The Kahanda Kanda is a luxury resort set amid a low altitude tea plantation near Galle, in the south-west of Sri Lanka.
The resort has 10 chic villas with verandas overlooking the estate. It’s possible to sit out and listen to birdsong on a morning or the chirping of cicadas before going to sleep in an air-conditioned bedroom with a four-posted bed draped with mosquito nets.
The spacious villas are tastefully decorated, featuring antiques and oil paintings drawn from the collection of the Kahanda Kanda’s owner. With bookshelves, tea and coffee making facilities plus comfortable sofas it’s easy to spend time relaxing in the coolness of the villas. Looking for a memorable place to stay? The pick of the villas is arguably the Dubu Suite. The secluded, wood-built cottage with ornately carved beams is popular with honeymooners and couples seeking a romantic getaway at this upscale property.
The grounds make a serene impression. Lilies float in the pool by the open-sided reception area, where guests are provided with a cool welcome drink upon arrival. The resort’s 20 -metre swimming pool and dining area are close to the reception. Lovers of good food will enjoy staying at the Kahanda Kanda, where guests are given the option of dining on Western style, Thai or Sri Lankan cuisine. Weight-loss menus are available for people who want to shed a few pounds while eating well. The food is beautifully presented. Locally sourced ingredients help the flavours to zing. For people with something special to celebrate, there’s an option to take private dining. Sri Lankan and Thai cookery classes are also offered, tutored by the Kahanda Kanda’s chefs.
Yoga sessions are offered on a covered platform overlooking the greenery of the tea plantation, where pluckers can be seen working, picking the tips, later in the day. The 60-minute yoga lessons are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Private sessions can also be arranged.
For guests who prefer a more traditional workout there’s an air-conditioned fitness room. The gym has weights and cardiovascular equipment, plus floor-to-ceiling windows affording a verdant view. The facility doubles as a home cinema, with a selection of DVDs providing a choice of movies and satellite television.
Enjoy wellness and pampering? The Kahanda Kanda has a spa with a resident therapist, meaning that massages are available for much of the day. Guests with muscular aches can have them soothed away at the hands of the masseur.
Guided walks through the plantation provide an opportunity for guests to learn about the process of turning the tea grown in the plantation into the dried leaves that are sold to consumers. The estate provides habitat to a variety of birds. Sri Lanka is one of the world’s outstanding destinations for birding and even non-dedicated birders can passively participate in spotting species while at the Kananda Kanda.
A tuk tuk is available to transport guests to Galle, nearby beaches and other local attractions. A car is also available, should visitors prefer not to travel in one of the three-wheeler vehicles that are ubiquitous in Sri Lanka.
This is a beautiful location to unwind. The service at the Kahanda Kanda is attentive, the food excellent and the villas both classy and comfortable.
Kahanda Kanda, Galle, 80000, Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94 91 494 3700 / +94 773 429 555
The Kahanda Kanda resort is approximately 10km west of Galle and he UNESCO world heritage site Galle Fort and 15 minutes inland from the south coast of Sri Lanka.
Type of Hotel: 5-Star resort set in a tea plantation
Number of Rooms: 10 villas including complimentary Wi-Fi
Price Band: High
Insider Tip: Try the Sri Lankan breakfast, featuring egg hopper and fish curry. It’s a delicious start to a day.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Stuart travelled to Sri Lanka with Indian Odyssey, a UK-based tour operator specialising in bespoke holidays. For more information and to book visit www.indianodyssey.co.uk, call +44 (0)1224 313984 or email email@example.com.
Stuart Forster is a freelance writer and photographer specialising in food and travel related features.
Photographs by Stuart Forster