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Photo of Kandy

About 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.

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

    • Victoria Golf and Country Resort 17 rooms from $64

      Kandy (Digana)

      Victoria Golf and Country Resort is just a short drive outside Kandy and enjoys luscious surroundings. This property offers 10 chalets, 2 cottages and 1 villa-all of which are decorated in a chic, unfussy fashion and boast splendid views. Car rental and BBQ facilities available. Great value!

      Active Holiday  -  Victoria Golf and Country Resort enjoys a wonderful location offering walking, golfing, swimming, and much more
      Value chic  -  A splendid retreat in a stunning rural setting, boasting fantastic views and prices!!
      Great walks  -  Head off on fantastic hikes through the beautiful Udawatta Kele Sanctuary
      Sights nearby  -  Check out the Temple of Tooth Relic or head up to the Kandy Viewpoint
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    • Ashburnham Tea Estate 6 rooms from $146

      Kandy

      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!
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    • Villa Rosa, Kandy 8 rooms from $145

      Kandy (Asgiriya)

      Villa Rosa is one of Kandy’s hidden gems. A green oasis of calm perched 600m above sea level. Colonial styled rooms feature beamed ceilings, dark antique furniture, elegant four poster beds and warm hues. Feast on exemplary traditional Sri Lankan cuisine. The ideal spot to completely unwind.

      Hideaway  -  A tranquil rural retreat boasting stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
      Sights nearby  -  Visit Kandy's famed Temple of the Tooth and explore the botanical gardens.
      Views  -  Great views from hotel
      Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
      Recommended by  -  I Escape
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    • Helga’s Folly 16 rooms from $168

      Kandy

      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
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    • Stone House Lodge 5 rooms from $214

      Kandy

      Delightful 1940s accommodation jam packed with period furnishings. Set amidst its peaceful surroundings it is a wonderful little retreat. Cosy rooms feature capacious four posters plus there is an inviting pool. Cooking classes or meals cooked by the head chef are a treat!

      Romantic Break  -  Stylish suites, spa treatments and private al fresco dining
      Families  -  Plenty of activities plus children under 10 stay free!
      Great walks  -  Embark on a guided nature trek through the surrounding tea plantations
      Cooking classes  -  Private cooking classes with the head chef can be arranged
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    • 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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