ultras, so on balance we'd recommend paying the extra for the bigger rooms - assuming budget and availability allow, of course.
Guests can dine in style in the colonial dining room or on the less formal veranda overlooking the garden and hill country. Take a pre-dinner cocktail in the Butterfly Bar (i-escape guests receive their first one on the house), or choose something from the short but sweet wine list.
There is a set daily menu limited to one starter, a choice of 2 main courses (perhaps tamarind prawns, grilled Thai chicken with lime rice or ravioli stuffed with jackfruit seeds and water spinach) and a dessert (such as sticky citrus pie or guava upside-down cake). Any lack of choice is made up for by the quality and freshness of the ingredients, which are selected by the French chef every morning. Special dishes can also be arranged to cater for particular dietary needs.
On our second night, we tucked into one of The Kandy House's twice-weekly Sri Lankan curry feasts. With 10 different dishes followed by fresh mango and homemade kulfi (a kind of ice cream), it was memorable for the delicious array of flavours such as okra, ginger and even hibiscus.
Breakfast, served whenever you like, is a tasty selection of fresh juice, fruit, curd and treacle or eggs, hoppers and toast.
Picnics can be arranged for lunchtime if you are out and about; alternatively there is a small snack menu of sandwiches, spring rolls and a special salad of the day.
Children over the age of 12 are welcome. An ideal room for families is Monkey Puzzle, which has twin beds and adjoins with the Black Rajah. The Indian Admiral and Cornelian rooms are also next to each other but do not connect, as are the Peacock and Redspot Duke rooms.
If you have just one child, an extra bed can be added to Indian Admiral and the Black Rajah, but if you have 2 or more, the managers prefer children to take their own room.
Teens (over 12)
Extra Beds Available