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Experience Sri Lanka: Kahanda Kanda review

Hillside serenity in gorgeous Galle

Kahanda Kanda – Galle – Sri Lanka - Swimming pool

While staying at Kahanda Kanda – aka KK to its fans – we came up with a brand new word in honour of our surroundings. That word is… ‘snugxurious’. This is a hotel that manages to be utterly comfy and cosy, whilst also over-delivering on style and luxury. (Why House, nearby, shares this delicious quality – so it comes as no great surprise that the British owners are bosom buddies.) But back to KK.

Kahanda Kanda – Galle – Sri Lanka - Plantation Villa - Peacock bedroom

It’s perched on a quiet Galle hillside, within a working tea estate. There are 12 villas set in knee-weakeningly winsome tropical gardens, where gem-bright fish flit between water lilies in the ink-dark ponds and gorgeous statues stand, frozen in grace, amid the brightly coloured foliage. Dashing owner George is responsible for that snugxurious styling: expect plump cushions galore, striking antiques, blue-and-white china, artful paintings, interesting curios and tome-stuffed bookshelves. Bedrooms are so relaxing, you’ll be tempted to stay inside them – but that would be a darn shame, given the gorgeous rainwater infinity pool set in the tranquil grounds.

Kahanda Kanda – Galle – Sri Lanka - Living Pavilion exterior

The heart of the hotel is the al fresco restaurant, where delicious Sri Lankan and Western options are served. Henrietta, the bubbly owner of Why House, has helped her pal George out with the menu: when we were there, we were treated to a delicate Thai-style seafood broth, a succulent seafood barbecue and fudgy vanilla brownies we’re still dreaming about now. There’s an airy Lounge Pavillion where drinks can be sipped at leisure – but pay tribute to your scenery and be sure to enjoy a cuppa, too. (Rooms are also stocked with a tempting stash of estate tea.) There’s a quiet spa and a view-toting gym for lively types; the hotel can also arrange an array of activities such as boat trips, island visits tea-estate tours and more.