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About Kandy

Click here for the best places to stay in Kandy

Kandy is Sri Lanka's second largest city, and generally thought of as the island's cultural capital. It's grown up around a misty hill in lush tea plantation country, and is artfully arranged around a central lake. Many of the best places to stay in Kandy can be found in the mountains surrounding the city. These often charming guesthouses benefit from panoramic views of this photogenic city.

This was the capital of the last Sinhalese Kingdom, which defied the Dutch and the Portuguese for three centuries until it finally fell to the British in the 19th century. And there's something proud, defiant and regal about this city still, from the carefully displayed national treasures to the beautiful architecture to the colourful houses.

Busy and colourful, in Kandy you'll be surprised by impromptu street markets, sudden tropical rain storms and the deliciousness of the food.

Kandy is also one of the best places to stay in Sri Lanka if you want to get close to an elephant. There are numerous elephant spotting tours and safaris, and you can get closer still at an elephant orphanage, like the one at Pinnawala. And it's close to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, one of the most sacred places in the Buddhist world.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Kandy include a couple of options in the town itself, plus a colonial hideaway located by the famous Victoria Golf Course.

Best Places to Stay in Kandy

For central location

  • If you like unique and eccentric, then Helga’s Folly might be for you. Helga's home was built in the decadent 1930s, and she's retained many of the original features, including the building's particular shade of red, both inside and out. She's also added murals and historic paintings, photographs and a collection of unusual antiques - that kind of original. Helga swans around day and night, accompanied by jazz and swing music, watching over the visitors staying in her 40 rooms. You'll love it or loathe it, so even though it's really close to the Golden Temple, make sure you look at the photos before you book.

For colonial grandeur

  • For a touch of luxury and old school grandeur you can't beat Clingendael. There's only four rooms here, so it feels like your very own piece of paradise!

Still not sure? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Kandy, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice. Alternatively widen the net and check out all our recommendations in Sri Lanka.

Best Hotels in Kandy

  • Ashburnham Tea Estate 6 rooms from $137


    With just six bedrooms this 1930s tea planters bungalow, complete with stunning views, provides a charming stay. Explore the tea terraces, relax by the pool or enjoy a cooking lesson. Sri Lankan dishes can be enjoyed in the restaurant or al fresco. A quintessential tea estate experience.

    Total relaxation  -  Set within 98 acres of rolling tea plantations it is total escapism
    Romantic Break  -  Four posters and rooms with a view - a great couples getaway
    Cooking classes  -  Learn the art of Sri Lankan spices with a private cooking class
    Great walks  -  A guided tour of the working tea estate - and waterfalls!
    Check prices
  • Helga’s Folly 16 rooms from $158


    Basil Fawlty meets Kubla Khan in Helga Blow’s decadent chic home. A red 1930s building surrounded by jungle. Dark muralled rooms full of historical paintings, photographs and antiques. Home cooked food and a well stocked bar. A truly eccentric stay that should be on everyone's 'to visit' list.

    Writing a novel  -  Quirky and fascinating- every inch is covered in paintings, frescoes, sculptures etc reflecting the hotels artistic life.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.
    Great walks  -  Wake up early and take a leisurely stroll aound Kandy Lake.
    Swimming Pool  -  Lovely Outdoor Pool
    Check prices
  • Clingendael 4 rooms from $460

    Kandy (Coconut Hill)

    An intimate, colonial hideaway located on the world famous Victoria Golf Course. Decorated with beautiful teak furniture and sumptuous fabrics for a traditional luxurious feel. Cuisine is classic Sri Lankan with Asian & European gourmet offerings too. Plus cocktails with a kick!

    Golf  -  The Victoria Golf course is a par 73 international championship course
    Sights nearby  -  Cars to 'The Temple of the Tooth' can be arranged
    Restrictions on children  -  No restrictions but it it geared towards adults
    Outstanding location  -  On The Victoria Golf Course
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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