Editors' Picks

Kandy House

Boutique, elegant, stylish

Kandy Gunnepana Sri Lanka

(94) 8-1492-1394

See Website

At a Glance

Housed in a restored 200-plus-year-old home hailing from the time of the Kandy Kingdom, the nine-room Kandy House is one of Sri Lanka’s most elegant hideaways.

Indagare Loves

  • The tasteful art and antiques that give Kandy House a deeply stylish sense of place
  • Pre-dinner aperitif in the gardens lit up with strings of lights and candles
  • The home-like ambience, thanks to the intimate size and many chill-out sitting areas throughout
  • The beautiful oversized flower arrangements, featuring such local delights as ginger and crab-claw flowers


Like a hidden gem, Kandy House lies, past a curlicue iron gate that seems to appear out of nowhere along a dusty road lined with local shops. The restored manor home is surrounded by tropical gardens that look—and smell—exquisite, and the main entrance is framed by two lush mango trees that are lit up by strings of Christmas lights at night.

The traditional building with its red-brick roof is centered around a small courtyard with rooms tucked away on the ground and first floors. There are just nine, each named after a Sri Lankan butterfly, and each is different in layout, size and décor. Most private are the Ultra Rooms with private verandas; one Deluxe Room on the first floor has a beautiful garden view. Interiors are stylish, with a colonial-chic assortment of antiques, art and colorful woven textiles. The ground-floor rooms can be a bit dark, as the building is surrounded by a sizeable veranda, but considering the tropical area’s heat, it’s best not to have sun-drenched rooms. Most come with separate bathtubs and showers, and four of the nine rooms have personal butler service.

It took the current owners 25 years to renovate the property (the former home of an 18th century Kandy minister), and beautiful original details, including polished Jakwood floors, have been preserved. It retains the spirit of a home—albeit a very proper one—with cozy sitting areas, a lovely garden and a sizeable pool area. Guests, too, are immediately comfortable: shortly after arrival, most have already abandoned their shoes, as the feeling of walking around barefoot, from stone to wood to lawn, is undeniably lovely here.

One thing to know about Kandy House is that due to its intimate size a successful stay depends greatly on your fellow guests. If you’re lucky and end up with like-minded travelers, then it’s a lot fun to meet and exchange Sri Lanka travel stories; if you have even one disruptive or loud couple, it can sway the balance.

**Indagare Tip:**Due to Kandy House’s location, guests will have dinners here, so it’s worth making a half-board reservation.

Who Should Stay

Anyone passing through Kandy en route to or from Tea Country and the Cultural Triangle. Due to the intimate size of Kandy House, this is one of the first places to contact once you have a time of year in mind for your Sri Lanka trip. There are no great hotel alternatives this close to Kandy.

Ideal Length of Stay

One to two nights. Kandy is a bustling Singhalese town and walking around a bit, then touring the Temple of the Tooth, and, further afield, seeing the Peradendiya Royal Botanic Gardens is worth your while. Kandy House is located in a suburb 20 minutes outside of the city center. The pool area is beautiful, so if you’re in need of some downtime, plan to stay an extra night.

Getting There

Kandy is about a three-hour drive from Colombo and a three-hour drive from Tea Country. Many travelers coming from Hatton (in the tea region) choose to take the two-and-a-half-hour train to avoid the windy roads. If you have your driver meet you at the Peradeniya station (one stop before Kandy), it’s easy to visit the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden there. Another way to arrive in Kandy is via sea plane, which can be arranged from Colombo, Tea Country and the southern coast, near Galle. But be aware that these flights land in a reservoir a 45-minute drive from Kandy House.

Written by Simone Girner

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