The Best Hotels in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Rest near the tranquil waters of the protected Kandy Lake
Rest near the tranquil waters of the protected Kandy Lake | © Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lena Blos
8 February 2021

Kandy, the last capital of the ancient kings and the cultural hub of Sri Lanka, is situated in the centre of the country, surrounded by scenic hills and tea plantations. Home to one of the most revered Buddhist relics, a tooth of Buddha, it also houses an exquisite selection of hotels, both in the peaceful tranquillity of the hillside and close to all the main sights.

Kandy House

Luxury, Boutique Hotel
Map View
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© Kandy House
Occupying a carefully restored colonial manor dating to 1804, Kandy House is a nine-roomed nirvana on the quiet outskirts of the city. With intricately carved canopy beds, double hammocks and an infinity pool overlooking paddy fields, this place is made for couples – but night owls should know there’s a chance you’ll be woken before dawn by the sound of monks chanting in the nearby temple.
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OZO

Hotel
Map View
OZO Kandy Sri Lanka
© OZO Kandy Sri Lanka
The white tower block of OZO looks a little out of place alongside the low-rise traditional houses that surround it – but what it lacks in architectural charm it more than makes up for with a prime location. Just a few minutes’ walk from Kandy Lake and 15 minutes from the city centre, the hotel has a rooftop pool and modern rooms with great views of the green hills of Kandy.
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The Radh Hotel

Hotel
Map View
The Radh Hotel
Courtesy of The Radh Hotel / Expedia.com
Location, location, location: The Radh Hotel is just an elephant’s stride from the key city sights, including the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Old Royal Palace and the World Buddhist Museum. Rooms are warm-hued with modern touches, such as leather headboards and plush arm chairs. There’s no main swimming pool, but garden suites come with private plunge pools.
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Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge

Lodge, Glamping
Map View
Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge
Courtesy of Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge / Expedia.com

The Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge is just under an hour from Kandy, nestled within the scenic Knuckles Mountain Range. Rest in charming tents which feature all the luxuries and comforts of solid buildings, including ensuite bathrooms and wifi access. From the dazzling terrace or the infinity pool you can enjoy magnificent views over the surrounding hills and lush greenery. The property also features an intimate fine dining restaurant serving a variety of dishes made using organic vegetables from the hotel garden. Trekking and day trips to the local tea factory, plus romantic campfires can be arranged upon request.

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Helga's Folly

Hotel
Map View
Helga's Folly
Courtesy of Helga's Folly / Expedia.com

Helga’s Folly is without doubt the most extraordinary place to stay in Kandy, characterised by quirky decor and eclectic architectural styles. Offering 35 uniquely decorated rooms, the labyrinthine hotel is filled with paintings, vivid colours, family portraits and temple relics, illuminated by dripping candles in every corner. A walk through the garden feels like you have stepped into A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with wild monkeys and birds moving through the confines and a glistening pool surrounded by fairy statues. If you’re in luck, enjoy an evening with the charming hostess herself, who is always happy to share her adventures.

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  • The Elephant Stables

    Hotel
    Map View
    The Elephant Stables
    Courtesy of The Elephant Stables / Booking.com

    With a tranquil atmosphere, this colonial bungalow was lovingly restored and is surrounded by the lush jungles of Kandy. This hotel offers a marvellous outdoor pool and even a library, in which visitors can browse an extensive collection before retreating to one of the comfortable lounge chairs to enjoy the exotic panorama. The charming guestrooms are decorated in warm tones with wooden accents, equipped with all the amenities you’ll want, from air conditioning to a minibar and flat-screen TVs. Under the watchful eyes of master chef Indika, the restaurant serves delicious Sri Lankan, Thai and international dishes.

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    Kandy City Hotel by Earl's

    Hotel
    Map View
    Kandy City Hotel by Earl's
    Courtesy of Kandy City Hotel by Earl's / Expedia.com

    The Kandy City Hotel is ideal if you’re looking for upscale comfort at an affordable price. With a central location near the railway station, it provides easy access to all the main sights. The building dates back to the 18th century when it served as a tea room; the recently refurbished rooms have been decorated in modern designs with warm, wooden features, ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and a TV. Three luxury suites are available which include private balconies. Enjoy a tasty meal in the onsite restaurant with culinary influences from Sri Lanka, Asia and Europe, browse the souvenir shop or rent a bicycle or car to venture into the nearby mountains.

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    Anna Shanthi Villa

    Hotel
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    Anna Shanthi Villa
    Courtesy of Anna Shanthi Villa / Expedia.com

    Situated near Kandy Lake, the seven rooms of Anna Shanthi Villa are fitted with ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning; the tasteful decor makes it hard to believe this hotel comes at a reasonable price. You’ll be greeted with freshly brewed tea in the morning and can retreat to the immaculate garden area to marvel at the surroundings. In the dining room, international and Sri Lankan dishes can be tasted, and the incredibly accommodating service assists with any queries and wishes.

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    Richmond House

    Hotel
    Map View
    The Richmond House
    Courtesy of The Richmond House / Expedia.com

    Richmond House is situated a few miles from the city in the picturesque hillsides. The colonial villa reflects the grandeur of a bygone era while skilfully incorporating modern luxuries. From ancient artefacts to comfortable beds and an elegant lobby, the hotel offers a magnificent refuge from the stresses of your daily routine. It’s hard not to get comfortable with its magical garden and panoramic views. The property features suites and deluxe rooms, which have all been lovingly decorated.

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    Emma Sparks contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on February 8, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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