Grade - Boutique First Class
High in hills above Kandy you follow a small winding road up into a verdant landscape of private corners and hidden gateways. One of these is the atmospheric Stone House. As you enter via a heavy stone walkway overhung with scented plants and lined by a koi carp pond, it feels that you’ve arrived at a luxury spa rather than boutique hotel. As you walk into this colonial style mansion you instantly know that it used to be a home long before it became a hotel. The feeling is retained as the antique-style furniture and uncluttered style gives the large dining room and lounge a feeling of understated relaxed luxury. Continue on to the large private garden and you can appreciate why the house was built here, as you look out over the valley and on to the Hungasgiriya Mountain Range - final confirmation that you’ve made a good holiday decision.
At the back of the property you’ll find a beautiful pool area surrounded by scented plants and native trees and shrubs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served inside or in the garden and try not to miss afternoon tea. The chef can offer an informal lesson to learn how to prepare a Sri Lankan meal. Spa treatments can be arranged and there are mountain bikes available for exploring the area although it is hilly!
Each of the 5 rooms (3 rooms and 2 suites) has an individual design with unique artwork created by seven renowned local artists. Each has a king-size bed, en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, satellite TV, mini-bar, tea/coffee facilities and in-room safe.
Grade - Boutique First Class
High in the hills above Kandy is the former colonial home of Sir Cudah Ratwatte that is now a luxury boutique hotel that sits like a sentinel over the city. The hotel still retains the feeling of a private home and the friendly, informal air makes it particularly family friendly. There’s no sitting on ceremony, you’re here to enjoy yourselves and Elephant Stables makes a perfect sanctuary after a hectic day’s touring.
The hotel makes the most of its superb location, as from the large infinity pool and gardens you can admire the sweeping views out across the hills to Kandy and beyond. The attractive small library is lined with prints of 1930’s British seaside resorts and the comfortable lounge leads through to a minimalist but smart bar. Meals can be taken inside or out and don’t miss the incredible rice & curry dinner which consists of 8 – 10 different dishes.
The spacious rooms are light & airy and marry colonial-era ambience with modern facilities. Each is en-suite with satellite TV channels, DVD player, iPad / iPhone docking station, tea/coffee facilities and safe. Wi-Fi is also available.
Santani Wellness Resort & Sps
Grade - Deluxe
We tend towards suspicion when we read that a hotel has a “concept”, but it appears that the Santani has got it right. Not strictly in Kandy (an hour outside) this luxury boutique retreat receives rave reviews for its stunning location high in the hills, its minimalist design, the skill and attentiveness of its staff, gourmet food and award winning spa. It works hard to get the balance right, allowing authentic Sri Lankan culture to enter a 5 star cocoon. Perhaps add an extra night if you stay here.
As you can tell from the hotel name “wellness” is one of the main considerations, yet does not have to consume guests. The spa offers a range of programmes and packages built around your personal needs including Ayurvedic treatments, detoxifying scrubs, cleansing wraps and hot-stone massages. There are also personalised yoga classes with visiting master practitioners.
The design of the hotel tries to lessen the barrier between hotel and countryside by incorporating as many glass walls as possible. From the restaurant and lounge area in the main pavilion you get a stunning 360 degree view. There are two pools; a thermal salt pool in the spa and perched on the side of a hill, the infinity pool that enjoys some of the best views.
The 16 stand-alone bedroom suites are elevated on stilts and the minimalist design succeeds in making the most of the beautiful views across the 48 acre estate out to the valley and hills. Wake early and take a seat on your private balcony to watch the sun rise over the mountains and listen as the countryside comes to life. All rooms are furnished with a king-sized bed, chairs, tea /coffee making facilities, safe and en-suite bathroom with shower. No TVs and WiFi available only on request.