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Search the best hotels 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.
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 $105Kandy (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. Decorated in a chic, unfussy fashion and boasting 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 moreValue chic - A splendid retreat in a stunning rural setting, boasting fantastic views and prices!!Golf - Spend your days out on their 73 par award winning Donald Steel designed courseGreat walks - Head off on fantastic hikes through the beautiful Udawatta Kele Sanctuary
Clingendael 5 rooms from $460Kandy (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 courseSights nearby - Cars to 'The Temple of the Tooth' can be arrangedRestrictions on children - No restrictions but it it geared towards adultsOutstanding location - On The Victoria Golf CourseRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Ashburnham Tea Estate 6 rooms from $146Kandy
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 escapismRomantic Break - Four posters and rooms with a view - a great couples getawayCooking classes - Learn the art of Sri Lankan spices with a private cooking classGreat walks - A guided tour of the working tea estate - and waterfalls!
Villa Rosa, Kandy 8 rooms from $145Kandy (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 hotelSecluded setting - For escaping.Recommended by - I Escape
Stone House Lodge 5 rooms from $214Kandy
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 diningFamilies - Plenty of activities plus children under 10 stay free!Great walks - Embark on a guided nature trek through the surrounding tea plantationsCooking classes - Private cooking classes with the head chef can be arranged
Helga’s Folly 16 rooms from $168Kandy
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
Santani Wellness Resort & Spa 20 rooms from $502Kandy
A contemporary wellness centre situated in the picturesque hills above Kandy. The clean architecture is not only very pleasant on the eye but also helps create a zen like atmosphere. With healthy meal-plans and blissful wellness packages created for each guest this is a truly special place.Total relaxation - A mountain setting, first-class spa, minimilist design and child-free destination. What could be more relaxing?Spa breaks - A destination spa complete with with comprehensive hydrotherapy facilities.Sights nearby - Visit the golden-roofed Sri Dalada Maligawa temple which houses one of Buddha's teeth.Great walks - Take long walks through the properties 48 acres of jungle and rice fields.Recommended by - Tablet, Mr & Mrs Smith