This former ancestral manor house on the outskirts of historic Kandy, Sri Lanka’s last royal capital city, is the jewel in the crown of Manor House Concepts’ collection of luxury boutique hotels.
Described by the New York Times as “another showcase of the Island’s architectural renaissance … furnished with antiques and arched verandahs”, it was built in 1804 by the last chief minister of the Kandyan kingdom.
Twenty years later, hospitality entrepreneurs Tim and Sarah Jacobson began the challenge of creating the first designer boutique hotel in Kandy by combining heritage and charisma with 21st century know-how.
With only nine bedrooms and a captivating traditional ambience, this timeless idyll provides discriminating guests with a unique private-house experience, plus all the mod cons of a contemporary luxury hotel.
All the rooms, either Ultra or Deluxe, and named after Sri Lanka’s exotic and colorful butterflies—red spot duke, peacock royal, Indian admiral and black rajah—have verandas and “are styled individually, incorporating local fabrics, elegant furniture of various generations and modernized amenities”.
Aside from its historic location and pleasing décor, The Kandy House has its own masseur, who has 25 years’ experience as an Ayurvedic therapist, beginning at the Vittahachchi Ayurvedic hospital in Kandy.
Energy healing, full body and head massages and reflexology are his specialty, complemented by the hotel’s yoga classes for posture (asana) and breathing and relaxation techniques (savasana).
Wellness and food go together, and The Kandy House fare is described as “fresh fusion … traditional Sri Lankan delicacies and ingredients with modern international dishes and flavours. At least twice a week, we serve our highly acclaimed feast of ten traditional Sri Lankan curries”.
It is named as “a superb restaurant” by Conde Nast Traveler, and Madhur Jaffrey, the renowned food and travel writer, notes: “Meals, served on the verandah and prepared by a chef who shops daily for ingredients, might include exquisite ravioli stuffed with jackfruit seeds and kang-kung (water spinach), Thai grilled chicken with lime rice and okra, and a guava upside-down cake.”
Perhaps we should leave the last words to the Chic Retreats website, which waxes suitably lyrical. “The award-winning formula at The Kandy House sets the standard for all boutique hotels in Sri Lanka to follow, and such is its success that it has been featured on many hotel hot lists worldwide.
“Seclusion and serenity in a lush tropical setting near Kandy, where traditional Kandyan architecture has been blended with Bawa-influenced modern, polished titanium cement floors and bathrooms.
“This luxury hotel in Kandy is well-placed to spend time to relax as well as explore a broad selection of Sri Lanka’s primary destinations in and around Kandy, the Cultural Triangle and Tea Country.”
Check out The Kandy House website here.