Surrounded by unspoiled mountain scenery, this boutique resort is a haven of tranquillity and home to Sri Lanka’s first destination spa.
Santani Wellness Resort & Spa has been a name to know since it opened in 2016, and not just because of its away-from-it-all setting on a former tea plantation or its award-winning minimalist architecture. At its heart is a holistic approach to health and wellbeing that finds its purest expression in the superb spa, which seems to grow out of the hillside, and which has one floor devoted to hydrotherapy – a rarity in Sri Lanka. We particularly love the view from the glass-sided sauna and the tempting range of wellness packages designed to tackle everything from stress to sleeplessness.
But you don’t have to visit the spa to experience a sense of harmony. There’s a suitably life-affirming selection of activities, from a gentle stroll through the 48-acre grounds with the resident naturalist to more energetic hikes through cloud forest, as well as morning and evening yoga sessions. And there are equally stress-busting ‘inactivities’, too, such as melting into the scenery from the perfectly positioned infinity pool or leisurely sipping a glass of biodynamic wine in the gadget-free lounge. And there’s the exquisite food, much of it locally grown and organic, that proves that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring.
As for the accommodation, there are 20 rooms in individual chalets whose design is a stylish modern update on traditional Sri Lankan shelters for pilgrims. The resort’s focus on uncluttered simplicity is reflected in the minimalist decoration: neutral colours, recycled teak and rubberwood furniture – and no television. The 16 Mountain View chalets have balconies that open straight out from the room, so there’s nothing between you, the gentle breezes and the sunrise. It’s a magical place to sit and soak in the breathtaking sights, sounds and smells. In the four Garden View Chalets, paddy fields take the place of mountains, and terraces replace balconies, making them suitable for families with older children.
In a tranquil hilly area surrounded by rice fields and tea estates, a 60-minute drive from Kandy
Good to know
1 restaurant, 1 wine and juice bar
All inclusive • Breakfast, lunch and dinner • Non-alcoholic drinks • Group yoga sessions • Access to hydrotherapy suite.
*Denotes local charge