A superb historic dwelling, once the ancestral home of a Kandyan family "Ratwatte's" and refurbished to its glorious halcyon splendour.
The Kandy House was restored in 2005 by Geoffrey Bawa's protege, Channa Daswatte. A peaceful and tranquil setting offers beautiful landscaped gardens around the master house with a swimming pool at the foot of the valley garden. Roses, avocados, Jackwood, Papaya, Sri Lankan orange and Kithul trees -supplying mountains of treacle for delicious desserts- surround you in the gardens as you relax with the familiar ritual of afternoon tea.
The main house is designed quite uniquely on two storeys with a central atrium courtyard, typical of many colonial homes, allowing maximum circulation of the air. The sweeping Jackwood staircase and landings add a definitive character to this truely boutique residence.
There are just 9 rooms, including a family suite. Each room is furnished with stunning Dutch antique furniture, many with a four poster bed. The modern ensuite bathrooms provide a washed concrete style double vanity area and shower area, and a stately Victorian bath. Rooms have enchanting names such as Peacock Royal, The Cornelian, Black Rajah and Lime Butterfly.
The central sitting area opens onto the verandah and the sun streams in during the early evenings. The dining room feels wonderfully sophisticated and yet a home from home. The daily menu of International cuisine is dominated by fresh local produce but the talented chef takes inspiration from around the world to create wonderful dishes.
Take a stroll through the lush gardens arranged on three levels and drop down to the infinity pool. Lounge away the afternoon to the cooing of the estate wood pigeons
The elephant orphanage, Botanical Gardens and temple of the Tooth are all within an easy drive by car, as are many cultural sites. Yoga is available and there is delightful hiking around the area with time to admire the colourful flora and fauna.
Guests to date have provided excellent feedback on every element of the House.
There are 9 bedrooms within the villa, each with a colonial character brought to life with contemporary silks and cottons. Four poster beds with mosquito nets feature in each room; ceiling fans and floor to ceiling shuttered windows overlook the gardens .
Verandah rooms - Peacock Royal and Red Spot Duke - our most spacious rooms which open onto a wide wrap- around verandah, dotted with cane chaises longues, reading chairs and antiques. Luxurious bathrooms with tub and shower, twin wash basins.
Gallery Rooms - Red Admiral and Cornelian - de luxe double rooms on the upper floor overlooking a large courtyard. These rooms open onto a private verandah complete with chaise longue to lie back and enjoy the jungle views and pepper trees.
Gallery Rooms - Sunbeam and Lime Butterfly - one de luxe double and one twin room. The twin room has a lovely bathroom with double basin, and a vintage cast iron bath and shower. The windows overlook the large internal courtyard. The double room overlooks the garden, otherwise is similar to the twin room.
Garden suite - an ultra de luxe double room with arched doors opening out from the large living area onto the garden. The bedroom features a low king size bed and a wonderfully romantic bathroom has a tiled, octagonal 2 person bath and massage area.
Standard Room - Monkey Puzzle - our smallest room. The bathroom has a shower and a single basin. This bedroom is on the lower level of the courtyard and has low ceilings. As it adjoins the Garden suite the combination makes a delightful family suite for teenage children.
Dining at the Kandy House is more like staying with friends and attending a dinner party each night, while breakfast is a background to a discussion of events of night before. Tables are arranged informally around the courtyard for al fresco evenings. Larger groups may prefer to eat at the grand dining table.
Meals are prepared by newly arrived and first class chef, who shops daily for local ingredients.
We dined on watercress soup and home made bread. Thai grilled chicken on saffron rice followed and to finish we devoured a mouthwatering caramalised pecan creme brulee.
Wine was plentiful with an excellent selection of house wines.
Many guests are impatient to begin sightseeing but should not leave before the platter of tropical fruits and array of breads and local jams. Cooked breakfasts are standard if that is your preference.
Those guests with more time relaxed around the pool and chef rusttled up a wonderful tuna salad for lunch.