Kandy, Sri Lanka

Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa

Price per night from$634.92

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD634.92), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Tea-lightful villa hideaway

Setting

Restful mountain ridge

Once a growing ground for tea and spice, Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa is now all things nice: a boutique collection of sweetly simple villas plugged into the hillside facing spectacular mountain scenery. The Knuckles range is your constant companion, from mist-rolling sunrise to tranquil dusk. Wander the gardens, bike the trails and give yourself an Ayurvedic onceover, before hitting the tea pavilion for a pot of Ceylon – or the bar for something with a little more kick.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A welcome drink each and gift; for stays of two nights or more, a candlelit poolside dinner or high tea experience

Facilities

Photos Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Eight villas.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £445.13 ($577), including tax at 19.8 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 10% per booking prior to arrival and an additional local city tax of 2% per booking prior to arrival.

More details

Rates include breakfast, and for stays from 10 to 20 August annually and over Christmas and New Year, a two-night minimum applies.

Also

One of Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa’s villas is wheelchair accessible, as are certain communal parts of the resort. However, the mountain terrain and stepped access to some areas of the hotel mean the resort’s not ideal if you have mobility issues.

At the hotel

Nine-acre garden estate; mountain bikes to borrow; free ironing service; paid laundry service and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: LED TV with satellite channels, Bluetooth speaker, air-conditioning, hairdryer, coffee- and tea-making kit, free bottled water, free minibar (excluding alcohol), free fruit platter with homemade chocolates, on-call butler service and bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa’s extra-special, top-of-the-world Sky Tented Villa takes first place for us, amid admittedly stiff competition in this incomparable location. You’ll sleep under its safari-tent-style canopy in king-size comfort, bathe outdoors in a mountain-backdropped bath tub, and bob contentedly in your own private pool. The fantastic views carry over to the open-air bathroom, where windows frame the valley in glorious snapshots.

Poolside

The outdoor, chlorinated infinity pool at the central bungalow is for adults and children aged 12 and up. Relax on a sunlounger and take in the Unesco-listed Knuckles mountain range: nothing short of spectacular.

Spa

At Aarogya Luxury Spa & Wellness Center (open 9am to 9pm daily), a menu of restorative treatments awaits, based on Balinese or Ayurvedic therapeutic techniques. Try a stress-release or hot stone massage, a calming scalp ritual, or a green tea sea-salt scrub. Traditional Ayurvedic treatments include the Shirodhara, performed using warm oils on the forehead, and the Pinda Sweda, a combination of massage and sweat therapy designed to relieve aches. There are four treatment rooms, including one for couples, plus an infrared sauna, herbal bath, body steam chair and outdoor bathhouse. Longer retreat packages, tailored to you, are available, too.

Packing tips

Take a swish sarong for temple-bound trips, and robust covered shoes for leafy mountain ascents.

Also

In-room check-in or check-out is available if arranged ahead.

Children

Families are welcome to stay at Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa, but there are no childcare facilities or services on site, and the main pool is for over-12s only. You can request an extra single bed for your villa (US$30 a night) or a cot (for free).

Sustainability efforts

Every detail of Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa has been conceived with environmental and social impact firmly in mind. No trees were felled to create what you see here, and local materials and craftspeople have been employed to give it its simple aesthetic against a magical backdrop provided by nature. The Aarunya Nature Foundation is committed to supporting local villagers in need and the local environment. It provides underprivileged local children with annual packs of school equipment and shoes, as well as books for school libraries. Aarunya staff members come together regularly with the local community to clean up and improve the village. All water at the resort (apart from potable water used for drinking and cooking) comes from wells on the estate, and is treated using the onsite water treatment plant. Solar-heated water powers guest showers and taps are fitted with water-saving devices. Waste water is treated or disposed of on site using natural processes. More solar panels are being installed, and there are plans to operate the site largely off grid by 2030 with the help of solar power and battery storage, plus biogas for cooking. Electric buggies are used around the resort, which also operates a no-single-use plastics policy, as well as recycling and composting programs. The kitchen favours local suppliers including the village’s farmers for sourcing food and drink, and chefs make good use of the resort’s own rice paddy, coconut trees and kitchen gardens. The meat, fish and seafood that make it onto your plate are organic and ethically sourced.

Food and Drink

Photos Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa food and drink

Top Table

Poolside at night is atmospheric. But if you want those views to yourself, dine at your villa.

Dress Code

You’ll be given a traditional dress for the Aahaara dining experience: cool, comfortable cover-ups work for everywhere else.

Hotel restaurant

The Verandah restaurant is in the estate’s central bungalow, and serves a range of international dishes with Sri Lankan flair, to be savoured overlooking the infinity pool and those mountains. Its decor (wood-vaulted ceiling, sturdy columns opening to the terrace) is simple, making the natural environment the rightful focus. Try the Native Lunch Experience, taking your pick of 10 dishes and condiments. Or perhaps an afternoon tea of sandwiches, bakes and Ceylon tea, to be taken here or at the charming Aahasa Tea Pavilion, is more your style. This is also the ideal spot for sunset-accompanied drinks.

Aahaara (meaning nutritious food in Sinhalese) is the fine-dining option at Aarunya: don your complimentary traditional garment and meet at the central bungalow bar for an Arrack cocktail; then it’s through the gardens to a communal table for a garden-to-table feast crafted with locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. Chat to the chefs as they conjure flavour-packed plates to the sounds of live Sri Lankan music. Menus range from a traditional rice and curry spread to a sumptuous nine-course belt-loosener.

Hotel bar

Part of the Verandah restaurant, the Aarunya bar is a relaxed affair serving refreshing sweet-and-sour cocktails made with local spirit Arrack.

Last orders

Times for all meals, including afternoon tea, flex to meet your needs, although it’s usual for the kitchen to close each day at around 10pm.

Room service

The iPad in your villa gives you around-the-clock access to the on-call butler service, meaning you'll never go hungry (or thirsty).

Location

Photos Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa location
Address
Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa
100 Malgamandeniya Road
Alawatugoda
20140
Sri Lanka

Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa sits on a former tea and spice garden estate in the village of Alawatugoda, high in the hills north of Kandy.

Planes

Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) is around three hours away by car. The hotel can arrange airport transfers from around US$100 one way.

Trains

Kandy Railway Station is around 40 minutes’ drive away. You can book a hotel transfer for US$35, excluding taxes and service charge.

Automobiles

There’s a car park at the resort with free valet parking.

Other

Should you choose to, you can arrive into Kandy in style by helicopter or private charter, then complete your journey by road.

Worth getting out of bed for

Something that’s definitely worth getting out of bed for at Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa, and rather early in the day at that, is watching the sunrise – ideally enjoyed from your mattress, coffee in hand, to see the mountain mists roll in and the valley slowly light up as day breaks. Head to the Aarogya Spa for a yoga or meditation session or take off around the trails on one of the hotel’s mountain bikes. There’s also a little library where you can pick out a book for the day. Or learn to cook a traditional Sri Lankan curry on an Aarunya cookery course.

A drive away, the city of Kandy has lots to offer. Join a Batik workshop, a Pooja ceremony at the Temple of the Tooth (you’ll need covered knees and shoulders at the temple) or a waterfall hike. The ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya is around two hours away by car, and the super-scenic 18-hole course at Victoria Golf Resort is around an hour away. Hotel staff can help you to organise excursions and tours, as you wish.

Local restaurants

Because of its almost-tucked-in-the-clouds location, you’re more likely to stay at Aarunya for dinner and drinks, instead of travelling into Kandy of an evening. But with these views, Arrack cocktails and Sri Lankan curry feasts a casa (and at the tap of your in-room iPad), you won’t want for a thing.

Reviews

Photos Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this tree-bound hotel in Sri Lanka and unpacked their Batik wall hangings and Ceylon Kandy tea, a full account of their mountaintop break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa in Kandy…


A winding road leads you up the hillside to the Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa car park, where you’ll switch to a chauffered electric buggy up to the central bungalow. Here, the pool, its infinity edge stretching out towards the epic Unesco-listed Knuckles mountains, instantly draws your attention. And yet, more captivating delights await at your seductively private, vista-wrapped villa, discreetly integrated into the verdant hillside of this former plantation. Each of Aarunya’s eight villas are simply furnished in Sri Lankan style, making what’s outdoors the star of the setting. 

Dine in whichever gorgeous location you choose: under a garden pavilion, by the pool, at the chef’s table in the fine-dining area or in the comfort of your capacious villa. Don’t hit snooze on that early alarm, though, or you’ll miss the morning mountains bathed in the ‘first rays of the sun’, known as ‘Aarunya’ in Sanskrit.

Book now

Price per night from $577.11